Tuesday 31 August 2004
August 18, 2004
OSCE: Organization Shifting To Focus Greater Attention On Central Asia, Caucasus
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) should consider paying extra attention to Central Asia and the Caucasus. That's the view of the OSCE's current chairman, Solomon Pasi. Pasi, who is also Bulgaria's foreign minister, says it makes sense now to concentrate on those parts of the world, in view of new international realities. He also said it would be "far more useful" to hold the OSCE's major annual economic forum in Central Asia rather than in Central Europe. RFE/RL reports on what looks like a shift in emphasis for the 55-member OSCE, which is Europe's largest security and rights body.
August 04, 2004
U.S.: Armenian-American Group Backs Kerry, Snubs Bush
Washington, 4 August 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Americans of Armenian descent number only about 1 million to 1.5 million of the overall U.S. population of about 280 million people. But Armenian-Americans are politically active, and their political influence is stronger than their size would suggest. One prominent group, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) has formally endorsed Senator John Kerry's campaign for the presidency against President George W. Bush.
August 02, 2004
Azerbaijan: War-Mongering Or Warning?
Azerbaijani President Aliyev Over the past two weeks, one former and two current top Azerbaijani officials have again affirmed their collective rejection of international mediators' insistence that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can be resolved only on the basis of mutual concessions. Whether those Azerbaijani statements were intended primarily for domestic consumption, or whether and to what extent they should be construed as warnings to the international community not to pressure Azerbaijan too forcefully to agree to concessions that might trigger a major public backlash, is as yet unclear. Meanwhile, two senior U.S. diplomats have made clear that Washington continues to hope for a swift resolution of the conflict.
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.