Region

South Caucasus

Stories under this heading cover the South Caucasus – a region encompassing Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, as well as the unrecognised entities of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Nagorno-Karabakh.

For those interested specifically in Armenian-Azerbaijani relations and events and developments in and around Nagorno-Karabakh following the 2020 44-day war, check out our sister page, KarabakhSpace.eu.

Terrorist attack against Azerbaijani Embassy in Tehran
At least one security officer was killed and two others injured when a man armed with a Kalashnikov attacked the Azerbaijani Embassy in the Iranian capital, Tehran. The incident happened on Friday morning as the man tried to force his way into the diplomatic mission. Azerbaijan has strongly condemned the attack and criticised Tehran for not protecting its diplomatic mission. The Iranian Ambassador was summoned to the Azerbaijani foreign ministry in Baku and told that the attack was the consequence of a systematic anti-Azerbaijan campaign. There have been outbursts of anti-Azerbaijani sentiment in some sections of the Iranian media which appear to have the blessing of at least some elements of the Iranian regime. There has been widespread condemnation of the attack by the international community, including the EU, the US and many European and Middle East governments.  commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment that the attack on the Azerbaijani embassy in Tehran is the latest in a series of unfriendly or hostile acts towards Azerbaijan originating from Tehran that seem to be encouraged by at least some elements of the Iranian Shia clerical regime.
dennis2020 Fri, 01/27/2023 - 13:27 Deployment of the EU monitoring mission to Armenia: A view from Azerbaijan

On January 23, the Council of the European Union (EU) agreed to establish a civilian monitoring mission in Armenia’s border areas in order to “ensure an environment conducive to normalization efforts between Armenia and Azerbaijan”. The deployment of the mission has caused mixed reactions in the two countries and frustrated Russia, writes Vasif Huseynov in this op-ed for commonspace.eu.

patrickn97 Thu, 01/26/2023 - 14:53

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Terrorist attack against Azerbaijani Embassy in Tehran
At least one security officer was killed and two others injured when a man armed with a Kalashnikov attacked the Azerbaijani Embassy in the Iranian capital, Tehran. The incident happened on Friday morning as the man tried to force his way into the diplomatic mission. Azerbaijan has strongly condemned the attack and criticised Tehran for not protecting its diplomatic mission. The Iranian Ambassador was summoned to the Azerbaijani foreign ministry in Baku and told that the attack was the consequence of a systematic anti-Azerbaijan campaign. There have been outbursts of anti-Azerbaijani sentiment in some sections of the Iranian media which appear to have the blessing of at least some elements of the Iranian regime. There has been widespread condemnation of the attack by the international community, including the EU, the US and many European and Middle East governments.  commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment that the attack on the Azerbaijani embassy in Tehran is the latest in a series of unfriendly or hostile acts towards Azerbaijan originating from Tehran that seem to be encouraged by at least some elements of the Iranian Shia clerical regime.
dennis2020 Fri, 01/27/2023 - 13:27
Deployment of the EU monitoring mission to Armenia: A view from Azerbaijan

On January 23, the Council of the European Union (EU) agreed to establish a civilian monitoring mission in Armenia’s border areas in order to “ensure an environment conducive to normalization efforts between Armenia and Azerbaijan”. The deployment of the mission has caused mixed reactions in the two countries and frustrated Russia, writes Vasif Huseynov in this op-ed for commonspace.eu.

