Centrul Diplomatic/Diplomatic Center

Centrul de Studii Politice si Diplomatie/ Center for Political Science and Diplomacy

WHY IS TRINIDAD TOBAGO THE WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION ? by Honorable Kamla Pershad Bissessar –Prime Minister of Government of Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

The award of World’s Best Tourist Destination will significantly assist in branding destination Trinidad and Tobago globally. We must change the perception of our country in the overseas markets. We must celebrate our country and work hard to sell our country abroad. It is anticipated that this award will open us to untapped European markets that are perhaps weary of the traditional leisure destinations and desire a more exciting vacation experience.

Honorable Kamla Pershad Bissessar –Prime Minister of Government of Republic of Trinidad and Tobago 

Date: Wednesday October 19, 2011

Venue: Regency Hall-  Hyatt Regency Trinidad

Time: 12.30pm

I am indeed truly humbled and deeply honoured to be standing here today to accept, on behalf of the People of Trinidad and Tobago, the World’s Best Tourism Destination Award for 2012 from the European Union Council on Tourism and Trade. A non-governmental organisation, this body has a wide ranging membership of tourism representatives within the European Union.

We were also declared the World’s Favourite Cultural Destination in 2012 by the European Union Council on Tourism and Trade.

It is my understanding that this award was unanimously given to Trinidad and Tobago primarily for our history of impressive cultural festivals, environmental conservation and biodiversity protection amongst other factors.

It is not an award that is traditionally given to well-established tourism destinations but it is the highest honour awarded to non-European Union countries that have embraced sustainable tourism as a tool for cultural and social development and that respect and preserve their cultural and natural heritage.

I extend my heartfelt thanks to the European Union Council on Tourism and Trade for having us join other distinguished winners of this award such as the United Arab Emirates, Syria and South Koreea.

But moreover, I thank the Council for recognising what most of us fail to acknowledge and value. And this is … Trinidad and Tobago is brim-full with tourism potential.

We are not the traditional sun, sea and surf destination. What differentiates us from the rest of our Caribbean neighbours is our diverse and rich natural, cultural and built heritage.

This People’s Partnership Government is seriously committed and dedicated to the development of the tourism industry in Trinidad and Tobago. Tourism is an incredibly important pillar in our national economic diversification effort.

We are not paying “lip service” to the industry as some may have done in the past. For too long tourism has been looked down on as a second class service sector.

We recognise that tourism is a business and fiercely competitive. Tourism requires skills, talent, enterprise and more importantly the support of government.

The award of World’s Best Tourist Destination for 2012 is important for several reasons.

Firstly, it facilitates the formation of closer linkages with Europe for tourism, trade and investment possibilities. The European continent, as in its colonial past, is a formidable trading partner especially with the fall of communism and the rise of new economic powers.

Europe is, and will certainly continue to be, a cornerstone for our international business.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The economic and social advancement of this beautiful twin island Republic of ours depends to a large extent on how well we develop and harness our resources. And one such untapped resource is that of tourism.

The award of World’s Best Tourist Destination will significantly assist in branding destination Trinidad and Tobago globally. We must change the perception of our country in the overseas markets. We must celebrate our country and work hard to sell our country abroad.

It is anticipated that this award will open us to untapped European markets that are perhaps weary of the traditional leisure destinations and desire a more exciting vacation experience.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

An important opportunity that this award presents is a platform to advance the commitments of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

As many of you may or may not be aware, in 2008 Trinidad and Tobago, along with its neighbours in the rest of the region, embarked upon a reciprocal trade agreement with one of our largest trading partners – the European Union (EU). The signing of the EPA signalled a shift in our trade and economic development.

We are now required to open our markets to Eastern Union manufacturers and service providers; but the EPA also provides market access for our country’s export of services to the European Union.

The Economic Partnership Agreement also speaks to specific disciplines on tourism services because of its importance to the social and economic development of the European Union and the Caribbean. These rules are complemented by a commitment to legally binding open market conditions for each other. For instance, the Europe Union has made commitments for travel agencies, tour operators, tourist guides services.

Trinidad and Tobago, on the other hand, have made commitments in relation to hotels and restaurants, marina services and spa services.

The EPA also includes measures that would make it easier for European Union investors to invest in the Trinidad and Tobago. This award, then, will provide a platform to attract increased investment and to promote growth and development in the tourism sector. The Economic Partnership Agreement is, therefore, rendered more relevant, more strategic and more focused on deliverables.

