By Talha Ozturk
BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) – A meeting of ministers of culture of member states of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC) was held Friday in the Serbian capital, Belgrade.
The meeting was chaired by Serbian Minister of Culture and Information Vladan Vukosavljevic. Turkey's Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Omer Arisoy also attended the meeting.
A joint declaration related to the priorities and goals of regional cooperation in the field of culture — "Belgrade Declaration" — was signed.
Vukosavljevic said that intercultural dialogue contributes to a better understanding of individual cultures, as well as the entire region.
"Culture becomes a strong weapon in the struggle to build an inclusive society in the Black Sea region, which accepts all our diversity. An environment is created that encourages creativity and a variety of expressions," said Vukosavljevic.
The Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC) was established in 1992, with headquarters in Istanbul with the aim to act in a spirit of friendship and good neighborliness and enhance mutual respect and confidence, dialogue and cooperation among the member states.
The group has 12 members; Turkey, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine.
This is the first high-level conference in the field of culture after 11 years. The last such conference was held in Greece in 2007.
Prior to the meeting of the BSEC member states, Vukosavljevic and Arisoy held bilateral talks which were attended by Ambassador of Turkey to Serbia Tanju Bilgic, as well as representatives of Turkish institutions in Serbia.