International conference in Armenia debates regional conflicts

Public Television of Armenia, Yerevan
29 Sep 04

[Presenter] An international conference entitled Integration
into international structures as a guarantee of peaceful
resolution of conflicts in the South Caucasus was held in Yerevan
today. Representatives from the three South Caucasus countries spoke
at the conference about internal and external factors that impact on
the resolution of territorial conflicts and ways of settlement.

David Berzeneshvili from the Georgian parliament said that although the
South Caucasus countries were admitted to international organizations
as equal states, however, due to various reasons, they are isolated
from one another and cannot be viewed as a single region, like the
Baltic republics. Integration between the Baltic states has reached
the highest level.

Classifying the Karabakh conflict as an exceptional territorial
conflict, the Georgian representative spoke about possible damage to
the region and to cooperation between Europe and the Caucasus in case
of the resumption of hostilities in the region.

A representative of Azerbaijan's Institute for Peace and Democracy,
Arif Yunusov, believes that factors hindering the conflict settlement
are enemy images being created in both countries and a mythical
opinion in Azerbaijan that the issue will be settled in its favour
due to its oil reserves.

[Yunusov, speaking in Russian] When the oil contract was signed [the
Contract of the Century signed in 1994], many in Azerbaijan believed
that oil in tandem with the West's support was the key to the Karabakh
conflict resolution and the country's social problems. Since then 10
years have passed and we understand that this is a theory. And now
new legends are being created about NATO's support.