The Region in Brief


On May 7, at approximately 2:00 p.m., the body of contract soldier Artak Seryozhai Avalyan (born in 1985) was discovered with a gunshot wound in the guard station of the N military unit under the Ministry of Defense. This was confirmed by the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia. “In order to fully elucidate the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident, an investigation has been launched,” stated the Ministry of Defense. The discovery of Avalyan’s body has prompted urgent inquiries into the events leading up to his death. 


According to Gegham Stepanyan, former Artsakh Ombudsman, 80-percent of refugees from Artsakh doubt the feasibility of returning. The International Court of Justice ruled in November 2023 that Azerbaijan must allow refugees’ return to Artsakh. Despite recognition of the right to return from Armenian and Azerbaijani authorities, as well as international bodies, Artsakh Armenians remain skeptical. Stepanyan highlighted refugees’ dilemma: stay in Armenia and face challenges with integration and financial hardships, or emigrate, forfeiting hopes of return. Stepanyan stressed the need to encourage refugees to remain in Armenia for any chance of eventual return to Artsakh.


The Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan are set to convene in the Kazakh city of Almaty this week to hold talks on border demarcation. Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aybek Smadiyarov confirmed the meeting during a press briefing in the capital Astana. Smadiyarov affirmed that the meeting, scheduled for May 10, is in line with prior agreements and has been endorsed by the Azerbaijani and Armenian Foreign Ministries. Last week, Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev welcomed the agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia to hold talks at the foreign minister level in Almaty. 


The anticipated discussions between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, scheduled for today at the Kremlin, come at a crucial juncture. Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary of the Russian President, emphasized the necessity of the meeting in a briefing with journalists. “The meeting is necessary and expected for both sides,” Peskov stated, referring to pressing issues on the agenda. Earlier announcements from the Kremlin highlighted a buildup of “problematic issues” between Moscow and Yerevan and underscored the importance of the upcoming negotiations in providing clarity and resolution.


Following a government meeting in Ankara, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared Turkey’s intention on May 6 to launch attacks on territories within Syria and Iraq. “Turkey will deliver a decisive blow to the separatist organization in Iraq and Syria in the near future,” Erdogan asserted, as reported by Turkish media outlets. The announcement signals a significant escalation in Turkey’s military operations in the region, aimed at targeting members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

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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