Monday 12 July 2004
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 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 02, 2004
U.A.E.: Muslim Federation Of States Is Hub of International Prostitution
Prostitution is a subject that officials in the United Arab Emirates do not want to talk about. Officially, prostitution does not even exist in the U.A.E., a conservative Muslim federation of autonomous emirates. But in fact, prostitution is a multimillion-dollar industry there. Many of the women involved have traveled or been brought to the U.A.E. from poor countries abroad. And many say they suffer abuse and other difficulties in the emirate's sex trade.
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 28, 2004
Caspian: Influx Of Killer Jellyfish Threatens Fish Stocks
Ten years ago, a voracious species of plankton-eating jellyfish appeared in the Caspian Sea, posing a serious threat to already declining fish stocks. One potential solution might be introducing a second jellyfish species to prey on the first. But the Caspian's five littoral states have yet to reach an agreement on how best to handle the problem -- leaving the sea in danger of suffering irreversible damage in the meantime.
June 24, 2004
Azerbaijan: Authorities Strive To Keep Islam Under Control
Strategically located between Iran, Turkey, and Russia's Muslim Northern Caucasus republics, Azerbaijan has seen an upsurge in Islamic activity in the past decade. Depending on their geopolitical interests, authorities have adopted various attitudes toward foreign religious activists. Using a mix of coercion and tolerance, they have succeeded in keeping Islamic activities under control.
June 21, 2004
Analysis: President Aliyev's Options For Reform
Observers in Baku are unanimous in their conviction that rivalries within the Azerbaijani leadership are becoming more acrimonious and more visible. What remains unclear is whether and how President Ilham Aliyev is planning to take advantage of that infighting to strengthen his own position. One of the warring camps is, moreover, already seeking to portray itself as the pro-democracy faction and thus as Aliyev's natural partner in his professed campaign to secure for Azerbaijan membership of NATO and the EU.
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.