European Parliament Approves Report Urging Action in South Caucasus

STRASBOURG–The European Parliament approved Thursday a report urging the EU to craft a strategy for proactive engagement with the critically important South Caucasus region.

The report, submitted by Bulgarian Socialist MEP Evgeni Kirilov, stresses the need for the EU to become an active player in the Caucasus. It says Europe must work to stabilize the region and encourage the development of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.

“The main goal of the EU in the South Caucasus should be to help Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia became stable democratic states that can have good neighborly relations with one another, and be integrated with the EU policies,” Kirilov declared before the vote on his report entitled “The Need for a Strategy in the South Caucasus.”

“The South Caucasus is not only a region bordering the EU (i.e. Bulgaria and Romania through the Black Sea), but also a region of enormous strategic importance with respect to our economic and security policies because of its increasingly crucial role as an energy, transport and communications corridor connecting the Caspian Region and Central Asia with Europe,” said Kirilov.

He said he hoped that the EU’s most recent initiative for the region, the Eastern Partnership, will contribute substantially to the integration of the three South Caucasus states with the EU. Kirilov also said that the realization of the Nabucco gas transit pipeline project required deeper EU presence in the region. These developments, however, will fail to materialize, he noted, if the region’s unresolved conflicts remain frozen.

“These ambitious policies of the EU will be hard to realize because of the shadow cast by the unresolved conflicts in Georgia and Nagorno Karabakh. The conflict in Georgia in 2008 made the EU realize that it has to play a more active role in the region. This conclusion is even more valid for the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan where EU’s absence is felt very strongly,” the Bulgarian Socialist MEP underscored.

Kirilov said the thousands of people displaced because of the region’s conflicts burden the development of the three states and are a serious humanitarian problem.

“The EU has the means and the expertise to contribute to the creation of a tolerant atmosphere in the Southern Caucasus,” he said.

Kirilov’s report, which was adopted with an overwhelming majority, was supported strongly by his Bulgarian colleague from the European People’s Party, Andrey Kovachev, who is the Chair of the Bulgarian delegation within the EPP-EP group.

“I welcome wholeheartedly the report of Mr. Kirilov which stresses the need for a more active EU role in the South Caucasus, a region whose positive development is in the interest not only for the neighboring Black Sea region – for which, unfortunately, the EU does not have a clear strategy as well – but also for the entire EU,” Kovachev stated during debates.

In his remarks, Kovachev expressed concern over the freeze in rapprochement talks between Turkey and Armenia and urged the EU to use its experience from the Balkans and Georgia to help settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

“The Lisbon Treaty has provided the EU with a framework for becoming a truly global actor. An example in that direction would be the participation of the EU as a member in the OSCE Minsk Group, while at present only the individual member states participate in the group,” Kovachev said. He was referring to the US, French and Russian-led OSCE body mediating for a settlement of the Karabakh conflict.

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3 Comments

  1. Edward said:

    Gentlemen, following is an article from yesterday`s / 20th of May/ edition of `ATAKA` daily,page 11.You can find it also in its online edition , if you know bulgarian , and if you don`t it goes like this: ARMENIA LOOKS FOR HELP FROM `ATAKA` ABOUT ARTSAKH Red euro-member of parliament is going to `blast` the peace talks with his biased report : Former communist and current socialist euro-m.p. Yevgeny Kirilov is going to ruin the peace talks for Artsakh.He has deposited a biased report in the European parliament.That became clear after a meeting between the leader of `ATAKA` Volen Siderov and the Armenian ambassador Sergey Manasaryan.”The Armenian State raises an objection to the document as it differs from the so called Madrid principles for solving of conflicts”-said Siderov.Manasaryan has informed the Nationalist `ATAKA` party leader that the document deposited by Kirilov ismade by an azeri assistant of his who has been close to the former state government,and Turkey -an Azeri ally in the conflict.”4 out of the 6 proposed points have formulations about Artsakh contradicting the official European Union stance towards the solving of Artsakh problem.Paragraphs # 8 & 10 have formulations contrary to the negotiations based on the Madrid principles ,and can seriousely jeopardize the whole process of talks.The report ,if accepted can seriously ruin the authority of the European parliament and its future role in regulating the problem.”-said the ambassador. A few points for foreign readers: The former government of Bulgaria was a coalition between Russian and Turkish communists and former secret service policemen.Its leader was Sergay Stanishev -a gay Ukraine-born Communist Jew whose girl friend / or boy friend / – nobody knows for sure is an azeri gay called Azer Melikov -a very influential criminal above any law here.There are also other oil-rich azeris married to influential local faggot politicians looking very well after Turkey`s interests.But the most influential party here is the Turkish nationalist “union”for turkish rights ,which is run by former communist party stooges.On the other side there are not any real armenian organizations defending the rights of the 15 000 armenians living here.

  2. tom said:

    The EU wants peace there because they would like a 2nd oil pipeline through Armenia. Georgia isn’t stable, so they want an alternative pipeline through Armenia.

  3. MihranK said:

    The European Parliament’s very negative report on Karabagh is the result of our Foreign Ministry’s bad planning and non existent diplomatic work to insure that such bad reports don’t go through the European Parliament.

    There needs to be a radical shake up of the Foreign ministry and its staff if we are to avoid such reports be it in the European Parliament or Islamic conference.

    Our Ambassadors have become state tourist enjoying the pleasures of their designated countries at tax payers expense, instead of doing aggressive lobbing for Armenia and its cause.They just pay lip service but no action.

    The more this corrupt and crooked Serzh stays in power we will have more such bad news.

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