The Secretary General of the Council on International Relations addressed Geo-economic and security situation of the Mediterranean Sea in a seminar held with the members of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies, Pusan University of Foreign Studies, South Korea, 2017-02-06.
Professor Vaez-Zadeh, in this seminar which was held at the Tehran University with the purpose of developing cooperation between Mediterranean Sea (MS) and South Korea, said that Geo-economic and security situation of the Mediterranean Sea are affected by internal and external forces. This region has potentially benefited from a number of trade and travel opportunities. At the same time, one has to inevitably explore the different kinds of risks and threats in which largely undermine the potentials of this strategic region.
He said in his speech that due to the historical importance of the Mediterranean Sea, this region has been called the 'cradle of civilization.' The sea lies between Europe to the north and west, Africa to the south, and Asia to the east. Throughout history, the Mediterranean Sea has been an important route for merchants as well as cultural exchanges among three regions of Europe, Africa and Asia.
The Secretary General added that the given assumption is that contextual trends and preferences demonstrate the fragile nature of the political, security and economic structure of the regional regime on one hand, and the external interference on the other, have had a profound impact on the emergence of new and unexpected situation in the MS.
He suggested that the ongoing instability in the Middle East and North Africa has largely affected peace and security at regional and global levels. This situation refuels seemingly unstoppable forces in the MS region, including the rise of refugee and migrant crisis.
He also mentioned: 'It is important to know that one has to address the rise of the Arab Spring and Syria's conflict, and the way which the role of the game has already begun to change in this strategic region'.
Professor Vaez-Zadeh in his address to the seminar said 'It seems that the involvement of different international organizations, such as NATO and the EU have not yet contributed to a regional equilibrium in the MS in short term. Having considered that, the EU and NATO have some potential to play a leading role in the fight against the so-called the ISIS. However, in the face of continuous internal and external threats, imposed on the MS, there is no clear defined roadmap to policy making and how to encourage more economic and trade stability, boosting better organized and dedicated policy to preserve the European southern borders and equilibrium of the rest of the three regions.'