Authorities are facing tough choices in Kazakhstan, as demonstrations against plans to sell and rent swathes of farming land threaten to evolve into a broader anti-government movement. Some analysts are cautioning that the situation is combustible.
In a 2013 speech, Secretary of State John Kerry spoke about USAID’s support for “democratic institutions in Kyrzakhstan” – a malapropism that conflated Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Although the State Department quickly clarified that he meant to say the latter, his mistake did not go unnoticed in the international community – or by comedians and TV talk show hosts, such as Stephen Colbert.
Members of the small ethnic Armenian community in Turkey are feeling increasingly uneasy. Their wariness is an outgrowth of recent claims by senior officials in Ankara that Kurdish rebels collaborate with Turkish Armenians, as well as the government’s move to expropriate several Armenian churches.
For both Azerbaijani and Armenian peace activists, the resumption of fighting over breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh last week meant a severe test of their stated commitment to peaceful conflict resolution. Now, with calls for retribution running strong on both sides, many question whether the differences between the two countries can ever be bridged.