Semneby: South Caucasus States Are Vulnerable


Nov 10 2009

A new round of negotiations focused on issue of security over
Caucasus will be held tomorrow in Geneva. In this connection EU
Special Representative for South Caucasus Peter Semneby reviewed
items of settlement of Karabakh conflict and Armenia-Turkey border
in an interview with Kommersant paper’s reporter Olga Alenova.

When asked whether Armenian-Turkish border may open before settlement
of Karabakh conflict, Peter Semneby said: "It’s a good development
that Armenian-Turkish negotiations are in progress. Armenia-Turkish
border’s opening can become a first step to overcome the abnormal
situation when three longest borders of region are closed. These
borders are those between Turkey and Armenia, Azerbaijan and Armenia,
and between Georgia and Russia. These developments hinder growth."

"Current Armenian-Turkish relations may now bring breakthrough although
ratification, surely, will be complicated. But these developments
are in Armenia’s and Turkey’s interests. And I believe the same for
Azerbaijan as it is interested in open borders in region."

"War in Georgia showed that South Caucasus states are vulnerable. This
can be overcome if we solve these matters."

"Sure, it is a problem and an unacceptable stuff that Russia has
recognized South Osetia and Abkhazia. We will have talks on this issue
involving Russia in discussions. Anyway we have common priorities
in other areas, so our disagreement with Russia cannot hinder our
cooperation aimed at overcoming other conflicts."

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