Joint Communique of the Second Trilateral Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia and the Republic of Turkey, 28 March 2013, Batumi

On March 28, 2013, the Second Trilateral Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs was held in Batumi, hosted by H.E. Mrs. Maia Panjikidze, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, and with participation of H.E. Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and H.E. Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey.

The Ministers,

Underlined the importance of the new format of regional cooperation, laid out in the Joint Declaration, signed during the first trilateral meeting, in Trabzon, Turkey on June 8, 2012, as an important platform for both political dialogue and implementation of specific trilateral projects;

Reiterated their firm support for each others’ sovereignty and territorial integrity and underlined the importance of earliest peaceful settlement of the conflict in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the conflict over Abkhazia, Georgia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, Georgia, on the basis of respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the internationally recognized borders of the States. Herewith, underscored the necessity of safe and dignified return of the refugees and internally displaced persons to their places of origin;

Underlined, that practical cooperation and concrete trilateral projects in different fields of activity could become a strong basis for deeper regional integration and political consolidation;

In implementation of the provision of the Trabzon Declaration, approved the Trilateral Sectoral Cooperation Action Plan for 2013-2015, which determines concrete actions and cooperation plans in all major fields of mutual interest and new mechanisms and dimensions of trilateral cooperation;

Underlined the need for strengthening economic and business ties among the sides and welcomed the initiation of the third Azerbaijani-Georgian-Turkish business forum (TAG-BF) in May 2013, in Qabala, Azerbaijan;

Noted the importance of the implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) Railway Project as an example of successful trilateral cooperation, which will promote the economic development of the three countries and will present the region a new dimension of international importance, becoming a key component of the transport corridor, connecting Europe and Asia.

Once again underscored the necessity of timely conclusion of construction works, essential to put into service this railway as a “central route”, the shortest and the most effective route for reverse transit of the ISAF forces and cargoes from Afghanistan in 2014. In this regard, welcomed the decision taken at the 5th Meeting of the Trilateral Ministerial Coordination Council of BTK Railway Project held in Istanbul on 1 March 2013.

Reaffirmed the importance of the successful implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Crude Oil Pipeline Project, the Baku-Tbilisi- Erzurum (BTE) Natural Gas Pipeline Project and the initiation of new joint projects for the transportation of energy resources to international markets;

Expressed their readiness to study the perspectives of the development of the energy transit corridor related projects, and the utilization of alternative and renewable energy resources;

Emphasized the importance of the exchange of experience on environmental issues and reviewed new initiatives of trilateral cooperation;

Underscored the importance of development of cooperation in the humanitarian sphere, including culture, education, health care, youth exchange, tourism and sports, which will further expand people-to-people contacts between the countries and help to promote the region on the international level and expressed readiness to initiate and promote joint projects and events in these spheres;

Underlined the importance of the adoption of the Trilateral Sectoral Cooperation Action Plan for 2013-2015, and emphasized the coordinating role of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs in its implementation, therefore encouraged relevant Ministries and Agencies to enhance trilateral cooperation to ensure practical implementation of the precise provisions of the action plan and take efforts towards its further fulfillment;

Stressed the necessity of regular meetings in this trilateral format with a view to continuing and enhancing political dialogue on issues of regional cooperation and of global importance, and coordination of efforts for consolidation of positions within international organizations;

Agreed to hold the next Session of the Trilateral Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs in the second half of 2013 in Azerbaijan.

Attachment: Trilateral Sectoral Cooperation Action Plan for 2013-2015.

H.E. Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov
the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan

H.E. Mrs. Maia Panjikidze
the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia

H.E. Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu
the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey