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Tweeting and fixing with the BBC

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Relations between estranged neighbours Armenia and Turkey is big news at present, and not least since the August war between Russia and Georgia last year and Obama taking the presidency in the United States. That's also good news for yours truly because in addition to fixing for Al Jazeera English covering the story, now comes the turn of the BBC. It's also given me the opportunity to once again put the Nokia N82 to the test by tweeting from the field, something I'll also do when I cover the same story on photo assignment with The National. You can follow me  here. Now, if only the phone battery hadn't run out just minutes before we were detained by Russian soldiers on the border with Turkey...

Photos: Tom Esselmont, BBC Correspondent in the South Caucasus interviews Giro Manoyan, head of the Hat Tahd office of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation--Dashnaktsutyun (ARF-D), Tsitsernakaberd Genocide Memorial, Yerevan, Republic of Armenia © Onnik Krikorian / Oneworld Multimedia 2009


Onnik Krikorian | June 25, 2009 9:25 AM | Reply

One of Tom's stories from the trip to Armenia and Karabakh is now available on the BBC news web site and I assume a report will also be aired today if it hasn't already been.

When oil-rich Azerbaijan recently announced a huge increase in military spending, there was speculation that it might be preparing for war with Armenia, its neighbour in the Caucasus.

It is just 15 years since they were last at war, over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The conflict between the two former Soviet states made headlines around the world, and left at least 25,000 people dead.

But how realistic are the fears of renewed conflict? link

Onnik Krikorian | June 25, 2009 12:16 PM | Reply

Tom's video report for the BBC is also online:

Oil rich Azerbaijan has spent billions on its military, raising concerns that it may be planning to go to war again with Armenia.

The two countries last fought 15 years ago, over the disputed region of Nagorno Karabakh, and no resolution has ever been found.

The BBC's Tom Esslemont has been to Nagorno Karabakh, where he was given rare access to the trenches. link

Onnik Krikorian | June 28, 2009 8:06 AM | Reply

Tom has an excellent and somewhat hilarious radio report which describes Nagorno Karabakh perfectly. Truly excellent stuff, and even I get a mention for the tortoise I found while out blowing stuff up with the HALO Trust. Nice one, Tom.


Onnik Krikorian | July 5, 2009 11:27 AM | Reply

Tom's piece for the BBC on Armenia-Turkey relations has just been published online. Not sure about a video report yet, though.

Attempts to reconcile Armenia and Turkey with a "roadmap" towards the restoration of full diplomatic ties have delighted some villagers near the countries' border - and angered others.

Armenia's border with Turkey has not been open since 1993 - and it shows.
The path to an old rusty kiosk, where once people would have had their passports stamped, is overgrown with weeds.

Russian border guards and Armenian soldiers keep watch for anyone trying to cross illegally. And in a startling echo of the Cold War, troops from Nato member Turkey look back from the other side.

The lush border village of Margara is about as far south as you can go in landlocked Armenia. But residents are now hopeful that an open border could change everything. Gharnik Kharibyan is in favour of it.

"The prospect of a border opening is not only a personal issue. It will help everyone. We want to become friends with the Turkish people - they are our neighbours," he says.


What do you think?