Showing posts tagged as "armenia"

Showing posts tagged armenia

4 Feb
Azerbaijan Says Dozens Dead as ICG Warns Over Karabakh Tensions | Zulfugar Agayev
Azerbaijan said its troops killed dozens of Armenians in clashes near the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the past two weeks as the International Crisis Group warned of an “unprecedented” escalation of tensions.
“Armenian losses ran into dozens,” Vaqif Dargahli, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, said by phone today from Baku, the capital. Two Azeris were also killed, he said.
Nagorno-Karabakh’s Defense Ministry denied the claim, saying two Armenians and eight Azeris were killed.
The Brussels-based International Crisis Group said “the nature of reported clashes and ominous statements by some officials mark an escalation unprecedented in recent years.”
FULL ARTICLE (Bloomberg)
Photo: narek781/flickr

Azerbaijan Says Dozens Dead as ICG Warns Over Karabakh Tensions | Zulfugar Agayev

Azerbaijan said its troops killed dozens of Armenians in clashes near the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the past two weeks as the International Crisis Group warned of an “unprecedented” escalation of tensions.

“Armenian losses ran into dozens,” Vaqif Dargahli, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, said by phone today from Baku, the capital. Two Azeris were also killed, he said.

Nagorno-Karabakh’s Defense Ministry denied the claim, saying two Armenians and eight Azeris were killed.

The Brussels-based International Crisis Group said “the nature of reported clashes and ominous statements by some officials mark an escalation unprecedented in recent years.”

FULL ARTICLE (Bloomberg)

Photo: narek781/flickr

4 Oct
A festering sore | Eastern Approaches 
It is 25 years since conflict broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-majority region inside Azerbaijan, and 19 years since a shaky ceasefire came into effect. To much of the outside world, it is a “frozen” conflict that merits little attention. Yet as the International Crisis Group (ICG) shows in a recent briefing, the situation is much more fluid and unpredictable than that tag might suggest.
Skirmishes between the two sides are frequent, with hundreds, even thousands of ceasefire violations reported every month. Dozens of deaths and injuries occur each year. For years, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, which is co-chaired by France, Russia and the United States, has been trying to resolve the conflict. But with negotiations hitting deadlock in 2011, the geographical scope of the clashes has spread to places far away from Nagorno-Karabakh.
FULL ARTICLE (The Economist) 
Photo: ogannes/Flickr

A festering sore | Eastern Approaches 

It is 25 years since conflict broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-majority region inside Azerbaijan, and 19 years since a shaky ceasefire came into effect. To much of the outside world, it is a “frozen” conflict that merits little attention. Yet as the International Crisis Group (ICG) shows in a recent briefing, the situation is much more fluid and unpredictable than that tag might suggest.

Skirmishes between the two sides are frequent, with hundreds, even thousands of ceasefire violations reported every month. Dozens of deaths and injuries occur each year. For years, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, which is co-chaired by France, Russia and the United States, has been trying to resolve the conflict. But with negotiations hitting deadlock in 2011, the geographical scope of the clashes has spread to places far away from Nagorno-Karabakh.

FULL ARTICLE (The Economist) 

Photo: ogannes/Flickr

2 Oct
Azeri-Armenia Conflict May Soon Escalate, ICG Official Warns | Zulfugar Agayev
The territorial dispute between oil-exporting Azerbaijan and neighboring Armenia may soon escalate amid rising violence and weapons buildup, according to a non-profit group dedicated to resolving global conflicts.
Until the 2011 breakdown in peace talks, “there was a process,” Lawrence Scott Sheets, project director for the South Caucasus at the International Crisis Group, said today by phone from Tbilisi, the Georgian capital. “It was not a successful process but just the existence of a process acted as a restraining factor.”
FULL ARTICLE (Bloomberg)

Azeri-Armenia Conflict May Soon Escalate, ICG Official Warns | Zulfugar Agayev

The territorial dispute between oil-exporting Azerbaijan and neighboring Armenia may soon escalate amid rising violence and weapons buildup, according to a non-profit group dedicated to resolving global conflicts.

