The Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which seeks to enforce the honouring of obligations and commitments by the Council`s member states, will be holding a hearing on "frozen conflicts" in cooperation with the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), at the Bundestag in Berlin on 5 and 6 November 2007, focusing on the situations in Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistria.

According to the PACE press-office, on joining the Council of Europe, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova undertook to seek peaceful settlements to these conflicts, and the Russian Federation has also entered into specific commitments regarding certain of these regions.

The hearing has the twofold objective of bringing together leading experts and government ministers to take stock of the current situation with regard to each of these conflicts and of initiating a debate on the Council of Europe`s future role in the conflict settlement process.

On the first day the hearing will take the form of an exchange of views between the committee`s members and experts (historians, researchers, international legal specialists, think tank representatives) and will help clarify the positions of the parties to the conflicts through discussion of the established facts.

The following day will be devoted to discussions with senior government representatives from the countries concerned. The committee will then hold a meeting in camera in the afternoon to analyse the hearing`s results.

A press conference will take place at 2 pm on 6 November at the Bundestag (Marie-Elisabeth Lüders Haus, Adele Schreiber Krieger Strasse 1, Berlin, Room 3.101) moderated by the Chair of the Monitoring Committee Eduard Lintner and SWP Director Uwe Halbach, with the participation of:

- Armenia: Varujan Nersisyan, member of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict negotiation team, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

- Azerbaijan: Araz Azimov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

- Georgia: Davit Bakradze, State Minister for Conflict Settlement

- Moldova: Vasilii Sova, Minister of Reintegration

- Russian Federation: Valery Kenyaykin and Valery Nesterushkin, Ambassadors-at-large in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs