By Tugcenur Yilmaz and Ruslan Rehimov
Turkey reiterated on Friday its ongoing financial and technical support for the activities of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC).
Speaking at the 39th meeting of the organization’s Foreign Ministers' council in Baku, capital of term chair Azerbaijan, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called on members to take active part in bloc’s activities and fulfill financial obligations.
"We will continue our joint efforts to transform our region into a zone of peace, stability and prosperity," Cavusoglu said.
He added that Turkey expects members to provide technical support for the working groups of the organization.
Citing progress in various projects on agriculture and trade as well as the functioning of BSEC, Cavusoglu thanked Ambassador Michael B. Christides, the Secretary General of the Permanent International Secretariat of the bloc, for his efforts and Azerbaijan for its term chairmanship.
He wished success for Bulgaria as the organization’s next term chair.
Headquartered in Istanbul, the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization was established in 1992 with the aim of acting in a spirit of friendship and good neighborliness and enhancing mutual respect and confidence, dialogue and cooperation among the member states.
The group has 12 members; Turkey, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine.
Following the meeting, Cavusoglu was received by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev at the presidential residence in Baku.
Underlining the "perfect relation" between the two countries, Cavusoglu repeated Turkey’s support for Baku in its ongoing dispute with Armenia over the occupied Karabakh region.
Karabakh broke away from Azerbaijan in 1991 with Armenian military support, and a peace process has yet to be implemented.
Three UN Security Council resolutions and two UN General Assembly resolutions refer to Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe refers to the region as being occupied by Armenian forces.