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Wednesday October 5 2022

South Caucasus Weekly Review looks into major developments in Armenia, Georgia & Azerbaijan

15 August 2022 16:15 (UTC+04:00)
South Caucasus Weekly Review looks into major developments in Armenia, Georgia & Azerbaijan

By Vugar Khalilov

South Caucasus Weekly Review: 08-14 Aug 22

This project of Azernews is designed to cover major weekly developments in the South Caucasus nations

HIGHLIGHTS

Armenian, Russian leaders discuss regional developments

Armenian serviceman discovered deceased in military base

Armenian PM mulls regional developments, security with Iranian president

Georgia marks 14th anniversary of war with Russia in 2008

Georgia not to join anti-Russia sanctions - Tbilisi mayor

Azerbaijani-Turkish alliance aimed at bolstering regional peace, security - foreign minister

Azerbaijani sportsmen attend the Islamic Solidarity Games in Turkiye

Azerbaijan completes construction of new road bypassing Lachin city

Azerbaijan increases influence over Armenians living in Karabakh - Ilham Aliyev

ARMENIA

Armenian, Russian leaders discuss regional developments

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed regional developments in a telephone conversation held on August 8, Azernews report, citing the Armenian media.

The sides examined the evolution of the situation in the Karabakh region, as well as security along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. The need for observing all aspects of the agreements, reached by the leaders of Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan on November 9, 2020, January 11, and November 26, 2021, was highlighted in this context.

Armenian serviceman found dead in a military base

A serviceman of the Armenian armed forces was found shot dead in his military base, Azernews, reports, citing the Armenian Defense Ministry.

On August 9, Private Erik Gharsyan's body was discovered with a gunshot wound to the chest at a military facility in the north-eastern direction. Gharsyan, 19, was a conscript.

According to the ministry, an investigation has been launched into the case.

Armenian PM mulls regional developments, security with Iranian president

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan discussed issues related to regional developments and security challenges with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the prime minister’s office said.

Pashinyan discussed the recent border events between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the phone. He emphasized the need for fully implementing the trilateral agreements, signed on 9 November 2020, 11 January 2021, and 26 November 2021, to achieve regional security and peace.

Speaking about the recent incidents in the South Caucasus, the Iranian president cited Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's statement during a recent meeting with the leaders of Russia and Turkey that Iran is sensitive about its borders in the Caucasus region and will oppose any attempt to alter them.

The parties also discussed bilateral relationships and stressed the need for developing cooperation.

Pashinyan expressed pleasure with the improvement of Armenian-Iranian ties, saying that Armenia is ready to maximize goods transit between the two countries and enhance infrastructure cooperation, including highways, energy, and other areas.

Raisi described the relations between Armenia and Iran as historic and deep and underscored the need to raise the level of stable Armenian-Iranian economic cooperation.

GEORGIA

Georgia marks 14th anniversary of 2008 war with Russia

On August 8, Georgia marked the 14th anniversary of Russia’s invasion of its territory.

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili published a statement on Facebook in connection with the 14th anniversary of the 2008 Russian-Georgian war.

“14 years have passed since the beginning of the August 2008 war, which claimed the lives of many of our fellow citizens. For 14 years, the heart of our country – Samachablo, Tskhinvali region, and Abkhazia – has been occupied by Russia. I bow before the memory of our heroic soldiers and civilians who died in the war in August,” he said

“We have chosen a peaceful, reasonable policy as a way to restore territorial integrity and unify the country, and we believe that we will definitely achieve our goal – Georgia will be united!” he added.

Some 14 years have passed since the 5-day August conflict that claimed the lives of 170 Georgian servicemen, 14 Interior Ministry employees, and 224 civilians.

Two Georgian regions, Abkhazia and Tskhinvali, remain occupied by Russia up to now and Russia continues discrimination and violence against ethnic Georgians, restrictions on the right of education in the native language, the right to property, and even the right to life. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons and refugees are still prevented from returning to their homes.