Until the 2011 breakdown in peace talks, “there was a process,” Lawrence Scott Sheets, project director for the South Caucasus at the International Crisis Group, said today by phone from Tbilisi, the Georgian capital. “It was not a successful process but just the existence of a process acted as a restraining factor.”

FULL ARTICLE (Bloomberg)

26 Sep
Armenia and Azerbaijan: A Season of Risks
Baku/Yerevan/Tbilisi/Brussels | 26 September 2013
In its latest briefing, Armenia and Azerbaijan: A Season of Risks, the International Crisis Group examines possible scenarios for a conflict that could explode at any time. Since peace talks broke down in 2011 over Nagorno-Karabakh – the Azerbaijan enclave seized and occupied by Armenian forces in the fighting that accompanied the break-up of the Soviet Union – arms purchases and war rhetoric have gained momentum on both sides. In this tense situation, exacerbated by domestic political competition, the greatest danger is an accidental war. 
The briefing’s major findings are:
Since 2011, both sides have vastly augmented their military budgets and developed detailed war contingency plans. There is a real risk that miscalculations, brinkmanship or the increasingly frequent skirmishes in geographically widespread front-line areas could lead to an outbreak of full-scale fighting, pulling in some or all of the regional powers: Russia, Turkey and Iran.
The coming months pose special challenges, as both countries deal with internal political tensions. In Armenia, opposition groups are planning an autumn of protest. In Azerbaijan, the government fears disorder after the presidential elections – virtually certain to be won by the authoritarian incumbent – in October. Both sides’ domestic pressures could limit their efforts to re-invigorate the mediation process or enter direct negotiations.
Vigilance from international actors, especially the mediators of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) – namely Russia, the U.S. and France, the co-chairs of its “Minsk Group” – as well as the EU, is needed to prevent an escalation. They should highlight the risks of miscalculation and the huge costs for both sides of any return to open hostilities. Russia, as an influential player in this conflict, should work more decisively towards an agreement and cease supplying arms to both sides.
A crisis hotline should be re-established between Yerevan and Baku to lessen chances of a military escalation.
“Unrest at home might tempt leaders to deflect attention by raising military tensions or to embark on risky attempts to capitalise on their adversary’s troubles”, says Lawrence Scott Sheets, Crisis Group’s South Caucasus Project Director. “Both sides are given to provocative gestures”.
“The immediate effort required of mediators and other supporters of a peace process is modest, yet urgent”, says Paul Quinn-Judge, Crisis Group’s Europe and Central Asia Program Director. “They need to start talking about the risks of Baku’s and Yerevan’s ‘in-your-face’ approach. Then, both countries need to be brought back to the table before someone decides the time has come to use their expensive new weapons”.
READ EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 
Photo: PanARMENIAN_Photo/Flickr

Armenia and Azerbaijan: A Season of Risks

Baku/Yerevan/Tbilisi/Brussels | 26 September 2013

In its latest briefing, Armenia and Azerbaijan: A Season of Risks, the International Crisis Group examines possible scenarios for a conflict that could explode at any time. Since peace talks broke down in 2011 over Nagorno-Karabakh – the Azerbaijan enclave seized and occupied by Armenian forces in the fighting that accompanied the break-up of the Soviet Union – arms purchases and war rhetoric have gained momentum on both sides. In this tense situation, exacerbated by domestic political competition, the greatest danger is an accidental war. 

The briefing’s major findings are:

Since 2011, both sides have vastly augmented their military budgets and developed detailed war contingency plans. There is a real risk that miscalculations, brinkmanship or the increasingly frequent skirmishes in geographically widespread front-line areas could lead to an outbreak of full-scale fighting, pulling in some or all of the regional powers: Russia, Turkey and Iran.

The coming months pose special challenges, as both countries deal with internal political tensions. In Armenia, opposition groups are planning an autumn of protest. In Azerbaijan, the government fears disorder after the presidential elections – virtually certain to be won by the authoritarian incumbent – in October. Both sides’ domestic pressures could limit their efforts to re-invigorate the mediation process or enter direct negotiations.

