Azerbaijan to Take Over BSEC Chairmanship from Armenia

BAKU–Azerbaijan will send its Deputy Foreign Minister, Mahmud Mammadguliyev, to Yerevan on April 20 to formally accept the rotating chairmanship of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization from Armenia, Armradio reported.

The transfer of the regional organization’s chairmanship from Armenia to Azerbaijan will come at the end of a meeting of the BSEC Foreign Ministers Council that will be chaired, for the last time, by Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian.

Nalbandian and Mammadguliyev are not scheduled to meet with any Armenian officials on the sidelines of the meeting, the Azeri Press Agency reported.

The meeting is expected to discuss strategies to minimize the impact of the global economic crisis on the Black Sea Region. It will also focus on further developing the effectiveness of BSEC and build on guidelines for improving the BSEC’s mechanisms adopted at the previous Foreign Ministers Meeting in Tirana on October 23.

The meeting will also appoint members to the BSEC Permanent International Secretariat and deal with a number of regional projects and funds operating under the auspices of the organization.

Yerevan assumed the chairmanship of the BSEC last November and has focused on streamlining several issues, primarily dealing with energy cooperation between the BSEC member countries.

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