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RFE/RL Newsline, Vol. 4, No. 112, 00-06-09

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: Newsline Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty <http://www.rferl.org>

RFE/RL NEWSLINE

Vol. 4, No. 112, 9 June 2000 Caucasus Report," Vol. 3, No. 21, 26 May

2000). LF

CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] NEW ARMENIAN GOVERNMENT UNVEILS PROGRAM
  • [02] AZERBAIJANI PRESIDENT PARDONS TWO PRISONERS
  • [03] GEORGIAN SECURITY COUNCIL FOCUSES ON SMUGGLING...
  • [04] ...AS DISPLACED PERSONS' LEADER DENIES HE IS INVOLVED
  • [05] CHECHEN REFUGEES WANT TO MOVE FROM GEORGIAN BORDER REGION
  • [06] CENTRAL ASIA PREMIERS PUSH AHEAD WITH ECONOMIC INTEGRATION
  • [07] RUSSIAN 'SEPARATISTS' SENTENCED IN KAZAKHSTAN
  • [08] KYRGYZ PRESIDENT PROMISES NEXT ELECTIONS WILL BE
  • [09] ...AS OSCE ADVOCATES ANOTHER ROUNDTABLE
  • [10] NEW TAJIK OPPOSITION ALLIANCE FORMED
  • [11] TWO TAJIK SECURITY OFFICIALS SENTENCED ON ESPIONAGE CHARGES

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [12] SLOVENIAN PRIME MINISTER SETS THREE GOALS
  • [13] KOSOVA'S THACI, RUGOVA DENOUNCE ATTACKS ON SERBS
  • [14] ANNAN CALLS ATTACKS 'ORCHESTRATED'
  • [15] SOLANA SEEKS BETTER SECURITY IN KOSOVA
  • [16] ALBRIGHT HAILS NATO ACHIEVEMENTS IN KOSOVA
  • [17] KOSOVA LINK IN ATHENS KILLING
  • [18] CLARK CALLS ATTACK ON SERBIAN MEDIA CENTER 'NECESSARY'
  • [19] NATO, SERBIAN OFFICIALS DISCUSS BORDER INCIDENTS
  • [20] OFFICE OF MILOSEVIC'S WIFE'S PARTY SACKED
  • [21] MILOSEVIC USING GRAIN TRADE
  • [22] MONTENEGRIN PRIME MINISTER: 'WE DO NOT GIVE IN TO BLACKMAIL'
  • [23] ROMANIAN SENATE REJECTS OPPOSITION MOTION
  • [24] ANOTHER ANTONESCU STATUE FOR ROMANIA
  • [25] MOLDOVA, CHINA TO JOIN EFFORTS AGAINST 'SEPARATISTS'
  • [26] PROMINENT MOLDOVAN POLITICIAN RESIGNS FROM PARTY
  • [27] EGYPT PROMISES HELP IN BULGARIANS' TRIAL IN LIBYA

  • [C] END NOTE

  • [28] WHICH FORMULA CAN GUARANTEE SECURITY FOR THE SOUTH CAUCASUS?

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] NEW ARMENIAN GOVERNMENT UNVEILS PROGRAM

    In a program made

    public on 8 June, Andranik Markarian's government pledges to

    double GDP over the next seven to eight years while

    preserving macro-economic stability, RFE/RL's Yerevan bureau

    reported. It also gave priority to the creation of new jobs,

    eradicating poverty, and restructuring the civil service as

    part of "a merciless fight against corruption." The new

    government also promised to simplify tax legislation and to

    help local businesses find markets abroad. At the same time,

    the statement admitted that in the light of 0.3 percent first

    quarter GDP growth, Armenia may not meet its planned target

    of 6 percent growth in 2000. It also expressed concern that

    continuing revenue shortfalls may result in a total budget

    deficit of 45 billion drams ($85 million) by the end of the

    year. LF

    [02] AZERBAIJANI PRESIDENT PARDONS TWO PRISONERS

    President Heidar

    Aliev on 8 June signed decrees pardoning two men sentenced on

    charges of participating in two separate alleged coup

    attempts, Turan and AP reported. Kenan Gurel, a Turkish

    businessman who has Austrian citizenship, was sentenced in

    September 1996 to 15 years in prison for his role in the

    alleged coup launched in March 1995 by OPON (special police

    force) commander Rovshan Djavadov. Hajimurad Saddadinov, who

    was the driver of former army Chief of Staff General Shahin

    Musaev, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for his alleged

    participation in a second coup planned by Musaev and other

    senior military officers earlier that year. LF

    [03] GEORGIAN SECURITY COUNCIL FOCUSES ON SMUGGLING...

