Wednesday 18 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 06, 2004
Iran/Azerbaijan: Iranian President Visits Azerbaijan, Calls For Closer Ties
Ilham Aliyev said relations with Iran are improving Prague, 6 August 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Azerbaijan and Iran share a border but this has not been enough to foster close relations between the two. Iranian President Mohammad Khatami is visiting Azerbaijan this week. It's the first official trip to the neighboring country by an Iranian leader in more than 10 years.
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 13, 2004
Azerbaijan: U.S. Adoptive Families Celebrate Heritage Of Their 'Baku Babies'
As infants and toddlers, these children may have shared rooms or toys at an orphanage in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. But now these "Baku babies" are U.S. citizens with American parents. Families from across the United States with adopted Azerbaijani children recently gathered in New York to celebrate the traditions of Azerbaijan, with food, dancing, and shared memories of their adoption experiences.
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.