Honorable Prime Minister Kamla Pershad Bissessar receives WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD  for 2012.

The World’s Best Tourism Destination award will, moreover, engender a measure of national pride amongst our citizenry and raise the level of public confidence in Trinidad and Tobago as a tourist destination.

We should be proud of our country and its tourism potential. We have so much to be proud of, so much to share with each other, and so much to show off to the rest of the world. Let us not doubt or question our intrinsic value.

In closing, ladies and gentlemen, I must take a moment to publicly acknowledge the hard work and sacrifices of our tourism community … the stakeholders in our midst. The last few years have been quite challenging for all in the tourism industry.

But rest assured that the tourism industry will get the backing it needs.

But we cannot do it alone. We have all to work together. The private sector in the lead but with government acting as a facilitator; supporting every step of the way.

I want to urge you to continue working with commitment, energy and enthusiasm for the betterment of the tourism industry.

I thank you. God’s richest blessings on us all.

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TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO – WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION for 2012

On 9th of October 2011 in a public séance of the European Union Council on Tourism and Trade gathering, representatives of tourism organizations from EU members country it was debated the list of candidates for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION for 2012.

Professor Dr. Mircea Constantinescu, Director of European Tourism Academy, had presented a report on the last year situation of the Award for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION that was dedicated to United Arab Emirates and it was used accordingly with rules and regulations and have being proving highly efficient in attracting new tourists and investor attentions as United Arab Emirates was the ONLY country in the region that registered an increase in number of visitors despite tensions in the region.

On the debate for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION  AWARD FOR 2012 professor dr. Anton Caragea , President of European Union Council on Tourism and Trade ( ECTT) presented the report titled : TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO : A SUCCESS STORY IN TOURISM proposing TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO as the winner of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2012.

Among the reasons for awarding WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2012to TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO the report outlined:

   –  Respecting cultural patrimony and traditions in offering to tourists a possibility to participate in impressive paraphernalia festivals such as: Holi, Hosay, Divali, Corpus Christi, Eid Al Fitr and special Tobago Heritage Festival Tobago Fest and Trinidad GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH etc.

Keeping alive spiritual traditions , integrating tourist and visitors in the atmosphere of the islands , offering possibility of an enriching cultural experience are achievements that transform Trinidad and Tobago in a spiritual destination of first hand.

–                      Promoting Trinidad and Tobago environmental protection, especially East Coast natural patrimony of wetlands, beaches and ecological and geographical biodiversity that make Trinidad and Tobago unique in the region. Supporting a new concept of tourism friendly to nature, with low nature impact and preservation of natural biodiversity and protection of endangered species and areas, especially rainforest eco-climate.

–                      Offering to tourists not only cultural experience or relaxation opportunities but also the possibility to explore nature , to contribute to ecological preservation and the opportunity to observed in Tobago the impressive Forest Reserve are model achievements in ecological tourism that must be world appreciated.

–                      The continuous development and protection of cultural and historical patrimony of Trinidad and Tobago, the transformation of Port of Spain in an historical center offering to the visitor a glimpse into rich culture of Trinidad and Tobago and Caribbean heritage.

–                      Offering to the tourist a large area of cultural and ecological impressive programs such as: Wildlife Photography in places such El Tucuche Reserve, Valencia Wildlife Sanctuary, Caroni Bird Sanctuary. Cave exploration(in splendid places such as Gasparee Caves).Cycling, Hiking (Argyle Waterfall –a special destination), Kayaking (Paria bay and Tobago area).

For all this reasons European Union Council on Tourism and Trade decided, unanimously, to award WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2012 TITLE TO TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO and to declare TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO- FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATIONS in 2012.

It was also presented the Official Invitation, on behalf of Ministry of Tourism of TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO for a delegation of European high ranking official of European Union Council on Tourism and Trade, to present the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD in Port of Spain, in person, to His Excellency Minister of Tourism DR. RUPERT GRIFFITH.

Awarding the highest tourism distinction of European Union Council on Tourism and Trade, the invitation for an working visit of high ranking members of European Union Council on Tourism and Trade in TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO are estimated by European tourism experts as a good example of close tourism relations and mutual appreciation   between European Union and Trinidad and Tobago, said at the end of the meeting Professor Anton Caragea, President of European Union Council on Tourism and Trade.