    President

    Eduard Shevardnadze chaired a session of the Georgian

    National Security Council on 8 June to discuss ways to

    counter smuggling and counterfeiting that are costing

    millions of lari in lost tax revenue, Caucasus Press

    reported. Participants agreed to amend the tax code and to

    introduce special tax and customs regulations in post-

    conflict zones. An official from western Georgia informed a

    parliamentary committee the same day that vast quantities of

    cigarettes and fuel are smuggled into Georgia daily from

    Abkhazia. He said 800 tons of fuel and 100,000 packs of

    cigarettes entered Georgia via that route last month alone.

    LF

    [04] ...AS DISPLACED PERSONS' LEADER DENIES HE IS INVOLVED

    Tamaz

    Nadareishvili, chairman of the Abkhaz parliament in exile,

    has rejected as "absurd" an allegation by two Georgian

    parliamentary deputies that he extends protection to

    individuals engaged in smuggling goods from Abkhazia,

    Caucasus Press reported on 9 June. Tengiz Jgushia, who

    represents the west Georgian district of Zugdidi, had said

    that a member of the Forest Brothers guerrilla organization

    operating in western Georgia engages in smuggling with

    Nadareishvili's patronage. Nadareishvili said such

    allegations are intended to discredit him in the eyes of the

    Georgian displaced persons who fled Abkhazia in 1992-1993. LF

    [05] CHECHEN REFUGEES WANT TO MOVE FROM GEORGIAN BORDER REGION

    Representatives of the estimated 7,000 Chechen refugees

    currently temporarily resident in Georgia's Pankisi gorge,

    which borders on Chechnya, appealed to the Georgian

    leadership on 8 June to allow them to move to a location

    elsewhere in Georgia that would be monitored by the Georgian

    authorities and the UN, Caucasus Press reported. Chechen

    refugee spokesman Lecha Alisultanov said that the refugees

    are tired of being held responsible en masse for isolated

    incidents of drug-peddling, hostage-taking, and other crimes.

    He added that failure to distribute humanitarian aid fairly

    among the refugees could lead to fighting among them. LF

    [06] CENTRAL ASIA PREMIERS PUSH AHEAD WITH ECONOMIC INTEGRATION

    Meeting in Astana on 8 June, the prime ministers of the

    Central Asian Union states (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,

    Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan) approved a two-year program of

    measures to expedite the creation of a single economic space

    and a five-year strategy of economic development and

    integration, Interfax reported. The program also envisages

    the drafting of inter-governmental agreements on combating

    economic crime and the use of water resources. LF

    [07] RUSSIAN 'SEPARATISTS' SENTENCED IN KAZAKHSTAN

    A regional

    court in East Kazakhstan Oblast on 8 June handed down

    sentences ranging from four to 18 years in prison to 13 men

    and one woman charged with plotting to overthrow the regional

    authorities and establish an independent "Altai Republic" on

    the territory of eastern Kazakhstan, Reuters and

    "Nezavisimaya gazeta" reported. Twelve of those accused are

    Russian citizens, while one is Kazakh and another Moldovan.

    Russian media have repeatedly claimed that the charges are

    unsubstantiated, while Russian officials have expressed

    concern at procedural violations during the investigation and

    the 10-week trial (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 20 and 26 April

    2000). LF

    [08] KYRGYZ PRESIDENT PROMISES NEXT ELECTIONS WILL BE

    DEMOCRATIC...

