Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 5
By Seba Aghayeva – Trend:
GUAM considers the opportunity of holding the next summit of the heads of GUAM states in 2017.
“The previous meeting of heads of GUAM member states was held in 2008 and currently, there is a need to hold a new meeting at a high level, in particular, for discussing economy and transportation projects,” said Altai Efendiev, secretary general of the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development, in his interview with Trend.
Chairmanship of the organization will pass from Azerbaijan to Georgia in 2017, noted the secretary general, and expressed his hope that the high-level meeting will be organized in 2017.
Summarizing the results of Azerbaijan’s chairmanship in GUAM in 2016, Efendiev said it was quite dynamic, substantive and effective, and brought the cooperation within the organization to a higher level.
“Azerbaijan’s priorities, as the chair of the organization, were to make efforts and facilitate the further consolidation of GUAM countries’ interests, broaden and deepen their cooperation in various fields, in development of international cooperation,” noted Efendiev.
He also said that main attention was paid to the development of economic cooperation.
“All planned activities have been implemented to some extent. Of course, something remains unrealized due to objective reasons that are not related to Azerbaijan,” added the secretary general. “In general, the year was eventful.”
The GUAM format was created by the post-Soviet states in 1997 during a summit of heads of states of the European Union in Strasbourg. In 1999, Uzbekistan joined the format and four years later withdrew. In 2006, Ukraine and Azerbaijan announced plans to further increase the GUAM member relations by renaming the organization as GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development and establishing its headquarters in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.
Azerbaijan assumed the chairmanship in GUAM on January 1, 2016.