George Tsereteli: Economic cooperation among OSCE priorities
An international conference of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (PA) Silk Road Support Group on the role of parliamentarians in boosting economic cooperation and cultural ties along the Silk Road is underway in Baku.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the conference, President of the OSCE PA George Tsereteli said that after the Silk Road initiative, many OSCE member states supported this idea and decided to join the project.
Tsereteli noted that economic cooperation is among OSCE's priorities.
"The OSCE and its Parliamentary Assembly are actively engaged in dealing problems, including fighting terrorism and conflict. However, economic cooperation is also very important. The Silk Road is a trade way along which populations live, key cities are situated. These cities are important for our peoples. We should prevent the closure of borders. This is huge importance on a regional scale,” he said.
Underlining the importance of modernizing the transport infrastructure, Tsereteli said the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is a good example of it.
President of the Parliament of Montenegro and head of the country's delegation to the OSCE PA Ivan Brajović said that no country today can live in isolation from the world.
"The country I represent is part of the region and plays a leading role between the East and West. Today, the participating countries of the conference, having strengthened their relations in the sphere of tourism, business, culture, etc., can contribute to global development. We, like Azerbaijan, are interested in the development of these relations, and the Silk Road is also a priority for us. Azerbaijan is located on the Caspian coast, we are on the shore of the Adriatic Sea. Although our countries are small, they are of great significance,” he said.
In his speech, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov noted that though Azerbaijan is a small country it is of great importance.
Mammadyarov then spoke about the projects Azerbaijan has joined in recent years.
Chinese Ambassador to Azerbaijan Wei Jinghua said China acknowledges Azerbaijan's geo-strategic position in Eurasia.
Member of the Swiss delegation to the OSCE PA and the OSCE PA Committee on Political Affairs and Security Filippo Lombardi expressed his country’s readiness to fully support the Silk Road Support Group.
Lombardi said ties are essential for establishing peace and cooperation.
Lombardi considered dangerous the new choice of the United States that had supported free-trade relations for many years.
He also proposed including in the Baku Declaration a provision on supporting efforts to strengthen financial integration.
“This is important for supporting the establishment of infrastructure on the New Silk Road,” Lombardi added.
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