Vigilance from international actors, especially the mediators of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) – namely Russia, the U.S. and France, the co-chairs of its “Minsk Group” – as well as the EU, is needed to prevent an escalation. They should highlight the risks of miscalculation and the huge costs for both sides of any return to open hostilities. Russia, as an influential player in this conflict, should work more decisively towards an agreement and cease supplying arms to both sides.

A crisis hotline should be re-established between Yerevan and Baku to lessen chances of a military escalation.

“Unrest at home might tempt leaders to deflect attention by raising military tensions or to embark on risky attempts to capitalise on their adversary’s troubles”, says Lawrence Scott Sheets, Crisis Group’s South Caucasus Project Director. “Both sides are given to provocative gestures”.

“The immediate effort required of mediators and other supporters of a peace process is modest, yet urgent”, says Paul Quinn-Judge, Crisis Group’s Europe and Central Asia Program Director. “They need to start talking about the risks of Baku’s and Yerevan’s ‘in-your-face’ approach. Then, both countries need to be brought back to the table before someone decides the time has come to use their expensive new weapons”.

READ EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 

Photo: PanARMENIAN_Photo/Flickr

14 Jan

Lawrence Sheets, South Caucasus Project Director, talks about International Crisis Group’s work in the South Caucasus, promoting communication across the lines of the region’s most intractable conflicts.

10 Nov
A Leadership Opportunity | Huffington Post
By Nancy E. Soderberg
Recent unrest in the Middle East highlights the importance of our strategic relationships in the region. A steadfast ally of the United States is Azerbaijan, and the United States must redouble its efforts to promote peace in this critical but unstable South Caucasus region.
Bordered by both Iran and Russia, Azerbaijan has offered close logistical cooperation to our military commanders in Afghanistan. For instance, over-flight clearance from the Azerbaijan government alone reduces our Air Mobility Command medical evacuation flight times by nearly two hours, saving lives. Of course, this doesn’t endear Azerbaijan to its neighbor Iran, nor does its reliable support for Israel. Peace in this region is essential for regional energy security, especially for Europe. Azerbaijan itself provides about a million barrels of oil a day to the world market, including more than 40 percent of Israel’s oil.
But several factors threaten stability. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan has been locked in a bitter dispute with neighboring Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh territory. In the 1992-1994 conflict, ethnic Armenian forces took control of the area, along with considerable Azeri territory before a shaky peace took effect in 1994. Azerbaijan insists that the region is part of its territory, a position shared by the United Nations; Armenia argues that the Armenian majority living in Nagorno-Karabakh has the right to self-determination and independence.
FULL ARTICLE (Huffington Post)
Photo: Utah National Guard/Flickr

A Leadership Opportunity | Huffington Post

By Nancy E. Soderberg

Recent unrest in the Middle East highlights the importance of our strategic relationships in the region. A steadfast ally of the United States is Azerbaijan, and the United States must redouble its efforts to promote peace in this critical but unstable South Caucasus region.

Bordered by both Iran and Russia, Azerbaijan has offered close logistical cooperation to our military commanders in Afghanistan. For instance, over-flight clearance from the Azerbaijan government alone reduces our Air Mobility Command medical evacuation flight times by nearly two hours, saving lives. Of course, this doesn’t endear Azerbaijan to its neighbor Iran, nor does its reliable support for Israel. Peace in this region is essential for regional energy security, especially for Europe. Azerbaijan itself provides about a million barrels of oil a day to the world market, including more than 40 percent of Israel’s oil.

But several factors threaten stability. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan has been locked in a bitter dispute with neighboring Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh territory. In the 1992-1994 conflict, ethnic Armenian forces took control of the area, along with considerable Azeri territory before a shaky peace took effect in 1994. Azerbaijan insists that the region is part of its territory, a position shared by the United Nations; Armenia argues that the Armenian majority living in Nagorno-Karabakh has the right to self-determination and independence.

