Editor's choice
Editorial: the moment of truth

Editorial: the moment of truth

"The signing of an agreement – it is still not clear if it will be called a Peace Agreement, or something else – will certainly not mean that all issues between Armenia and Azerbaijan are resolved," writes commonspace.eu in this editorial. "There is also much that still needs to be done to build enough trust and confidence for any agreement to not simply be a piece of paper. But an agreement will certainly be the sign of the end of an era of war and hostilities which has also poisoned the atmosphere between the two neighbouring nations." The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, accompanied by large delegations, were in Washington this week for face to face negotiations on the future relations between their countries. After a hiatus of several months, during which contact was relegated to exchange of emails, the two sides, with some US prodding, on Monday engaged in what many consider to be the most detailed exercise yet in trying to chart the future relations between the two countries.
Editor's choice
Zelensky visits the international city of peace and justice

Zelensky visits the international city of peace and justice

The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is paying a visit to the international city of peace and justice on Thursday (4 May). President Zelensky is understood to have arrived in The Hague, The Netherlands, at 7am on Thursday after having met with the leaders of Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland in Helsinki the day before. Zelensky's first engagement on Thursday was to give a speech to the first and second chambers of the Dutch parliament. The Dutch public broadcaster NOS reports that some 75 MPs were present for the speech in which Zelensky thanked The Netherlands for its support for Ukraine, and noted that he found it special that his visit coincides with the Dutch national Remembrance of the Dead day. The Netherlands' Nationale Dodenherdenking commemorates all civilians and members of the armed forces of the Kingdom of the Netherlands who have died in wars or peacekeeping missions since the beginning of the Second World War. Zelensky also visited the International Criminal Court, and gave a speech on "No Peace without Justice for Ukraine".
Ten days to go until Turkish presidential election with opposition leader ahead in polls
There are now ten days to go until Turkey heads to the polls for the first round of the Turkish presidential election on 14 May. The main race is being fought between incumbent president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has served as either Prime Minister or President since 2003, and Kemal Kilicdaroglu, a former bureaucrat from the country's social security authority who is leading a coalition of six parties from across the political spectrum. The election is expected to be tight. Over the weekend, Istanbul-based opinion pollster TEAM released its April report, according to Al-Monitor, which put challenger Kilicdaroglu at 47.4% and Erdogan at 44.4%. If no candidate reaches a majority in the first round of voting, the election will head to a second round. If it were to reach this stage, Kilicdaroglu is predicted to beat Erdogan by a 5% margin, according to TEAM. Turkey is currently experiencing major challenges that have dented Erdogan's hopes of winning May's election.
patrickn97 Thu, 05/04/2023 - 09:21
Iran thanks Saudi Arabia for helping its citizens flee Sudan

Iran has thanked Saudi Arabia for helping its citizens in Sudan evacuate across the Red Sea to the Saudi port city of Jeddah.

65 Iranians were among around 1,900 people evacuated from Sudan to Saudi Arabia on Saturday (29 April) as fighting between the Sudenese army and the rival paramilitary group, the Rapid Support Forces, entered its third week.

patrickn97 Wed, 05/03/2023 - 09:43
Railway sabotage and oil depot explosions in Russia and Crimea as Ukraine gears up for counteroffensive
Russia's Bryansk Oblast that borders Ukraine's north-east has now seen two railway derailments in as many days, both reportedly as a result of sabotage. On Monday (1 May), Bryansk Oblast Governor Alexander Bogomaz published a post on his Telegram channel announcing that "an unidentified explosive device" detonated near railway tracks, derailing the train and resulting in the suspension of rail traffic in the area. Overnight on Sunday (30 April), overhead powerlines in Russia's Leningrad Oblast were also blown up, although power supply to populated areas and civil infrastructure was allegedly not disrupted. Then, yesterday on Tuesday (2 May), Russian media reported a second supposed railway sabotage in Bryansk Oblast in as many days. Governor Bogomaz said that railway lines had been blown up near Snezhetskaya station, derailing a locomotive and approximately 20 freight cars. Being critical for logistical operations in their full-scale invasion of Ukraine, railways in Russia's border regions have frequently been targets of suspected sabotage during the ongoing war.
patrickn97 Wed, 05/03/2023 - 08:45
Editorial: the problem of the Taliban will not go away

This editorial first appeared in the 2 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, 05/02/2023 - 12:13
Armenia and Azerbaijan meet in Washington D.C. for a week of talks
On Monday (1 May) the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan met with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken for the first day of talks understood to be taking place until latest Friday (5 May). AFP have reported that the talks will last four days. Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov, along with their delegations, are meeting at the George P. Schultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center in Arlington, Virginia, a short distance south-west of Washington D.C. Mirzoyan, Bayramov and Blinken are understood to have sat down for negotiations at 09:45 local time yesterday, after both foreign ministers had their own individual meetings with Blinken beforehand. Statements issued by both Armenia and Azerbaijan said that issues of the security situation in the region and the process of normalisation of relations between the two countries were discussed in the meeting hosted by Blinken. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Armenian Service report that the talks are more aimed at "an agreement on the normalisation of relations" rather than a peace treaty, citing a U.S. official speaking to reporters on the condition of anonymity.
patrickn97 Tue, 05/02/2023 - 08:42