George Robertson: Caucasus region is of strategic importance for NATO

The Caucasus is currently regarded as a region of vital importance for world security. This was announced by NATO General Secretary George Robertson. 'Until recently many people did not realise the importance of the Caucasus region for world security. After the events in the US of September 11, 2001, however, many people have taken a different view,' George Robertson said yesterday, while visiting Armenia, according to Armenpress.

In Mr Robertson's opinion the Caucasus is a region of strategic importance for NATO. However, he added that NATO did not want to take a leading role in the peacemaking process in the region. 'This is the responsibility of the countries within this region,' he said. 'None the less, NATO is prepared to provide assistance in maintaining stability in this region. We must not have any illusions: the world community is facing serious dangers just as the Caucasus region is facing domestic dangers. However, gradual progress is possible if there is are political negotiations, democratic reform, military training and cooperation. This must all be based on a sincere and motivated dialogue of course,' Mr Robertson said.

Mr Robertson arrived in Yerevan yesterday after a one-day visit to Tbilisi. From Armenia the NATO general secretary will travel to Azerbaijan.

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