October 13, 2011 Posted by | Tourism, Travel, Turism, Turism Medical, UNESCO Heritage List, United Nations Global Compact, Universitati, Universities, World Social Forum | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

OBAMA IS PREPARING TO INVADE LIBYA

On 23 of February United States President had stopped short of recognizing his plan to invade Libya and to take over control of rich oil and gas fields of the country. In a moment when United States hegemony in the Middle East is crumbling a stabile base of supply with energy is a necessity for US. Sponsoring a so called revolution , sending foreign mercenaries is a way to obtain all this . Cuban leader Fidel Castro unveils this plan to destroy Libya and take control over the oil rich country.

The NATO Plan is to Occupy Libya by Fidel Castro


Oil has become the principal wealth in the hands of the great Yankee transnationals; through this energy source they had an instrument that considerably expanded their political power in the world.  It was their main weapon when they decided to easily liquidate the Cuban Revolution as soon as the first just and sovereign laws were passed in our Homeland: depriving it of oil.

Upon this energy source today’s civilization was developed.  Venezuela was the nation in this hemisphere that paid the highest price.  The United States became the lord and master of the huge oil fields that Mother Nature had bestowed upon that sister country.

At the end of the last World War, it started to extract greater amounts of oil from the oil fields ofIran, as well as those in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the Arab countries located around them.  These became the main suppliers.  World consumption progressively increased to the fabulous figure of approximately 80 million barrels a day, including those being extracted on United States territory, to which later gas, hydro and nuclear energies were added.  Until the beginning of the twentieth century, coal had been the basic source of energy that made industrial development possible, before billions of automobiles and engines consuming the liquid fuel were produced.

The squandering of oil and gas is associated with one of the greatest tragedies, not in the least resolved, which is suffered by humankind: climate change.

When our Revolution arose, Algeria, Libya and Egypt were not yet oil producers and a great part of the abundant reserves of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and the United Arab Emirates were still to be discovered.

In December of 1951, Libya becomes the first African country to attain its independence after WW II, during which its territory was the stage for important battles between the troops of Germany and theUnited Kingdom, conferring fame and glory on Generals Erwin Rommel and Bernard L. Montgomery.

Ninety-five percent of its territory is completely made up of desert.  Technology permitted the discovery of vital oilfields of excellent quality light oil that today reach one million 800 thousand barrels a day along with abundant deposits of natural gas.  Such riches allowed it to reach life expectancy that is almost at 75 years of age and the highest per capita income in Africa.  Its harsh desert is located over an enormous lake of fossil waters, equivalent to more than three times the land area of Cuba; this has made it possible to construct a broad network of pipelines of fresh water that stretch from one end of the country to the other.

Libya, which had a million inhabitants when it attained independence, today has somewhat more than 6 million.

The Libyan Revolution took place in the month of September of the year 1969. Its main leader was Muammar al-Gaddafi, a soldier of Bedouin origin who, in his early years, was inspired by the ideas of the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser.  Without any doubt, many of his decisions are associated with the changes that were produced when, as in Egypt, a weak and corrupt monarchy was overthrown in Libya.

The inhabitants of that country have age-old warrior traditions.  It is said that ancient Libyans were a part of Hannibal’s army when he was at the point of destroying Ancient Rome with the troops that crossed the Alps.

One can agree with Gaddafi or not.  The world has been invaded with all kinds of news, especially using the mass media.  One has to wait the necessary length of time in order to learn precisely what is the truth and what are lies, or a mixture of events of every kind that, in the midst of chaos, were produced in Libya.  For me, what is absolutely clear is that the government of the United States is not in the least worried about peace in Libya and it will not hesitate in giving NATO the order to invade that rich country, perhaps in a matter of hours or a few short days.

Those who with perfidious intentions invented the lie that Gaddafi was headed for Venezuela, just as they did yesterday afternoon on  Sunday the 20th of February, today received an fitting response from Foreign Affairs Minister  Nicolás Maduro when he literally stated that he was “wishing that the Libyan people would find, in the exercise of their sovereignty, a peaceful solution to their difficulties, that would preserve the integrity of the Libyan people and nation, without the interference of imperialism…”

As for me, I cannot imagine that the Libyan leader would abandon his country; escaping the responsibilities he is charged with, whether or not they are partially or totally false.

An honest person shall always be against any injustice being committed against any people in the world, and the worst of all, at this moment, would be to remain silent in the face of the crime that NATO is getting ready to commit against the Libyan people.

The leadership of that war-mongering organization has to do it.  We must condemn it!

