Peoples Cannot Be Denied Right to Self-Determination Simply out of Political Expediency
23.09.2006 16:01 GMT+04:00
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian participated in
the 10th Bertelsmann Forum, held in Berlin, Germany, on September
22-23, reported the RA MFA press office. The one and a half day
conference convened on Saturday afternoon with opening remarks by
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, French Prime Minister Dominique
de Villepin, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Belgian
Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt. The audience of 100+ political leaders,
which included former German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher
and US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, heard perspectives on
Europe’s Strategic Responses, as the conference is entitled.
Following the opening session, Minister Oskanian participated in a
panel on The Balkans and the Black Sea – a Litmus Test for Europe. The
panel also included the presidents of Bulgaria, Romania and Azerbaijan,
and the Prime Minister of Montenegro.
Throughout the discussion, Oskanian affirmed that the region’s litmus
test for Europe would be an effective European Neighborhood Policy,
the functionality and integrity of the Black Sea region, and practical
approaches to conflicts.
During a lively discussion on Kosovo, Minister Oskanian cautioned
against denying peoples their right to self-determination, simply
out of political expediency. If the world were guided by a fear of
setting precedents, he said, half the countries in the world today
would not exist. But there has to be strict criteria, he said, and
the chief principle should be whether the state can claim the moral
authority to rule.