World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey took over the six-month rotating presidency of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) from Serbia on Tuesday.
At the end of the 35th Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Serbia's Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic made the handover to the Turkish Foreign Ministry official.
Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmet Yildiz took the role on behalf of Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
"Our presidency comes with the 25th anniversary of the organization with a meeting in Istanbul in June. One of our priorities will be finalizing the process of the reforms that has been started in the organization so it could be more effective," said Yildiz.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed his condolences to Turkish officials and the Turkish people for Saturday's terrorist attack in Istanbul.
Lavrov said that Russia was interested in strengthening its cooperation within the organization.
Established in 1992, the BSEC calls itself a “multilateral political and economic initiative” aimed at peace, stability and prosperity in the Black Sea region.
The organization consists of 11 members; Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.
Romania, Greece and Bulgaria hold dual membership of the EU and BSEC.
The next BSEC General Assembly will be held in June 2017 in Turkey.