07.02.2008 17:46

The second international conference on "Countries of the Caucasus
and the Middle East: Possible partners in the process of forming a
regional security system" kicked off in Yerevan today. The conference
organized by the World Armenian Congress featured RA Natioanl Assembly
Speaker Tigran Torosyan, Deputy Foreign Minister Gegham Gharibjanyan,
First Vice-President of the World Armenian Congress Aram G. Sargsyan,
Director of the OSCE Office in Yerevan Sergey Kapinos, experts from
Armenia, NKR, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, China, Palestine, Russia,
Austria and Egypt.

Issues related to the principles of developing the South Caucasus
and the Middle East into a new geopolitical unit were discussed
during the scientific conference. The participants compiled a draft
declaration as the first step defining the approach toward the
integration process. The document includes common issues, the study
of integration expectations, the risk potential and perspectives,
formulation of options of solution of geopolitical issues.

Greeting the participants of the conference, RA National Assembly
Speaker Tigran Torosyan noted he is glad to be present at an event,
which is of great essence.

"The conference is really important not only because representatives
of all our neighbor countries and farther friends are present here
(globalization has considerably reduced distance and time) but also
because a very important question has been posed: the unification
of two regions and formulation of a security doctrine for the new
region comprised of two components," Tigran Torosyan said. He added
that the issue itself may seem too complex and daring. However, one
should not forget that solutions to a lot of issues seemed surprising,
while the formulation of the issue seemed to be extremely unrealistic.

"Furthermore, we must not forget that the region with probably the
most complete and the greatest potential, i.e. the territory including
the countries of the European Union, was born in a situation, when
World War II was just over, when France and Germany faced a number of
problems, there was tension and every minute everyone was expecting new
war. Under these circumstances the authorities of those two countries
found a way out, which, I'm sure, no one else would think of. We see
the result. Certainly, all of us would like this initiative to yield
a similar result. However, even if it does not produce the result
the authors expect, we will be able to state it was worth initiating,
since it lays the basis for dialogue, and any good work is impossible
without dialogue," Tigran Torosyan said.

The Armenian Parliament Speaker wished productive work to the
conference and to he future arrangements for the realization of the
initiative. "I would be glad if in a while we could convene another
conference in Yerevan to sum up the results and state that the unifying
idea and the value system have been found. Nevertheless, I think that
all countries of the region believe in such ideas and work for the
sake of such ideas. In this case the most fantastic ideas can turn
real," Tigran Torosyan concluded.

RA Deputy Foreign Minister Gegham Gharibjanyan noted in his speech
that at the end of the 20th and the start of the 21st centaury
the two regions faced new challenges and developments of global
importance. "Large-scale and deep changes are underway in all spheres,
since the spread of globalization has increased the interdependence of
the counties of the region and resistance to common challenges. Taking
into consideration the current developments, it is necessary to ensure
close relations with neighbor countries," Gegham Gharibjanyan said.

The conference will come to an end tomorrow. Participants of the
conference will apply to the heads of state, parliaments, governments,
political and public organizations of the region with the request
to present the ideas presented in the draft declaration for public