By Nilay Kar Onum
ISTANBUL (AA) – The Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC) expressed willingness to work harder to strengthen peace and stability in the region.
In a joint draft declaration released Wednesday, the group said: “The most valuable asset of the Black Sea region is the people living here with different cultures and traditions.
“Therefore, it is necessary to make every effort to strengthen peace and stability in the region for the benefit of the people and countries of the region.”
The declaration was released during the summit of parliament speakers held in Istanbul on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the group.
“Today, we have a particular responsibility to do our utmost to ensure that the present and the future of the people of the wider Black Sea region meet their expectations and aspirations.”
The statement also underlined the importance of the region in the world “with its great potential to become a region of peace, prosperity, and stability.”
“The efforts for finding flexible compromises and identifying common interests have always been the basis of the “PABSEC spirit”. The Black Sea is the symbol, which unites and should bring people and countries closer together rather than divide them,” the statement added.
The Black Sea group is also willing to “continue providing extensive assistance to the further development of multilateral cooperation in the region and cooperation and economic prosperity for all the people in the region on the basis of mutual respect and understanding.”
During the summit, Turkish Parliament Speaker Ismail Kahraman proposed member countries to add an article condemning the recent Israeli massacre in the Gaza Strip to the joint declaration agreed on May 11.
Several countries, including Romania, Serbia, and Bulgaria, have not accepted the proposal before consulting it with their respective parliaments.
The final version of the declaration will be released in the coming days.