Trabzon Declaration Of The Ministers Of Foreign Affairs Of The Republic Of Azerbaijan, Georgia And The Republic Of Turkey, 08 June 2012, Trabzon

At the invitation of His Excellency Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, and with the participation of His Excellency Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan and His Excellency Mr. Grigol Vashadze, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia (hereinafter referred to as the “Parties”), the First Session of the Trilateral Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs was held on 8 June 2012 in Trabzon, Turkey.

The Parties,

Celebrating their 20th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations;

Affirming their adherence to the Charter of the United Nations, the Helsinki Final Act and the fundamental principles and norms of international law, especially respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, peaceful settlement of disputes, inviolability of internationally recognized borders and sovereign equality of states and refraining from the threat or use of force against territorial integrity and political independence of states;

Underlining the importance of stability and prosperity of the South Caucasus region, located at the crossroads of energy, transport and communication corridors between East and West and North and South, for the regional and global stability and security;

Declaring their determination to build a better future for the region characterized by peace, stability, cooperation and increasing wealth and welfare;

Acknowledging that protracted conflicts emanating from existing occupations are the main obstacle to peace and stability in the South Caucasus and pointing out that resolution of these conflicts will help to build an atmosphere of peace, stability and prosperity;

Believing that exemplary friendship and good neighborly relations among the three countries, based on common cultural and historical heritage and traditional spirit of solidarity, are in the interest of their peoples as well as the peoples of the whole region;

Expressing their satisfaction with the current level of bilateral relations and political dialogue among the three countries;

Reiterating their firm determination to explore the possibilities to further expand their cooperation in political, economic, cultural and humanitarian fields;
Expressing their commitment to the shared values of democracy, human rights, rule of law, free market economy and reiterating the importance of sharing the experience of successful reforms in the sphere of good governance;

Noting the successful realization of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Crude Oil Pipeline Project, the Baku-Tbilisi- Erzurum (BTE) Natural Gas Pipeline Project and the implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) Railway Project as results of efficient, multi-dimensional and goal oriented high level political dialogue and economic cooperation among the three countries;

Have agreed to:

Enhance the existing cooperative partnerships among the Parties to promote common development and contribute to peace, security, stability and prosperity of the region and the world at large;

Underscore the importance of exchanging views on regional and international issues of common interest and to further enhance consultations through the existing mechanisms and under the framework of the UN, OSCE, CoE, BSEC, NATO, EU and other relevant organizations;

Exchange views on developments in the adjacent regions including the Middle East;

Continue to support each other’s candidacies in international organizations;

Express their support to the Republic of Azerbaijan as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council to continue to contribute to common interests of the region;

Support each other’s European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations and uphold the inviolable right of States to choose their own destiny;

Stress the importance of continued cooperation within the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, “Partnership for Peace” program, and other areas of cooperation with NATO;

Pay utmost attention the 20th Anniversary of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC) and will ensure high level participation to this special event which will take place in Istanbul on 26 June 2012;

Reiterate their commitments to strengthen their cooperation and coordination within the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) during the Turkey’s Chairmanship-in-Office which will start from 1 July 2012;

Note the importance of the earliest resolution of the conflict in and around 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 internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan and Georgia respectively and emphasize the right to safe and dignified return of the refugees and internally displaced persons to their places of origin;
Reiterate their commitment to strengthen their cooperation and coordination in the fight against terrorism, extremism and separatism in all their forms and manifestations, transnational organized crime and illicit trafficking in narcotics and arms and trafficking in persons;

Promote further development of their relations in every field, especially in the field of trade, energy, transport, finance and banking, environment by means of joint projects and cooperation plans and if needed through trilateral cooperation mechanisms;

Note the importance of the trilateral Turkish-Azerbaijani-Georgian Business Forum (TAG-BF) in February 2012, in Tbilisi, Georgia and look forward to the second TAG-BF to be held on 9 June 2012, in Kars, Turkey;

Continue to work together in boosting trilateral economic relations in accordance with the recommendations made by the upcoming TAG-BFs;

Reaffirm their commitment to build a favorable environment for encouraging the inflow of foreign direct investments;

Underscore the importance of tourism industry as a source of economic benefit and employment, as well as a source for greater understanding and networking among the peoples;

Recognize the importance of the agricultural sector for poverty eradication and food safety issues and cooperate in the sphere of agriculture in terms of exchange of experience and information on new technologies and implementation of mutually beneficial projects;

Underline the need to improve the competitiveness of the Southern Transport Corridor and in this regard note the need to diversify collaboration among their relevant authorities;

Express their support for the TRACECA (Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia) and work towards restoration of the Great Silk Road and the full-scale functioning of the Euro-Asian Transport Corridor as well as other integrated trilateral transport projects consisting of highways and railways in order to create trilateral economic integration and contribute to socio-economic development;

Attach great importance to the timely completion of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway Project, which together with the Aktau-Urumchi railway connection form “the Iron Silk Road of the 21st century”, and declare their commitment to fulfilling their obligations and concluding their undertakings as scheduled within the framework of the Project;

Acknowledge the construction of the new Baku International Sea Trade Port which will become an important gate on the East-West Transport corridor after the completion of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway Project;

Highlight the key role of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway in the reverse transit of personnel and cargoes from Afghanistan and note that the central route via our region is the shortest and easiest one given the geography;
Emphasize the already existing successful cooperation between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey and underscore the importance of further deepening it with the aim to realize new pipeline projects which would transport energy resources of Azerbaijan and Central Asian countries to international markets;

Recognize the importance of Southern Corridor initiative for the region;

Highlight the growing importance of the environmental issues as well as their increasing impact on the sustainable development of the region and the need to enhance the protection of environment, through cooperative measures and urge for the continuation of endeavours on international level in this regard for the prevention and elimination of the potential risks to human health and environment;

Develop and strengthen co-operation in natural disasters which shall be conducted considering the interests of the Parties on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, as well as by strengthening their cooperation existing within the framework of bilateral and/or multilateral international instruments;

Continue to cooperate in the field of preservation of historical and cultural heritage.

The Parties have also decided to set up a joint experts group to draft an action plan for 2013-2015 to implement the agreed points to be presented for approval to the three Ministers.

The Second Session of the Trilateral Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs will be held in the second half of 2012 in Georgia and the Third Session will be held in the first half of 2013 in Azerbaijan.