Peacekeeping Battalion Establishment within GUAM is under Discussion: Ukrainian President

Azerbaijan, Baku, 29 May/ corr. Trend A. Gasimova/ The issue to establish a peacekeeping battalion of GUAM is under the preliminary discussions on experts' level and it is very early to consider this issue in the presidents' summit, Victor Yushchenko, the President of Ukraine said in his interview with Trend on 29 May.

"Next time, the Tbilisi summit of GUAM - Organization for Democracy and Economic Development will certainly consider the issues concerning summary of Azerbaijan's chairmanship in GUAM and action plan for the next year," Yushchenko said. "In this regard, I want to mention the significant contribution of Azerbaijan for the further formation of GUAM and rise in the Organization's authority all over the world," he added.

According to the Ukrainian President, the top- priorities of agenda of the summit include the prospects to realize joint projects in the economic sphere, connected with the participation of GUAM in energy security of Europe, and efficient use of GUAM member states' transit potential. "The further cooperation among the member states in fight against organized crime and smuggling, as well as the cooperation in humanitarian sphere will also be discussed," the President added.

Four post-Soviet republics; Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova, established the GUAM format in 1997, in a summit of European Union countries' Presidents in Strasburg. In 1999, Uzbekistan joined the organization but left four years later. In 2006, at the first summit of the organization in Kiev a decision was made to announce GUAM as an international organization with a new name; Organization for Democracy and Economic Development - GUAM.

The GUAM summit will be held in Tbilisi on 1-2 July.

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