Uzbekistan's foreign minister Abdulaziz Kamilov has officially confirmed the country's decision to withdraw from the regional organization GUUAM that also unites Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova.
Uzbekistan's participation in GUUAM was caused by its wish to integrate in the process of multilateral economic cooperation, Kamilov pointed out. Yet no positive results have been achieved after 4 years, he said.
"It seems that efficient integration should be preceded by solving important interstate and domestic problems, as well as by creating expansive and diverse basis for bilateral cooperation," the minister said.
Taking into account these considerations, Uzbekistan "does not believe it expedient to continue its participation in the GUUAM activities at the present stage and intends to focus on developing friendly and mutually profitable bilateral relations with Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova," he explained.
This position was stated in the notes sent to all the GUUAM member countries, the minister added.
Uzbekistan joined GUUAM in 1999. Before that the organization, created in 1997, had been called GUAM.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969