Victor Kipiani spoke at the panel discussion entitled ‘Formulating A Unified Regional Response to Afghanistan’ within the Caspian Security Conference organized by the Washington-based Caspian Policy Center and the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies (NESA Center) of the U.S. National Defense University.
The event explored what comes next for the Greater Caspian Region in the wake of the United States and other NATO allies’ withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The panel discussion was held in a Q&A format and moderated by Dr Brianne Todd, Assistant Professor of Central Asian Studies, Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University (USA).
Victor Kipiani discussed the Caspian region security issues from the Georgian perspective and noted: “The Black Sea is clearly such a region, in which Western interests are reflected in Georgia’s regional posture and conduct, national defensive capabilities and unwavering foreign policy. Indeed, this country finds itself in the cross-hairs of anti-Western and anti-democratic offensives of various types, colors and categories. A successful Western and democratic Georgia would therefore serve as a test of the viability of the principles and values of the Western normative world. These two sides of the matter are nowadays so strongly interconnected as to be inseparable.”
According to him, what the countries of the Black Sea and Caspian basins need today is explicit American and more Western efforts to deepen trade and economic ties, as the region positions itself as a key “safety locker for the many security challenges originating in the Middle East, South Caucasus and southern flank of Eastern Europe.
He also assumed that the wider Black Sea region presents some feasible opportunities to contribute further to the efforts of the Western coalition to combat international terrorism and extremism.
“There is undoubtedly a clear appreciation at our end of the need for new bonds to be forged with our allies and partners that better pursue our common interests. There is indeed no real alternative to this unique "win-win" option, and the United States and our other partners clearly need to devote greater efforts to defining and implementing a strategic vision for the Greater Caspian sea region”- concluded Mr Kipiani.
Watch the recording of Victor Kipiani's speech