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E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: SENV, ECON, TU SUBJECT: BSEC: TURKEY ASKS FOR FLESHED OUT PROPOSAL ON ENVIRONMENT
06 STATE 162288 06 ANKARA 6154 Istanbul draft
1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Turkey seeks to coordinate with the U.S. and the EU as it composes its strategy for its BSEC chairmanship starting in May 2007. Its priority areas are trade and development, transportation, energy security and safety, organized crime, and environment. Turkey asks that the U.S. flesh out its proposal for a workshop on environment enforcement in a written product. End Summary.
2. (SBU) In a January 8 meeting, MFA DDG Ahmet Asim Arar said Turkey is formulating a strategy paper in advance of its six-month BSEC chairmanship commencing in May. He said Turkey wants to harmonize its strategies with the EU and the U.S. and noted that the European Commission is also formulating a Black Sea strategy that it aims to roll it out at the June EU Summit. By coincidence, BSEC's Istanbul Summit will occur 2-3 days later, offering an opportunity to build on the EU approach. Arar hoped that the U.S. too could make a contribution that fits into Turkey's Chairmanship.
3. (SBU) Arar expressed support for the U.S. idea of BSEC hosting a workshop on environmental enforcement best practices (refs), suggesting that the U.S flesh it out as a written concrete proposal for presentation to the PERMIS. He suggested that the U.S. consider making the submission in advance of the next meeting of the environmental protection working group, which will be held March 14-15 in Istanbul (chaired by Turkey). Arar also noted that there should eventually be consultation with the Black Sea Commission. He said BSEC had a seed project feasibility fund that can fund up to $15,000 to help start projects. He admitted that observers have not yet played such an active role in BSEC, but he welcomed the U.S. setting a precedent for a more dynamic observer-hip.
4. (SBU) Arar said Turkey would also welcome U.S. ideas for projects in trade and transportation. He described Turkey's current Black Sea trade facilitation project, which is being implemented in cooperation with the UNDP. The project envisions carrying out market and company product surveys, followed by a buyer-seller matchmaking forum. Wilson