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Peace at home, peace in the world

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Founding Conference Of The Chairpersons Of Foreign Affairs Committees Of The Parliaments Of The Southeast European Cooperation Process Countries JOINT STATEMENT Ankara, 9-10, February 1999

 The Founding Conference of the Chairpersons of the Foreign Affairs Committees of the Parliaments of the Southeast European Cooperation Process countries convened in Ankara, Turkey on 9-10 February 1999. Chairpersons Mr. Murat Karayalçın, Mr. Sabri Godo, Mr. Assen Agov, Mr. Jordan Boskov, Mr. Victor Boştinaru, Mr. Ljubisa Ristiç and Deputy Chairperson Mr. Elias Papadopoulos participated in the Conference.

Committee Deputy Chairperson Mrs. Zdravka Busic of Croatia and Ambassador Besim Spahic of Bosnia-Herzegovina attended the meeting as observers, as an expression of their countries' support to the process.

The list of participants is attached.

The meeting was meant to help create a regional parliamentary platform of common issues concerning the Balkans, as well as to promote better understanding and friendship and ultimately to get engaged with projects, programs and other activities for enhancing peace, security, stability and welfare in the Region.

Reaffirming that as elected representatives of their peoples they have an important role to achieve these objectives;

Guided by the common understanding that regular meetings of the Chairpersons of the Foreign Affairs Committees would facilitate the realization of a prospective consultative Assembly;

The Participants,

1. Confirmed their commitment to further broaden the Southeast European Cooperation Process and agreed upon the institutionalization of its parliamentary dimension.

2. Exchanged views on regional issues of common concern including the Kosovo issue.

3. After having taken note of the views expressed by Mr. Sabri Godo, Chairman from Albania as well as Mr. Ljubisa Ristiç, Chairman from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia expressed their deep concern over the situation in Kosovo, underlined the necessity of complete cessation of violence.

4. Reconfirming their conviction that there is an urgent need for a negotiated settlement for finding a peaceful solution to the crisis and that the ongoing negotiations at Rambouillet, France offer a golden opportunity for all the parties, gave full support to this process of negotiations and underlined the grave consequences for the region as a whole should this process fail. This is why, as parliamentarians of the countries of the region, called upon the international community to continue their support to reach a peaceful solution.

5. Expressed the expectation that the ongoing negotiations result in a political settlement based on granting a substantial autonomy for Kosovo for a period of three years, as envisaged in the Milosevic-Holbrooke agreement, within the territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that enables the establishment of a pluralistic and participatory democracy where all national communities living in Kosovo enjoy the highest level of rights and freedoms.

6. Regarding Bosnia-Herzegovina, stressed the vital importance of the support of the Balkan countries for the full implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement to ensure the efficient functioning of the common institutions as well as the unimpeded and safe return of the displaced persons.

7.Having considered that the security of the Balkans is an integral part of peace and stability in Europe and recognizing the security needs of the Balkan countries, welcomed the support given by Turkey and greece to the NATO membership of Bulgaria and Romania, expressed their view that a clear indication as to the membership prospects for the second wave of the enlargement of the Alliance would be a desirable outcome of the Wasington Summit in April 1999.

8.Recalling the draft proposal of Turkey for the development of a Charter of Stability and Good-Neighbourly Relations, expressed their support to finalize the Charter during Romania's hosting.

9.Taking into account that terrorism and organised crime have reached grave dimensions in the world and in the Balkans as new security challenges, agreed to improve cooperation in combating the transborder terrorist and criminal activities, considered the "Cooperation Agreement among Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania on Combatting Terrorism, Organised Crime, Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, Money Laundering, Arms and Human Trafficking and the Other Major Crimes" to be a good example in this regard.

10.Exchanged views on the necessity of development of infrastructure in the region and gave support to giving priority to regional projects of common interest.

11.Keeping in mind the importance of attracting foreign investment for the realization of regional projects, highlighted the necessity of establishing security and stability in the region.

12.Considered the inadequacy of the existing infrastructure in the Balkans in connecting through the most economic and cost effective routes to the Pan-European network, reiterated the necessity for completion of such infrustructure as a pre-requisite for the economic development of the region.

13.Decided that the meetings of the Chairpersons be held annually and that be chaired on a rotational basis by the country hosting the Southeastern European Foreign Ministerial Cooperation. In this respect, agreed upon that the next meeting be convened in Romania in 2000.

14.Took note of the proposal by the Chairman from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to host a meeting this year to materialize the project of the establishment of a Southeast European Consultative Assembly.

The participants expressed their gratitude to Mr.Murat Karayalçın for hosting this conference."

 

THE FOUNDING CONFERENCE OF THE CHAIRPERSONS OF THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEES OF THE PARLIAMENTS OF THE SOUTHEAST EUROPEAN COUNTRIES

9-10 FEBRUARY 1999

ANKARA, TURKEY

(LIST OF PARTICIPANTS)

ANKARA

MR.MURAT KARAYALÇIN CHAIRMAN OF THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS

COMMITTEE

TIRANA

MR.SABRİ GODO CHAIRMAN OF THE FOREIGN

AFFAIRS COMMITTEE OF THE PEOPLE'S ASSEMBLY

SARAJEVO

MR.BESIM SPAHIC AMBASSADOR TO TURKEY

SOFIA

MR.ASSEN AGOV CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE
ON FOREIGN INTEGRATION POLICY

ZAGREB

MRS. ZDRAVKA BUSIC COMMITTEE DEPUTY CHAIRWOMAN

ATHENS

MR.ELIAS PAPADOPOULOS VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE
ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND DEFENCE

SKOPJE

MR.JORDAN BOSKOV CHAIRMAN OF THE FOREIGN
POLICY COMMITTEE

BUCHAREST

MR.VICTOR BOTTINARU CHAIRMAN OF THE FOREIGN
AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

MR. ILIE STIFAN VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FOREIGN
AFFAIRS COMMITTEE OF THE SENATE

BELGRADE

MR.LJUBISA RISTIÇ PRESIDENT OF THE COMMITTEE FOR
FOREIGN POLITICAL RELATIONS OF THE CHAMBER OF THE FEDERAL ASSEMBLY