The Region in Brief

Armenia

An extraordinary session of Armenia’s National Assembly has been scheduled for July 11. The regular session of the National Assembly concluded on June 20, with the next session not scheduled to commence until September. The extraordinary session was convened to deliberate several legislative initiatives prior to the fall. It has been proposed to conduct the second reading of these initiatives within 24 hours of their adoption, allowing for three-hour intervals dedicated to presenting written proposals and concluding remarks from committee heads.

Artsakh

Human rights lawyer Siranush Sahakyan has called for international involvement in the court trials of former Artsakh leaders, emphasizing the lack of judicial independence in Azerbaijan and the predetermined nature of Armenian prisoners’ sentences. She highlighted the investigations’ lack of transparency and the control exerted by Azerbaijani authorities over the judicial system and independent lawyers. Sahakyan stressed the need for international monitoring to ensure fair trials and document violations. She also pointed to the inhumane treatment and torture faced by Armenian prisoners, noting that charges against them are politically motivated to shield Azerbaijani military personnel from accountability. 

Georgia

Pavel Gerchinsky, the EU ambassador to Georgia, announced that the European Union has decided to freeze €30 million earmarked for supporting Georgia’s defense sector. Gerchinsky stated that this is just the beginning, with more reductions in direct aid to the Georgian government expected. Instead, the EU will redirect support towards civil society and NGOs. This shift comes in the wake of Georgia’s parliament passing a controversial foreign agent law. Gerchinsky also noted that Georgia’s EU membership bid is currently on hold due to skepticism about Georgia’s progress.

Iran

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held a phone conversation with Iran’s newly-elected president Masoud Pezeshkian during which both leaders agreed to meet at the earliest opportunity. Pezeshkian, a reformist candidate of Azerbaijani-Kurdish origin, secured the presidency with 16.3 million votes (54.76%) in a recent runoff election, defeating conservative rival Saeed Jalili, who garnered 13.5 million votes (45.24%). Despite the president’s Azerbaijani heritage, Iranian Ambassador to Armenia Abbas Badakhshan Zohouri emphasized that Iran’s national policy towards neighboring countries, including Armenia, remains unchanged regardless of leadership changes.

Turkey

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan has expressed Ankara’s concerns over what it perceives as an unbalanced position taken by several Western countries in the ongoing efforts to regulate relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Fidan made these remarks during a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council of the Organization of Turkic States in occupied Shushi, where he represented Turkey in place of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Fidan also conveyed Ankara’s hope that the current negotiation process between Azerbaijan and Armenia will soon culminate in the signing of a peace agreement.

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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