South Caucasus: The Potsdam Process continues
Origin of the Potsdam Process – FNF headquarters Established in October 2010 by the senior political partners of Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in the South Caucasus, the Potsdam Process aims at strengthening regional cooperation among liberal partner organizations for the promotion of Freedom, Peace and Prosperity in the South Caucasus. This unique forum brings together political partners from Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. In 2010 these partners signed the Potsdam Declaration to profess their political will to increase cooperation between the countries at stake in order to find solutions to the ongoing territorial and political conflicts in the area.
Now after two years the partners came back to Germany and Brussels for an information program on regional cooperation. With the recent elections in Georgia the positions of the parties vary much at the moment: the Republican Party Georgia is now forming the coalition government, Musavat Azerbaijan is in opposition and the Armenian National Movement is not in parliament at the moment.
To use the opportunities arising from that but also to address possible risks a delegation from South Caucasus came to Berlin to discuss with German representatives from politics, media and ministries future fields of cooperation. The delegation included: Isa Gambar, chairman of Musavat Azerbaijan, Aram Manukyan, chairman of Armenian National Movement, David Berdzenishvili, chairman of the parliamentary group of the Republican Party Georgia, Mehman Aliyev, director of Turan News Agency, Ivlian Haindrava, director of the Republican Institute Georgia, Vahagn Khachaturyan, vice-president of PLERF Armenia, and Giorgi Masalkin, member of the Regional Parliament of Adjara, Georgia.
Meeting with Birgit Homburger MdB In an introductory seminar the participants were able to address the status quo of the Potsdam Process and in which direction they would like it to prosper. The Liberal Party welcomed the delegates in their headquarters, as all of the parties are members of ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party, former: ELDR).
This was followed by a meeting with Birgit Homburger, Member of Parliament and Vice-Chairman of the FDP. Homburger stressed the importance of long-term cooperation between German officials and partners in the South Caucasus to assure growing stability in the region. Before the delegates continued their program in Brussels, they were welcomed back at the headquarters of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Potsdam, where the Potsdam Process came to life two years ago.