Friday, July 09, 2010

South Caucasus: Situation fragile and unpredictable

Source: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

The South Caucasus continues to be a region characterized by volatility and instability, and the international community must remain engaged, particularly in the area of conflict resolution and the promotion of democratic reform, said European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus Peter Semneby in an address to the OSCE Permanent Council today.

"Given the high stakes involved, there is a clear need for the international community to remain fully committed and engaged in the region," he said.

He spoke about the EU's efforts to resolve the conflicts and to promote the consolidation of democracy and rule of law in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia: "These efforts will only be successful through concerted efforts of the international community. The role of the OSCE is extremely important in this regard and it is the partner of choice for the EU."

Semneby emphasized that addressing the unresolved conflicts in the region remained a priority for the EU.

"The unresolved conflicts in the South Caucasus are the primary threats to the region's stability since the status quo is inherently unstable and contains dangers of escalation. This was demonstrated by the August 2008 war in Georgia. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is of particular concern; there are recurring deadly incidents along the line of contact," he said. "The protracted conflicts also undermine EU efforts to promote political reform and economic development in its Eastern neighbourhood."