Fidel Castro Ruz

February 21, 2011

 

 

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PREDICTIONS FOR 2011

STATE OF THE WORLD FORECAST  REPORT FOR 2011 by PROFESSOR ANTON CARAGEA PhD,MA, FINS

It is in human nature to search for answers regarding the shaping of the future. It is a natural impulse that today science is offering a response by such disciplines as futurology and political science. 2011 it is in many respects just a continuation of 2010 evolution in economy and foreign affairs and is creating the path for 2012 when new and decisive election will be held in United States, Russia and across the world.


Homeless in United States: a common faith for 10 million people.

The economic crisis will worsen.

A regular companion of world economy in the last 3 years was the economic crisis. The crisis that unlashed over United States in 2007 and soon consumed the all world. 2011 will be still a year of the crisis. United States fails to be the engine for recovery in economy is fighting a record public deficit of   over 14 trillion dollars, more than 47 million americans living below poverty line and consumer confidence hitting record low. In politics a time and resource consuming battle between democrats and republicans in Congress and a paralyzed presidency of a crippled Barrack Obama , all this show that United States are far away not only from any recovery chance,  but also for a stagnation that will be more favorable that the present day gloomy economic outlook.

European Union is also confronting severely battled economy .Public record deficits in Ireland, Greece, Spain and Portugal (famous PIGS of European economy) are hindering EU image as an economic powerhouse. France and Great Britain are far from being out of recession and Germany fantastic growth figures are regularly downgraded, making a shame of the famous German punctuality and honesty. Germany has long receded from being the leader and acumen of Europe to be the problem child of Europe economy. With record deficits, rampant inflation, record dropping life standards, Germany is looking set in becoming the next bailout candidate of Europe not the pillar of Europe recovery.

India and China also experienced a halt in their record growth figures and 2011 will see this figures rapidly diminished. China economy ,  is growing now only on internal market demand at the expense of here competitivity  . Growing salaries and improving life conditions in China are surely positive news for Chinese people, but this is reflecting in a 35% increase in Chinese products prices in 2010. These tendencies will continue in 2011 and will reduce Chinese goods appeal in the world market.   China and India are not in the position to drag alone the world economy out of the precipice.   The economic crisis is here to stay in the next five years.

Pressure on China .

The most interesting political game of 2011 will be the cat and mouse game that Washington is playing with Beijing. In 2010 Washington wanted China`s alignment on anti-Iran resolution in the Security Council. It was enough for United States to play the economic card, agitating measures such as nominating China as a currency manipulator and imposing unilateral economic sanctions for China to back down and to support the US sponsored resolution in United Nations Security Council. In late 2010 when United States decided on a show of force on China Sea, at the door step of China, it was enough to describe China as a menace for the Far East region and to support Japan military resurgence for China to back down. It was reportedly that the December military exercises held by South Korea and US in East China Sea have being proven so efficient that China was put on a defensive posture.

In 2011 China will face new decisions: a new anti-Iran resolution that is drafted by US and will be put before Security Council in the spring of 2011, clearing the way for a military action against Iran. If China joins this resolution, his stance in the third world as an alternative power to United States and an agent of multilateralism will fade away definitively. Also United States are decided to support South Korea pressure against  North Korea, pressure that will be efficiently only if China goes on board. In a word China is confronted  in 2011  with the same decision as in 2010: should it be content with the stature of a middle power, as Great Britain or France ,and take care of his regional agenda or maintaining a great power profile embarks himself in a confrontation policy with United States ? Regional politics or big player, this is the alternative that Beijing is had to make.

Iran: new sanctions.

In December 2010 after failed talks, Iran and P+5 decided on a last ditch attempt in January 2011 to lift up the dialogue in Istanbul on Iranian nuclear issue. The rift between the parties is clearer than ever: Iran hold us up to his right on peaceful nuclear development while United States is determined to see Iranian nuclear program dismantled. Under this conditions is not difficult to predict the failure of the talks. United States have  already drafted a resolution, clearly laying out the path for military action against Teheran. Last year Russia and China with Brazil and Turkey intercession, succeeded to amend the draft, excluding the key phrase of -by every dint necessary. This year Russia will not oppose this green light for military action , while China stance is yet unclear. The battle around this new United Nations resolution will be undoubtedly the main diplomatic event of 2011.

Putin and Medvedev: a love-hate relation ?

Russia: fight for power.

