Robert Kocharyan Delivered A Speech At The Summit Of The Black SeaFo

05.06.2006 17:48

Summit of the Black Sea Forum for Dialogue and Partnership started
today in Bucharest. The event was attended by Presidents, Prime
Ministers and Foreign Ministers from a number of countries,
high officials from EU, NATO, OSCE and the Council of Europe,
representatives of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, as
well as experts from Europe and South America. The Armenian delegation
was headed by President Robert Kocharyan, who delivered a speech at
the summit. President Kocharyan said, in particular, “First of all,
let me thank President Basesku for initiating this Forum and for the
extended hospitality.

Countries of the Black Sea region have rich and at the same time
dramatic history of co-existence. The Black Sea has always been
a center of strategic interest. This led to many devastating wars
that have formed its current political map, ethnic and religious
diversity. However, this all has also resulted in substantial
interrelation of our cultures and traditions. Partially that is
why there are so many similarities in the process of transformation
underway in our countries. This is true in case with the internal
transformation, aimed at deepening of democracy and transparency of
the society. This also influences the shaping of new types of foreign
interactions in the context of the changing world.

We are present at the formation of new dynamic processes, changing
the region, forming new perceptions about it. Two objective questions
come across: how possible is a common direction of development of the
region? Will this lead to the formation of the new regional identity,
based on a common interest and inherited cultural interaction? Our
Forum is called to address these challenging issues.

We shall first evaluate the level of motivation in each country of
the region. Secondly, we shall work out approaches increasing our
mutual will for partnership.

For Armenia, with limited natural resources and emphasized
entrepreneurial mentality of the people, the choice was
clear. Transformation for us primarily meant the liberalization of
economy, open trade regimes, and a competitive environment. These
reforms substantially changed the structure of Armenian economy. Today
over 85 per cent of GDP is produced in private sector, with over 40
per cent of it being produced in small and medium businesses. Annual
growth of GDP during last five years has averaged at above 12 per
cent. It is natural, that we watch openness and regional cooperation
as the most effective way for our development.

Only lazy people do not speak about benefits of regional
cooperation. It is an axiom, which however comes across many obstacles,
which are often of a subjective nature. There is a need for pragmatic
evaluation of the positive and negative realities.

Let us first assess what unites us: -Commitment to a common system
of values and readiness to play along the same rules; -Obvious,
tangible economic benefit of regional integration processes; -Common
challenges and threats to the stability and security caused by the
increasing transnational crime, extremism and terrorism.

Meanwhile, we are divided by: -Unresolved ethnic conflicts; -Certain
deficit of trust, caused by the negative experiences of the history
of the region.

I am confident that we shall concentrate on those elements which
unite us.

We shall take steps to harmonize our reforms, achieve unification of
trade regimes and transportation tariffs. There is a need for joint
investment projects in the infrastructures of the region. First of all,
for energy and transportation projects, covering the entire Black Sea
basin, and increasing its economic attractiveness. This will create
favorable environment for resolution of existing conflicts. Through
cooperation to the settlement, through communication to a bigger
trust – that is the best formula for overcoming the controversies,
based on a search for a common interest.

In this context we are ready to continue dialogue with Azerbaijan
for the settlement of the Nagorno Karabagh conflict and with Turkey
on establishing relations without any preconditions.”

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS