The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom hosted the international conference "The South Caucasus: Prospects for Freedom, Peace and Prosperity" at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel on November 20th.
Prospects for Freedom, Peace and Prosperity
By Natalie Osipovi
Friday, November 22
The main aim of the conference was the promotion of normalized relations between the countries of the South Caucasus.
The conference was opened with a greeting from the director of the South Caucasus Project of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Yasemin Pamuk.
Pamuk told The Messenger that this conference is being held as part of the so-called Potsdam Process. “Our aim is to develop and share liberal ideas between countries, especially between the countries of the South Caucasus. Our main aim is to help the South Caucasus region. We host several meetings a year which are dedicated to this issue.” Pamuk said adding that in Georgia their partners are the Free Democrats and Republic Party, the Republic Institute and the New Economic School.
According to Pamuk, the partners share opinions over the advantages and disadvantages of the previous year's partnership so things can be improved.
“Our main aim is the integration of the South Caucasus. In fact, we are the only foundation which hosts meetings for all the political parties of the various countries. That's why we are going to continue such meetings in Georgia.” Pamuk said.
The conference consisted of three sessions. The first session was titled "External Prospects of the South Caucasus". The second session was titled "Coalition and Prospects for Georgia, while the third session was titled "Civil Society in the South Caucasus".
The conference ended with speeches from other partners of the foundation. The partners expressed their hope that the project helps Georgia in its economic development and European integration. Representative of OIKOS Tbilisi, Tsotne Chikobava, said such projects are very important for the development of Georgia in both the political and economic spheres. “Our main aim is European integration, so we have to establish a relationship between ourselves. The ideas of freedom have to be spread.” he said adding that Europeans have a huge interest in Georgia. “We are precisely the type of country which needs help in those areas mentioned in the conference.” he said.
In response to The Messenger’s question regarding Armenia's participation in the conference, representative of the Armenian delegation Vahagn Khachaturyan answered that "First of all we have to use every chance possible to integrate the countries of the South Caucasus. Furthermore, it is common knowledge that we have no opportunity in contacting Azerbaijan ourselves, and such organizations help us a lot in normalizing the relationship between our two countries.” He added that Armenia has been working with the Naumann Foundation since 1999.