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Cablegate: Readout of Baku Bsec Meeting

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKB #0846/01 3010542
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 280542Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BAKU
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1939
INFO RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3609
RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS PRIORITY 0017
RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST PRIORITY 0093
RUEHCH/AMEMBASSY CHISINAU PRIORITY 0095
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV PRIORITY 0139
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 0833
RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI PRIORITY 1896
RUEHTI/AMEMBASSY TIRANA PRIORITY 0025
RUEHWR/AMEMBASSY WARSAW PRIORITY 0073
RUEHYE/AMEMBASSY YEREVAN PRIORITY 1655
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL PRIORITY 0171

UNCLAS BAKU 000846

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/PGI:TRCUNNINGHAM
DEPT FOR EUR/PGI:BLPOISSON
DEPT FOR OES/STC:EADAUGHARTY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON AJ TU AM GG
SUBJECT: READOUT OF BAKU BSEC MEETING

1. SUMMARY: Azerbaijan hosted the Black Sea Economic
Cooperation Forum October 20-22. This was Azerbaijan's last
act as chair of the BSEC, as the baton was then passed to
Bulgaria. Highlights included appearances by Turkish FM
Davutoglu and Armenian DFM Kirakossian. Both of their
appearances were without incident. Three Memorandums were
postponed to the next meeting, one between BSEC and the
Central European Initiative ) Executive Secretariat, the
second between BSEC and the Danube Commission, and the third
between BSEC and the United States. End Summary.


--------------------------------------------
Turkish FM and Armenian DFM in the Spotlight
--------------------------------------------

2. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (in town to
repair Turkey-Azerbaijan relations in the wake of the
Turkey-Armenia rapprochement) made an appearance at the BSEC
meetings and said that Turkey wanted to see more effort and
cooperation at BSEC, and for the BSEC to be made more
efficient. Armenian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Arman
Kirakossian repeatedly thanked Azerbaijan for organizing the
meeting, and encouraged cooperation among BSEC countries.
Davutoglu and Kirakossian's participation took the spotlight,
and evening news coverage was devoted solely to the two.


---------------------------------------
From Each Nation, A Different Viewpoint
---------------------------------------

3. Many delegates emphasized their determination to make the
BSEC more efficient and effective. Turkey, Moldova, Albania,
Georgia, Greece, and Romania supported the BSEC
transportation initiatives. The representatives from Ukraine
repeatedly mentioned the need for efficiency and
effectiveness within the BSEC. Climate change was only
mentioned by the Greek representative. The Russian
representative complained that observer countries were not
doing enough to support BSEC.

4. Georgian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs David
Jalagania complained that the Russia Federation is not in
compliance with BSEC rules. He said Russia has closed its
borders with Georgia, and is occupying Georgian territory.
He noted that through hard work and the help of the USG,
Georgia has persevered despite Russia's actions. Finally, he
also emphasized the importance of the Nabucco pipeline.

5. Polish Ambassador to Baku Krzysztof Krajewski stated that
BSEC was important to his country, and that Poland supports
creating stronger ties between Eastern and Southeastern
European countries and the EU.


-------------------------------------
Memorandums Postponed to Next Meeting
-------------------------------------

6. The Memorandum of Intent between the USG and BSEC on
Science and Technology was postponed until the next meeting.
Two MOUs were discussed, but neither was passed: the
Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between BSEC and
the Central European Initiative ) Executive Secretariat
(MUCP), and the Memorandum of Understanding of Sectorial
Dialogue Partnership between the Danube Commission and the
Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (MUSD).

7. Ukraine and a few other countries were disappointed with
the lack of action on MUCP, while Russia wanted to continue
with discussions and further changes. A drafting committee
will be organized to re-write MUCP and the new memorandum
will be discussed at the next meeting. A disagreement
between Russia and Turkey prevented passage of the MUSD; the
Turks insisted on using the word "safety" with regard to
transportation while Russia wanted the word deleted. Russia
also insisted on replacing "enter into force" with weaker
language.


------------------------------------------
Side Commentary from the EU Representative
------------------------------------------

8. Finally, the EU representative told Poloff that he does
not like dealing with BSEC because of its inaction, but
rather he prefers to act with smaller groups of interested
countries on each issue. He also noted that Russia has told
him to work directly with the BSEC, but that in BSEC meetings
the Russian delegates block many of the memorandums, and he
said "this was a very strange contradiction."
LU

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