    Addressing the roundtable gathering of

    political parties, NGOs, and government representatives that

    opened in Bishkek on 8 June, Askar Akaev vowed that the

    presidential poll due later this year will be free and fair,

    Reuters and RFE/RL's Bishkek bureau reported. He admitted

    that he is not satisfied with the present political situation

    in Kyrgyzstan and called on political parties to function as

    "a constructive, not irreconcilable" opposition in order to

    establish genuine democracy. Most opposition parties

    boycotted the gathering, while moderate centrist and pro-

    government parties attended, as did one of the country's two

    Communist Parties. Pensioners Party Chairman Tursunbek

    Dooletkeldiev proposed extending the presidential term from

    five to seven years and re-electing Akaev. LF

    [09] ...AS OSCE ADVOCATES ANOTHER ROUNDTABLE

    A member of the OSCE

    representation in Bishkek told RFE/RL on 8 June that the OSCE

    is preparing for a second roundtable between the Kyrgyz

    leadership and the opposition. He expressed his regret that

    the Kyrgyz authorities have expanded participation in the

    roundtable that began on 8 June from seven to 25

    representatives from each group. LF

    [10] NEW TAJIK OPPOSITION ALLIANCE FORMED

    Meeting in Dushanbe on

    7 June, a group of young Tajik politicians founded a new

    political movement named "For the Promotion of Democracy,"

    Asia Plus-Blitz reported quoting RFE/RL's Tajik Service. They

    are Adolat va Taraqqiyot (Justice and Unity) Chairman

    Ramatillo Zoirov, National Movement of Tajikistan Chairman

    Hokim Muhabbatov, and Congress of Popular Unity of Tajikistan

    member Shokirjon Hakimov. None of those organizations was

    permitted to contend the parliamentary elections earlier this

    year (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 10 December 1999). The movement

    hopes that the Ministry of Justice will formally register it

    within the next few weeks. LF

    [11] TWO TAJIK SECURITY OFFICIALS SENTENCED ON ESPIONAGE CHARGES

    A military court in Dushanbe has sentenced two brothers,

    Abdullo and Shodi Kholmurodov, both low-level Security

    Ministry officials, to six and seven years in prison,

    respectively, for spying on behalf on an unnamed foreign

    power, AP reported on 8 June. LF


    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [12] SLOVENIAN PRIME MINISTER SETS THREE GOALS

    Prime Minister

    Andrej Bajuk said in Ljubljana on 8 June that his government

    has three priorities, Vienna's "Die Presse" reported. The

    first aim is to speed up Slovenia's admission to the EU and

    NATO. At the same time, he wants to clear up difficulties

    with Austria and Italy stemming from the aftermath of World

    War II and from issues involving minority rights. Bajuk also

    wants to settle outstanding issues with Croatia stemming from

    the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia. The most important

    of those issues for Ljubljana is securing a maritime boundary

    that will give Slovenia direct access to the open sea.

    Bajuk's second priority is to further liberalize the economy,

    which is affected by high interest rates and remaining

    communist-era structures. Bajuk's third goal is to make

    Slovenes more self-confident and free of their "collective

    inferiority complex." PM

    [13] KOSOVA'S THACI, RUGOVA DENOUNCE ATTACKS ON SERBS

    Hashim

    Thaci, who is the former head of the Kosova Liberation Army,

    and Ibrahim Rugova, who was Kosova's leading politician for

    many years in the 1980s and 1990s, said in separate

    statements in Prishtina on 8 June that recent attacks on

    Serbian civilians must stop (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 6 June

    2000). Thaci argued that "the rising wave of violence in

    Kosova is not in the interest of the citizens of Kosova,"

    Reuters reported. Rugova noted that "these acts, regardless

    of perpetrators, pose a serious threat to the hard-won

    freedom, stability, and peace in Kosova and must stop

    immediately." James O'Brien, who is U.S. President Bill

    Clinton's special Balkans adviser, said after speaking with

    the two Kosovar leaders: "The violence that we are seeing

    against Serbs...seems to be systematic. We believe that those

    responsible should be brought to justice as soon as

    possible," AP reported. PM

    [14] ANNAN CALLS ATTACKS 'ORCHESTRATED'

