Your Excellencies, Heads of Delegations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, let me express my sincere gratitude to the Government of Azerbaijan for the initiation of the GUAM Decennial Summit.
Special gratitude goes to our Lithuanian hosts for the organizational support, warmly offered to GUAM Member States.
Today we are celebrating 10th anniversary of GUAM and positive results have already been delivered. From regional cooperation initiative GUAM progressed to a full-fledged regional cooperation organization with a well-institutionalized structure. Virtual Centre for combating terrorism and organized crime was established, as well as Free Trade Zone has been launched. Law enforcement agencies and border authorities are actively interacting, contributing to business-friendly regime on the borders, fighting the organized crime and executing common anti criminal operations.
Last year GUAM internal trade turnover acceded $2 bln., and tendency of 8 months of 2007 shows that this year it will hit the ceiling of $3 bln. These are only initial results of GUAM Free Trade Zone establishment during GUAM Kyiv Summit of May 2006. During last two years GUAM internal trade upgrades for more then 40% annually and I believe target of $10 bln. in 4 years is realistic.
One of our basic priorities is to upgrade the attractiveness of GUAM transit potential. We are open for cooperation with our European and Asian, in particular Central Asian partners and we will work in all 8 GUAM working groups to implement the key idea of Baku Summit – to fully engage capacities of the Member States with a view to create a common space of integration and security in the GUAM region.
Civilized space of partnership in Black Sea – Caspian region, based on European practice, criterias and standards, primarily Four Freedom philosophy, is our main goal and objective. We see it as our contribution to wider European stability and security.
The implementation of this goal will upgrade our capacity to stimulate the peaceful resolution of protracted conflicts in GUAM Region as well. We will continue our interaction to mobilize further support of international community to the process of peaceful resolution of protracted conflicts in GUAM Region, based on principles and norms of international law, and first and foremost, territorial integrity of GUAM Member States within their internationally recognized borders.
It is symbolic, that we are celebrating GUAM Decennial Summit in Lithuania, our partner country, member of EU. We consider EU as our most natural partner, given the fact that all GUAM Member States are covered with the same EU Policy Instrument – ENP, our statutory goals and objectives are in complete compliance with. We believe we have common interests in the region, for example fighting illegal trafficking and developing cooperation in energy sector, and we are ready to offer to EU our well developed institutional infrastructure of cooperation to assist EU in implementing its cooperation programs and projects in the region.
In addition to our traditional partners – USA, Poland, Japan, we actively interact with, we consider EU – GUAM cooperation as the most promising.
To conclude with, Mr. Chairman, let me assure you, that GUAM Secretariat will do its utmost to assist Presidency in implementation of its impressive program of Chairmanship.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.