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GUAM secretary general calls for new cooperation projects

By M. Alkhazashvili
(Translated by Diana Dundua)
Thursday, May 1
Valery Chechelashvili, secretary general of the Georgia Ukraine Azerbaijan Moldova (GUAM) organization, called for new cooperation on transport projects between member states at a GUAM conference in Baku that ended yesterday.

“The advantage GUAM countries have this that our interests are integrated. We need to do our best to develop the GUAM transport corridor to make it a strong competitor for other transport corridors… I hope this conference will be the place where new cooperation projects between our countries begin,” Chechelashvili said.

An Azerbaijani official at the conference said that one of Baku’s key priorities in the transport sector is developing the Transport Corridor Europe–Caucasus–Asia (TRACECA).

“For that purpose we are constructing Baku–Tbilisi–Kars railway...importance is also placed on the development of the Baku–Tbilisi–Poti–Ilyichevsk–Kiev–Kishinev corridor within the GUAM framework,” the official said.

TRACECA aims to facilitate a modern-day equivalent to the Great Silk Road. It is backed by the European Commission, and was established in 1998 with the aim of supporting economic and political development in the Black Sea Region.