    In his sharpest criticism

    to date of violence against Kosova's Serbian minority, UN

    Secretary General Kofi Annan wrote in a report to the

    Security Council on 8 June that "an upsurge of vicious

    attacks on Kosovo Serbs in several areas has undermined

    [their] confidence in the future. These attacks appears to be

    part of an orchestrated campaign.... The international

    community did not intervene in [the province] to make it a

    haven for revenge and crime," he added. Annan noted that

    "local leaders and the people of Kosovo have made some

    encouraging efforts to create a society in which all people

    can live without fear," Reuters reported. Annan stressed,

    however, that "understanding and tolerance in Kosovo remain

    scarce and reconciliation is far from a reality." PM

    [15] SOLANA SEEKS BETTER SECURITY IN KOSOVA

    Javier Solana, who is

    the EU's chief official for foreign and security affairs,

    said in Prishtina on 8 June that NATO and the UN must do more

    to improve security in the province. At the same time, he

    called on local Serbs to "participate in the [civilian

    political] structures that are being created" by the UN

    there, AP reported. He made the remarks after meeting with

    Oliver Ivanovic, who is the hard-line Serbian leader in

    northern Mitrovica. PM

    [16] ALBRIGHT HAILS NATO ACHIEVEMENTS IN KOSOVA

    U.S. Secretary of

    State Madeleine Albright said at the UN on 8 June that NATO's

    intervention one year ago put an end to an "impossible"

    situation of ethnic cleansing in Kosova. "There is a long way

    to go, but I think we also have to remember how far we have

    come and how important it was that the international

    community took steps for Kosovo. It is something I think we

    should all be very proud of," AP reported. PM

    [17] KOSOVA LINK IN ATHENS KILLING

    The Greek leftist terrorist

    group November 17 wrote in a statement to the Athens daily

    "Eleftherotypia" of 9 June that it killed British Defense

    Attache to Greece Stephens Saunders in Athens the previous

    day because of his alleged role in NATO's 1999 campaign to

    end Serbian atrocities in Kosova. The statement added that in

    Kosova, "English policy...even surpassed the Americans in

    provocative qualities, cynicism, and aggression," Reuters

    reported. November 17 has embraced nationalist causes as well

    as left-wing ones in recent years, the BBC reported. Vatican

    Radio suggested that the impetus for the killing may have

    come from the recent release of a report by Amnesty

    International charging NATO with war crimes in conjunction

    with the 1999 conflict (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 7 June 2000).

    PM

    [18] CLARK CALLS ATTACK ON SERBIAN MEDIA CENTER 'NECESSARY'

    U.S.

    General Wesley Clark, who was NATO's supreme commander in

    Europe during the Kosova conflict, rejected Amnesty's charge

    that the NATO attack on Yugoslav President Slobodan

    Milosevic's radio and television headquarters constituted an

    unwarranted strike against a civilian target. Speaking in

    Washington on 8 June, Clark said that "the attack on the Serb

    media [headquarters]...was a controversial target, but the

    Serb media engine was feeding the war. You're always making

    trade-offs in these decisions, but in this case it was a huge

    step to be able to take out this major instrument of

    provocation." The general added that state-run media are "a

    crucial instrument of Milosevic's control over the Serb

    population [and] exported fear, hatred and instability in the

    neighboring regions," Reuters reported. PM

    [19] NATO, SERBIAN OFFICIALS DISCUSS BORDER INCIDENTS

    Officials

    of the Atlantic alliance and the Serbian government met in

    Kursumlija in southwestern Serbia on 8 June to discuss a

    series of recent incidents in the area. No details are

    available, AP reported. The state-run Tanjug news agency

    claimed that five Serbian policemen were injured in Konculj

    when their vehicle struck a mine planted by "Albanian

    terrorists." In another incident, Serbian forces and ethnic

    Albanian militants exchanged gunfire for two hours on 6-7

    June in Borovac. PM

    [20] OFFICE OF MILOSEVIC'S WIFE'S PARTY SACKED

    Unknown persons

    extensively vandalized the Belgrade offices of Mira

    Markovic's United Yugoslav Left (JUL) for the second time in

    recent days (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 5 June 2000). JUL said in

    a statement that the opposition's "lackeys of the West" were

    responsible. PM

    [21] MILOSEVIC USING GRAIN TRADE

    The NGO International Crisis

    Group said in a report that the Milosevic regime is boosting

    its hard-currency reserves and evading sanctions by forcing

    farmers to sell grain cheaply to the state and then disposing

    of that grain on the world market at market prices, Reuters

    reported from Brussels on 8 June. PM

    [22] MONTENEGRIN PRIME MINISTER: 'WE DO NOT GIVE IN TO BLACKMAIL'

    Filip Vujanovic told Reuters in Podgorica on 8 June that

    Milosevic's supporters are trying to force the government

    into a situation in which the only alternatives are

    submission to Belgrade or declaring independence. He added

    that Milosevic will respond to any referendum on independence

    by declaring a "military dictatorship through a state of

    emergency." The Montenegrin leadership will not submit to

    "blackmail" and will hold a referendum only "when we feel

    there is no point in talking any longer with Serbia,"

