Turkic leaders agree on concrete steps

Nov 18, 2006 01:00 AM

The eighth summit meting of Turkic speaking countries, hosted by Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer in Antalya, wrapped up. Meeting again after five years, the heads of Turkic language-speaking countries agreed on taking concrete steps in political, economic, and cultural cooperation.
Sezer proposed highlighting the common features of Turkic-speaking countries. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev supported Sezer's proposal: "Let's systemize cooperation among our businessmen. Turkey’s experience in this regard suffices."

The leaders discussed the safe transportation of Caucasian oil and natural gas, particularly Azeri and Kazakh resources, to Europe via Turkey. During the meeting, possible risks facing energy security and cooperation among the countries in countering terrorism and organized crimes were also discussed, foreign ministry sources said.
Officials said that the most serious energy security issue was the overseas transportation of Caucasian oil, 30 % of which comes from Azerbaijan and 70 % from Kazakhstan, which might reach an output capacity of four mm bpd in the future.

The joint statement released at the closure of the meeting contained concrete steps to enhance cooperation. Building the Istanbul-Almaty railway was one of these steps. The statement supported Azerbaijan in the Nagorno Karabakh issue and Turkey in the Cyprus and Iraqi Turkmen issues.
The following are some points from the 27-item final declaration signed by the four leaders:
-- Educational cooperation is significant to enforce and improve friendship among Turkic speaking societies, to create more closeness among future generations and to train qualified staff.
-- Cooperation among parliaments, central and local administrations, media companies and trade associations must be supported because of its importance in improving social relations among societies.
Completion of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum has international strategic significance. It is crucial to connect these pipelines to trans-Caspian projected pipelines.

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