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GUUAM Summit Opens In Ukraine

Yalta, Ukraine; 3 July 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Leaders from Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Moldova are meeting today for a two-day summit hosted by Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma (pictured) in the Ukraine Black Sea resort of Yalta. Leaders of the so-called GUUAM will be discussing ways to deepen cooperation within their loose grouping of nations.

According to ITAR-TASS, topping the agenda will be the creation of a free-trade zone amongst GUUAM countries. Also up for discussion, according to ITAR-TASS, will be ways to strengthen cooperation in business, transportation, and fighting crime.

Reports say also attending the two-day summit will be a U.S. delegation, headed by Steven Pifer, deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs.