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Cablegate: Turkey Seek to Revitalize Bsec As It Fetes 15 Years

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RR RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #0367/01 0511559
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R 201559Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
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INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 7825
RUEHKB/AMEMBASSY BAKU 1463
RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE 0092
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RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI 3090
RUEHTI/AMEMBASSY TIRANA 0259
RUEHYE/AMEMBASSY YEREVAN 1266
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 2155
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 1669
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 5351

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 000367

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

PARIS FOR USOECD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL SENV KCRM TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY SEEK TO REVITALIZE BSEC AS IT FETES 15 YEARS


ANKARA 00000367 001.2 OF 002


A) ANKARA 58
B) 06 ANKARA 6154

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Turkey aims to use its BSEC (Black Sea Economic
Cooperation) chairmanship to revitalize BSEC as it commemorates its
15th anniversary at its Istanbul Summit on June 25. BSEC and Turkey
urge high level participation at this event. BSEC hopes to
highlight BSEC institutional reform and a new era of EU relations at
the summit. Both BSEC and Turkey support more active observers,
including the U.S. and welcome a U.S. proposal for a workshop on
environmental protection. End Summary.

----------------------------
Turkey Chairmanship Roll-Out
----------------------------

2. (SBU) At a February 1 lunch hosted by Turkish Foreign Minister
Abdullah Gul for Ankara-based Ambassadors of BSEC members and
observers that also included new Secretary General Leonidas
Chrysanthopoulos, Gul previewed Turkey's reform priorities for BSEC
looking toward its chairmanship in May and the 15th anniversary
summit in Istanbul June 25. Gul said this would be an opportunity
to reassess BSEC and define a new vision for the future and called
for participation at the highest levels of political leadership. He
called BSEC a unique platform that brings together countries of
different economic and political groupings. He hoped that the
recent accession of three BSEC countries to EU membership would
create new opportunities for greater interaction between BSEC and
the EU. Gul also noted that BSEC provides an environment in which
countries with political differences could meet around a common
theme and exchange views in a friendly environment.

3. (SBU) Chrysanthopoulos highlighted projects approved at the
Moscow Ministerial: the Black Sea Ring Highway and the Motorways of
the Sea (ports upgrade) project, and hoped that member countries
would sign the implementing documents for these projects at an
extraordinary ministerial meeting in March in Istanbul. He also
looked forward to BSEC cooperative efforts with the OECD and UNDP.
Chrysanthopoulos hoped that progress on these and other BSEC
initiatives would contribute to resolving the area's frozen
conflicts.

---------------------
Observers Can Do More
---------------------

4. (SBU) In a separate February 2 meeting at the Embassy,
Chrysanthopoulos and and his Turkish Deputy Murat Sungar pitched
greater U.S. participation in BSEC activities to Ambassador.
Recalling discussions with EUR DAS Matt Bryza last summer,
Chrysanthopoulos welcomed the U.S. as observer and sought to
increase participation by the U.S. and other observers. He urged
that the U.S. consider participating in the development fund for
pioneer projects, including serving on the steering committee.
Citing the importance of the Black Sea Ring Highway project, which
would soon have the requisite eight supporting countries,
Chrysanthopoulos noted that BSEC could use U.S. help in bringing
along international financial institutions.

-----------
BSEC Reform
-----------

5. (SBU) Chrysanthopoulos highlighted the June 25 Istanbul Summit
as a Qey event for the Turkish chairmanship. He hoped for
senior-level USG participation. He saw two BSEC Summit
deliverables: a BSEC reform initiative and a new era in BSEC-EU
relations. Chrysanthopolous noted the importance of procedural
reform within the organization that would make BSEC more efficient.
Describing how hard he has to work to get the Russians to stop
obstructing institutional change, he cited the following specific
objectives:

--Greater enforcement of resolution implementation,


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* Missing Section 002 *
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