FULL ARTICLE (Huffington Post)

Photo: Utah National Guard/Flickr

9 Nov
Armenia Accuses Neighbor of Stoking Conflict | Wall Street Journal
By Joe Parkinson
YEREVAN, Armenia—Armenia’s president is increasingly concerned about what he sees as neighboring Azerbaijan’s willingness to engage in armed conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, he said in an interview, warning that Armenian forces would deliver a disproportionate blow should conflict erupt between the neighbors.
FULL ARTICLE (Wall Street Journal)
Photo: Davit Hakobyan

Armenia Accuses Neighbor of Stoking Conflict | Wall Street Journal

By Joe Parkinson

YEREVAN, Armenia—Armenia’s president is increasingly concerned about what he sees as neighboring Azerbaijan’s willingness to engage in armed conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, he said in an interview, warning that Armenian forces would deliver a disproportionate blow should conflict erupt between the neighbors.

FULL ARTICLE (Wall Street Journal)

Photo: Davit Hakobyan

23 Oct
Drone violence along Armenian-Azerbaijani border could lead to war | Global Post 
By Nicholas Clayton 
YEREVAN, Armenia — In a region where a fragile peace holds over three frozen conflicts, the nations of the South Caucasus are buzzing with drones they use to probe one another’s defenses and spy on disputed territories.
The region is also host to strategic oil and gas pipelines and a tangled web of alliances and precious resources that observers say threaten to quickly escalate the border skirmishes and airspace violations to a wider regional conflict triggered by Armenia and Azerbaijan that could potentially pull in Israel, Russia and Iran.
FULL ARTICLE (Global Post)
Photo: Defense Images/Flickr

Drone violence along Armenian-Azerbaijani border could lead to war | Global Post 

By Nicholas Clayton 

YEREVAN, Armenia — In a region where a fragile peace holds over three frozen conflicts, the nations of the South Caucasus are buzzing with drones they use to probe one another’s defenses and spy on disputed territories.

The region is also host to strategic oil and gas pipelines and a tangled web of alliances and precious resources that observers say threaten to quickly escalate the border skirmishes and airspace violations to a wider regional conflict triggered by Armenia and Azerbaijan that could potentially pull in Israel, Russia and Iran.

FULL ARTICLE (Global Post)

Photo: Defense Images/Flickr

6 Sep
Ax Killer’s Pardon Reignites War Fears in Oil-Rich Caucasus | Bloomberg
By Zulfugar Agayev and Henry Meye
Azerbaijan’s pardon of a convicted murderer who killed an Armenian army officer with an ax risks reigniting a 20-year-old war between the two foes in the energy- rich South Caucasus.
Ramil Safarov, who was serving a life sentence for slaying Gurgen Margaryan in Budapest in 2004, was pardoned by Azeri President Ilham Aliyev and promoted after Hungary transferred him home Aug. 31. Armenia’s parliament will hold an emergency session today, while Europe, the U.S. and Russia have expressed “deep concern” about regional stability.
FULL ARTICLE (Bloomberg)
Photo: Yerevanci/Wikimedia Commons

Ax Killer’s Pardon Reignites War Fears in Oil-Rich Caucasus | Bloomberg

By Zulfugar Agayev and Henry Meye

Azerbaijan’s pardon of a convicted murderer who killed an Armenian army officer with an ax risks reigniting a 20-year-old war between the two foes in the energy- rich South Caucasus.

Ramil Safarov, who was serving a life sentence for slaying Gurgen Margaryan in Budapest in 2004, was pardoned by Azeri President Ilham Aliyev and promoted after Hungary transferred him home Aug. 31. Armenia’s parliament will hold an emergency session today, while Europe, the U.S. and Russia have expressed “deep concern” about regional stability.

FULL ARTICLE (Bloomberg)

Photo: Yerevanci/Wikimedia Commons

"There is an awareness among government officials, both in the United States, Russia, and among European officials, that this conflict is getting worse. There should be something done to stop it."

—Sabine Freizer, Crisis Group’s Europe Program Director, on rising tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan, in “Ax murderer’s pardon stirs fears of war”, CNN