Georgian, Turkish and Azerbaijani foreign ministers signed a new 2020-2022 action plan for regional cooperation during the eighth meeting of the trilateral format held in Tbilisi Monday.
The ceremony took place at the Palace of Rituals in Tbilisi, after which the foreign ministers of the three countries made joint statements.
According to Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani, at the 8th trilateral meeting he, Azerbaijan’s Elmar Mammdyarov and Turkey’s Mevlut Cavusoglu discussed trilateral format of the action plan for 2020-2022, which focused on regional, transportation and energy projects.
The importance of the implementation of the Trans-Caspian pipeline project and the role of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey in transporting energy from the Caspian region to Europe and in ensuring the energy security of Europe were discussed, with special emphasis on Baku-Tbilisi- Ceyhan and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum energy projects.
“We agreed that the completion of the second phase of the Trans Anatolian Pipeline was very important which was inaugurated on November 30 in Turkey. The implementation of the project supports the creation of a new energy reality for Europe,” Zalkaliani stated.
The Tbilisi-Baku-Ankara cooperation officially kicked off in 2012.
In a statement issued following Monday’s meeting, the three foreign ministers expressed satisfaction with the growing bilateral and trilateral cooperation. The Foreign Ministers expressed strong support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and internationally recognized borders of all three countries. It was emphasized that regional conflicts strike at peace, security, stability and economic development, the status quo is unacceptable and short-lived, and also requires an early settlement by peaceful means. The parties once again emphasized the importance of a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali in Georgia, as well as in Nagorno-Karabakh and the adjacent regions of Azerbaijan, in accordance with the principles and norms of international law,, in particular, on the basis of the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized state borders, as well as relevant resolutions and resolutions of the UN, OSCE and Council of Europe.
The parties also noted the need for safe return of refugees and internally displaced persons. The Foreign Ministers reiterated the importance of trilateral cooperation in the defense sector that include tripartite military exercises.