Azerbaijan news

Friday Wrap-up: Letter to the President, Recognition Offer and a Heated Debate

The week of May 21 – 26 saw residents in defense of local independent journalist, Pashinyan’s conditions and tensions during Eurasian Economic Council meeting.

Residents Appeal to Azerbaijani Leadership to End Harassment Against Journalist Jamil Mammadli

Residents of Khudat village in Khachmaz have reached out to President Ilham Aliyev and First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva, seeking an end to the mounting pressure against journalist Jamil Mammadli. In their appeal, the 40 families requested assistance from the country’s leadership to halt the ongoing harassment targeting the journalist.

The concerned families highlighted Mammadli’s role in shedding light on illegal activities, negative occurrences, and unpleasant situations within the Khachmaz district and the wider region. They attested to the journalist’s popularity among residents, stressing his support for those facing difficulties.

Jamil Mammadli, who works as an independent journalist in the northern regions, previously worked for “Azadlig” Radio. He has faced legal repercussions in the past, including a sentence of correctional work for alleged defamation against the head of the Guba district executive power. In early 2023, several court cases were initiated against him, accusing him of defamation, insult, and hooliganism. Mammadli vehemently denies all allegations, asserting that the mounting pressures are intended to silence his voice.

Armenian Prime Minister’s Recognition Offer Sparks Controversy and Backlash

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced on May 22 that Armenia is prepared to recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, including Nagorno-Karabakh, under the condition of ensuring the safety of the Armenian population. Pashinyan emphasized that this recognition would entail Azerbaijan acknowledging Armenia’s territorial integrity within a specified area.

An extraordinary session of the Nagorno-Karabakh ruling body was convened on the same day to discuss Pashinyan’s statement and concluded that Pashinyan’s declaration violated Armenia’s Constitution and Declaration of Independence, which prohibit recognizing Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan. The statement emphasized the region’s commitment to its chosen path and its right to self-determination.

Former Nagorno-Karabakh leaders expressed their disapproval of Pashinyan’s statement. The Armenian opposition has also called for upcoming protests in response to these developments.

Meeting Between Azerbaijani President and Armenian Prime Minister Raises Tensions at Eurasian Economic Council Meeting

During the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meeting in Moscow, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan engaged in a heated exchange. Pashinyan accused Azerbaijan of illegally blocking the Lachin Corridor and expressed Armenia’s willingness to open all economic and transport links in the region. Aliyev denied the accusations, stating that the Lachin road was open and accessible to residents of Armenian origin.

The discussion also touched upon the Zangezur Corridor, with Aliyev asserting Azerbaijan’s right to establish it, a move supported by Russia. Pashinyan expressed surprise, claiming that it was the first time he had heard of such a project. He labeled the developments in the Lachin corridor a violation of the tripartite declaration and called for an international mission to assess the humanitarian situation in the area.

Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a calm and businesslike tripartite meeting to address the issues raised. Aliyev participated in the Eurasian Economic Council summit as a guest, alongside the presidents of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, and Prime Minister Pashinyan.

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