Leaders committed to BSEC goals

Leaders committed to BSEC goals

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Leaders committed to BSEC goals

Leaders of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) member countries and BSEC Secretary-General Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos (5th R) pose for a family photo during the Istanbul summit. Turkey is set to take over the term chairmanship. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

The Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Heads of State and Government summit in Istanbul ended with a full commitment to the future goals of the organization, as the final declaration of the summit was agreed with the 12 members of the organization.

At a press meeting after the summit, Turkish President Abdullah Gül said the final declaration of the summit aimed at removing the obstacles over free trade amongst the member states. Leaders and representatives of member states met at the summit to exchange ideas and contribute to the future of the organization yesterday, after a special session by the foreign ministers.

Gül said this declaration constituted a political paper on how to shape the future of the Black Sea basin. Issues regarding human trafficking, terrorism and organized crime would also be afforded great importance in the BSEC, he added.

During his address at the summit, Gül said: “Basically, the BSEC is an example model of cooperation bringing together counties that share a common geographical area for the wealthy and safe future of their people.”

The summit meeting was aimed at reviving the political will to make the BSEC into the fundamental organization of the Black Sea basin, Gül said, adding that the region sat at the heart of the Eurasian continent with a strategic importance for both regional and global sustainable development.

Turkey is proud to be hosting the summit in the 20th anniversary, and the BSEC today embraces all the region and is a mature international organization, having built up over 20 years. The Black Sea region shines with its natural and human resources, which attract global interest, Gül said.

Joint cooperation and “regional ownership” is the only way to give the BSEC a boosted international profile, he said, adding that growing international and regional interest in the organization constituted “a solid reflection of the BSEC’s values.”

Turkey is set to take over the rotating helm of the organization on July 1, and it aims to transform the BSEC into a more functional group, Gül concluded.

For his part, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, co-chair of the Istanbul summit together with Gül, said BSEC members should strengthen cooperation mechanisms to achieve their common goals. The
Istanbul summit will come to be seen as a turning point for the future activities and development of the organization, he strassed.

The Serbian president said he was happy that Istanbul, a symbol of the common and rich culture and history of BSEC member states, hosted the 20th anniversary summit.