Karabakh: Diplomatic Attention Needed to Address Growing Risks

An Azeri serviceman stands guard at the frontline with the self-defence army of Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan
An Azeri serviceman stands guard at the frontline with the self-defence army of Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan. Photo: Zulfiya Safkhanova/Reuters

On February 25, Armenian troops alongside allied separatist forces in Karabakh attempted to carry out sabotage in the Khojavend – Fizuli sector of the Nagorno-Karabakh line of contact (LoC) that separates Azerbaijani – Armenian military zones. While around five Azerbaijani soldiers were killed, the latest flare-up in the frontline demonstrated the ever-present risk of a new wider escalation of the conflict. As a result of the deadly ongoing skirmishes in the frontline, the bodies of the killed Azerbaijani soldiers remained in the neutral zone between two sides including Major Agshin Abdullayev and Senior Lieutenant Tural Hashimli. It took two days before Azerbaijan has removed the bodies of servicemen from the neutral zone.

The Defence Ministry of the separatist regime in Nagorno-Karabakh accused Azerbaijan of launching night attacks in the south-eastern section of Khojavand (Martuni) with the TR-107 rocket launcher. Azerbaijani Defence Ministry, however, accused the Armenia-backed forces of initiating provocative incursions in hope of gaining certain strategic points.   Oxumağa davam et Karabakh: Diplomatic Attention Needed to Address Growing Risks

China’s Long March into Central Asia: How Beijing Expands Military Influence in Tajikistan?

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon during a signing ceremony at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, Beijing, Sept. 2, 2015 (AP photo by Lintao Zhang).
Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon during a signing ceremony at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, Beijing, Sept. 2, 2015 (AP photo by Lintao Zhang).

Published by Central Asia – Caucasus Institute (CACI Analyst)

China’s gradually increasing economic role in Central Asia since the early 2000s is unsurprising considering the region’s geographic proximity to China’s dynamic economy. In this context, Beijing has carefully shaped a military strategy in the region, particularly in neighboring Tajikistan. In September 2016, Beijing offered to finance and build several outposts and other military facilities (in addition to the Gulhan post, which was opened in 2012) to beef up Tajikistan’s defense capabilities along its border with Afghanistan, whereas China’s and Tajikistan’s militaries performed a large counter-terrorism exercise in October 2016. These unexpected actions have raised concerns in Russia over rising Chinese influence in Tajikistan.

China’s gradually increasing economic role in Central Asia since the early 2000s is unsurprising considering the region’s geographic proximity to China’s dynamic economy. In this context, Beijing has carefully shaped a military strategy in the region, particularly in neighboring Tajikistan. In September 2016, Beijing offered to Oxumağa davam et China’s Long March into Central Asia: How Beijing Expands Military Influence in Tajikistan?

The case of Lapshin: How it will affect Azerbaijan – Israel partnership?

Blogger Alexander Lapshin at Baku airport. Photo: Trend Agency
Blogger Alexander Lapshin at Baku airport. Photo: Trend Agency

On 8th of February of 2017, a plane carrying Russian travel-blogger Alexander Lapshin landed at Baku International Airport. Alexander Lapshin, who was detained in Belarus a month ago at the request of Azerbaijan, is charged with violating the country’s legislation by illegally visiting occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Reportedly, Alexander Lapshin, who illegally travelled to Nagorno-Karabakh region in 2011, and 2012, presented Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh as an “independent state” on his social media account, and supported the “independence” of the unrecognized regime. The Supreme Court of Belarus on Tuesday upheld a government decision to extradite blogger to Azerbaijan, which raised a huge outrage in Armenian mass media. Oxumağa davam et The case of Lapshin: How it will affect Azerbaijan – Israel partnership?

Will Central Asia Fight Over Water Resources?

Women pick cotton in 2005 in the town of Andijan, Uzbekistan, for farmers who are forced to sign annual agreements with the government to grow one of the country's leading exports. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)
Women pick cotton in 2005 in the town of Andijan, Uzbekistan, for farmers who are forced to sign annual agreements with the government to grow one of the country’s leading exports. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

Water has always been a major cause of wars and border conflicts in the Central Asian region. For being one of the greatest geographical regions, Central Asia has limited water resources. Modern history of the region has been fueled with various ethnic and territorial clashes. Apparently, the main catalysts behind conflicts have been attempts to take control of rich water resources. The main sources of water in Central Asia are the Syr Darya and Amu Darya Rivers, mostly fed by snow- and glacier-melt from the Pamir, Hindu Kush and Tien Shan mountain ranges. The 2,200-kilometer Syr Darya originates in the Tien Shan, flows through Kyrgyzstan as the Naryn River and combines with the Kara Darya to become the Syr Darya.

