On his visit to Georgia the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Hojatolislam Hassan Rowhani, chose to stress the “three plus three” formula for regional security in the South Caucasus. That restrictive formula includes Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia alongside Russia, Iran and Turkey. It represents Moscow’s and Tehran’s response to the “three plus three plus two” formula, which Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey advocate. Such a framework would include the United States and the European Union as fully fledged parties to a South Caucasus pact for stability and security.
Rowhani, furthermore, urged Georgia’s participation in the “North-South corridor” or “axis.” Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze responded by underscoring his country’s commitment to the planned East-West transit corridor supported by the European Union and the U.S. Georgian media provided only minimal coverage of Rowhani’s visit to Tbilisi (IRNA, July 19; Vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran, July 21).
TENSE DISCUSSIONS IN BAKU.