NATO Special Representative's visits to Georgia and Armenia postponed
Azerbaijan, Baku, March 19 / Trend E.Ostapenko /
NATO Secretary General's Special Representative for the South Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai's first visits to Tbilisi and Yerevan that were scheduled for next week were postponed due to developments in the North Africa.
"Unfortunately, Appathurai was forced to postpone his visit to Georgia and Armenia. The NATO Secretary General asked him to stay in Brussels to coordinate political operations to stabilize the situation in North Africa," the NATO press service told Trend.
Peoples' protests against Muhammar al-Gaddafi are underway since mid-February. The protesters demand resignation of Gaddafi ruling the country for 40 years. The country is in a state of civil war. Libyan aircraft, controlled by Gaddafi, daily struck at rebel locations.
Following the adoption of UN Security Council resolution calling for the closure of airspace over Libya, the officials announced on Friday the cessation of all hostilities against the rebels.
The resolution imposes a ban on Libyan aircraft flights, and also provides for possible military action except the use of ground forces.
Appathurai will visit the South Caucasus at the first opportunity, since NATO attaches great importance to relations with the countries of the region.
Originally scheduled for March the visit was delayed due to certain technical grounds, NATO stressed.
Appathurai took the office in November 2010. He replaced Robert Simmons, who worked 7 years in this position.
The Special Representative is intended to support working contacts with regional leaders to develop the objectives of NATO in the region by contributing to regional security and further promoting cooperative programs of NATO.
NATO cooperates with the South Caucasus states - Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia in accordance with programs of the "Partnership for Peace "and" Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), as well as "Planning and Analysis Process". Those documents define the goals and intentions of NATO's talks with the partner countries on reforms in the defense, security and military policy.
The cooperation of the South Caucasus with NATO is regarded as a step towards European integration and security and stability in the region.