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Armenia and Azerbaijan recognise each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty

Armenia and Azerbaijan recognise each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty

After hours of negotiations, with the mediation of European Council president Charles Michel, and French president Emanuel Macron, the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan , Nikol Pashinyan and Ilham Aliyev, have taken a historic step towards lasting peace. Both countries have recognised each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty, and committed to tangible steps to establish peace and stability in the region. President Macron tweeted early this morning "Tonight, Armenia and Azerbaijan confirmed their commitment to the Charter of the United Nations and the Alma Ata 1991 Declaration through which both recognize each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty." The four leaders held two long sessions of negotiations on the margins of the summit of the European Political Community which was launched at Prague Castle on Thursday afternoon (6 October). It is also understood that a number of other decisions were taken. It was agreed that the EU will deploy on the Armenian side of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border a civilian monitoring mission, for a period of two months starting from October.

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CICA set to become an international organisation at this month's Astana summit

CICA set to become an international organisation at this month's Astana summit

The Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) is set to become a fully fledged international organisation during a summit of leaders of its members to be held in Astana, Kazakhstan on 12-13 October. A Special Working Group (SWG) meeting held on 28-29 September, has made a major advance in preparing draft documents to be adopted at the upcoming sixth CICA Summit. The main document includes a draft Astana Statement on CICA Transformation, which is designed to transform CICA into a full-fledged international organization. Other draft documents include a draft of the CICA Leaders’ Statement on Cooperation in the Field of Security and in the Use of Information and Communications Technologies and draft the CICA Plan of Action on the Implementation of the United Nations (UN) Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
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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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Germany seals major energy deal with the UAE

Germany seals major energy deal with the UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Germany signed a "landmark agreement" on Sunday (25 September) aimed at accelerating joint efforts to boost energy security, decarbonisation and combat climate change. The major deal was struck in the presence of UAE President, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who is currently visiting the Emirates. The deal secures the delivery of 137,000 cubic meters of LNG to be sent to the new LNG terminal in Brunsbüttel near Hamburg in December. According to the dpa news agency, the amount included in the first delivery equates to around 0.95 billion kilowatt hours of electricity. However, the LNG deal can only make up for a small part of the 56.3 billion cubic meters of gas that Germany received from Russia in 2020.
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Opinion: Macron's 'European Political Community' offers an opportunity for a continent-wide approach to critical security issues

Opinion: Macron's 'European Political Community' offers an opportunity for a continent-wide approach to critical security issues

French President Emmanuel Macron's proposal to create a "European Political Community" can, if handled correctly, provide a permanent framework where EU countries and other European states can interact on critical political and security issues. However, for the community to succeed it must not simply become an extension of the EU. It must be designed to ensure that all countries involved have a voice in fostering political dialogue and cooperation in order to address issues of common interest, writes Maximiliaan van Lange in this op-ed for commonspace.eu. Overall the idea of a European Political Community is a positive one. Ensuring that countries like Turkey and the UK can be equal partners in the discussion on the future of Europe's security, is an important and positive step. Making sure that smaller countries in the Balkans and the Caucasus can also be part of the conversation is equally relevant. But for the Community to succeed it must quickly carve a niche for itself in the crowded field of European institutions, which apart from NATO and the EU, also includes the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the Western European Union, not to mention multiple sub regional entities. The best option for the new community is to focus on security, and the security threats poised by the new Russian and Chinese assertivness.
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Biggest prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia, including Azov battalion fighters

Biggest prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia, including Azov battalion fighters

In a surprise move, Russia and Ukraine on the night from Wednesday to Thursday (22 September) implemented the biggest prisoner exchange since the start of the war between them in February Russia released over a hundred captured Ukrainian fighters in a prisoner exchange, including fighters from the Azov battalion.  In numerical terms, the prisoner swap represents a major victory for Ukrainian morale. Among others, Ukraine got back three commanders who led the last Ukrainian resistance in the port city of Mariupol and over 100 more members of the battalion. A total of 215 Ukrainians have been released. Among them are policemen, border guards, soldiers and pregnant fighters. In a seperate move ten foreigners who were fighting for the Ukrainian side and were captured by the Russians, were released thanks to the mediation of Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.
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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.