Thomas de Waal, senior fellow at Carnegie Europe and a prolific writer on the South Caucasus recently sat down with OC Media. He discussed democracy in Abkhazia and the international community’s role there, and the recent thaw in relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The Azerbaijani authorities have dropped new charges against imprisoned anti-corruption blogger Mehman Huseynov following large protests in the capital. Thousands gathered in Baku on Saturday calling for Huseynov’s release and an end to political prosecutions and corruption in the country.
Having swept to power in a landslide electoral victory, the new government of revolutionary leader Nikol Pashinyan is now laying out its vision for a ‘New Armenia’ — with ambitious plans for peace and reform.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev have vowed to reduce tensions and set up a direct hotline between the two sides, after a meeting in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe. [Read more…]
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has concluded a three-day long tour to the South Caucasus. During her trip Merkel faced questions about Georgia’s Western ambitions, her position on the region’s conflicts, and human rights abuses in Azerbaijan, and also suggested Georgians may soon be able to work in Germany. [Read more…]
On Wednesday, several media outlets belonging to the Azerbaijani media holding APA misquoted President Ilham Aliyev as saying ‘we will bring Armenia to its knees’. Despite later apologising for the mistake and taking the story down, their websites went offline.
Since exiled Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli disappeared from Tbilisi, reappearing a day later in an Azerbaijani jail, suspicions of Georgian involvement in his kidnapping have remained. Mukhtarli himself has accused the Georgian government of complicity, and while this is a charge they deny, local rights groups are becoming impatient with the pace and transparency of the official investigation into his disappearance.
Ilham Aliyev is to serve a fourth presidential term in Azerbaijan, with the Central Election Commission announcing he received 86% of votes in Wednesday’s snap election. The opposition-leaning Meydan TV reported major violations, airing footage of people voting multiple times at different polling stations. International observers said the election ‘lacked genuine competition’, and reported ‘serious violations’ including ballot-box stuffing. [Read more…]
Several thousand people protested in Baku on 10 March, in a rally organised by Azerbaijan’s two largest opposition groups against President Ilham Aliyev. The groups have announced they plan to boycott the presidential elections scheduled for 11 April. [Read more…]
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has announced snap presidential elections for April 2017. [Read more…]