Azerbaijan at the crossroads. Unusually frank and open discussion in Brussels on EU-Azerbaijan relations and the way forward.

Officials and experts discuss problems in EU-Azerbaijan relations and the way forward at an unusually frank and open discussion in Brussels. The European Policy Centre in Brussels and the SAM, the Strategic Studies centre under the Presidential Administration in Azerbaijan hosted a round table discussion in Brussels on Tuesday, 4 March 2013 with the theme…

Amazing art project brings graffiti art to Tunisia’s tallest minaret.

French-born Tunisian artist eL Seed is currently suspended 57 meters in the air in an effort to paint Tunisia’s largest graffiti mural on the country’s tallest minaret, located at the Jara Mosque in the south-eastern industrial city of Gabès. Reacting to the recent clashes between religious sects and the art community in Tunisia, the artist embarked…

Ostap Kryvdyk: a Ukrainian activist who thinks the Orange Revolution was not in vain, and that a new Ukrainian generation is hungry for change.

Around three hundred mid career professionals from the Former Soviet space have over the last fifteen years participated in the annual John Smith Fellowship Programme, established in 1996 to honour the memory of the much respected British statesman. Amongst them are MPs, senior government officials, human rights activists and journalists. The 2011 group were back in London…

Moscow’s delicate balance of Europe and Eurasia

As expected, the deteriorating situation in Syria dominated discussion at the 29th EU-Russia summit in St Petersburg, given added urgency by the massacre of over 100 civilians in Houla just days before the formal talks began.  The EU delegation increased their pressure on Russia to condemn the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and call for the withdrawal…

Sensationalising issues may harm the cause. Has the BBC been insensitive when dealing with racism in football in Ukraine and Poland on the eve of Euro 2012?

Racism in Ukrainian and Polish football has become a major cause of concern with the two countries due to host Euro 2012 from Friday. In this briefing for linksdar.org NICHOLAS MALTBY weighs the pros and cons of investigative journalism in the light of a BBC special report about racism in football in Ukraine and Poland and comes…

European Parliament Resolutions on Armenia and Azerbaijan summed up in three words: “support, disappointment and concern”.

The Plenary Session of the European Parliament on 18 April adopted two resolutions that lay down the political framework in which the European Union will conduct negotiations with Armenia and Azerbaijan on their future relations with the EU. The two resolutions have been generally welcomed in both countries. In an interview with the Azerbaijani news portal…

The issue of religious minorities in Muslim countries causes controversy.

Senior Sunni relgious leaders in the Muslim world have clashed over the role of Christian communities in Muslim countries. Mehmet Görmez, Head of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate, has sharply criticized Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Shaikh of Saudi Arabia, for comments the latter made during a meeting with a delegation from the Kuwait-based Society of…

Graphic pictures from the “Arab Spring” greet NATO MPs at their meeting in Marseille

Members of Parliament and experts from NATO countries and partner states in the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe started a three-day meeting in the French Mediterranean City of Marseille today, during which they will consider ways to engage with changes that have been happening in the Arab region since January of last year. Graphic pictures from events in…

Turkish Cypriot Leader in Jeddah to secure support of the OIC

The Turkish Cypriot Leader Dr Dervis Eroglu has held talks in Jeddah with the leadership of the 57-member Orgaisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and has requested to open a Permanent Representative office at the Organisation’s headquarters. Eroglu met yesterday with the Secretary General of the OIC, Professor Ekmeleddine Ihsanoglu who welcomed the request and said…