On May 24, 2003 in Tbilisi, Georgia, the GUUAM Countries and the United States continued their dialogue on their common goals of combating terrorism, transnational crime, enhancing border security and customs control and encouraging trade at the Third Meeting of the Council of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of GUUAM Countries. To address these areas, he Heads of Delegations of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Uzbekistan met with U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe.
The Parties discussed the progress in implementation of the “GUUAM-US Framework Program”, which includes a Virtual Center to combat terrorism, drug trafficking and other dangerous types of crime, an Interstate Information Processing System (IIPS), as well as border security and customs control projects aimed at trade and transportation facilitation. Documents related to these projects, namely an agreement to establish of the Virtual Center and IIPS as well as a Memorandum of Understanding on trade and transport facilitation, will be submitted for signature at the Presidential Summit scheduled for 34 July 2003 in Yalta, Ukraine.
The GUUAM-US Framework Program is the culmination of a three-year dialogue to generate concrete, multilateral projects to facilitate regional security and economic development.
The Parties agreed to co-operate in the establishment of the Virtual Centre based on the Statute elaborated at the GUUAM-US law enforcement officials meeting in Baku, in February 2003. Information exchange on law enforcement matters will be channeled through the Interstate Information Processing System. In order to implement the Framework Program, the United States is prepared to provide funding for a liaison officer from each of the GUUAM countries for a period of up to 90 days to draft an implementation programme for the Virtual Centre and IIPS projects, and for two liaison officers to work with US experts on drafting, by the end of the year, an action plan on the trade and transportation facilitation, starting from 1 September, 2003.
Senior level experts for the GUUAM countries and the United States will continue to work on the implementation of these projects. The United States commended GU’JAM for its commitment to other projects, such as the promotion of a GUUAM Free Trade Area, effective functioning of the GUUAM Information Office in Kyiv, enhancement of the GUUAM border security coordination and creation of an inter-parliamentary assembly. Both sides looked forward to the new level of co-operation the joint GUUAM-US projects would bring. Continued multilateral co-operation in these areas can bring long-term development stability to the Eurasian Corridor