The Region in Brief


The first of its kind arms deal was signed on Monday, October 23 between Armenia and France, deepening France’s engagement in the region while Armenia continues to distance itself from Russia, Armenia’s traditional arms dealer. The agreement allows Armenia to obtain three Ground Master 200 radars manufactured by Thales and equipment including binoculars and sensors from Safran. A French military official will also travel to Armenia in the coming months as a defense consultant for the Armenian government. Armenian Defense Minister Suren Papikyan and his French counterpart, Sébastien Lecornu, also signed a “letter of intent” to greenlight the future sales of French Mistral short-range surface-to-air missiles to Armenia.


Dozens of protestors gathered outside the building of the Representation of Artsakh in Yerevan on Saturday, October 21, demanding a meeting with Artsakh’s President Samvel Shahramanyan. The protesters called on Shahramanyan to nullify the decree he signed to dissolve the Artsakh government on January 1, 2024. Shahramanyan met with a group of the protesters and discussed employment, social issues, housing and the political future of Artsakh. Shahramanyan apologized to the public for not being able to discuss the latter, stating that it could have dangerous repercussions. In the near future, Shahramanyan will give an interview regarding the issues of concern to Artsakh residents.

The protests began after it became public that President Shahramanyan had signed a decree that relieved all government and community officials from their duties starting October 1, 2023, excluding the office of the president of Artsakh, the head of his administration, the secretary of the Security Council, members of parliament, the chairman of the National Assembly (Davit Ishkhanyan, who continues to be illegally detained in Baku), judges, the ombudsman, chairman of the Central Elections Committee, the attorney general, the state minister and other ministers and the chief of police.

The illegal detention and trial of Artsakh civilian Vagif Khachatryan continues in Baku. On Tuesday, Khachatryan made a statement denying accusations of his participation in the events of Meshali. When he apologized, stating that he was not there during these events, the translator deliberately misinterpreted and conveyed the apology as directed to the Azerbaijani people for all the incidents committed by Armenians. 


The Turkish Armed Forces and Azerbaijani army held joint military exercises named after the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, from October 23-25 in Baku, Nakhichevan and the seized Armenian territories of Artsakh. Azerbaijan’s defense ministry stated that about 3,000 military personnel from both countries, over 100 armored and artillery vehicles, more than 20 aviation and aircraft, engineering equipment and small boats were involved in the exercises. The special forces of both sides carried out exercises with the purpose of penetrating the enemy’s operational area and neutralizing the armed groups of the enemy located in nearby settlements. 


Hoory Minoyan

Hoory Minoyan

Hoory Minoyan was an active member of the Armenian community in Los Angeles until she moved to Armenia prior to the 44-day war. She graduated with a master's in International Affairs from Boston University, where she was also the recipient of the William R. Keylor Travel Grant. The research and interviews she conducted while in Armenia later became the foundation of her Master’s thesis, “Shaping Identity Through Conflict: The Armenian Experience.” Hoory continues to follow her passion for research and writing by contributing to the Armenian Weekly.

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