Thursday 30 December 2004
December 14, 2004
EU: France Says Turkey Must Recognize Armenian Atrocities Before Joining EU
Three days before a key European Union summit that is likely to give Turkey a date for starting formal entry talks, French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier has said that Ankara must reassess its past. Barnier said yesterday that Turkey must come to terms with the mass killing of Armenians in the late years of the Ottoman Empire before it can enter the EU. The remarks have already provoked reactions in Turkey. Ankara has long denied charges that Turks committed genocide against Armenians.
November 24, 2004
Azerbaijan: Baku Tells General Assembly Of Armenian Settlement Activity
Azerbaijan's foreign minister has urged the UN General Assembly to adopt a resolution expressing concern over alleged Armenian settlements in territories seized 10 years ago. Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov told the assembly that thousands of ethnic Armenians have resettled in Azerbaijani districts near the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. But Armenia's UN ambassador denied any such activities. He told the assembly that the bid for a UN resolution could undermine an ongoing process directed by the OSCE.
November 23, 2004
Nagorno-Karabakh: UN General Assembly To Discuss Occupation Of Azerbaijani Land
Azerbaijan is hoping a proposed UN General Assembly resolution on its occupied territory will help resolve a key impediment to peace talks with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh. The resolution, to be discussed today (eds: 1600 Prague time), calls for reaffirming Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and seeks an investigation into Azerbaijani claims Armenia is promoting a settlement policy in the occupied lands. Armenia denies this and has said such a resolution could undermine the peace process.
November 10, 2004
Analysis: Azerbaijan Rejects Armenian Warning Over Karabakh Talks
In an exclusive interview on 9 November with RFE/RL's Armenian Service, Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian said that he and his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov made "serious progress" during their four rounds of talks on approaches to resolving the Karabakh conflict. Oskanian said it is now possible to begin a second stage of talks building on what was achieved earlier, and that Azerbaijan has signaled its readiness for such talks. "Armenia has already given its positive answer and is ready to resume the negotiations [as early as] tomorrow," Oskanian said.
November 05, 2004
Chechen President Congratulates Bush, As Do South Caucasus States
Aslan Maskhadov has sent a telegram to George W. Bush congratulating him on his reelection to a second term as U.S. president, chechenpress.info reported on 5 November. Maskhadov characterizes the United States as a country that embodies for all mankind the principles of democracy and human rights. He said that in their unequal struggle, the Chechen people derive inspiration from the values proclaimed by the U.S. founding fathers. He hailed President Bush personally as embodying "the lofty principles that are fundamental for all those who battle against tyranny."
November 04, 2004
Azerbaijan Hopes For 'Continuity' In U.S. Foreign Policy
In a statement released on 4 November and summarized by Turan, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry expressed the hope that Washington's policy towards Azerbaijan will continue unchanged in the wake of President George W. Bush's reelection.
November 04, 2004
Officials In Caucasus See Little Change Following U.S. Election
Senior defense officials in Georgia and Armenia appeared convinced that given their respective countries' geopolitical significance, no changes were likely in bilateral relations with the United States, whatever the outcome of the 2 November U.S. presidential election. Georgian Defense Minister Giorgi Baramidze told journalists on 2 November that relations between Georgia and the United States are "fundamental" and that both U.S. presidential candidates support the idea of further developing relations with Georgia, especially in the sphere of counterterrorism, Caucasus Press reported.
November 03, 2004
World: Sampling Of Reaction To U.S. Vote Shows Cautious Optimism
In opinion polls before the 2 November vote in the United States, citizens of countries from Canada to South Korea -- with the notable exceptions of Russia and Israel -- declared an overwhelming preference for Democratic Senator John Kerry to win the U.S. presidential election over Republican incumbent George W. Bush. But as the time neared for declaring an actual winner, international figures and people on the streets displayed a cautious optimism. RFE/RL collects a sampling of various opinions from Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and around the world.
October 22, 2004
Armenia: Jehovah's Witnesses Trapped In Bureaucratic Maze
At a gathering of the Council of Europe in June, the deputy speaker of Armenia's parliament said Yerevan would free Jehovah's Witnesses who had been jailed as conscientious objectors -- as soon as parliament passed a new alternative-service law. The law was passed in July, but at least 13 conscientious objectors remain in jail in Armenia, including five jailed just this month. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has questioned the country's actions, as have other civil rights organizations.
October 15, 2004
Azerbaijan: World Food Program Slashes Food Rations To Refugees Due To Funding Woes
The United Nations World Food Program says it has been forced to cut its aid to displaced Azerbaijanis due to scarce funding. The agency's decision is likely to make life much harder for the tens of thousands of civilians in the country who depend heavily on such foreign aid. But the WFP's assistance to displaced persons in the country is just one aspect of the problem. Thousands of others -- refugees from recent wars in the Caucasus and elsewhere -- are also living in Azerbaijan, and in even worse conditions.
September 30, 2004
Analysis: Armenians Uneasy At Proposed Iraq Deployment
The Armenian government's decision to send noncombat personnel to serve with the international peacekeeping force in Iraq has met with resistance from civic groups, opposition parties, one member of the three-party ruling coalition, and some senior military officers.