Decorations for the festive season are up in Tbilisi, Baku and Yerevan and in other towns and villages throughout the South Caucasus. The Soviet tradition of emphasising the new year in the celebrations remains prevalent, with Orthodox Christmas celebrated in early January in Georgia and Armenia as a mainly religious affair. This year it was up to the new Mayor, Kakha Kaladze, to switch on the light of the new year tree in front of Tbilisi's iconic Parliament building.
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photo: Christmas tree in Tbilisi (picture courtesy of the Mayor's office, Tbilisi.)
Azerbaijani media identified him as Bahram Hasanzada, a foreign citizen, and says he "was engaged in espionage according to instructions from foreign services, to the detriment of Azerbaijan's state security".
The report makes a number of recommendations that "aim to guide peace negotiators, policymakers, donors, and national and international civil society activists who work to promote mutual understanding and peace between the societies divided by the Nagorny Karabakh conflict".