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Deep Dive: Armenia, Azerbaijan, And The Ramil Safarov Case

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Katy Pearce collects coverage of the Safarov case in 2004:
The statement from the Council of Europe:
Péter Marton, lecturer in International Relations at Corvinus University in Budapest: Marton writes:


What changed in-between

In a nutshell, Azerbaijan became very important, for Hungary as well as for others. By the time Ramil Safarov decided to kill his Armenian schoolmate, plans for what is widely known now as the Nabucco pipeline were already being considered. Caucasian developments slowly paved the way for such a project to seem feasible, and this prompted a wave of engagements in the field energy diplomacy by hitherto passive players, including Eastern European countries facing the problem of one-sided dependence on Russian natural gas imports.

Safarov became very important, too. Zahid Oruj, a member of the Azerbaijani parliament’s national security committee now claims that the chief reason for the opening of an Azerbaijani embassy in Budapest was to defend Safarov’s interests and expedite his release. Azeri diplomats did indeed work hard on this. On numerous occasions they requested Safarov’s extradition, only to be turned down. [read the full piece]
Via The Economist:

But it seems that the Safarov affair was masterminded by Viktor Orbán, the prime minister, and Péter Szijjártó, the minister for external economic relations, rather than the foreign ministry.

The extradition also raises questions about the EU’s credibility. It has just pledged €19.5 million ($25m) to reform oil-rich Azerbaijan’s justice and migration systems. So far, Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative, has expressed only a tepid statement of “concern”. [read the full piece]
Thomas de Waal's take:

Via the BBC:

If there is any silver lining to this dark episode it could be that the international community pays more attention to the dangers of a new Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The conflict is not "frozen," as it is frequently described. [read the full piece]
Sarah Kendzior looks at Safarov's Facebook stardom:

Via Al Jazeera:

The online embrace of Safarov reflects the heartache of Azerbaijan's history as well as the ways digital media can strengthen dictatorship. The people spread the cause and the government reaps the glory. [read the full piece]

Direct links to our latest from Azerbaijan and Armenia

VIDEO: RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service gets reactions from Azerbaijan

What Do Azerbaijanis Think Of Freed Killer Ramil Safarov?
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Around the web...

For Ianyan, Liana Aghajanian pulls the facts together:
The Scary Azeri is unimpressed:

In House: RFE/RL's Daisy Sindelar and Arifa Kazimova on all the different flash points in the Safarov case:

An excerpt:


Erkin Gaderli, a lawyer and a member of the Republican Alternative opposition group, says he believes "no one" in Azerbaijan "seriously" thinks of Safarov as a hero.

But at the same time, he acknowledges that ordinary Azerbaijanis are confounded by the continued deadlock over Nagorno-Karabakh, and have fallen into a tit-for-tat relationship with Armenia, with each side looking to best the other on even insignificant issues.

"There is an emotion growing in society, and it's a reflection of a deep frustration with the conflict in the occupied territories," Gaderli says. "And there is a growing expectation that somehow, someday this must come to an end. Many people think that something needs to be done in response to Armenia. So whatever Armenia has done, for good or for bad, should somehow be retaliated." [read full piece]


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