Sunday 1 August 2004
July 30, 2004
Transcaucasus: Politicians Find Lessons At Democratic Convention
Three leading opposition politicians from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia were among the hundreds of international figures invited to observe this week's Democratic National Convention in Boston. The three told RFE/RL's Robert McMahon that in spite of the convention's frequently stage-managed appearance, it offers some useful lessons in their own struggles to bring democracy to the South Caucasus.
July 12, 2004
Analysis: Russia Coordinates New Broadside Against OSCE
At Moscow's instigation, the six CIS states that are members of the CIS Collective Security Treaty Organization (Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan), together with Moldova, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, issued a statement in Vienna on 8 July harshly criticizing the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and calling for a fundamental refocusing of its priorities and activities.
July 09, 2004
OSCE: Several CIS States Rebuke Democracy Watchdog
Russia and eight other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are accusing the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) -- the continent's biggest security and human rights watchdog -- of failing to respect their sovereignty. A written statement signed by Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan said the OSCE does not respect fundamental principles such as noninterference in internal affairs and respect of national sovereignty.
July 06, 2004
Iraq: Tiny Ethnic-Armenian Community Survived Hussein, Making It In Postwar Times
The ethnic Armenian community is one of the smallest in Iraq. It is not involved in the country's political life and is doing its best to survive the country's postwar hardships. The community has learned the art of survival and keeps a low profile amid the strife engulfing Iraq's other ethnic and religious groups. RFE/RL correspondent Valentinas Mite visited with members of the ethnic Armenian community in Baghdad and filed this report.
July 05, 2004
Caucasus: EU Commissioner Tours South Caucasus To Explain 'New Neighborhood' Offer
Janez Potocnik, a junior EU commissioner working with enlargement commissioner Guenter Verheugen, today begins a four-day tour of the South Caucasus. He will meet the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia to talk about the EU's recent decision to include the three countries in its "new neighborhood" policy.
July 01, 2004
Western Press Review: Hussein's Day In Court, The Search For Karadzic, And Targeted Assassinations
Prague, 1 July 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Several items in the media today focus on the upcoming trial of Iraq's former leader, Saddam Hussein, as he made his first appearance in a Baghdad court today. Touted by some as the "trial of the century," many observers note that the kind of justice Hussein receives will be indicative of Iraq's commitment to building a just civil society on the ashes of his regime. Other issues addressed today include the sacking of 60 Bosnian Serb officials for the government's failure to locate and apprehend Radovan Karadzic and other indicted war criminals; taking the time to get nation-building projects right; Russia's bid for influence among its neighbors and beyond; and whether targeted assassinations -- in Chechnya, the Gaza Strip, or Afghanistan -- undermine the chances for peace.
June 25, 2004
Western Press Review: NATO's New Challenges, Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi, And EU Constitutional Hurdles
Prague, 25 June 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Several items in the press today take another look at NATO, following a request this week by Iraq's Prime Minister Iyad Allawi for the alliance to help provide security in the country and ahead of the upcoming alliance summit in Istanbul. The role of NATO is also discussed today in light of its continuing mission in Afghanistan, which many believe is foundering due to the failure to extend a troop presence to areas outside Kabul. We also take a look today at Allawi as he prepares to take up the reins of government with the 30 June transfer of power to his interim Iraqi administration. Political reform in Armenia and the fledgling EU constitution, agreed on 19 June following all-night marathon negotiations, are also discussed.
June 15, 2004
Caucasus: EU Increasingly Targeting Georgia Over Conflict-Stricken Armenia, Azerbaijan
The European Union this week formally included Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan in its European Neighborhood Policy. The move does not open the door to EU membership -- officials studiously avoid speculation, saying simply membership is "not on the agenda." However, the new neighborhood initiative could, over the next decades, lead to free trade, substantial aid grants, and extensive political dialogue with the EU. In the South Caucasus, Georgia now appears best placed to make use of EU goodwill, while officials say the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict remains a serious obstacle for Armenia and Azerbaijan.