Thursday, 06 May 2021

W Weekly Update

23-30 January

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Weekly update

 

30 January

Russia and Turkey opened a joint center on Saturday to observe a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh that was agreed following a flare-up in the conflict in the region last year. In line with middleeastmonitor.com the center, which both countries agreed to set up in November, was officially opened in the Agdam region of Azerbaijan. It will be staffed by up to 60 servicemen each from Turkey and from Russia, the defense ministry said in a statement. After six weeks of fighting, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a Russia-brokered ceasefire for the enclave, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but mainly populated by ethnic Armenians. Turkey said on Friday that one Turkish general and 38 personnel will work at the center. Turkey backs Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. The Russian Defense Ministry said that "monitoring will be carried out through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles as well as the evaluation of data received from other sources".

 

29 January

The Artsakh Human Rights Defender’s Office updated an earlier report about civilian fatalities caused by Azerbaijani attacks on Artsakh, showing a higher number than previously reported, said asbarez.com. The report was amended to include new information after more search operations revealed a higher number of civilian casualties. The report summarizes the cases of civilian casualties from the military aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan and Turkey against Artsakh beginning on September 27. It also includes the number of civilians killed while being imprisoned in areas that fell under the control of the Azerbaijani armed forces. The cases are introduced with relevant briefs. From September 27 to January 28, 72 civilians were killed by Azerbaijani armed forces, according to the newly-updated report, which sites that 41 civilian were killed during targeted strikes, while 31 died in captivity. The report also cites a number of torture cases, instances of mutilation and deliberate targeting of civilians. The Artsakh Human Rights Defender’s report also cites that there were 163 civilians who were injured as a result of targeted strikes.

 

28 January

According panorama.am second President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan has unveiled his plans to run for the snap parliamentary elections in the country no matter when they will be held. In an interview with local media outlets Yerevan.Today, Hayeli.am and Politik.am on Thursday, the ex-president said he has also called on his supporters to take an active part in the political processes. Kocharyan said that they have all the necessary mechanisms and a team for the political struggle. Meanwhile, the former president called for conduct of early elections only after the situation stabilizes in Armenia, warning of "visible dangers" stemming from the processes amid uncertainty and lack of solutions to numerous sensitive issues. “However, if the authorities succeed in imposing elections earlier, I think it’s right for us to join the election race. Otherwise, we will give these people an opportunity to re-establish their power. Yes, we will run, will fight and will win," Kocharyan said.

 

27 January

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Yerevan, reaffirming his country’s desire to continue seeking closer relations with neighboring Armenia after the recent war in Nagorno-Karabakh. The ceasefire agreement calls for the opening of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border for cargo and other traffic. It specifically commits Yerevan to opening rail and road links between the Nakhichevan exclave and the rest of Azerbaijan that will presumably pass through Armenia’s Syunik province bordering Iran. For its part, Armenia should be able to use Azerbaijani territory as a transit route for cargo shipments to and from Russia and Iran. Speaking to azatutyun.am Zarif said Iran sees now a real chance to establish a rail link with Armenia passing through Nakhichevan.” Zarif arrived in Armenia from Moscow as part of a regional tour which he began in Baku on Monday. Meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, he congratulated Azerbaijan on its “victory” in the war and expressed Iran’s readiness to help rebuild areas around Karabakh retaken by Azerbaijani troops.

 

26 January

After the impressive victory of the peaceful "Velvet Revolution" in Armenia in 2018, the euphoria and enthusiasm in support of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan have significantly diminished. In line with 112.international, announcing the democratization gains culminating in long-overdue free and fair elections in December 2018, the Armenian government has launched a massive campaign to combat corruption. But Prime Minister Pashinyan overplayed, attempting not only to reform but also to restore the judicial system. Against the backdrop of this "judicial crisis," Armenia was rocked by the Covid-19 pandemic, provoking an economic disaster, and the unexpected loss in the war over Nagorno-Karabakh is an unprecedented political crisis. Democracy has come under attack, reforms have been threatened, and Pashinyan's political fate and future are now in question.

 

25 January

In an Op-ed: “Myths that replaced reality led to Armenia's defeat in Karabakh war” analyst, expert on the Karabakh conflict Tatul Hakobyan believes that the 44-day war has debunked five myths rooted in Armenian society. It was their propaganda at the official level that dulled the vigilance of the public, the journalist says. According to jam-news.net the first myth that led to defeat was the possibility of maintaining the status quo forever. The second myth is about the invincibility of the Armenian army. A number of objective factors must be taken into account: it was impossible to defeat Azerbaijan and supporting Turkey with volunteer formations, since in fact the army of the 20th century fought with the army of the 21st century; Armenia and NK, with a total population of three million people, fought against Azerbaijan with its population of 10 million, and Turkey, which has a population of 80 million. The Armenian side proved inferior to Azerbaijan in terms of weapons, human strength, preparedness and responsibility of the leadership. The third myth was formulated in the new military doctrine of Armenia – ‘new war – new territories.’ The fourth myth concerns the views of the Armenian side about the intentions of the enemy – ‘Azerbaijan will not start a war.’ The fifth myth concerns the economy: Armenia can develop with closed borders – without any concessions.

 

24 January

A new report by International Christian Concern (ICC) accuses Muslim-majority Turkey and Azerbaijan of having an intent to commit “genocide” when they launched a weeks-long military offensive in an ethnic Armenian territory last year. According to christianpost.com, ICC, a U.S.-based advocacy organization, published the new report “The Anatomy of Genocide: Karabakh's Forty-Four Day War” last Friday. The report asserts that the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh (known as the Republic of Artsakh in Armenia), which lasted from September until November 2020, had strong religious freedom concerns that should alarm human rights advocates and governments worldwide. According to ICC, Turkey and Azerbaijan destroyed churches and other religious sites, abused prisoners of war and hired known extremists, including members of the Islamic State, as mercenaries to help regain control of Nagorno-Karabakh.

 

23 January

President Biden’s nominee to serve as Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, confirmed that the incoming Administration will consult with Congress on the wording of its April 24th statement, reported the Armenian National Committee of America, reports Asbarez. In response to a written question from Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) during his confirmation hearing, Blinken noted that: “As a presidential candidate, President Biden pledged in his Remembrance Day statement to support a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide,” adding: “The Administration will determine the wording for the White House statement to mark Remembrance Day once in office and will consult with Congress on this important issue.” The U.S. House and Senate nearly unanimously passed Armenian Genocide Resolutions in 2019.

27 April 2021
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29 March 2021
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13 March 2021

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