GUAM Secretary General Praises Azerbaijan’s Chairmanship
Georgia, Batumi, 1 July / Trend corr N.Kirtskhalia/ The Secretary General of GUAM Valeriy Chechelashvili positively assessed Azerbaijan's 1-year-lasting chairmanship of the organization. " Azerbaijan's chairmanship means significant progress in transport field and conflict settlement," Chechelashvili said to Trend on 1 July.
According to the Secretary General, a communique on international transport communication envisaging cooperation with international subjects out of the organization will be signed at the Batumi summit. "Chairman of International Transport Union Mr. Marm is attending the summit for this purpose," said Chechelashvili, adding that creation of new routes for GUAM countries is a good prospect for organization's further overall development.
As to progress in conflict settlement, Chechelashvili said during Azerbaijan's chairmanship of GUAM, UN initiated establishment of an organization on 'frozen conflicts', and the issue is being intensively considered at UN at the moment.
"Moreover, I must note positive cooperation between GUAM Secretariat and Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry, with which I have established very good relations," Chechelashvili said.
GUAM Secretary General hoped GUAM activity would not descend during Georgia's chairmanship. "I say that not because I am a Georgian, but because there is a ground on which GUAM turned to a full-fledge regional organization, in which Azerbaijan's chairmanship played a role," he said.
Chechelashvili said Batumi summit participants will also assess last year's activities of GUAM, which will be displayed in a final declaration.
Four post-Soviet republics; Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova, established the GUAM format in 1997 during a summit of presidents of European Union countries 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.