OSCE Representative Assesses Relations in Caucasus

YEREVAN (Snark)–Head of the OSCE representative office and ambassador in Yerevan Roy Reeve told Snark news that economic cooperation between South Caucasus countries should be established before regional conflicts are resolved. He said that there are four OSCE offices in the region at the moment–in Yerevan–Baku–Tbilisi and a personal representative of the OSCE acting chairman in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Reeve said that a meeting of the economic advisors of the OSCE South Caucasus offices is going to take place in late December this year. At the meeting–each party is to put forward its programs for the development of economic cooperation in the Transcaucasus. In particular–the OSCE office in Yerevan intends to suggest programs for the development of trade in border districts and a program on improving the water supply in the country–and a number of regional economic programs are planned to get realized as a result of the meeting. Reeve noted that "Armenia and Georgia are ready to develop regional economic cooperation. As for Azerbaijan–we still have to wait for such signals from the Azerbaijani authorities–but we have a representative office in Baku–which is working actively in this direction."

Ambassador Reeve rejects the opinion that it is early to speak about creating a regional security system while unresolved conflicts exist in the region. He believes that it is possible to promote the settlement of conflicts in the region and create a regional security system at the same time. Such a system–if created–will prevent new regional conflicts.

Touching upon the results of the work carried out by the OSCE’s Yerevan office over this year–the head of the mission said that the office had accomplished a great deal working together with the Armenian authorities to set up democratic institutions and protect human rights in Armenia. "The main thing is that Armenian authorities are happy to see us here and express definite intentions to promote the establishment of democratic institutions in the country," Reeve stressed.

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