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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News
First Summit of the European Political Community opens in Prague

First Summit of the European Political Community opens in Prague

In the historic settings of Prague Castle, leaders from across Europe gathered on Thursday for the first summit of the European Political Community. Apart from the leaders of the 27 EU member states, leaders from non EU member states are also attending, including Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Iceland, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom With the dramatic consequences of Russia’s aggression war, EU leaders agreed during the European Council meeting in June 2022 to launch the European Political Community with the aim of bringing together countries on the European continent. The ambition is to bring leaders together on the European continent and to foster their cooperation on issues of common interest, revolving around peace and security, the economic situation, energy and climate, and migration and mobility. No formal written outcome of the European Political Community is envisaged. After the traditional family photo, the meeting kicked off with a round table discussion on peace and security in Europe. This story will be updated throughout the day.
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Leaders gather in Prague for first summit of European Political Community

Leaders gather in Prague for first summit of European Political Community

Leaders from across Europe have gathered at Prague Castle for the launch of the European Political Community. Apart from the leaders of the 27 EU member states, leaders from non EU member states are also attending, including Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Iceland, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom An unusual scene, even before the summit had started was of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev and Turkish President Recip Tayip Erdogan meeting informally before the opening of the summit. This story will be updated throughout the day.
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Opinion
Opinion: Armenia and Azerbaijan have embarked on a long and arduous journey towards sustainable peace. Continued lack of trust seriously hampers the process, and needs to be addressed as a priority.

Opinion: Armenia and Azerbaijan have embarked on a long and arduous journey towards sustainable peace. Continued lack of trust seriously hampers the process, and needs to be addressed as a priority.

In this Joint Policy Discussion Paper, Ahmad Alili and Benyamin Poghosyan welcome the start of negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan on a meaningful peace treaty. They warn however that, at all levels, trust between the two sides remains very low and that this will make the process difficult. They urge both sides to conduct the negotiations with a strong sense of realism, and to ensure that the speed of the negotiations is well calibrated.
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Editorial
Editorial: Lukashenko's trip to Abkhazia is another act in Putin's nefarious plan

Editorial: Lukashenko's trip to Abkhazia is another act in Putin's nefarious plan

The president of Belarus, Alexandre Lukashenko, made a surprise appearance in Abkhazia on Wednesday (28 September), in a move that many see as being part of the Kremlin’s present strategy to further distabilise Eurasia to help achieve the ultimate aim, which is complete Russian hegemony on the post-Soviet Space. For sure, Lukashenko did not go to Sukhumi to have a last dip in the Black Sea before winter sets in. This was a calculated political move, typical of Lukashenko. So why did he go, and why now? Lukashenko has long been a tool of the Kremlin, not only when it comes to affairs in his own Belarus, but more broadly on the international stage. Yet he has also tried to cultivate the image of being independent-minded, not the sort to take orders from Vladimir Putin, but rather one that is able to influence the Kremlin and its policies. This visit proves that in fact he is simply a stooge.
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Macron hosts Pashinyan at the Elysee to discuss situation in the South Caucasus

Macron hosts Pashinyan at the Elysee to discuss situation in the South Caucasus

French president. Emanuel Macron on Monday (26 September) hosted Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan at the Elysee Palace to discuss the current situation in the South Caucasus, and particularly Armenian-Azerbaijani relations. Macron described the situation following the recent armned clashes on 13-14 September as "critical". President Macron said France will do everything to pursue its goal, which is a stable, safe and prosperous South Caucasus." Macron also discussed the issue of relations between Armenia and Turkey. "This is a difficult but very necessary process and you know that France is also committed to this issue. This process is very important for the region", he said. In conclusion, Macron reiterated France's commitment to achieving peace and stability for Armenia and the entire region. "I welcome your sense of responsibility and your position to do everything to establish peace.  I want your country to have calm and peaceful borders", Macron told Pashinyan in his opening remarks.
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Opinion
Opinion: Beware of Americans bearing gifts

Opinion: Beware of Americans bearing gifts

In this op-ed for commonspace.eu, Benyamin Poghosyan says that the visit of Nancy Pelosi to Armenia created quite a lot of hype, since some saw in it the prospects for national salvation. But the visit's "democracy vs authoritarianism agenda" is risky for Armenia he argues.   Armenia should send clear signals to Russia and Iran that it has no intention to join the “democracy vs. authoritarianism fight” and will never allow anyone to use its territory for anti-Iranian or anti-Russian activities.
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Opinion
Opinion: A peace process in jeopardy

Opinion: A peace process in jeopardy

"The recent flare-up along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border and the subsequent developments in Armenia  raise concerns that the region might be, unfortunately, still far away from a peace treaty and a peaceful future", writes Vasif Huseynov in this op-ed for commonspace.eu. "Surprisingly for many observers, the proposal for a peace treaty on the basis of mutual recognition of each other’s territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally-recognized borders is not supported by a large number of Armenians", he adds.
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News
UN Security Council starts discussing situation on Armenia-Azerbaijan border

UN Security Council starts discussing situation on Armenia-Azerbaijan border

The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday (14 September) started discussing, in close session, the situation on the Armenia and Azerbaijan border. The meeting was held at the request of Armenia, who accuses Azerbaijan of encroaching on its territory. Diplomatic sources told the media that there was overall in the discussion unanimity in calling on the sides to immediately cease hostilities and return to diplomatic negotiations. It is understood that the Council will continue with its deliberations today, and the meeting this time will be in public. Meanwhile, the Secretary of National Security Council of Armenia on Wednesday evening told Armenian Public TV that following the mediation of the international community a cease fire had been agreed by both Armenia and Azerbaijan starting from 20.00 hours. There have so far not been any reports of new clashes overnight. In Armenia, the political situation remains tense, with the opposition collecting signatures from MPs for the impeachment of prime minister Nikol Pashinyan. But so far only opposition MPs have joined the initiative which is likely to fail.