    Vujanovic added. Meanwhile in Belgrade, the army command said

    in a statement that the Montenegrin government is conducting

    a "psychological and media campaign against the Federal

    Republic of Yugoslavia and its army," RFE/RL's South Slavic

    Service reported. PM

    [23] ROMANIAN SENATE REJECTS OPPOSITION MOTION

    By a vote of 47 to

    44, the Senate on 8 June rejected a motion by the opposition

    Party of Social Democracy in Romania to dismiss Agriculture

    Minister Ioan Avram Muresean, whom the party holds

    responsible for the difficulties faced by the agricultural

    sector. Trita Fanita, chairman of the Senate's Agricultural

    Commission, announced after the vote that he is resigning

    from the Democratic Party to protest that party's support for

    the ruling coalition in voting down the motion, RFE/RL's

    Bucharest bureau reported. In other news, former Premier

    Theodor Stolojan on 8 June said he will "definitely return"

    to political life but has not yet made up his mind "on which

    side." Polls show that Stolojan is among the most popular

    politicians, and grass-root groups in several places have

    called on him to return to politics. MS

    [24] ANOTHER ANTONESCU STATUE FOR ROMANIA

    The Iasi branch of the

    Union of War Veterans on 8 June unveiled a statue of

    Romania's wartime leader and Hitler ally, Marshal Ion

    Antonescu. The statue is located in Iasi's Letcani military

    cemetery, which is called the "Marshal Ion Antonescu Cemetery

    of Heroes," Romanian Radio reported. MS

    [25] MOLDOVA, CHINA TO JOIN EFFORTS AGAINST 'SEPARATISTS'

    Visiting Moldovan President Petru Lucinschi and Chinese

    Communist Party Chairman Jiang Zemin have agreed to "join

    efforts against separatist forces," an ITAR-TASS

    correspondent in Beijing reported on 8 June. Jiang, whose

    country also faces separatist threats, said China backs

    Chisinau's drive to end the conflict with the separatist

    Transdniester region. Meanwhile, an OSCE delegation of

    parliamentary deputies led by Kimmo Kiljunen of Finland has

    arrived in Moldova to establish why Russia has not honored

    its pledge to withdraw its troops from the separatist region.

    The six-man delegation is to meet with the leaderships in

    Chisinau and Tiraspol. MS

    [26] PROMINENT MOLDOVAN POLITICIAN RESIGNS FROM PARTY

    Christian

    Democratic Popular Party (PPCD) Deputy Chairman Valentin

    Dolganiuc announced on 8 June that he has resigned from that

    position and from the party, RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau

    reported. Dolganiuc accused PPCD leader Iurie Rosca of having

    established "an atmosphere of intolerance and a dictatorship"

    within the party and of having forced it to abandon

    principles in favor of "short-sighted alliances." The recent

    alliance with the Communists was "the epitome" of that

    approach, he added. MS

    [27] EGYPT PROMISES HELP IN BULGARIANS' TRIAL IN LIBYA

    "We will

    do whatever we can to help both parties reach an amicable

    solution, bearing in mind the seriousness of the

    accusations," Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa told

    Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nadezhda Mihailova on 8 June.

    Mihailova had asked her hosts to intervene to secure a fair

    trial for the six Bulgarian nationals accused by Libya of

    having intentionally infected children with the HIV virus.

    Reuters cited Mihailova as saying Bulgaria wants "guarantees

    that the testimonies [of the six] had not been obtained by

    use of force." The trial is scheduled to begin on 17

    September. MS


    [C] END NOTE

    [28] WHICH FORMULA CAN GUARANTEE SECURITY FOR THE SOUTH CAUCASUS?

    By Harry Tamrazian

    The call for permanent peace in the South Caucasus has

    never been so urgent and loud as it is now, despite the fact

    that six years have passed since formal cease-fire agreements

    ended the conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh and Abkhazia. But in

    neither case has the cease-fire been underpinned by a

    political settlement of the conflict, nor do such settlements

    appear imminent.

