Armenia and Turkey to open land border "before the start of the tourist season"

The Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan announced on Friday (24 March) that Armenia and Turkey have agreed to open their land border, closed for some three decades, "before the start of this year's tourist season".

Speaking at a session of the Foreign Relations Committee of the National Assembly of Armenia, Mirzoyan said, "we reaffirmed with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey the readiness to open the Armenian-Turkish border for citizens of third countries and persons with diplomatic passports before the start of this year's tourist season."

patrickn97 Mon, 03/27/2023 - 09:12
Editor's choice
News
Mass protests in Israel after PM fires defence minister

Mass protests in Israel after PM fires defence minister

Last night (26-27 March) saw massive protests in Israel after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired his defence minister after he spoke out against controversial judicial reform plans that have led to weeks of protests. Gallant had voiced concerns that the divisions in society being caused by the proposed legislation were hurting morale in the military and emboldening Israel’s enemies across the region. "I see how the source of our strength is being eroded," Gallant said. This led to Netanyahu removing him from his position, saying that "he doesn’t have any faith in him anymore and therefore he is fired." Meanwhile Israel's President Isaac Herzog addressed Netanyahu, tweeting, "For the sake of the unity of the people of Israel, for the sake of the responsibility we are obliged to, I call on you to stop the legislative process immediately." The judicial reform plans announced on 4 January would give parliament the authority to override Supreme Court decisions with a basic majority. The plans would also make it very difficult for the courts to declare a prime minister unfit for office and remove them for the courts.
Opinion: An international presence in Nagorno-Karabakh will be required for a considerable time

In the negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan the future of Nagorno Karabakh has always been the elephant in the room, writes Benyamin Poghosyan in this op-ed for commonspace.eu.

dennis2020 Mon, 03/27/2023 - 04:07
Borrell urges Serbia and Kosovo to implement all parts of normalisation deal
The European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell on Thursday (23 March) urged both Serbia and Kosovo to implement all parts of an EU-brokered normalisation deal that was struck on Saturday (18 March). On his way to an EU leaders' summit, Borrell told reporters that “the agreement was agreed, it has to be implemented, and there is no room for picking and choosing. Any attempt to question this agreement is futile," Borrell added, stressing that the deal "is a whole, has to be implemented by all parts. I would advise them not to point at anyone but to do their work," he said. During a visit to Vienna on Wednesday (22 March), the Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić said that the EU-brokered deal "is not an agreement on the recognition of Kosovo" and that Belgrade would implement it based on their "red lines". Dačić added that "this means that we will not recognise [Kosovo] and we will not approve Kosovo's membership to the United Nations", thus prompting Borrell's intervention the following day.
patrickn97 Fri, 03/24/2023 - 10:00
Editor's choice
Editorial
Editorial: the parallel struggles in Georgian politics

Editorial: the parallel struggles in Georgian politics

At the moment in Georgia, "on the one hand there is the struggle for power between elements of the government and elements of the opposition. There have been plenty of examples in the past of these elements being willing to sacrifice anything to hold on to this power," writes commonspace.eu in this editorial. "There is also however a parallel struggle, that is based on values and foreign policy orientation [...] The prospect is now emerging that the next political struggle will be about values. The quicker Georgian politicians understand this, the better. And for their own sake, as well as that of their country, they should make sure they position themselves on the right side of history."
Russia begins deploying Stalin-era tanks to Ukraine after "significant armored vehicle losses"

Open source intelligence (OSINT) groups are reporting that Russia has begun to deploy Stalin-era tanks to Ukraine after reportedly suffering "significant armoured vehicle losses".

After receiving photographs of a train transporting tanks in Russia's Far East to the west, the Georgia-based OSINT group Conflict Intelligence Team has identified them as T-54 and T-55 tanks. Although Russia's use of the later T-62 tank has been previously reported, this is the first recorded instance of Russia deploying even older tanks, they report.

patrickn97 Thu, 03/23/2023 - 10:26
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News
Muslims around the world welcome the start of the holy month of Ramadan

Muslims around the world welcome the start of the holy month of Ramadan

Muslims across the world are welcoming in the start of the holy month of Ramadan on Wednesday and Thursday (22 and 23 March). Muslims believe that Ramadan is the month in which the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad more than 1,400 years ago. Throughout the month, observing Muslims fast from just before the sunrise prayer, Fajr, to the sunset prayer, Maghrib. The fast entails abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking, and sexual relations to achieve greater "taqwa", or consciousness of God. Some people are however exempt from observing Ramadan, including children who have not yet reached puberty, the young or elderly who are not physically or mentally capable of fasting, as well as pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and travellers. At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr. In Arabic, it means "festival of breaking the fast". Depending on the new moon sighting, Eid al-Fitr this year is likely to fall on 21 April. On the occasion of the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan the editorial team of commonspace.eu extends its best wishes to all our Muslim readers, subscribers and contributors across the world. Ramadan Mubarak!