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Caucasus-Caspian Commission to hold first meeting

Brussels, Feb 10, IRNA - The Caucasus-Caspian Commission under the chairmanship of Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel will meet for the first time in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday.

"The Caucasus-Caspian Commission of Eminent Persons to Outline a Future Vision for the Region and its Relations with Europe" is the full name of the organization.

It was established as a civil society initiative with the objective of re-thinking the political, social, economic and security context surrounding the Caucasus-Caspian region, said a statement released by the organizers.

"In light of growing energy insecurity in the EU, the strategic importance of the Caucasus-Caspian region is increasing for the EU and we must be present on all levels in this region," said Rupel, the commission chairman.

Seventeen eminent persons sit on the commission, including Abbas Maleki from Iran, Joschka Fischer from Germany, Madeleine Albright from the USA and Mikhail Margelov from Russia.

The Caucasus-Caspian Commission has outlined four priority areas on which it will focus its attention: regional economic cooperation, frozen conflict resolution, institution building and furthering the region's relations with the EU.

"We need a strategic vision for the Caucasus, which also includes re-thinking of Turkish-EU and Turkey-Caucasus relations," said Mustafa Aydin, professor of political science at Tobb University of Economics and Technology in Ankara and deputy chairman of the commission.

The Caucasus-Caspian region connects Europe to Central Asia and Russia with the Middle East.

"The region is a mega inter-connector," according to Rupel.

... Payvand News - 2/10/07 ... --

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