Afghanistan’s Economic Recovery: A New Horizon for South-South Partnerships?

First the centre of the silk route, then the epicenter of bloody conflicts, Afghanistan’s history can be charted through many diverse chapters, the most recent of which opened with the election of President Ashraf Ghani in September 2014.

OP-ED: Russia’s Changing Islamic Insurgency

With the Kremlin’s attention fixated on Ukraine, the Caucasus Emirate, a terrorist group fighting to establish an independent Islamic state in the North Caucasus, threatens to undermine Russian domestic security in new ways.

Muffled Call for Peace Rises in the Caucasus

Sixty-year-old Irina Grigoryan's voice is drowned out by the merry noise of 230 children waiting for their lunch. Director of kindergarten N3, located in Stepanakert, capital of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Region (NKR) deep in the Caucasus, Grigoryan smiles tolerantly at the din.

BALKANS: Serbia Promoting Partition of Kosovo

For most of the world the issue of Kosovo is long over. The nation declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and has gained recognition from 76 out of 192 U.N. member states.

GEORGIA: Opposition Rallies in the Face of Repression

More than half of Georgia’s population still lives in abject poverty due to economic stagnation, worsening living standards, rising unemployment and low pay nearly nine years after the 2003 bloodless ‘Rose Revolution’ that promised post-Soviet economic revival, a new political course and better living conditions.

Intigam Aliyev. Credit: Courtesy of Legal Education Society, Azerbaijan

AZERBAIJAN: Govt Fears Spread of Arab Spring

In the wake of anti-government protests by the opposition and youth activists in Baku, Azerbaijan, authorities have arrested and detained scores of demonstrators and journalists in deplorable and inhumane conditions.

Arab Spring at Azerbaijan’s Door

Campaigners are asking the Azerbaijan government to introduce radical reforms early to avoid a popular uprising sweeping the Arab world.

An activist for President Nursultan Nazarbayev canvasses for the Apr. 3 presidential poll, which critics consider a farce. Credit:  Robin Forestier-Walker/Al Jazeera

‘Democratic’ Poll Cloaks Kazakh Autocracy

Kazakhstan's nine million registered voters went to the polls Apr. 3. Incumbent Nursultan Nazarbayev is not expected to lose.

ABKHAZIA: Troubled Region Prepares for Winter Olympics

The nomination of the Russian city Sochi to host the 2014 Winter Olympics is already affecting the sensitive geopolitical balance in the region.

UNHCR distributes aid to displaced families. Credit: UNHCR/Y. Mechitov/August 2008

POLITICS: Russia-Georgia Conflict Left Legacy of Displaced

As the European Union launches a probe into the conflict between Georgian and Russian troops in the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia last August - with much of the blame now being cast on Georgia for firing the first shots - thousands of civilians remain displaced and homeless at the start of winter.

UKRAINE: War Brings Elections, Crisis Postpones Them

The Georgian-Russian war has detonated a political war in Ukraine. The governing coalition has collapsed, and new elections loom in a country struck by a grave economic crisis and facing accusations of trading illegal arms with Georgia.

EU-RUSSIA: Arms Overshadow Talks

Brinkmanship over weapons overshadowed a summit between the European Union and Russia held in the French city Nice Nov. 14.

A destroyed house in Gali on the front line between Georgia and Abkhazia. Credit: Dimitris Michalakis

ABKHAZIA: Why This Is the Breakaway Republic

The Russian city of Adler, at the southern edge of the country on the Black sea coast, is the only gateway that has kept Abkhazia connected to the rest of the world during 16 years of isolation since the Abkhazian-Georgian war of 1992.

GEORGIA: EU Takes the Diplomatic Lead

The Russia-Georgia peace deal indicates that the EU is acting as an independent power and plans to maintain dialogue with Moscow in spite of pressure by some of its own members and the U.S. to switch to sanctions.

POLITICS: Is Cold War Rhetoric Back at the U.N.?

When the United States and the former Soviet Union were on the verge of a military confrontation over Cuba during the height of the Cold War, the legendary U.S. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson went eyeball-to-eyeball with Soviet envoy Valerian Zorin in the Security Council chamber.

EUROPE: Divisions Rise Over Ex-Soviet Countries

Few, if any, regions present a greater challenge for the European Union's foreign policy than the former Soviet Union.

POLITICS-US: Bush Administration Still Cautious on Georgia

As if the outgoing administration of U.S. President George W. Bush didn't already have enough on its plate, the question of whether and how to re-arm Georgia in the aftermath of its thrashing last month by Russia is moving steadily up its increasingly crowded foreign policy agenda.

POLITICS-US: The Return of the Return of History

In the wake of Russia's invasion of Georgia last month, many commentators have been quick to proclaim that the war signals "the return of history". But attentive observers could be forgiven for responding to these pronouncements with a sense of déjà vu.

POLITICS: Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Split on Georgia

Moscow’s decision to recognise the two separatist regions of Georgia as independent states has exposed the divergence of geopolitical interests within the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

POLITICS: S. Ossetia and Abkhazia Seek Voice in Security Council

Russia wants the U.N. Security Council to allow the leadership of South Ossetia and Abkhazia to take part in ongoing international talks over the future of their territories.

POLITICS: Iran Could Reap Benefits of U.S.-Russian Tensions

Iran could emerge as a big winner, at least in the short term, from the rapidly escalating tensions between the United States and Russia over Moscow's intervention in Georgia, according to analysts here.

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