The Region in Brief

Azerbaijan

On June 3, 2024, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov met with Louis Bono, Senior Adviser on Caucasus Negotiations for the U.S. Department of State. The meeting focused on bilateral and multilateral cooperation between Azerbaijan and the United States, as well as Armenia-Azerbaijan negotiations. Louis Bono expressed optimism about the recent developments in the region, noting that they inspire hope for future peace efforts. He reiterated the U.S.’s commitment to supporting and contributing to the negotiation process.

Georgia

Speaker of the Georgian parliament Shalva Papuashvili announced on Monday his final endorsement of the contentious “foreign agents” bill. The legislation has sparked weeks of protests from critics who argue it will restrict media freedom and undermine Georgia’s aspirations to join the European Union. The bill requires NGOs and media outlets that receive over 20% of their income from foreign sources to enter a special registry and file an annual financial declaration. Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze has called for a reassessment of Georgia’s relationship with the U.S., citing what he calls “attempted revolutions” that he claims were supported by U.S.-funded NGOs. 

Iran

The Central Electoral Commission of Iran has concluded the preliminary registration process for candidates in the upcoming extraordinary presidential elections scheduled for June 28. Commission Chairman Mohamed Eslami announced that 86 individuals submitted the necessary documents to run, with 22 candidates successfully registered. They include Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Bagher Ghalibaf, former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mehrdad Bazrpash and former chief nuclear negotiator Saed Jalili. The Council of Guardians of the Constitution will release the official list of eligible candidates on June 11.

Russia

In an interview with TASS, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin claimed that the EU monitoring mission in Armenia is involved in gathering intelligence against Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan. Galuzin argued that many of the challenges facing Armenia could have been addressed if the country had accepted a proposal in 2022 to implement a “comprehensive stabilization plan” through the CSTO, involving military-technical assistance, a monitoring mission and support for border troop training. He expressed regret that Armenia opted to invite the EU mission instead.  

Turkey

Turkey has expressed its desire to join BRICS, an economic bloc comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Its candidacy will be discussed at the BRICS foreign ministers’ meeting in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia on June 10-11. Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said that opposition from some European states to Turkey’s EU membership has led the country to consider BRICS as a viable alternative for international integration. 

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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