Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu led Romania’s delegation at the anniversary summit of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organisation (BSEC) in Istanbul on Monday.
Romania’s Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) says in a press statement that the summit, organised by Turkey, the holder of the BSEC Chairmanship-in-Office, commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Bosphorus Declaration at the first meeting of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) body that later on, in 1999, became the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organisation.
At the summit, the BSEC member states passed a joint declaration establishing guidelines for economic cooperation among the member states as well as the BSEC development outlook amidst a rising strategic and economic importance of the Black Sea zone.
In his speech to the meeting, the Romanian chief diplomat voiced Romania’s firm commitment to boosting regional economic cooperation inside the BSEC that will be able to provide substance to cooperation with the countries in the region and contribute toward ensuring regional security and stability by cultivating dialogue and mutual trust, according to MAE.
Melescanu reiterated the importance Romania as a founding BSEC member attaches to the consolidation of cooperation between BSEC and the European Union in a pragmatic and flexible manner that will contribute toward capitalising on the opportunities provided by the EU’s policies, initiatives and instruments designed for the Black Sea region, while providing substance to the project-oriented economic mission of the BSEC, by developing an investment-friendly environment in the area and identifying priority projects in areas where the two parties have shared interests, to the benefit of the entire region.
He also voiced Romania’s support for the European journeys of Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine based on the implementation of the association agreements with the EU, as well as support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised national boundaries.
At the same time, says MAE, Melescanu underscored Romania’s interest in boosting BSEC’s efficiency and activity dynamics in order for the economic projects to materialise, especially as far as wide-ranging transport infrastructure development projects are concerned – a Black Sea ring motorway and Black Sea maritime gateways. He also mentioned the Black Sea a huge potential and its strategic positioning that should be capitalised on by tying them to major economic developments, especially the transport and energy infrastructure of nearby regions (Central Asia, the Middle East and the Caucasus), as well as securing bridges with players outside the area for cooperation involving strategic projects.
Melescanu said the anniversary summit should be a new beginning for the BSEC, which should become increasingly more concerned with consolidating its status of a representative body in the Black Sea zone thanks to actual results.
The BSEC was officially launched on June 25, 1992 following the signing by 11 countries from the Black Sea basin of the Istanbul Declaration that stated the objective of the body as developing multilateral cooperation to boost economic and social development and also to achieve a higher degree of integration with the world economy.
There are currently 12 BSEC member states – Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, the Russian Federation, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.