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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 December, 2003, 11:55 GMT
Peace delegates visit parliament
Main chamber
The delegates will see the Holyrood parliament
Leading politicians from three former Soviet republics have arrived in Edinburgh ahead of peace talks on the troubled South Caucasus region.

Talks between representatives from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia will begin in earnest on Thursday in the Speyside village of Craigellachie.

The countries have been in a long standing dispute over the region of Nagorno Karabakh.

The politicians visited the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday.

These three parliaments have come from a difficult past to a point in time where they are now starting to work together for the good of their people
George Reid
Holyrood's presiding officer
Holyrood presiding officer George Reid said the visit by members of the South Caucasus Parliamentary Initiative was a great honour for a recently devolved Scotland.

He said: "These three parliaments have come from a difficult past to a point in time where they are now starting to work together for the good of their people.

"To be here in Scotland together, to learn about how our parliament was established and to hear about our founding principles represents a significant commitment on their part to progressing their own institutions."

Delegates met in plenary session in an Edinburgh hotel before the main negotiations in Speyside.

Moray Nationalist MP Angus Robertson was one of the prime figures who brought the South Caucasus talks to the small village of Craigellachie.

Mr Robertson is chairman of the House of Commons South Caucasus region all-party group which is supporting efforts to resolve what has been a bloody dispute.

Scotland's friendly image and the proximity of the Speyside whisky trail are said to have been factors in attracting the delegates.


SEE ALSO:
Scotland to host peace talks
12 Dec 03  |  Scotland
Georgian leaders hold key talks
10 Dec 03  |  Europe


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