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09 OCT 2009

RCC Secretary General takes part in informal meeting of South East European Foreign Ministers in Istanbul

The RCC Secretary General Hido Biščević participated in Istanbul in the first informal meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) under the Turkish SEECP Chairmanship.

Secretary General Biščević drew attention of the ministers to the fact that, in light of the current economic and political situation in South East Europe, the countries need to do their utmost to ensure durable stability and inclusion into the EU of the entire region. Otherwise, he stressed, there is a danger of prolonged impasse or instability throughout the parts of the region, as unresolved issues against the backdrop of economic crisis and social disturbances may trigger a reversible course of development.

He also called for a pragmatic dialogue, mutual understanding and appeasement of the parties to the current outstanding issues. “The choice before our region at this point is the choice between durable, lasting stability and EU accession, or prolonged stagnation. It is the choice between the progress and future, or regression and failure." 

The meeting, chaired by Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, served as an opportunity for Turkey to present the activity programme of the Chairmanship, including a calendar of events on a ministerial and expert level. During its SEECP Chairmanship, the Republic of Turkey will focus on stimulating regional cooperation in the areas of industry, economy, foreign trade, transport, energy, culture, and disaster preparedness and prevention.

The participants highlighted the importance of cooperation within the SEECP and RCC frameworks, the significance of support to regional projects and to enhancement of high-level political dialogue in South East Europe. They expressed hope that that the EU and NATO will continue their open door policy towards the countries of the region.

During the meeting in Istanbul, Secretary General Biščević had separate talks with Foreign Ministers of Turkey, Serbia, Greece and other participants of the conference.

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