Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 15
By Seba Aghayeva – Trend:
GUAM is becoming a more attractive organization and is going to a higher level of international cooperation, said GUAM Secretary General Altai Efendiev.
Efendiev made the remarks addressing the opening of the ninth session of GUAM Parliamentary Assembly in Baku Dec. 15.
He outlined the organization’s priorities for 2017.
“Firstly, it is necessary to join efforts on the settlement of conflicts existing in the GUAM area and confront the challenges and threats facing all countries of the world,” noted Efendiev.
As a regional organization, GUAM has a political platform and within the organization its members should have a common position on many issues, in particular, confronting aggression, occupation of member countries’ territories by other countries, said the secretary general.
He added that it is also important to join efforts to develop the economic cooperation, in particular, to increase the trade turnover, create all conditions for a reliable transportation corridor and to develop cooperation among small businesses of member countries.
It is also important to strengthen cooperation within international organizations, strengthen relations with other authoritative organizations, noted Efendiev.
He went on to say that GUAM is open to develop cooperation with the European Union, European Commission, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
The GUAM format was created by the post-Soviet states in 1997 during the summit of heads of states of the EU 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 and established its headquarters in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.
Azerbaijan assumed the chairmanship in GUAM on January 1, 2016.