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Conflict and Peace

Stories related to violent conflicts, diplomatic tensions, and conflict prevention, mediation and resolution.

Violence rocks the Holy Land
Violence in Jerusalem, in Israel and in the Palestinian territories over the last days  has shaken the fragile peace in the Holy Land once more, despite calls for restraint by the international community. On Saturday (28 January), an assailant shot and wounded two people in east Jerusalem, Israeli medics said, hours after a Palestinian gunman killed seven outside a synagogue in one of the deadliest such attacks in years. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday that Israel's response to an attack by a Palestinian gunman attack that killed seven people on the outskirts of Jerusalem will be "strong, swift and precise" . The mass shooting unfolded as a 21-year-old resident of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem drove up to the synagogue in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood and opened fire during the Jewish Sabbath. The bloodshed, which unfolded on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marked another dramatic escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Nine people had been killed Thursday in what Israel described as a “counter-terrorism” operation in the Jenin refugee camp. It was one of the deadliest Israeli army raids in the occupied West Bank since the second intifada, or Palestinian uprising, of 2000 to 2005. Israel said Islamic Jihad operatives were the target. Islamic Jihad and Hamas both vowed to retaliate, later firing several rockets at Israeli territory. Most of the rockets were intercepted by Israeli air defenses. The military responded with strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza. There were no injuries reported on either side, but Gaza’s armed groups vowed further action. After the synagogue shooting, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said the attack proved “the resistance knows how to find the appropriate response” to Israeli “crimes.” At least 26 Israelis and 200 Palestinians were killed across Israel and the Palestinian territories in 2022, the majority in the West Bank, according to an AFP tally from official sources.
dennis2020 Sun, 01/29/2023 - 05:53 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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Monday Commentary
Monday Commentary: The South Caucasus from "balance of power" to "balance of interests"

Monday Commentary: The South Caucasus from "balance of power" to "balance of interests"

For decades, relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan were seen from a false balance of power prism, that in the end failed miserably, and for Armenia, disastrously.  Since November 2020 the question of what comes next has dominated the political discourse in the region. Some think the solution is a return to a balance of power approach, but given the current realities this sounds more like wishful thinking. The future of the region is not balance of power, but balance of interests. This means that both sides engage and co-operate with each other, simply because it is in their interest to do so. The arguments for such an approach are strong, even if they have not yet been convincingly made to the populations at large. But first the loose ends from the 2020 war need to be tied up. The Jus post bellum framework has yet to be worked out. Signing a comprehensive peace treaty before the end of the year, as some insist is possible, is unlikely. But signing a peace document by the end of the year is possible. A "Prague Plus", may be a general document that builds on what has been discussed and agreed in Prague on 7 October 2022, and in other already agreed texts. It also means that after its signing negotiations will have to continue very intensively. These are likely to be in two tracks – the main track between Baku and Yerevan, and a secondary parallel track between Baku and Stepanakert. "It is disingenious to ask what comes first, whether it is peace or a peace treaty, for both depend on each other. For the South Caucasus the next days and weeks will be crucial and it is time for everyone to up their game", writes Dennis Sammut in this Monday Commentary on commonspace.eu
Ethiopian government to begin seizing airports in rebel-held regions

The Ethiopian government stated on Monday (17 October) that they will begin seizing airports and other key institutions in the north of the region that is currently under the control of Tigray rebel forces. Although the government is firm in these objectives, it stated that it was committed to a peaceful resolution of the conflict through African Union-led peace talks.

patrickn97 Tue, 10/18/2022 - 12:03
Editor's choice
Commentary
Monday Commentary: Comrade Xi's party

Monday Commentary: Comrade Xi's party

An event on the other side of the world that started on Sunday has huge global importance and will define international politics for decades to come. The 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is perhaps not the most important ever in terms of its impact within China itself, but when it comes to China’s role in the world it certainly is. This is not only because China is today stronger than it has ever been in modern times, but also because the congress gives the seal of approval to a Chinese global posture that is assertive, ambitious and with as yet an undefined end-game. That end-game is being defined by Xi Jinping, who during this congress is expected to be confirmed in his post as  Party leader for an unprecedented third term. President Xi has been making speeches both at the main session of the Congress and at side events. This morning he told a meeting of Communist activists on the fringe of the main event, that Chinese people should stay united as "a piece of hard steel" under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and “pull together with one mind to power the giant ship of national rejuvenation through the wind and waves to reach its destination.” In a more formal speech to the Congress plenum a day before Xi had given an indication of what that destination is: “Incomparable glory’ awaits China on world stage”, Xi Jinping told the party congress. By 2049, when the People’s Republic will hold centennial celebrations, China should become a leading power in all aspects, the leader stated So no modesty or lack of ambition here. But what does this mean for the rest of the world?
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News
EU monitors will arrive on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border within two weeks

EU monitors will arrive on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border within two weeks

It is expected that European Union monitors will arrive on the Armenian side of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border before the end of this month. An EU technical assessment mission arrived in Yerevan on Friday (14 October), and EU foreign ministers are expected to discuss the matter and endorse a mandate and a budget for the mission on Monday (17 October). A statement from the European External Action Service on Friday evening stated: Following the request by Armenia, an EU technical assessment mission has today arrived in Yerevan. The task of this mission is to prepare for the deployment of EU monitors to the Armenian side of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border later this month, in line with the agreement reached on the 6 October at the quadrilateral meeting between President Aliyev, Prime Minister Pashinyan, President Macron and President Michel. EU Member States will further discuss at the Foreign Affairs Council on Monday 17 October the proposal of High Representative Josep Borrell to deploy a monitoring mission, which will have as its primary aims contributing to stability and building confidence as well as supporting the work of the border commissions to improve security along the bilateral border.
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Opinion
Opinion: Russia fears it is being elbowed out of the South Caucasus, and prepares to react

Opinion: Russia fears it is being elbowed out of the South Caucasus, and prepares to react

Russia is worried that the success of European diplomacy in approximating the positions of Armenia and Azerbaijan, and the prospect of a peace agreement before the end of the year, would see it elbowed out of the South Caucasus. Russia may use its presence in Karabakh to throw spokes in the wheel, writes Vasif Huseynov in this op-ed for commonspace.eu. "This situation seriously threatens peace and stability in the South Caucasus. The region would  descend into a catastrophic escalations if the present peace efforts fail, and the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict becomes another theater of the Russia-West confrontation. Baku and Yerevan, having declared their willingness to recognize each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, would suffer the most from such a situation. Hence, both should make efforts to reach a deal with a delicate geopolitical balance", he writes.
Opinion: An alternative vision for Yemen’s way to salvation

Click here to read this article in the original Arabic.

patrickn97 Thu, 10/13/2022 - 12:19