Saturday, 27 February 2021

W Weekly Update

10-17 October

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Weekly update

 

17 October

US Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden says he will review security aid to Azerbaijan, which saw a sharp increase during the last few years. In line with Civilnet, the Trump Administration has substantially ramped up security assistance to Azerbaijan, amounting to more than $100 million in fiscal years 2018-19, according to budget data compiled by the Security Assistance Monitorwrites Emil Sanamyan. The statement by the Biden-Harris campaign, entitled, “Joe Biden’s support for the Armenian people,” Biden commits to recognizing the Armenian Genocide, reinvigorating US engagement with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, condemning Armenophobic hate crimes in the US, preventing third party interference in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, supporting US aid to Armenia, reviewing security assistance to Azerbaijan, and continuing demining assistance to Nagorno-Karabakh, another program defunded by the Trump administration.

 

16 October

On October 16 a group of prominent scholars, writers, and public intellectuals, including Gayatri Spivak, Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, published a statement on lasting peace in Nagorno-Karabakh calling for a ceasefire in the war that Azerbaijan, with the support of Turkey, started against Artsakh. As reported by lareviewofbooks.org, the call reads: “We understand that Azerbaijan, supported by Turkey, is cleansing Artsakh, a historically Armenian enclave placed within its Soviet-era boundaries, of its ethnic Armenian population. The frontline of the soldiers is reportedly composed not only of mercenaries and rebel fighters from Syria and Libya but also minorities living in Azerbaijan such as Lezgins, the Talysh, Avars, Tats, Udis, the Tsakhur, Ingiloys, Rutuls, and Kurds. We call on these minorities to support rather than oppose the minority struggle of the Armenians. Azerbaijan’s 1997–2006 erasure in Nakhchivan of its Armenian culture gives us a sense of the seriousness of the continuing violence and relentless destruction of civilian lives and property, precisely of longstanding minorities, that we have been witnessing over the last decades.

 

15 October

The Artsakh-Azerbaijan dispute should be seen in the historical context of wider policies of Azerbaijan and Turkey regarding Armenians. According to moderndiplomacy.eu throughout history, these two nations have failed to recognize the Armenian right to self-determination and often resorted to murderous violence. The ongoing problem in the South Caucasus is much larger than land. It is mostly caused by obsessive Turkish-Azeri hatred against Armenians, and a delusional belief that historically Armenian lands are not Armenian, and that these lands should instead belong to Muslim Azeris or Turks. An effective way to stop the violence and destruction is for the world to officially recognize the Artsakh Republic, for whose protection the indigenous Armenians have made so much sacrifice throughout history.

 

14 October

In Stepanakert, doctors have reported treating wounds which they had seldom seen before, whose descriptions are consistent with the shrapnel caused by exploding cluster munitions—which are banned under international treaty, reported armenianweekly.com. However, their efforts have been helped with the arrival of medical experts as well as medical equipment from the diaspora. The Red Cross has warned of a looming humanitarian catastrophe as the war continues to impact civilians. “Civilians are dying or suffering life-changing injuries. Homes, businesses and once-busy streets are being reduced to rubble. The elderly and babies are among those forced to spend hours in unheated basements or to leave their homes for safety,” said Martin Schuepp, ICRC Eurasia Regional Director in a statement on Tuesday. The Red Cross, which is providing emergency medical care and distributing supplies to civilians, was tasked with overseeing the exchange of prisoners and casualties.

 

13 October

Overnight and throughout the day of October 13, Stepanakert had a break from shelling that continued for more than two weeks prior. But at the frontline, the Defense Army reported “offensive operations” by Azerbaijan accompanied by artillery fire, as well as return fire by the Armenian side. In his evening press conference, the Armenian Defense Ministry’s Artsrun Hovannisyan reiterated the point that the cease-fire was not working and said that pitched battles continued around Karabakh. He said that collection of the dead servicemen, agreed as part of the cease-fire only, occurred in one single area, “but not for long as the ceasefire was violated.”

https://armenian.usc.edu/

 

12 October

According to https://www.middleeasteye.net/ reports that Turkey has sent Syrian mercenaries to aid its ally Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh, alongside an earlier mission in Libya, mean that Ankara has now deployed these fighters outside of Syria twice in the last year. While Turkey has sought to protect Syria’s last remaining rebels from conquest by Damascus, it is also now using them to project regional power. In essence, Turkey is utilising Syrian fighters to outsource its wars. The exact role of Syrian fighters in Nagorno-Karabakh is unclear, but multiple reports suggest that between 1,000 and 1,500 are now in Azerbaijan. Some are drawn from the Syrian National Army militia established by Turkey to fight Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), while others appear to have signed up independently for Turkish private security firms.

 

11 October

The EU welcomes the agreement reached on 10 October on a humanitarian ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan according to consilium.europa.eu. The EU urges the sides to strictly abide by this agreement and calls on all actors, including external parties, to refrain from any actions that may lead to further casualties. In this respect, we note with extreme concern the reports of continued military activities, including against civilian targets, as well as civilian casualties and urge the sides to ensure full respect of the agreement on the ground. The EU calls upon the sides to engage in substantive negotiations without delay under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, without preconditions and on the basis of the agreed upon principles.

 

10 October

During a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President of Iran Hassan Rouhani said the military operations in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict zone have worried Iran a lot, the Iranian Presidential Office reported. In line with armenpress.am “The possible intervention of some third-party countries in this conflict will expand and prolong the crisis, and we do not see it in the interest of regional countries”, the Iranian President said. The President also expressed concern over the presence and participation of some terrorist groups in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, emphasizing that the presence of terrorists could be dangerous both for Iran and Russia and for the entire region. “If the conflict continues, the situation in the region will become more complicated and will cause wider financial losses and leave many dead”, the Iranian President said, stressing the need for joint efforts to cease the clashes, establish a ceasefire and start the negotiations.

 

Sources: www.civilnet.am; https://lareviewofbooks.org (Los Angeles Review of Books); https://moderndiplomacy.eu; https://armenianweekly.com; https://armenian.usc.edu; https://www.middleeasteye.net; www.consilium.europa.eu; https://armenpress.am/eng

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