The Region in Brief


An agreement has been reached for a meeting between the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, according to a statement from the Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesperson. The meeting, proposed by Kazakhstan, is scheduled to take place in Almaty. Kazakhstan will not act as a mediator during the negotiations, said Aybek Smadiyarov, the official representative of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry. “The upcoming negotiations will be conducted solely between the two parties. There is no mention of mediation by Astana; we are merely offering our services as a gesture of goodwill, known as good offices,” Smadiyarov said.


On April 26, the Russian-Turkish monitoring center, operational since the beginning of 2021 in Aghdam, concluded its activities. The closure was marked by an official ceremony attended by top military officials from Azerbaijan, Russia and Turkey, including Chief of the General Staff of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces Kerim Veliyev, Chief of Staff of the Turkish Ground Forces Levent Ergun and Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Sergey Istrakov, alongside other key figures such as the Turkish Ambassador to Azerbaijan and the Russian Ambassador to Azerbaijan.


In an April 29 telephone conversation, U.S. Secretary of State Blinken commended Azerbaijani President Aliyev’s acceptance of the 1991 Alma Ata Declaration as a basis for the delimitation process on the border between Yerevan and Baku. Blinken urged Aliyev to maintain dialogue with Armenia and reiterated U.S. support for peace efforts. Additionally, Blinken emphasized enhancing U.S.-Azerbaijan ties in the energy, climate and communications sectors. He stressed Azerbaijan’s obligation to uphold human rights and urged for the release of all POWs and political prisoners. 


The foreign agent law, which would require organizations that receive 20-percent of their funding from abroad to register as such, was approved at a second hearing on Monday April 29. The controversial bill has sparked widespread protests, which have been met with heavy police violence. Despite opposition, the ruling Georgian Dream party, with control over parliament, is expected to push the bill forward. Former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili accused a “global party of war” of undermining Georgian sovereignty during a pro-government rally in Tbilisi. He claimed that the opposition is influenced by foreign intelligence. 


Turkey has pledged support for outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s candidacy for NATO Secretary General, reversing earlier reservations. Rutte sought backing from President Erdogan during a recent visit to Turkey. The endorsement comes amid NATO’s efforts to finalize the successor to current Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, whose tenure has been extended multiple times. NATO aims to conclude the selection process before June to avoid overlap with the competition for top EU positions.

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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