Azerbaijani foreign ministry: Conflict settlement must be a priority for GUAM
Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 19 / Trend M. Aliyev /
Ensuring Europe's security for the next 10 years falls to our country, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov said at the fifth meeting of the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly in Baku today.
Azimov said that OSCE Minsk Group has not achieved significant progress in resolving the conflict. He expressed hope that Ukraine during its OSCE chairmanship in 2013 will always focus on the GUAM platform.
"Azerbaijan during its chairmanship in GUAM voiced a number of important initiatives and tried to expand the organisation's relations on the international arena," he said.
Being highly appreciative of the activity of the Secretariat, Azimov stressed that it initiated the regional projects and worked hard to develop international cooperation.
He said that it is extremely important to achieve concrete results in GUAM's activity.
"Conflicts occur in most member countries and resolving these conflicts must be a priority in the joint activity," he said.
He added that much must be done to increasing trade turnover, develop business relations and tourism. It is also important to find new areas of cooperation which have gaps, he added.
Baku is hosting the fifth meeting of the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly. The issues relating to previously conducted activities and prospects of further cooperation will be discussed at the meeting of GUAM PA.
The agenda also includes the integration of member states to Europe, cooperation within the EU programme Eastern Partnership, the role of parliaments in ensuring regional security, the energy potential of the regional countries and other issues.
GUAM was established by the post-Soviet countries in 1997 during the EU presidential summit in Strasbourg. In 1999, Uzbekistan joined the organisation, and left four years later. A decision was made to rename GUAM as an international organisation 'Organisation for Democracy and Economic Development - GUAM', at the body's first summit in Kiev in 2006.