Nouvelles d'Armenie    
New body seeks to promote EU ties with Caucasus-Caspian region


The Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA (Iran)

February 13, 2007 Tuesday, Brussels

The Caucasus-Caspian Commission met for the first time in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday with the aim to boost the regions’ relations with the European Union.

“This is the beginning of our Commission. We have talked about ways to deepen our relations with the region and the neighbors, particularly the region and the EU,” the chairman of the Commission, Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, told a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

The meeting adopted the Commission charter which states that it is a civilian initiative.

Rupel stressed the energy dimension to the Caucasus-Caspian region, but also underlined the importance of programs and initiatives which can help resolve frozen conflicts and boost the good governance in the region.

“Suggestions were made to focus on the Armenian-Turkish dialogue and on the Azeri-Kazakh and Azeri-Turkmen cooperation as well as Azeri -Armenian dialogue. We have also said that we should not underestimate the role of Russia, we should not underestimate the role of Iran and certainly not the role of China in the Caucasus-Caspian region,” said Rupel.

Seventeen eminent persons sit on the Commission, including Abbas Maleki from Iran, Joschka Fischer from Germany, Madeleine Albright from USA and Mikhail Margelov from Russia.

The Commission has two deputy chairmen Artur Baghdasarian from Armenia and Mustafa Aydin from Turkey.

According to a press statement distributed to the journalists, Abbas Maleki addressed the two-day meeting and said the Caucasus region is an example of inter-ethnic tolerance and he introduced the idea of rethinking Iran’s strategic orientation - away from the Middle East towards Central Asia-Caucasus. IRNA, February 10, 2007 Saturday

Caucasus-Caspian Commission to hold first meeting

Caucasus-Caspian Commission to hold first meeting Brussels, Feb 10, IRNA Belgium-Caucasus-Commission The Caucasus-Caspian Commission under the chairmanship of Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel will meet for the first time in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday.

“The Caucasus-Caspian Commission of Eminent Persons to Outline a Future Vision for the Region and its Relations with Europe” is the full name of the organization.

It was established as a civil society initiative with the objective of re-thinking the political, social, economic and security context surrounding the Caucasus-Caspian region, said a statement released by the organizers.

“In light of growing energy insecurity in the EU, the strategic importance of the Caucasus-Caspian region is increasing for the EU and we must be present on all levels in this region,” said Rupel, the commission chairman.

Seventeen eminent persons sit on the commission, including Abbas Maleki from Iran, Joschka Fischer from Germany, Madeleine Albright from the USA and Mikhail Margelov from Russia.

The Caucasus-Caspian Commission has outlined four priority areas on which it will focus its attention : regional economic cooperation, frozen conflict resolution, institution building and furthering the region’s relations with the EU.

“We need a strategic vision for the Caucasus, which also includes re-thinking of Turkish-EU and Turkey-Caucasus relations,” said Mustafa Aydin, professor of political science at Tobb University of Economics and Technology in Ankara and deputy chairman of the commission.

The Caucasus-Caspian region connects Europe to Central Asia and Russia with the Middle East.

“The region is a mega inter-connector,” according to Rupel.

Slovenia will assume the rotating EU Presidency in the first half of 2008.

samedi 17 février 2007,
Stéphane ©armenews.com


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