Thursday 26 May 2005
May 26, 2005
U.S.: Is Washington Able To Help Opposition In Uzbekistan And Azerbaijan?
U.S. President Bush (left) with his Georgian counterpart Mikhail Saakashvili in Tbilisi in early June U.S. President George W. Bush says the focus of his second four-year term is the spread of democracy worldwide, and the United States has garnered some of the credit for facilitating the democratic movements in Georgia and Ukraine. But with respect to at least two countries, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, Washington must maintain a careful balance between its economic and strategic interests on the one hand, and their peoples' desire for democracy on the other. RFE/RL spoke with two observers of U.S. policy in Eurasia.
May 25, 2005
Caspian-Mediterranean Oil Pipeline Launched In Baku
Work on BTC pipeline near Baku two years ago Prague, 25 May 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The 1,760-kilometer Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline to transport crude oil extracted from the Caspian Sea shelf to the Mediterranean Sea basin was inaugurated today near Azerbaijan's capital Baku.
May 25, 2005
World: Amnesty's Global Survey Condemns Governments For Human Rights Failures
The U.S. treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, figures heavily in the Amnesty report Amnesty International says governments are failing to provide principled leadership in the quest for a world order based on respect for human rights. In its annual global survey, released today, the watchdog group says the global war against terrorism has been more effective in eroding human rights principles than in countering violence. The report singles out the United States for particularly harsh criticism. Amnesty says Washington "thumbed its nose at the rule of law" by not properly investigating reports of prisoner abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghurayb prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and at Bagram air base in Afghanistan. The poor human rights situations in Iran, Russia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus are also highlighted. But Amnesty says there were signs of hope in 2004, too.
May 25, 2005
Caucasus/Central Asia: Analysts Expect Security, Economic Gains From BTC Pipeline
The leaders of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and Kazakhstan gathered near Baku today to inaugurate the $4 billion Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline. The project is generally viewed as the key element of an overall plan to turn the Caucasus region into a transport corridor connecting Central Asia to Western Europe. From the onset, BTC was designed by its American sponsors as a way to reduce Russia's energy grip on its former southern satellites. But regional experts say that by helping make the region safer, the project's expected economic benefits might eventually outweigh its geostrategic importance. [For coverage of the ceremony, see "Caspian-Mediterranean Oil Pipeline Launched In Baku" --> /featuresarticle/2005/05/18a9dc83-9f19-4830-aea2-93a850b985fa.html .]
May 23, 2005
Azerbaijan: Crackdown Tarnishes Aliyev's Image
Many have accused police of being heavy-handed with demonstrators Prague, 23 May 2005 (RFE/RL) -- There has been sharp international criticism of the way the authorities in Azerbaijan prevented opposition activists from holding a demonstration in Baku on 21 May. The United States and the OSCE were among the most outspoken critics of the police's use of violence. Dozens of opposition members were arrested and some remain in detention.
May 22, 2005
Azerbaijani Police Quash Rally In Capital
Police wielding batons against a demonstrator in Baku today. Officials later denied they used force against protesters 21 May 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Riot police armed with shields and batons intervened on 21 May to prevent scores of would-be participants from reaching the venue for a planned opposition rally and march in Baku, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reported.
May 19, 2005
Azerbaijan: Armenia Denies Agreeing To Leave Seven Occupied Districts
Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers Elmar Mammadyarov (left) and Vartan Oskarian (file photo) Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov made headlines on 17 May by claiming that Armenia is prepared to agree to the return of seven districts of Azerbaijan bordering on the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR).
May 19, 2005
Armenia Says Talks Step Forward, Denies Agreement
Prague, 19 May 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamlet Gasparian said in a statement released in Yerevan on 18 May that the meeting in Warsaw three days earlier between Armenian President Robert Kocharian and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev constituted "yet another step forward in the resolution of the Karabakh conflict," RFE/RL's Armenian Service reported.
May 12, 2005
Azeri President Seeks To Prevent Election Violations
12 May 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev issued a decree on 11 May enumerating measures intended to preclude violations and falsification during the parliamentary elections due in November, Turan and ITAR-TASS reported.
May 10, 2005
U.S./East: Encouraging The Oppositions
The U.S. and Georgian presidents greet the crowd at Tbilisi's Freedom Square on 10 May 10 May 2005 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. President George W. Bush's swing through the former Soviet states of Latvia, Russia, and Georgia was filled with lofty rhetoric on the universal human striving for freedom, as well as with praise for the so-called colored revolutions that have swept through the region.
May 09, 2005
Azerbaijan: Ruling Party Extends Offer Of Dialogue, As Support Grows For New Election Alliance
On 2 May, the leaders of the Yeni Siyaset (New Policy, aka YeS) election bloc adopted a declaration entitled "From Authoritarianism to Democracy," which is intended to ensure that the parliamentary elections to be held in November are truly free and democratic.