Romania hosts Black Sea summit

The main topics on the summit's agenda would be environment protection, regional cooperation, joint energy projects, combatting cross-border crime and improving infrastructure.

Among those attending were Presidents Viktor Yushchenko of Ukraine, Mikhail Saakashvili of Georgia, Robert Kocharian of Armenia, Vladimir Voronin of Moldova and Ilham Aliev of Azerbaijan, as well as officials from Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece and Lithuania.

Top officials from NATO, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the United Nations and the Council of Europe are also attending the summit, the AP reports.

Kocharian and Aliev are expected to hold talks on the status of Nagorno-Karabakh on the sidelines of the summit. Talks between the two leaders in France in February ended in failure, despite international mediators' efforts to push the leaders to resolve Nagorno-Karabakh's status.

Nagorno-Karabakh is inside Azerbaijan but populated mostly by ethnic Armenians, who have run it since an uneasy 1994 cease-fire ended six years of full-scale war. Sporadic border clashes have grown more frequent since the breakdown of talks. The lack of resolution has hindered development throughout the strategic region.

Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Ukraine, Russia and Georgia directly border the Black Sea, which is one of the world's most polluted seas. Its only outlet to outside seas is via the Bosphorus Straits.