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
"The Republic of Turkey and the United States, as allies and strategic partners, reaffirm their mutual and unequivocal commitment to each other's security and defense", says a joint statement issued in Ankara on Friday