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May 1, 2006

Meets with Solana, Scheffer, Basescu, McCain, Bennett

Brussels—Raffi K. Hovannisian, Armenia’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs, represented Armenia at an international policy conclave which was convened here from April 28 to 30 under the auspices of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Federal Government of Belgium, and the Bertelsmann Stiftung of Germany.

Entitled “Transatlantic Challenges in a Global Era,” the Brussels Forum brought together world leaders, public figures, diplomats, academicians, activists, and renowned journalists in order to reassess the transatlantic agenda from American, European, and neighborhood perspectives; to discuss the threats of terrorism and pandemics across the globe of the 21st Century; to explore global competition in the public and private sectors; to chart the course of democracy and geopolitics in wider Europe, the Middle East, and China; and to contemplate transatlantic energy security, national identities, and international integration.

In his intervention, Raffi Hovannisian addressed the track record of the transatlantic alliance and examined its contribution to the transition from Cold War to European cooperation. He also underscored the imperative correlation between collective security and shared core values both within the alliance and for potential partners on its periphery. In particular, he urged the stringent and equal application to all national actors of the highest standards of democracy, rule of law, human rights protection, and genocide prevention and condemnation--irrespective of their place and role in the international system.

Against the backdrop of contemporary democracy movements and geopolitical developments, Raffi Hovannisian held informal meetings with Dr. Javier Solana, Secretary General of the Council of the European Union; NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer; Romanian President Traian Basescu; and United States Senators John McCain and Bob Bennett.

In the margins of the conference, Raffi Hovannisian also met with Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium; Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt; General James Jones, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe; Chairman Elmar Brok of the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs; Belgian Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairman-in-Office Karel De Gucht; Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay; U.S. Senators George Voinovich and John Edwards (former); Jordanian Senator Marwan al-Muasher; former Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio; DaimlerChrysler Chairman Dieter Zetsche; and several others.

Hovannisian and his conference colleagues were received at the Royal Palace by His Highness King Albert of Belgium.

Founded in 1994 by Armenia’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs Raffi K. Hovannisian and supported by a global network of contributors, ACNIS serves as a link between innovative scholarship and the public policy challenges facing Armenia and the Armenian people in the post-Soviet world. It also aspires to be a catalyst for creative, strategic thinking and a wider understanding of the new global environment. In 2006, the Center focuses primarily on civic education, conflict resolution, and applied research on critical domestic and foreign policy issues for the state and the nation.

For further information on the Center and its activities, call (37410) 52-87-80 or 27-48-18; fax (37410) 52-48-46; e-mail root@acnis.am or info@acnis.am

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