The US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Process, Ambassador James Warlick has expressed the support of the United States government for people to people contacts between Armenians and Azerbaijanis and said that track two programs bring trust and understanding between the two nations. Warlick was writing this morning on his twitter feed shortly after the Azerbaijani government arrested another activist who has in the past been prominent in people's diplomacy initiatives bringing together Azerbaijani and Armenian civil society activists.
Prominent human rights activists Leyla Yunus, and her husband Arif, were arrested at Baku airport as they were boarding a flight to Doha. There has been widespread shock overnight at the arrest as activists took to social media to condemn the development. It is also understood that the home of the Yunus family, as well as their office has been searched.
A few days ago Azerbaijani journalist Rauf Mirkadirov was arrested in Turkey, deported to Azerbaijan and accused of spying for Armenia. Mirkadirov had recently visited Armenia as part of a confidence building project between the civil society of the two countries.
source: commonspace.eu with agencies.
photo: Leyla Yunus
Mammadov has been part of Azerbaijan's ruling circle for a long time. He has headed the Foreign Relations Department of the Presidential Administration since 1997 and was appointed Assistant to the President for Foreign Affairs in 2017. He was also the Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration.
Demonstrations and street protests in Armenia gathered momentum on Friday (20 April) with protestors blocking traffic in large parts of the capital Yerevan, before gathering for an evening rally in the centre of the city, an event which observers say attracted up to 50,000 people.