    The issue of a security system for the South Caucasus

    was first raised by the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan

    during the OSCE Istanbul summit last November. In an

    unprecedented move, Robert Kocharian and Heidar Aliev called

    on the 54 members of that organization to create such a

    system for the volatile South Caucasus region.

    At the time, however, the international community,

    concerned that the war in Chechnya might spill over into

    Georgia or Azerbaijan, reacted coolly to the proposal for a

    wider-ranging regional security system. But the idea did not

    die altogether. Turkey was the first to react positively,

    with Ankara indicating that the South Caucasus would become

    the second item on its foreign-policy priority list after the

    EU, replacing Cyprus and Turkish-Greek relations. And before

    leaving office, Turkish President Suleyman Demirel traveled

    to Tbilisi in January to launch his last foreign-policy

    initiative in the form of a "Caucasus Stability Pact."

    Notwithstanding Turkey's concern that the war in

    Chechnya could spill over into Georgia and create an influx

    of refugees into Turkey, the main goal of Demirel's "Caucasus

    Stability Pact" was to create a stable political landscape

    for the "energy corridor" that Ankara hopes will bring the

    oil riches of the Caspian region to its Mediterranean port of

    Ceyhan. Demirel wanted to enlist the U.S. and the EU as

    official participants and sponsors of his "Caucasus Stability

    Pact." According to Demirel's plan, international financial

    organizations such as the IMF and World Bank would also take

    part in the project, providing funding to secure the economic

    recovery of the region.

    The only country conspicuous by its absence from

    Demirel's blueprint was Iran, while Russia was accorded a

    secondary role. (Iran was likewise not included in Aliev's

    draft proposal.)

    While Moscow officially welcomed Demirel's proposal, at

    the same time senior Russian officials made clear Russia's

    discomfort at the prospect of U.S. direct involvement in the

    Caucasus. The chief of the Main Department of International

    Cooperation at the Russian Defense Ministry, Colonel General

    Leonid Ivashov, said that the U.S. and NATO should not be

    allowed to participate in the creation of a security system

    in the Caucasus. "The involvement of Americans in the South

    Caucasus would not improve the security of this region. The

    realization of US plans in the post-Soviet republics is very

    dangerous, and may explode the situation", the Russian

    general said.

    Then in late March, Armenian President Robert Kocharian

    unveiled a more detailed blueprint based on the so-called

    3+3+2 formula, meaning the pact would constitute an agreement

    between Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, with Russia, Iran,

    and Turkey as guarantors and the U.S. and the EU as sponsors.

    Georgian Foreign Minister Irakli Menagharishvili expressed

    approval of that formula, saying Tbilisi "supports all

    initiatives aimed at stabilizing the situation in the

    Caucasus." But Azerbaijan has meanwhile distanced itself from

    the concept of a regional security system, arguing that the

    idea is not workable until the Karabakh conflict is resolved.

    The most recent and most comprehensive proposal,

    entitled "A Stability Pact for the Caucasus," was drafted by

    the Brussels-based Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS),

    which played an important role in shaping the EU's Balkan

    Stability Pact and has drafted a solution for settling the

    Cyprus problem. After extensive research, CEPS came to the

    conclusion that it is possible to solve many problems in the

    region by creating a so-called "South Caucasus Community,"

    modeled either on the EU or another comparable regional

    grouping such as ASEAN. The CEPS Task Force for the Caucasus,

    headed by Michael Emerson of London School of Economics,

    called on the EU and the U.S. to work closely with Russia in

    creating and supporting that South Caucasus Community, which

    would have its own parliament (a Parliamentary Assembly with

    170 deputies) and its own executive (a Council of Ministers).

    CEPS advocates resolving the Karabakh and Abkhaz

    conflicts by granting those territories a high degree of

    self-government, separate constitutions, horizontal and

    asymmetric relations with the state and regional authorities,

    the preservation of their own cultural identities, and shared

    competence in security issues, external affairs, and economic

    policy.

    The CEPS Caucasus group is currently engaged in

    acquainting the international community and international

    organizations with the details of its proposed South Caucasus

    plan. It has already made a presentation to NATO and plans to

    submit its proposals to an international conference on

    Central Asia and the Caucasus in Tehran on 11 June and to the

    OSCE in Vienna on 14 June.

    The author is deputy director of RFE/RL's Armenian Service.

    09-06-00


    Reprinted with permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
    URL: http://www.rferl.org


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