RAFFI HOVANNISIAN TAKES PART IN TRANSATLANTIC FORUM IN BRUSSELS

Noyan Tapan
Armenians Today
May 02 2006

BRUSSELS, MAY 2, NOYAN TAPAN - ARMENIANS TODAY. First Armenian
Minister of Foreign Affairs, represented Armenia at an international
policy conclave which was convened here from April 28 to 30 under
the auspices of the German Marshall Fund of the United States,
the Federal Government of Belgium, and the Bertelsmann Stiftung
of Germany. According to the report provided to Noyan Tapan
by the Armenian Center for National and International Studies,
entitled "Transatlantic Challenges in a Global Era," the Brussels
Forum brought together world leaders, public figures, diplomats,
academicians, activists, and renowned journalists in order to
reassess the transatlantic agenda from American, European, and
neighborhood perspectives; to discuss the threats of terrorism and
pandemics across the globe of the 21st Century; to explore global
competition in the public and private sectors; to chart the course
of democracy and geopolitics in wider Europe, the Middle East, and
China; and to contemplate transatlantic energy security, national
identities, and international integration. In his intervention, Raffi
Hovannisian addressed the track record of the transatlantic alliance
and examined its contribution to the transition from Cold War to
European cooperation. He also underscored the imperative correlation
between collective security and shared core values both within the
alliance and for potential partners on its periphery. In particular,
he urged the stringent and equal application to all national actors
of the highest standards of democracy, rule of law, human rights
protection, and genocide prevention and condemnation--irrespective of
their place and role in the international system. Against the backdrop
of contemporary democracy movements and geopolitical developments,
Raffi Hovannisian held informal meetings with Dr. Javier Solana,
Secretary General of the Council of the European Union; NATO Secretary
General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer; Romanian President Traian Basescu;
and United States Senators John McCain and Bob Bennett. In the
margins of the conference, Raffi Hovannisian also met with Crown
Prince Philippe of Belgium; Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt;
General James Jones, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe; Chairman
Elmar Brok of the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs;
Belgian Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairman-in-Office Karel De Gucht;
Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay; U.S. Senators George Voinovich
and John Edwards (former); Jordanian Senator Marwan al-Muasher; former
Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio; DaimlerChrysler Chairman Dieter
Zetsche; and several others. Hovannisian and his conference colleagues
were received at the Royal Palace by His Highness King Albert of
Belgium. Raffi Hovannisian, who is founder of the Armenian Center
for National and International Studies and the National Citizens'
Initiative, currently chairs the Heritage Party of Armenia.