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Georgian gov't attempts to divide Muslim minority

Source : Agencies | 20 Jan 2014

The authorities in the Caucasian country of Georgia has caused controversy among Georgian Muslims by appointing two muftis, thus dividing the Muslim minority in the country to eastern and western religious authorities.

Until recently, Jamal Paksadze was the mufti of all the Muslims in Georgia, after being elected in an open ballot. However, on January 9, Lasin Aliev was appointed as the mufti of the Muslims in eastern Georgia, limiting Paksadze’s authority to the Muslims in the west of the country.

INSIGHT - If Caucasus erupts, war could spread

By Timothy Heritage and Francesco Guarascio | Reuters | 11 Sep 2012

A dusty trench, interrupted every few metres by lookout posts and gun positions, winds its way as far as the eye can see.

"Put your head above the trench and they'll shoot you," says a young ethnic Armenian soldier, peering through a narrow slit in a concrete watchtower at Azeri lines 400 metres away where he says snipers lie in wait.

Iran nuclear tensions put Caucasus on alert

By Damien McGuinness | BBC | Tbilisi | 20 Feb 2012

Tensions between Iran and the West have spread to the Caucasus, where a bomb was found attached to an Israeli diplomatic car last week.

Iran and Israel appear to be engaged in a covert war of threats, bomb attacks and assassination plots in the Caucasus, a region that was firmly inside Russia's sphere of influence in the Cold War.

Iran's secretive nuclear programme is a target for spies, as Western leaders remain convinced that Tehran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, despite its denials.

Sarkozy’s visit to the South Caucasus

Source : Amanda Paul | Today's Zaman | Ankara / 11 Oct 2011

Last week, French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited the three states of the South Caucasus -- Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Costs rise for Kremlin's Caucasus policy

Source : Reuters
Moscow | 20 Jul 2011

A star-studded football match featuring Diego Maradona, Europe's largest mosque and ubiquitous posters of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov — it's hard to miss the results of the federal government's heavy spending in the North Caucasus.

But the Kremlin is facing questions about how long it can bear the economic and political cost of pouring billions of dollars in subsidies into the mainly Muslim region to try to bring stability to an area facing daily separatist violence.

Georgia calls Circassian killings genocide

Source | Reuters
TBILISI | 23 May 2011

Georgia's parliament has branded the 19th-century killings of the Muslim Circassian minority by Russia's tsarist forces as genocide in a resolution likely to further strain Tbilisi's ties with Moscow.

Originally from the northwest Caucasus, Circassians say 1.5 million of their ancestors were systematically killed in a 1860-64 military campaign to conquer the Caucasus Mountain area on the southern border of today's Russia.

The deaths were recorded by Russian imperial historians in 1864. No nation has recognized them as genocide.

Chechnya's President says insurgency dying down

Source : James Brooke | VOA
Grozny | 08 Mar 2011

In Russia’s Chechnya republic, which has long been a center of anti Kremlin violence in the Caucasus, Ramzan Kadyrov, the young president, now feels his capital is safe enough to invite 50 foreign correspondents for a news conference and an exhibition football match.

Wearing a black velvet tunic with leather epaulettes, Ramzan Kadyrov, 34, the president of Chechnya, had an upbeat message.

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