Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Minds Of Mankind: European Union Diplomat Proposes Catalyst To Bring Broken [South] Caucasus Region Together Again

"The European Union's special representative for the South Caucasus, Peter Semneby, offered an analysis rare in its candor in his annual address to the European Parliament's Foreign Relations Committee.

Summing up the collective woes of the three countries in the region, Semneby said on October 2 that although Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan share history, they lack a common identity. Soviet attempts to impose unity failed, Semneby says, and now the three countries are each in the grip of "old-fashioned, ethnically exclusive" nationalism.

Semneby said Europe could help remedy this situation.

"Given the rivalries between and inside the countries, this identity has to be larger than the region itself," he said. "An additional layer of identity, a European identity, is what comes to mind here. For such an identity, or for such a layer of identity to work as a catalyst for bringing this broken region together again, the countries and the communities in the region need, however, to understand that this identity is based on much more than just interests, but is fundamentally based on common values."" ...

Ahto Lobjakas "EU Envoy Calls South Caucasus A 'Broken Region,' Prescribes European Identity" Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty October 3, 2007

Caucasus Region in 1882 (above); and 1952 to 1991.

[Click on images to enlarge.]

LINGUGUISTIC OVERLAY: Map on the Ethno-Linguistic groups in the Caucasus region

GROZNY JOURNAL; Nonstop to Chechnya: As War Ebbs, Flights Return [New York Times, September 11, 2007]

Image credits: Wikipedia Commons. With thanks.


Countries and regions of the Caucasus:

South Ossetia
Krasnodar Krai
North Ossetia-Alania
Stavropol Krai

Header Photo: A couple in traditional dress poses for a portrait in the mountainous interior region of Gunib on the north slope of the Caucasus Mountains in what is today the Dagestan Republic of the Russian Federation. Photographed by Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky, circa 1907 to 1915.

Source: Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.


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