BSEC countries pledge closer regional cooperation

BSEC countries pledge closer regional cooperation

Leaders of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) countries met in İstanbul for an anniversary summit on Tuesday, pledging better regional political and economic cooperation. (Photo: AA)

June 26, 2012, Tuesday/ 17:42:00/ GÖZDE NUR DONAT

Organization for the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) has convened in a high-level summit in İstanbul, pledging for better regional political and economic cooperation.

The summit has been marked by the release of a Summit Declaration accepted among BSEC member countries in honor of 20th year anniversary. The joint declaration read adoption of an updated BSEC Economic Agenda towards Enhanced BSEC Partnership, providing a roadmap outlining the framework for joint action that aims to initiate developmental goals of the organization for the upcoming ten years. All 12 member countries of the organization have sent either their ministerial or presidential delegations to the summit.

Among the attendees were Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, Romanian President Traian Basescu, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets and Ukrainian First Deputy Prime Minister Valeriy Khoroshkovskyi. The official BSEC summit has been opened with a foreign ministerial meeting co-chaired by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic, who was elected as UN General Assembly’s new president on June 8.

Turkey has taken rotating two-year presidency of BSEC from Serbia with this summit. Davutoğlu also congratulated Romanian and Greek foreign ministers of the newly elected governments in their countries in the opening speech of the foreign ministerial meeting.

In the meanwhile,  Davutoğlu has met privately with his Greek counterpart Dimitris Avramopoulos for the first time. Davutoğlu and Avramopoulos came together for a working breakfast on the sidelines of a high-level international summit of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC). The meeting was closed to the press.  The diplomatic sources noted a positive atmosphere during the meeting, which included a discussion of regional politics in the Middle East.

Davutoğlu also met with Azerbaijani President Haydar Aliyev and Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic. Also, simultenous meetings of member-country parliamentarians, academicians, non-governmental organizations and businesspeople from BSEC member countries came together in order to coordinate their efforts. Academic council will also present a 50-page report on how to improve BSEC’s efficiency at the end of their meeting.

Diplomatic sources has said that the issues Turkey would focus on during its term presidency would focus especially on sustainable development, establishing more energy networks and to resolve frozen conflicts throughout the region involving post-Soviet states,also covering BSEC area.

BSEC, a Turkish initiative belonging to 1992 aiming to establish an EU-like regional cooperation in the region to integrate ex-Soviet communist republics of Eastern Europe into liberal economic system, concentrate its efforts on cooperation in various areas, including transportation, energy cooperation, environmental protection, science, health care and customs matters. One of the most important visions of BSEC is to be in a closer cooperation with EU, in terms of developing common economic and developmental projects. Such cooperation is important in that Eastern European countries of BSEC are integrating to EU and BSEC-conducted projects could benefit both sides.

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