Baku, July 9, AZERTAC
A Silk Road support group has been established as part of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE PA). The papers were signed during the 26th summer session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Minsk on 8 July, BelTA reports.
The initiative to set up the Silk Road support group was put forward by Azerbaijan. The group's founders include 17 countries, with Belarus among them. Another three countries have stated their interest in joining the group later on.
According to Azay Guliyev, member of the Azerbaijani parliament, OSCE PA Vice President, the Silk Road support group will act as a platform for mutually beneficial economic and trade projects. The group has been tasked with facilitating the development of transport corridors, simplification of trade and transportation procedures, free and safe passage of individuals, goods, services, and investments. Azay Guliyev pointed out that the Silk Road Economic Belt is a large-scale project and the countries, which are involved in it, are extremely interested in the project's success. “As parliamentarians we should do everything possible to get our countries to cooperate,” he said. The OSCE PA vice president assured that one way or another the Silk Road support group will coordinate with China — the strategic partner of several countries, which does not participate in the OSCE PA work yet is the key initiator and investor of the One Belt, One Road project. Azay Guliyev surmised that representatives of China will be invited to participate in the next event of the Silk Road support group, which is supposed to take place in Baku, Azerbaijan. They may give their point of view on some projects.
The OSCE PA summer session is taking place in Minsk on 5-9 July. It is dedicated to enhancing mutual trust and cooperation in the name of peace and prosperity in the region.
The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly was established in Madrid, Spain in April 1991. As many as 323 MPs representing 57 nations take part in the OSCE PA's work. The OSCE PA is focused on providing assistance with interparliamentary dialogue, support for democratic institutions in the OSCE member states, enhancement of cooperation and security in the region.