Crisis Management Study Group Held Its First Meeting in Tbilisi

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The first meeting of the Crisis Management in Southern Caucasus Study Group took place in Tbilisi–Georgia–on December 17-19. The meeting was arranged with the support of the Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes–Marshall Center. Delegations from Armenia–Georgia and Azerbaijan as well as international experts representing donor organizations participated in the meeting.

The discussion proved that approaches to existing problems are very different. For example–Armenia’s delegate–Vazgen Khachikian presented Armenia’s official position on the naturalization of refugees. "One must not make refugees live in tents. Thirteen years is too long a period for temporary residence and probably even after a peace deal is signed–refugees will not return to the places of their former residence," he said. However–the delegate from Azerbaijan agreed with those from Georgia. They believe that the refugees should return to the places of their residence and they should be provided with a wide spectrum of rights.

However–the delegations did agree on many issues also. For example–they agreed that it is necessary to ensure the transparency of the negotiating process and to include the public in this process. The main conclusion is that the delegates reached was that they should combine their efforts and work out clear methods to their problems and to their solutions.

The next meeting will be held in Yerevan in February.

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