The first workshop of “From the Balkan Wars to the Balkan Peace Project”, which is being organized in different Balkan capital cities by our Center (SAM) during 2012, was realized in Skopje in 27 March 2012 in collaboration with Macedonian Sciences and Arts Academy (MANU).
The opening speech of the workshop entitled “Regional Ownership and Inclusiveness” was delivered by H.E. the President of Republic of Macedonia Georgi Ivanov, the former Chairman of MANU Georgi Stardelov, Turkey’s Ambassador to Macedonia H.E. Gürol Sökmensüer and the chairman of SAM Prof. Dr. Bülent Aras.
At the first session of the workshop entitled “Regional Ownership within the Balkan Context: Impediments and Challenges”, expectations on the Balkan geography in the light of the historical perspective were handled. During the panel, it was also discussed why the multicultural peace environment of the past was superseded by mayhem and persisting conflicts, alongside with ideas on sources and settlement of them, and measures to prevent future conflicts. It was argued that mutual understanding, ownership and inclusiveness are the path to fix the problems in a geography where multi-ethnicity, multi culture and multi-language prevail.
At the second session entitled “Regional Ownership within the Balkan Context: Capabilities and Opportunities”, possible economic, political and strategic gains from achieving a peaceful environment with the participation of all were raised. To this end, it was urged that high level political dialog between regional countries is required. Besides, Turkish initiatives in the Balkans to ensure peace, integration of the Balkans to international organizations such as the EU and NATO as concrete steps to install permanent peace in the Balkans, and the necessity to support those steps were also stated.