VICKEN CHETERIAN

Vicken Cheterian

Today, the city is being conquered again. But from whom? There are no more Orthodox left – although the few remaining are still persecuted and victimized by the state...

To understand the dynamics of the Libyan conflict, it is important to consider the local belligerents as well as the logic of external interventions.

Midhat Pasha played a key role in bringing Abdul Hamid II to power, in the hope of establishing a constitutional monarchy. This was a pyrrhic victory: the sultan first declared the constitution only to suspend it soon after, and send Midhat once again away to the provinces, and later arrest him, exile him to Taif, and have him assassinated in prison.

At the end of the war, when the Ottoman Empire was defeated and the Ittihadist leaders escaped to Germany, Siruni came out of his hiding, and with few surviving intellectuals tried to re-establish a community that was mortally wounded.

The centre of global humanitarianism is Geneva, a small town in Switzerland. There you can find WHO headquarters, as well as UN’s OCHA, UNHCR, and the international Red Cross movement and many other international bureaucracies. Yet, Geneva is not the place where multilateral political decisions are taken.

The possibility is high that the two leaders Putin and Erdogan will try and meet in the next days to defuse the dangerous situation in north-west Syria. This does not mean that the two sides do not have major differences in Idlib – they do. But if one considers bilateral interests, and more broadly their tense relations with Europe and the US, they have an interest in de-escalating, just like they did after the Sukhoi incident in 2015.

On February 10, six Turkish soldiers were killed as their positions came under artillery fire from the Syrian regime troops. Are we witnessing the risk of a major escalation in northern Syria? Will the Turkish army directly confront the advancing Syrian loyalist forces? And if so, are we facing the risk of a larger conflict between Ankara and Moscow?

In spite of tensions between Tehran and Washington, the frontal confrontation was excluded, adopting instead indirect competition and a game of influence. Then, why did Trump decide to change the rules of the game and ordered the assassination?

Only some days back, the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan remembered again the words of Ayaz Mutalibov. While in Milan at the Armenian Church, during a meeting with the local Armenian community, he was confronted by an Azerbaijani blogger who accused the Armenian side of “genocide”.