The water resource crisis is not a new phenomenon in Central Asia. With the eventual fall of the Soviet Union, the resource-sharing system it imposed on the region totally disintegrated. The root of the problem is that the main water resources in Central Asia Oxumağa davam et Will Central Asia Fight Over Water Resources?

Will the ‘Troika format’ of Astana talks bring peace to Syria?

Turkish Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Sedat Onal, left, and Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov shake hands, as Russia’s special envoy on Syria Alexander Lavrentiev and Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaber Ansari, right, shake hands and UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura stand after the final statement following the talks on Syrian peace in Astana, Kazakhstan, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. (Photo: AP)

On January 23, the next phase of peace talks started in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana. Syria’s government and opposition forces are to meet in Kazakh capital Astana for the first time since the fall of Aleppo.

Negotiations between the Syrian government delegation and rebel fighters, sponsored by Russia and Turkey – who have been backing different sides of the conflict – are expected to last three days. One of the most significant points of the talks is that this time Syrian opposition is represented mainly by the militant groups, which fight in Syria, not just by secular, and political forces. Nevertheless, uncertainty prevails over all aspects of the talks – from the attendant list to the agenda of the meeting.

The guarantors of the Astana talks – Turkey, Iran, and Russia are seemingly making efforts to show the effectiveness of “Troika” Oxumağa davam et Will the ‘Troika format’ of Astana talks bring peace to Syria?

Nəriman Əbdülrəhmanlı – Könül elçisi

Müasir azərbaycan ədəbiyyatının tanınmış yazıçılarından Nəriman Əbdülrəhmanlının qələmə aldığı “Könül elçisi” romanı süjet xəttinə görə və mövzusuna görə çox unikaldır deyə bilərəm. Əsər Səfəvilər Dövlətinin tanınmış dövlət xadimlərindən biri Oruc bəy Bayatın macəra dolu lakin bir o qədər də keşməkeşli Avropa səfarətindən bəhs edir. Şah Abbasın buyruğu ilə İspaniya sarayına xüsusi bir missiya ilə gedən diplomatik heyət 2 il ərzində həyatın çətin sınaqları ilə üz-üzə qalır. 

Macəranın sonunda Oruc bəy daxil olmaqla heyətin demək olar bütün üzvləri Xristianlığı qəbul edərək Avropada qalmağa qərar verirlər. Xristianlıqdakı adıyla Xuan di Persia olan Oruc bəy Bayat sonradan “Xuan di Persianın gündəlikləri” əsərini çap etdirməyə müvəffəq olur. Həmin bu əsər müasir Avropa tarixçiliyinin bu gün də ən dəyərli əsərlərindən biri hesab edilir.  Oxumağa davam et Nəriman Əbdülrəhmanlı – Könül elçisi

Azerbaijan’s Growing Military Cooperation With Pakistan

Prime minister Nawaz Sharif and President Ilham Aliyev during joint press conference in Baku (2016)
Prime minister Nawaz Sharif and President Ilham Aliyev during the joint press conference. Baku, 2016

Baku is seeking out increased defense imports from Pakistan, including JF-17 aircraft.

Azerbaijan and Pakistan have a unique political relationship that has surpassed territorial boundaries and geographical distances. Pakistan was among the first states to recognize Azerbaijan’s independence following the 1991 Soviet collapse. Today, Pakistan is the only country that has not established diplomatic relations with Baku’s main foe, Armenia. The bilateral strategic cooperation between these two countries embraces the economic, cultural, political, and especially defense fields. Taking into account their close ties, the current level of military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Pakistan needs to be emphasized. While Azerbaijan’s defense industry has strategic relations with various countries, Baku has been seeking ways of expanding military cooperation with Pakistan in particular over the last years.

Given the Pakistan’s status as a nuclear power, combined with its dynamic military muscle, military cooperation can be seen as another fundamental building block of the bilateral relationship. Oxumağa davam et Azerbaijan’s Growing Military Cooperation With Pakistan

Stupidity is not a Handicap