Summarizing the interim results of the year: 39th meeting of the BSEC Council of Foreign Ministers took place in Baku on December 14, 2018
This time a regular meeting of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Council of Foreign Ministers was held in Baku. H.E. Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan chaired the meeting.
In addition to Ministers and Heads of Delegations of the BSEC Member States, this Council Meeting was also attended by the representatives of the BSEC Related Bodies, Observers and Sectoral Dialogue Partners. Moreover, together with the 12 BSEC member countries, about two dozen other states and 14 international organizations took part in the meeting as observers and partners, which definitely demonstrates the prospects of cooperation not only for the Black Sea Region, but also in the context of aligning these efforts with other integration processes on the vast Eurasian continent.
In particular, within the meeting the Ministers acknowledged the progress achieved during the outgoing year and highlighted the importance of further enhancing regional economic cooperation in the wider Black Sea area.
The Secretary General of the BSEC Permanent International Secretariat H.E. Ambassador Michael B. Christides expressed his thankfulness for the continued commitment of the Member States to the objectives of the Organization.
In the frames of the meeting, participants also discussed several projects that are about to be implemented and are actively supported by one of the member states - Russian Federation. Thus, Sergey Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, emphasized the project related to the building of a motorway around the Black Sea together with the project about harmonization of the sea routes. Consequently, this will allow to develop more effectively and freely trade, tourism as well as enhance the human contacts in the region by means of the creation of conditions for the member countries’ economic growth.
“I cannot help mentioning that a large bilateral project is already being implemented in the region: TurkStream whose construction is already in full swing. Russia is a donor of the BSEC. The project financing mechanism was created at our initiative. We have made a voluntary and non-reciprocal contribution: $1 million. This money has already been used to implement two useful projects, and four more are awaiting approval. We welcome other donors who would like to step in and we are ready to finance projects in the Black Sea Region together with the EU”, - mentioned Sergey Lavrov in his speech.
At the closing session, the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs adopted Resolutions, Decisions and Recommendations on various issues, including the topics, related to the state of cooperation in the BSEC areas of cooperation, as well as to the appointment of Country-Coordinators to BSEC Working Groups, to the activities of BSEC and its Related Bodies and to the appointment/re-appointment of BSEC PERMIS Directorial Staff.
At the conclusion of the meeting, a ceremony took place whereby the Republic of Azerbaijan handed over the Chairmanship-in-Office of BSEC to the Republic of Bulgaria. Bulgaria will assume the duties of BSEC Chairmanship for a period of six months, from 1 January to 30 June 2019.
On the sidelines of the Council Meeting, Ministers held important bilateral talks.
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