Search

 

Cablegate: Bsec 15th Anniversary Summit: A Protocol Triumph

VZCZCXRO0710
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHIT #0565/01 1830815
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 020815Z JUL 07
FM AMCONSUL ISTANBUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7222
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ISTANBUL 000565

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ECIN ENRG TU RU EU
SUBJECT: BSEC 15TH ANNIVERSARY SUMMIT: A PROTOCOL TRIUMPH

1. (SBU) Summary: The BSEC 15th anniversary summit held in
Istanbul on June 25 proved that Turkey could deliver a high
level protocol event, including participation by eleven of
the twelve BSEC member heads of state or government.
Armenia, the only hold out, was represented by Foreign
Minister Oskanian. The bulk of the formal interventions
consisted of laudatory statements on BSEC's efforts to renew
itself as an institution, heralded transport projects that
aim to improve road and sea links in the greater Black Sea
region, applauded the decision to grant observer status to
the EU, and described the major political and economic
changes the region has undergone since the organization was
founded in 1992. Political strife - in the form of the
conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh as well as over the future
status of Kosovo - was prominent in several Leaders' remarks.
However the delegations appeared to interact cordially with
one another and a number of bilateral meetings, including
between Turkish FM Gul and Armenian FM Oskanian, took place
on the margins of the summit (septel). End Summary.

2. (SBU) On June 25, Ambassador Wilson represented the USG as
an observer at the 15th anniversary summit of the
organization for Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC).
Remarks by member states and observers highlighted BSEC's
efforts to reform and restructure the institution to focus
more on projects that would demonstrate the usefulness of
BSEC. Speakers highlighted two major transport projects -
the Black Sea Ring Highway and the Motorways of the Sea -
that will support economic integration in the region. The
BSEC Foreign Ministers approved the EU's application for
observer status and the BSEC and EU troikas met on the
margins of the summit to discuss next steps.

3. (SBU) The Ambassador's remarks to the Council of Foreign
Ministers stressed the US role in BSEC as an interested
observer in an organization that has a key regional role to
play. The Ambassador highlighted US efforts to support BSEC
goals and institutions including: USAID's Black Sea Regional
Electricity Transmission Planning Project; a joint BSEC - USG
environmental protection symposium planned for September
2007; our $10 million contribution to the German Marshall
Fund's Black Sea Trust; and exercises and training with
partners in the region on emergency planning, port security
and trade-friendly maritime standards.

4. (SBU) Political conflicts were a subject of discussion
first at the Council of Foreign Ministers and again at the
Summit. Albania and Serbia sparred over the final status of
Kosovo. Albanian PM Berisha argued strongly for restoring
Kosovo's status in favor of independence now, contended that
due to its unique history Kosovo was a sui generis situation
and Serbian President Tadic argued to the contrary, debunked
the idea that Kosovo won't set a precedent and said that a
change of borders in Serbia had the potential to ignite
frozen conflicts and insurgencies that nearly all of the BSEC
member states face or have faced in the recent past. Armenia
and Azerbaijan similarly argued over the situation in
Nagorno-Karabakh. Azeri President Aliyev argued that
Armenian "military aggression and ethnic cleansing" in
Nagorno-Karabakh must be resolved, but also pointed to
compromise and negotiation as the best reason for doing so.
Armenian FM Oskanian held firm noting that the Armenians of
Nagorno-Karabakh had successfully defending themselves
against attacks from the Azeri government. One of the most
interesting exchanges occurred when German Minister of State
Erler out maneuvered European Commission Vice President
Verheugen and took the podium to deliver remarks on the
behalf of the EU. Verheugen's staff convinced the Turkish
hosts to give equal time to Verheugen, who delivered remarks
strikingly similar to Erler's.

5. (SBU) Russian President Putin was and acted like the
Summit's star during his approximately six hours in Istanbul.
His Summit intervention was suitably bland. Russia's real
work took place elsewhere -- including in South Stream and
other energy tactics before the Summit and during it with the
Greeks. Putin apparently held bilaterals with most or all of
his counterparts except Georgian President Saakashvili whom,
one Russian diplomat reported, Putin has seen recently enough
that no new meeting was necessary. FM Lavrov distinguished
himself by talking on the phone and/or holding outside
meetings throughout the BSEC foreign minister's meeting. His
interaction with Georgian FM Bezhuashvili was particularly
frequent -- and cordial.

6. (SBU) Comment. The BSEC 15th anniversary summit was a
protocol tour de force for Turkey. Although very little of
substance occurred at the summit meeting, simply getting
these personalities into the same room at the same time was a
significant accomplishment in and of itself. BSEC has
evolved as an institution since its inception 15 years ago.
However, much work remains to be done if BSEC is to meet its

ISTANBUL 00000565 002 OF 002


stated goal of becoming efficient and effective. End
Comment.
JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN SDG: UN Appoints Twenty Eminent Thinkers To Shed New Light On The World’s Greatest Challenges

New York, 21 January 2021 – Twenty prominent personalities, globally renowned for their intellectual leadership in economic and social fields, will form the second United Nations High-level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Economic and Social Affairs, the ... More>>

UN: As COVID Deaths Pass Two Million Worldwide, Guterres Warns Against Self-Defeating ‘Vaccinationalism'

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement , Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

UN: Violent Attempt At US Capitol To ‘overturn’ Election, Shocking And Incendiary

A group of independent UN rights experts released ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>