97335 2/20/2007 15:59 07ANKARA367 Embassy Ankara UNCLASSIFIED VZCZCXRO2235 RR RUEHDA DE RUEHAK #0367/01 0511559 ZNR UUUUU ZZH R 201559Z FEB 07 FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1026 INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 7825 RUEHKB/AMEMBASSY BAKU 1463 RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE 0092 RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 4215 RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST 0965 RUEHCH/AMEMBASSY CHISINAU 0452 RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV 0009 RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 5522 RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA 1130 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
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.
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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