Ankara ready to host Ukraine reform conference: FM Çavuşoğlu

Ankara ready to host Ukraine reform conference: FM Çavuşoğlu

Ankara ready to host Ukraine reform conference: FM Çavuşoğlu

Ankara is ready to host a future conference to show support for Ukraine's reform efforts, Turkey's foreign minister said on July 7.

Speaking at the Fourth Ukraine Reform Conference in Lithuania's capital Vilnius, Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu voiced Turkey's support and solidarity with Ukraine “on its path of reforms.”

“We want a Ukraine which relies strongly on its own people and is able to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said Çavuşoğlu.

Çavuşoğlu said overcoming the consequences of the Crimea and Donbass crises of 2014, which caused major political, security and economic challenges, will be much easier with a well-reformed Ukraine.

Russian forces entered the Crimean Peninsula in February 2014, and in March formally annexed the region – a move that Turkey, the U.N. General Assembly, U.S., and EU all view as illegal.

Fighting between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian Separatists in Donbass, eastern Ukraine has seen more than 13,000 people killed since 2014, according to the U.N.

Çavuşoğlu continued: “Despite these challenges, the Ukrainian government launched an ambitious reform agenda.

There are two key elements to sustain these reforms: Simplicity and effective implementation.”

He also commended Ukraine's parliament for passing a law on July 2 recognizing the Crimean Tatars as an Indigenous people, adding: “These steps enhance Ukraine's integration efforts with the Euro-Atlantic family.”

Since Russia's 2014 takeover of the peninsula, Crimea's ethnic Tatars – struggling for Ukraine's territorial integrity against Russian occupation – have faced persecution, a situation Turkey has decried.

Stating there is still room for growth, Çavuşoğlu said: “Reform is a constant effort. Because change is constant. Therefore, continuity is an essential element of a successful reform agenda. However, there are always internal and external challenges before reforms.”

“Protecting the rights of investors through a strong judiciary is important for a continuous FDI (foreign direct investment) flow. Fighting corruption is another critical issue. Oligarchization continues to be a serious challenge,” he added.

Çavuşoğlu also said that to build a stronger and more independent Ukraine, more cooperation with NATO is important.


Meanwhile, Çavuşoğlu on July 7 met his Lithuanian, Estonian, and Hungarian counterparts on the sidelines of a conference on Ukraine.

"Discussed our bilateral cooperation with Lithuania's Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis and thanked him for organizing the 4th Ukraine Reform Conference," Çavuşoğlu wrote on Twitter from Vilnius, Lithuania's capital.

Çavuşoğlu added that he had "a fruitful meeting with his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto on bilateral relations and cooperation on regional issues."

Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets and Çavuşoğlu aim "to enhance our relations with mutual visits," he said.

Previous Ukraine Reform Conferences were held in London (2017), Copenhagen (2018), and Toronto (2019).

The conference brings together Ukrainian and foreign government officials, representatives of the EU, NATO, and G7, and business and civil society.