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Last Updated: Friday, 12 December, 2003, 06:42 GMT
Scotland to host peace talks
Craigellachie bridge/Undiscovered Scotland
The talks will take place in Speyside next week
The Speyside community of Craigellachie is to play host to peace talks between three former Soviet republics.

High ranking political delegations from Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan will spend two days trying to resolve issues which have caused years of conflict.

Moray MP Angus Robertson has been one of the prime figures in bringing the South Caucasus talks to Speyside.

Mr Robertson is chairman of the House of Commons South Caucasus region all-party group.

The Scottish National Party member is familiar with the regional conflicts which have bedevilled relations between the republics since they gained independence on the break up of the Soviet Union.

Opportunity to talk

Mr Robertson said bringing the peace talks to Scotland would allow leading politicians from the three republics to speak about things they cannot discuss at home.

Georgia is currently facing a period of tension in the run up to presidential elections in January, following the deposition of President Eduard Shevardnadze.

The "rose revolution" was welcomed in neighbouring Armenia and in Azerbaijan, which is recovering from the violent aftermath of a presidential election.

One area the talks are likely to cover is the disputed enclave of Nagorno Karabakh, which the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan have indicated they are ready to resume dialogue over.

Getting the delegations in the mood for peace will involve some traditional Scottish hospitality.

The programme of events, which begins next Thursday, includes a dinner reception at the Glenfiddich distillery in Dufftown.


SEE ALSO:
Georgian leaders hold key talks
10 Dec 03  |  Europe


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