In Russia the power struggle between the make shift President, Dimitry Medvedev and his benefactor, omnipotent prime-minister Vladimir Putin, is taking epic  and opera type proportions. Until now the battle between President  and Prime Minister was held on the streets of Moscow ,where Kremlin backed supporters tacking  to the streets against the Prime Minister administration. This battle in the street was won by Medvedev, that obtain on grounds of police brutality against manifestant`s, the removal of Putin rock-stone allied, Yuri Rajkov, mayor of Moscow. With the battle for Moscow won, Medvedev started two more fronts: a public offensive against the corruption and inefficiency of Putin government and on the world stage a battle for a new Russia image. Inflaming the rage of Putin, Dimitry Medvedev launches his new vision on Lisbon Treaty backstage. A Russia led by Medvedev ,without the omnipresent Putin , will support US efforts in controlling Iran and China , will assure a steady supply of raw materials to US and Europe economy and will request only a regional influence. Medvedev went as far as asserting that Russia relations with Georgia could be massively improved.    As naturally US and Europe force pledge support for the democratic vision of President Medvedev in contrast with authoritarian past of Russia, a diplomatic phrase describing Vladimir Putin policies. Vladimir Putin opera style response: in Sankt Petersburg a giant show on Christmas with him as a super star, congratulated as the greatest man that ever lived by Alain Delon, Sharon Stone, Kurt Russell and Gerard Depardieu. The star of the show-Putin even made a public performance and sings on the piano. 40 millions Russian have watch the show live on television. Score 1-1 for Putin.  The battle for Russia will be another interesting event of 2011.

Israel: a new aggression?

For Tel Aviv 2011 is starting under negative auspices: a frozen relation with White House after the illegal settlements build on Palestinian soil continued controversy and Barrack Obama support for an independent Palestinian state. The Israel international isolation after Mavi Marmara attack in international waters and Turkeys movement to isolate the hebrew state and illegal Gaza blockade made even European Union to start swaying away from Israel position.  After all this failures Benyamin Netanyahu extreme right government has only one solution to galvanize public opinion on his side: a new conflict either by unleashing a new attack on Gaza or on Lebanon. In 2010 Israel violated daily Lebanon air space, sponsored spy infiltration rings in the Cedar country and created a strong pressure to further weaken the country. But anew attack on Lebanon risk to alienate even further the western supporters of Israel and the lessons of 2006 defeat of Israeli military at the hands of Hezbollah is not easy forgotten. In Gaza ,also Hamas has survived blockade and daily attack by Israel in 2010 and even grow in popularity and capitalized on the international humanitarian effort for the people of Gaza in 2010. Gaza is a more labile target; with light weaponry could not stand efficiently against Israel war machine. But a small military victory will compensate the political storm that such an attack will unleash? Benyamin Netanyahu seems to think that this wage worth tacking it.

Savage german police brutality images.

Europe: fight for democratic system.

Europe is having a lot of problems to sort off in 2011. The economic crisis that is engulfing the continent is already described. Another ugly head that is appearing on the continent is sectarian divisions. Nobody forgets the Switzerland vote in banning minarets, the France ban on Muslim scarf, the closing of hundreds of mosques in Europe in the last year and the vicious attack on Tony Blair sister in law that converted to Islam and was nearly to be killed by British extremists. These anti-minority events will repeat and inflammatory statements like Angela Merkel opinion that multiculturalism have failed will support this kind of attacks. Europe is having in this moment more than 40% of population living below poverty line of 500 euro’s per month , increase unemployment’s ,  social and cultural amenities incapable in supporting European population needs, a medical system in grip and a deficit of democracy. As states are finding difficult to cope with this problems an easy escape is the time old remedy of anti-immigration rhetoric.

After being championship of democracy in the last 50 years, European democratic system is starting to show his wrinkles.  Great Britain police resulted to argentine style suppression of mass student demonstration in December 2010 against tuition fees rise. In France against anti-pension reform demonstrators were halted by armed forces and in Germany government resorted to pointing out in a 30`s style the immigration and failed multiculturalism as the culprits behind economy collapsed. The fight for maintaining a viable and democratic system in Europe is a difficult one that 2011 will just be a step.

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CAUCASUS THE POWDER BARELL OF EUROPE? by Anton Caragea

CAUCASUS THE POWDER BARELL OF EUROPE?

800px-Caucasus_breakaway_regions_2008_svg

Caucasus: the place for the next war ?

 

In the XIX century it was usual to say about the Balkan Peninsula that here is the powder barrel of Europe where all the wars are starting. In XX century the Russian and German ambitions where making the Eastern Europe the powder barrel of Europe. The XXI century seems to have (besides Middle East) his own soft spot: the Caucasus region. Here an explosive mixture of dictatorship, military ambitions, Islamic fundamentalism and rich natural resources is threatening the Europe stability.

