The President of Georgia addressed participants of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Summit
The President of Georgia addressed the participants of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation in Istanbul. He focused attention on the economic development of the region and relations with neighboring countries.
“BSEC should be a permanent bridge between governments of the region and a forum where common guidelines should be discussed. We should identify areas of common interests and present the organizations with specific objectives as well as the missions involved in investing in our respective economies. As our friend Ilham Aliyev mentioned, we are building a railway that will connect not only our countries to each other but basically China with London through our countries, so that’s an amazing breakthrough for us. We are talking about new energy terminals on the Black Sea and new pipelines for Turkey. We already have experience of having high voltage lines going in all directions, which we are opening with Turkey. We have started to export electricity not only to our neighbors; last year we exported electricity to Serbia and we contribute to the energy security of other European countries. Actually, we enjoy good relations with all of the countries in the region with only one remarkable exception, but even with the Russian Federation, I have to say, that we backed Russia’s membership in the WTO. We reintroduced unilateral VISA free travel, for Russian citizens to Georgia. It’s an important message from Georgia to the citizens of Russia; Georgia is not hostile. Georgia exports electricity to Russia as well, which is also an important factor to understand. When Russia withdraws their troops from our territory and they inevitably will, even if they think that they won’t, then we will fully normalize relations between our countries. The BSEC, a truly European organization, should support the aspiration of its members to join the common European family of free and democratic nations and the European Union. I’m confident that this anniversary summit, under the leadership of Turkey and Serbia, will be much more commemorative. It will be a new beginning” – stated the President of Georgia.
Later, Mikheil Saakashvili held meetings with the leaders of various countries.
The working of the BSEC Summit ended today. All of the leaders of the 12 BSEC member countries have agreed that the organization will become more active in the future and will assist in the implementation of many important projects.