Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Friday that stability in Balkans was key for stability in Europe adding that an umbrella of peace and cooperation should be formed in the region.

Addressing the informal meeting of foreign ministers of South-East European Cooperation Process, Davutoglu said the South-East European Cooperation process bolstered neighbourly relations between the participating countries and contributed to the transformation of the region to an area of peace and stability.

In order to complete this transformation, we need to adopt a common vision for regional cooperation, said Davutoglu who argued that this was the only way to overcome global hardships and problems.

This common vision should underline our economic dependencies, to put it in other words; the regional integration, said Davutoglu.

Davutoglu said the integration of South East European countries with European and Atlantic organizations was important adding that human rights, pluralist democracy and rule of law shoud be paramount in the region.

"Therefore it is highly important for EU and NATO to open its doors to Balkan countries," said Davutoglu.

Foreign Ministers and deputy prime ministers from participating countries --Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Turkey, Croatia and Montenegro-- are attending the two day meeting. Regional Cooperation Council and EU Troika are also represented at the meeting.

The initiative was launched in Sofia in July, 1996, during a meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of South-East European countries, which decided to start a long-term process of multilateral cooperation among participating states in the fields of strengthening stability, security and good-neighbourly relations; economic development;humanitarian, social and cultural issues; and justice, combat against organized crime, illicit drug and arms trafficking, and terrorism.

Bulgaria assumed the Chairmanship-in-Office of the South-East European Cooperation Process in May 2007 and kept it until May 2008, when Moldova took over.

Meanwhile, newly elected Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is also taking part at the meeting. This is Papandreou's first overseas visit after taking the office as prime minister.