World update, part 1: March 27 2019

Hello and welcome to our next-to-last week here at WordPress! I’m packing things up and moving to Substack starting next week, when I’ll be posting in both places by way of transitioning to the new site. MIDDLE EAST SYRIA Israeli warplanes targeted an industrial area north of Aleppo on Wednesday, presumably going after facilities linked… Continue reading World update, part 1: March 27 2019

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

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

World update: October 25 2018

ASIA ARMENIA US National Security Advisor John Bolton visited Armenia on Thursday and blamed Russian arms sales for exacerbating the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijan. Moscow is the main weapons supplier to both Armenia and Azerbaijan. Lest you think this was some high-minded and wholly out of character exercise in pacifism, Bolton also added a sales… Continue reading World update: October 25 2018

World update: October 2 2018

ASIA ARMENIA Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan led a rally of his supporters in Yerevan on Tuesday against what he called a “counterrevolution” by his political opponents. Pashinian’s rise to the premiership in May, amid massive public protests against then-PM Serzh Sargsyan, didn’t do anything to address the fact that Sargsyan’s Republican Party still has a majority in parliament.… Continue reading World update: October 2 2018