Conflict & Diplomacy

19 September 2018
Azeri, Armenian Leaders Enlist Sons in Karabakh Conflict

Nikol Pashinyan lauds son’s decision to serve on the front line, declares Karabakh should be part of Armenia.

Nikol Pashinyan lauds son’s decision to serve on the front line, declares Karabakh should be part of Armenia.Nikol Pashinyan lauds son’s decision to serve on the front line, declares Karabakh should be part of Armenia.Nikol Pashinyan lauds son’s decision to serve on the front line, declares Karabakh should be part of Armenia.Nikol Pashinyan lauds son’s decision to serve on the front line, declares Karabakh should be part of Armenia.Nikol Pashinyan lauds son’s decision to serve on the front line, declares Karabakh should be part of Armenia.The son of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev has joined the armed forces, a rather unusual step for the offspring of senior officials, Eurasianet.org writes.

 

Coincidentally, or not, the son of enemy Armenia’s prime minister recently joined his country’s army too.

 

When Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced his 18-year-old son Ashot’s enlistment in May and said he would serve in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, Baku called the move “cheap populism,” Eurasianet says.

 

Ilham Aliev’s son Heydar was sworn in as a member of the State Security Service on 16 September in a ceremony attended by his parents and other family members.

 

Unlike the younger Pashinyan, Heydar Aliev will not be stationed in a conflict area. He will serve with a unit based in Baku, in what Eurasianet calls “an apparent exception to the usual rule that conscripts serve outside their home region.”

 

While some Azeris hail Heydar’s patriotic step, others say he is setting a bad example. Journalist Khadija Ismayilova – once jailed after exposing corruption in high places – wrote on Facebook: “The country is at war. The president is sending his son not to the army, but to the State Security Service. That is, he does not trust the army with his son,” JAMnews says.

 

 

 

·         In July, Chief of the Armenian General Staff Artak Davtyan said 320 Armenian citizens had returned home since Prime Minister Pashinyan urged young Armenians who have gone abroad or otherwise skirted military service to come home and join the armed forces. Davtyan said 156 of the group had previously evaded their mandatory military service, JAMnews reported.

 

·         Since taking office at the head of a reform movement, Pashinyan has kept Yerevan’s close relations with unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh and even broached the normally taboo subject of incorporating it into Armenia. “I see Karabakh as part of Armenia,” he recently told Russia’s Armenian business community. Karabakh has functioned practically as an Armenian protectorate since the war with Azerbaijan ended in 1994.

 

·         A top aide to Ilham Aliev commented on Ashot Pashinyan’s deployment to the Karabakh region yesterday on Facebook. "It is necessary to ask the prime minister who says that the ‘NKR’ [Nagorno-Karabakh Republic] is an ‘independent state’ and about the need for Azerbaijan to negotiate with this ‘state’: why does your son serve in this ‘independent state’? Taking this step, he actually confirms not only the fact of occupation, but also recognizes that it is Armenia that is a party to the conflict,” Ali Hasanov wrote, as cited by Azernews.

 
18 September 2018
U.S. Defense Chief Urges ‘Yes’ Vote in Macedonia Referendum

Jim Mattis accuses Russia of trying to scuttle deal with Greece.

 
18 September 2018
Poland in More Hot Water Over Judicial Reforms

Warsaw could be hit with further EU sanctions this week, reports say.

 
14 September 2018
The Beginning of the End for Orban in the EPP?

While this week’s vote indicates that Hungary’s strongman is drifting further away from the mainstream European People’s Party, any defection – forced or voluntary – would puncture his political influence on the continent.

By Political Capital
 
Kashgar, China
11 September 2018
The Kazakh Connection to Chinese ‘Political Education’ Camps

Kazakh government treads a fine line between staying friendly with Beijing and protecting the interests of its co-ethnics in Xinjiang.

 
Zakharchenko
6 September 2018
Rebel Leader’s Killing Puts Ukraine Peace Process on Ice

Moscow and Kyiv trade accusations of blame for assassination of Donetsk separatist chief.

 
31 August 2018
Ancestral Homes Out of Bounds

Despite repeated complaints, Georgia is still preventing Ossetians now based in Russia from visiting the villages where they once lived not so long ago. From JAMnews.

By Zhanna Tarkhanova
 
31 August 2018
Washington Calls on Russia to Cease Searches of Ukrainian Ships Premium

Kyiv plans to respond by strengthening naval and other forces in the Azov Sea.

 
27 August 2018
A Landmark Visit to Lithuania Premium

Israeli Prime Minister’s trip is a sign of warming relations, but also receives criticism for overstating official Vilnius’s efforts to come to terms with the Holocaust.

 
21 August 2018
The Komsu Concept Premium

The tangled history of Turkish-Bulgarian ties shows that crises can often have a bright side.

By Boyko Vassilev
 

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