Georgia`s open wounds.

Off course the first thing that is crossing our minds in relation with Caucasus region is the Russian-Georgian war of 2008. The war left the region in tatters : Georgia has seen disappearing all his chances to join NATO or European Union in the forcible future, the Georgian army was crushed by a rudimentary Russian forced proving that Georgia is far from a position of strength in the region. Not at least Georgia has seen amputation of his territory by the independence proclamation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Both newly appeared countries are supported militarily and economically by Russia which is making any transgression against these two countries a casus belli. If Georgia does not relinquish his claims to this two regions will never be accepted to NATO and European Union, both organization requiring a prior settlement of frontiers as a part of any pre-joining negotiation. Now an isolated Georgia, a war ravage country confronted with street demonstration and an unpopular president with authoritarian tendencies is ready to embark at least in a war of words with Russia. In august 2009 a war of tension brooked out one more time between Russia and Georgia both trying to win a PR confrontation this time, war is a continuation of politics by other means used to say Clausewitz and Russian and Georgia are ready to continue their confrontation.

Tskhinval_after_Georgian_attack4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frozen conflicts.

The Georgian-Russian war is not the only conflict that is casting a shadow over the region prospects on a normal development.   The north of Caucasus seemed to be one more time engulf in the flames of radical Islam. In 1999 then Prime-Minister Putin has build his career on crushing the Chechen rebellion. Now ten year after the story is again on the front page of newspapers; Chechnya is burning.  In Ingushetia, a neighboring republic of Chechnya has seen in the last months his president badly wounded and two ministers assassinated and a radical increase in terrorist activity. In the old wound of Chechnya the Kremlin prodigy Ramzan Kadyrov is confronted with an Islamic revival, a chain of assassination and attacks plague the country and make even the Prime minister reloaded Vladimir Putin visiting the region in a desperate effort to prevent a new war in Chechnya that could be fatal to his political stature. Let`s not forget that Chechnya war has destroyed Boris Eltin popularity and toppled two Russians prime ministers.

The conflict has spelt into Dagestan and North Ossetia menacing the pro-Russian leaders and the stability of a difficult region. A new war in Caucasus in a crumbling economy with a Russian unreformed army could spell disaster for Russian renewed imperial ambitious.

Azerbaijan on the frontline.

Azerbaijan is not enjoying a comfortable position on power struggle on Caucasus. With a large part of the population of Shia confession (the same as Iran) the Azerbaijan is observing with increasing worry the rise in isolation of Iran. If a war is to broke up in the region Azerbaijan is crucial: first his air space must be used for aerial attacks on targets on Iran, the country radar system must be used to control Iran air space and any missile interception system to prevent attacks on Europe and Israel must be position here. Already the Israel president Shimon Peres made a landmark visit to Azerbaijan (June 2009), described by Israel Minister of Foreign Affairs as:  „to reaffirms the strategic relationship between the two countries”.

Azerbaijan is sharing a long border with Iran, an important Shia population and a common history and is having important internal issues that make the country fragile, economic crisis seriously crippled the economy; corruption is endemic and democracy inexistent. In this difficult portrait the Iran threat made public by Iranian Chief of Staff , Hasan Firudabadi, that said that is regarding Azerbaijan movement as inimical and the Iran ambassador in Baku was recalled for consultation .An attack on Iran could be fatal for Azerbaijan in the present diplomatically  and economical construction.

Caucasus: oil and gas battle.

As if the geopolitical confrontation in the region is not enough the resources battle is at an age here. The oil and gas resources of Caspic Sea are poring from this region either to Russia, or to Europe, also the reach wealth of Iran in gas and oil could be exported to Europe only by this region. Russia is trying to secure his control on energy route on Caucasus by building South Stream pipeline, by dismantling independent pipeline and exploit the military victory over Georgia as an incentive to control the region resources. European Union is trying to find alternative routes and reserves of gases, independent of Russian influence by building Nabucco bypassing Russia as main supplier. But the Nabucco pipeline must go by Caucasus region and the gas and oil reserves  are also in the region so economic date are making the future of the region even more cloudy then it seems.

Caucasus is looking like a fragile region, with authoritarian regimes, economic corruption and under an ongoing battle for influence and power between Russia, United States, European Union, Israel and Iran. Will be Caucasus the new powder barrel of Europe?    

Professor Anton Caragea PhD, MA, FINS

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