Friday Wrap-up: UN concerns, US senators question support, and editor charged

The week of September 17-22 saw the UN express concerns over armed disputes on the Azerbaijan-Armenia border, US Senators question support to Azerbaijan and the editor of the independent Xural newspaper faced with new conspiracy charges.

UN expresses concerns over armed conflict on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border

The United Nations (UN) has announced that it is concerned about the fighting along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. A senior official at the UN’s Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to “take immediate and concrete steps to reduce tensions” after days of fighting this week that left dozens dead on both sides.

Miroslav Yenca, assistant to the UN Secretary General for Europe, Central Asia and America, said that he hopes that a ceasefire will be reached soon. “It was reported that on September 12, fierce fighting took place on the international border with the participation of heavy artillery, drones and large-caliber weapons. The Armenian government “called the events a deliberate attack”, while Azerbaijan said that the military operation carried out “in response to the provocations of Armenia” was “retaliatory measures”.

Miroslav Yencha also spoke about the losses and, referring to the first statements, said that 105 servicemen of Armenia were killed, 6 civilians were injured, and 71 servicemen of Azerbaijan were killed, 2 civilians were injured. Both countries wrote to the Secretary-General and the Security Council regarding the violation of a Russian-brokered ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone in 2020, when fighting between the two former Soviet republics escalated significantly. “The United Nations cannot verify or confirm the specifics of these reports. However, we remain deeply concerned about this dangerous escalation, including its possible impact on civilians,” the Assistant Secretary-General said.

US Senators question cooperation with Azerbaijan

After the clash on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border on September 13, eight US Senators addressed a letter to the Secretary of State and the Defense Minister. The information was spread by the correspondent of “Turan” in Washington .

He said that the Biden Administration faced pressure for security cooperation with Baku. Eight US senators, including former presidential candidates, sent a letter on September 21 to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin.

They asked whether the administration intends to continue security cooperation with Baku: “They also want to know if the United States has provided any security assistance to units that have recently participated in combat operations.” The senators believe that despite the current restrictions, Azerbaijan continues to receive security assistance from the United States.

The administration was given two weeks to respond.

Prosecutor’s office announces new charges against Avaz Zeynalli

The General Prosecutor’s Office approved the new charge against the head of the independent media outlet Xural TV, Avaz Zeynalli. According to the press service of the General Prosecutor’s Office, Avaz Zeynalli is accused of collaborating with the imprisoned head of the “Sada TV” internet channel, Elnur Shukurov, who was arrested three days after Zeynalli.

Avaz Zeynalli is accused of collaborating with Elnur Shukurov and his friend named Teymur Rahimov in another case. According to the indictment, they privatized the empty plot of land in Sumgayit in favor of Nazakat Jafarova, and used the influence of Xural TV to obtain permission from the city executive authority to build a store there. They managed to change the purpose of the apartment to a non-residential area and get the necessary documents with the project of the store to be built. It is claimed that they took 11,000 manats from the property owner in return.

Avaz Zeynalli does not accept any of the charges brought against him. He says that he was arrested on a warrant. According to the head of Xural TV, such scenarios are being created to punish him for his journalistic activities and criticism. The investigation into the case of Zeynalli is being conducted at the Investigation Department of the General Prosecutor’s Office. He is kept in the detention center of the State Security Service.

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