patrickn97 Thu, 01/26/2023 - 14:53
Five people killed in mass shooting in Sagarejo, Georgia
A retired military veteran has killed five people in the eastern Georgian town of Sagarejo before committing suicide, the country's interior ministry announced on Friday morning (20 January). The offender, according to the Georgian interior ministry, had served in the Georgian Defence Forces between 2006 and 2021, including in the NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan. Among the dead is 38-year-old Otar Gvinashvili, a police officer who sustained fatal injuries while trying to protect another person during the shooting. Five other people were wounded. Vakhtang Gomelauri, the Georgian Interior Minister who arrived at the scene early on Friday, said the offender had been with his adult child who escaped the flat following the incident. The 49-year-old offender is believed to have killed himself as security forces entered his flat. Neighbours told local media the shooter had rented his flat and was reportedly undergoing treatment for psychological problems. There is currently no known motive for the mass shooting.
patrickn97 Fri, 01/20/2023 - 10:17
Opinion: Armenia must not use the Lachin corridor for the transportation of military goods
While Azerbaijan gets most of the blame for the ongoing crisis in the “Lachin Corridor,” the international community does not see the elephant in the room: Armenia’s shipment of weapons and illegal mining operations through this corridor intended for civilian use, writes Nurlan Mustafayev in this op-ed for commonspace.eu
dennis2020 Thu, 01/19/2023 - 08:46
Kazakh and Azerbaijani leaders visit UAE for Abu Dhabi sustainability summit

The Presidents of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Ilham Aliyev, have both addressed the opening ceremony of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week summit as the UAE leads up to COP28 later this year.

In his speech on Monday (16 January), President Tokayev of Kazakhstan spoke about his country's commitment to achieving climate neutrality.

patrickn97 Tue, 01/17/2023 - 11:02
Opinion: Armenia - India Relations: Time is right to develop a strategic partnership
The defeat in the 2020 Nagorno Karabakh war shocked Armenia and Armenians all around the world, and destroyed many deeply entrenched perspectives on Armenia's geo-political realities, writes Benyamin Poghosyan in this op-ed for commonspace.eu. "Armenia should establish new partnerships that will allow Yerevan to decrease its economic and military development gap with Azerbaijan while adding a new layer of deterrence against Turkey in addition to the existing strategic alliance with Russia. In this context, India is the natural choice for Armenia", he argues. All the necessary ingredients are there to boost Armenia – India relations and bring them to the level of strategic partnership. There is an urgent need to institutionalize the ties, and the first step toward that direction could be establishing an Armenia - India high-level cooperation council. It should have annual sessions with the participation of Armenian and Indian Prime Ministers. At the same time, joint strategic planning groups should be established under the council to develop concrete projects in different spheres. 
dennis2020 Tue, 01/17/2023 - 10:20
Opinion: No Peace is possible with zero trust
"If one side of the conflict, regardless of the motives and explanations, takes action to starve the civilian population of the other side, trust will not reach the zero level; it may go beyond zero. Thus, all external actors, who have been involved in the complicated task of creating some trust between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, should clearly express their position – the blockade of the Lachin corridor should be stopped immediately. At the same time, negotiations should continue to address any concerns of Azerbaijan without breaching the November 10, 2020, trilateral declaration, writes Benyamin Poghosyan in this op-ed for commonspace.eu.
dennis2020 Mon, 01/09/2023 - 10:05
Commentary: War between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2023 is unlikely, but peace is elusive

This is a commentary prepared by the editorial team of commonspace.eu. It was first published in the electronic newsletter Karabakh Concise on 5 January 2023.

For Armenia and Azerbaijan 2023 has started pretty much as 2022 ended. The two countries remain at odds with each other, and a peace process between them appears stalled. On the ground the continued stand-off on the Lachin corridor, where Azerbaijani activists block the free flow of traffic between Armenians in Karabakh and Armenia, shows no sign of easing.

dennis2020 Fri, 01/06/2023 - 07:32
Opinion: EU mediation between Armenia and Azerbaijan is needed now more than ever
The stalemate in the process of normalising relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan has created new risks. Writing for commonspace.eu in this op-ed, Vasif Huseynov says that "there is widespread concern in the region that the sides might end up in a violent military escalation this year if they fail to sign a peace treaty and agree on a roadmap for the resolution of the remaining disputes concerning the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and the re-opening of regional transportation links. Under these circumstances, there is a great need for the constructive intervention and active mediation of the EU, without which Baku and Yerevan are unlikely to be able to overcome the difficulties created by the Russian side", he argues.
dennis2020 Fri, 01/06/2023 - 07:17