World update: February 4 2019

We’re in the midst of Kumbh Mela, a major Hindu pilgrimage festival that began in mid-January and runs through early March. With apologies for not saying so earlier, best wishes to any Hindu readers who are celebrating. ASIA ARMENIA/AZERBAIJAN According to Eurasianet, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev have met “three… Continue reading World update: February 4 2019

Asia/Africa update: January 17 2019

ASIA ARMENIA The Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers met on Wednesday in Paris and apparently–somewhat incredibly–had an extremely positive discussion: Following the meeting, the official statement included several unusual elements that cheered advocates for peace between the two sides. “Here is the most positive statement of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs in a very long… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: January 17 2019

Today in Caucasian history: the Battle of Sarikamish ends (1915)

Russia’s victory in the Battle of Sarikamish was so overwhelming that it put the Russians on the offensive in World War I’s Caucasian Theater for good–or, uh, until Russia quit the war following its 1917 revolution. And so its military impact is a little mixed, despite the lopsided outcome. Had the Ottomans been able to… Continue reading Today in Caucasian history: the Battle of Sarikamish ends (1915)

Asia/Oceania/Africa update: January 9 2019

ASIA AZERBAIJAN They’re small, but there have been some signals from Baku lately suggesting that Azerbaijani officials see an opening to improve relations with Armenia under (still relatively new) Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan: Senior Azerbaijani officials have been making unusually positive statements in recent weeks. In December, President Ilham Aliyev tweeted that “The year 2019… Continue reading Asia/Oceania/Africa update: January 9 2019

World update: December 11 2018

ASIA ARMENIA The International Crisis Group’s Olesya Vartanyan says that Nikol Pashinyan’s landslide electoral win on Sunday could improve the prospects for peace with Azerbaijan. Pashinyan is in no position to make dramatic concessions to Azerbaijan on the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, but now that he’s broken the long-time ruling Republican Party there is an opportunity for… Continue reading World update: December 11 2018

Asia/Africa update: December 10 2018

UNITED NATIONS ASIA The UN on Monday adopted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, absent 29 countries who have decided to reject the accord or are debating whether to reject it. It’s rare that an international treaty like this generates so much drama, but such is the power of racism I guess.… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: December 10 2018

World update: December 8-9 2018

ASIA ARMENIA As expected, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s One Step Alliance won a resounding victory in Sunday’s Armenian parliamentary election. One Step reportedly came away with over 70 percent of the vote, albeit with relatively low (around 49 percent) turnout. Election observers have yet to weigh in on any potential irregularities. AFGHANISTAN Taliban fighters attacked a… Continue reading World update: December 8-9 2018