YEREVAN (Arka.am). Abdel Halim Fadlullah, director of Lebanon’s Institute of Strategic Studies, thinks South Caucasus countries should try to strengthen regional cooperation instead of seeking support from the biggest international players.

“Arab region’s experience proves that development can’t be ensured individually by outside support,” he is quoted by Novosti-Armenia as saying today at an international conference focused on security and cooperation in the South Caucasus region. “Relations with the West should be based on collective interests, not on individual concessions and sacrifices which have adverse impacts on South Caucasus.”

The expert pointed out some similarities between the South Caucasus and the Middle East, particularly the lack of a stable regional system for settling conflicts ensuring security and mobilizing resources, rich natural and human resources and important geopolitical location. He also said that both regions are stages for collision of superpowers’ ambitions to establish dominance here.

«Cooperation in both regions has always been based on short-term interests, and few countries had been involved in it. This led to conflicts and separation. An additional destabilizing factor is the importance of the regions in terms of energy security and transit of energy resources to the West and international markets.»

Abdel Halim Fadlull stressed that some influential countries are present on the international arena now, but there are no regional unions and nongovernmental players.

«If our countries want to participate in world developments, they should take the road of regional solidarity, and this needs a regional system with common rules of cooperation,» he added.

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