Georgia not to join anti-Russia sanctions - Tbilisi mayor

Kakha Kaladze, mayor of Georgia’s capital Tbilisi, said that the country will not join the anti-Russia sanctions.

As a journalist questioned Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze about what the Georgian government is doing at a time when Russian people may be barred from entering the Schengen Area as a result of European Union sanctions. Kaladze said that Georgia neither starts nor engages in war.

“There will be no “second front” in Georgia, Georgia does not join the sanctions. This is very important. We welcome tourists, I don’t see any problem. If any company or person is sanctioned, of course, this will be followed by an appropriate response in Georgia within the framework of the law and the constitution,” Kaladze noted.

AZERBAIJAN

Azerbaijani-Turkish alliance aimed at bolstering regional peace, security - foreign minister

The Azerbaijani-Turkish alliance is aimed at further bolstering regional peace and security, as well as economic development, Azernews reports, citing Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov.

Bayramov made the remarks at the 13th conference of ambassadors, entitled "Wise and humane Turkish diplomacy ahead of 2023 and beyond" held in Ankara on August 8.

The Azerbaijan-Turkiye alliance, which has significant political and economic potential, aims at further promoting regional peace and security, as well as economic growth, the minister stressed.

Azerbaijani sportsmen attending Islamic Solidarity Games in Turkiye

A total of 281 athletes are representing Azerbaijan at the 5th Islamic Solidarity Games to run until August 18.

In March, the Organizing Committee announced the final program of the 5th Islamic Solidarity Games, which consists of 22 disciplines from 19 sports including 4 para-sports.

The organizers choose to remove six sports: water polo, diving, field hockey, tennis, wushu, and zurkhaneh. At their place, they choose to add archery, boccia, fencing, and kickboxing.

At the paralympic events, para powerlifting and blind judo were replaced by para table tennis and para archery.

Along these events, archery included four extra events with the Traditional Turkish Archery discipline.

Notably, the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games took place in Baku in 2017.

All 56 members of the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation are participating in the Games.

Azerbaijan completes construction of new road bypassing Lachin city

The Azerbaijani State Agency for Automobile Roads has completed the construction of a new road bypassing Lachin city, Azernews reports, citing the agency.

The construction of the new road bypassing the city of Lachin started in July 2021. The 32-km long road (of which 10 km is located on the territory of Armenia) was built according to the III technical grade. The road is 7-10.5 meters wide, with three lanes on the hills and two lanes on the other areas, the soil bed is 12-15 meters broad, and the shoulders are 2x2.5 (5 m) meters wide.

The new road is considered one of the most important infrastructure projects that have been carried out in Azerbaijan’s liberated East Zangazur and Karabakh regions.

Currently, Lachin city is temporarily controlled by the Russian peacekeepers to provide communication between Armenia and Karabakh region. According to the November 10, 2020, trilateral statement, signed by the Azerbaijani, Armenian and Russian leaders, the city should be handed over to Azerbaijan after the completion of a new road, which will be an alternative to the Lachin corridor.

Following the completion of the new road bypassing Lachin, Azerbaijan has demanded Armenia clear the unlawfully occupied city and adjacent settlements by August 25.

Azerbaijan increases influence over Armenians living in Karabakh - Ilham Aliyev

President Ilham Aliyev said that the Azerbaijani government is increasing its influence over the Armenians living in Karabakh, Azernews reports.

He made the remarks in an interview with Azerbaijan Television during his visit to Ismayilli District's Basgal settlement on August 12.

“The Armenian government is losing its influence over the Armenians living in Karabakh. It is a reality. Conversely, the Azerbaijani government is increasing its influence. This is a reality. I believe the reason for this is the fact that the Armenians living in Karabakh clearly see that the Armenian leadership is incapable of solving their problems – security, economic, finance, or anything else," Aliyev stressed.

On the contrary, the Armenians living in Karabakh witnessed that the Azerbaijani government is treating them as its own citizens, he added.

"I have said this before, this is not the first time I am saying it. The Armenians living in Karabakh are our citizens. The sooner they realize this and the process begins, the better for all of us,” Aliyev underlined.

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