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Editorial: light at the end of the tunnel for Armenia and Azerbaijan

Editorial: light at the end of the tunnel for Armenia and Azerbaijan

The European Union continues to play an instrumental part in helping Armenia and Azerbaijan to narrow the differences between them and move closer to signing a peace agreement normalising relations, writes in this editorial.  On Sunday (14 May), European Council president Charles Michel, hosted Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Brussels for several hours of talks which Michel described as being “frank, open and result-oriented” and “focused on progress on the path towards Armenia-Azerbaijan normalization.” Michel said that “the leaders shared a common willingness for a South Caucasus at peace. I commend their respective efforts. Together, we reviewed all issues on our agenda.” political editor commenting on the results of the 14 May Brussels meeting said that clearly the negotiations have reached a decisive stage. This is now not a discussion on abstract principles but on tangible and practical issues that will have an impact on the lives of Armenians and Azerbaijanis across the region.
President Xi hosts first ever China-Central Asia summit in Xi'an
The President of China Xi Jinping is hosting the first ever China-Central Asia summit on Thursday and Friday (18 and 19 May). President Xi will host the presidents of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan in the historic city of Xi'an, which once marked the beginning of the Silk Road trade route stretching from China to Europe. It will be the first in-person meeting between the presidents of the six countries after they held an online summit in January 2022 marking 30 years of relations. Chinese officials have said that the meeting will mark "a new era of cooperation" as Central Asia looks to expand ties both to its east and west as Russian influence in the region wanes as a result of its ongoing full-scale invasion of Ukraine. According to the Chinese government newspaper Global Times, the presidents of the six countries will "exchange views on establishing mechanisms, cooperation and international, regional issues with respective concerns, as well as signing a slew of important political documents on trade, investment, connectivity and other areas".
patrickn97 Thu, 05/18/2023 - 08:28
UK and The Netherlands join forces to assist Ukraine in acquiring F-16 jets
The UK and The Netherlands have agreed to form an "international coalition" to assist Ukraine in acquiring F-16 fighter jets, the UK Government announced in a statement released on Tuesday (16 May). Meeting on the sidelines of the Council of Europe summit in Reykjavik, prime ministers Rishi Sunak and Mark Rutte "agreed they would work to build international coalition to provide Ukraine with combat air capabilities, supporting with everything from training to procuring F16 jets", the statement said. "The [British] Prime Minister reiterated his belief that Ukraine’s rightful place is in NATO and the leaders agreed on the importance of allies providing long-term security assistance to Ukraine to guarantee they can deter against future attacks," the statement added. This development followed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's suggestion that Kyiv could expect to receive F-16 fighter jets soon, expressing optimism about crucial decisions being made with the support of the UK. On 15 May in London, Zelensky and Sunak engaged in a two-hour discussion during the former's second visit to the UK since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion.
patrickn97 Wed, 05/17/2023 - 07:34
Editorial: China wags the finger at the West ahead of its summit with Central Asian States

This editorial first appeared in the 16 May 2023 issue of our newsletter, Central Asia Concise. If you would like to subscribe to Central Asia Concise, or any other of our newsletters, please click here.

patrickn97 Tue, 05/16/2023 - 15:36
Azimuth Airlines to operate Russia-Georgia flights from 17 May
The Georgian Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) announced yesterday (15 May) that Azimuth Airlines will start operating flights between Moscow and Tbilisi from 17 May. On Wednesday (10 May), Russian President Vladimir Putin reversed a 2019 ban on Russian airlines flying to Georgia, prompting many Georgian politicians to insist that no Russian airlines under international sanctions would be permitted to operate flights to Georgia. Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said that his government's "unequivocal" position was that "flights with sanctioned aircraft will not be carried out. This will happen only with planes and companies not under sanctions", he said. The GCAA statement from yesterday reads: "The Civil Aviation Agency of Georgia issued the necessary permission to the airline today, on May 15. As of today, Azimuth Airlines is not on the European Union blacklist. In accordance with the flight application submitted by the airline to the Civil Aviation Agency, flights on the Moscow-Tbilisi-Moscow airline will be performed from May 17 of this year, seven times a week."
patrickn97 Tue, 05/16/2023 - 08:27