Davutoğlu talks on missed mediation opportunities

Davutoğlu talks on missed mediation opportunities

UNITED NATIONS - Anatolia News Agency
Davutoğlu talks on missed mediation opportunities

Turkish FM Davutoğlu shakes hands with UN Secretary General Ban in New York. AA photo

Opportunities for mediation have often been missed, including with regard to Iran’s nuclear program, Cyprus, Palestine and the indirect talks between Israel and Syria, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said, speaking on a U.N. panel earlier this week.

Davutoğlu spoke May 23 on a United Nations panel titled, “The Challenge of Coherence, Coordination and Complementarity among Various Actors in Mediation Processes.” The panel was part of a conference titled “The Role of Member Countries in Mediation.” Davutoğlu said that in the mediation process information should not be leaked to the press, and countries should not seek prestige from mediation roles.

Iran nuclear talks

“I wonder what would have happened if those sanctions had not been passed and the swap deal had been given a chance,” Davutoğlu said, speaking of the nuclear talks with Iran. Turkey and Brazil had felt they were very close to an agreement, but in the wake of the sanctions, “two years have been lost,” Davutoğlu said. This example demonstrates how opportunities can be missed when all parties, including national governments and the U.N. Security Council, do not coordinate and consult with each other on their activities, he said.

Davutoğlu also recalled Turkey’s role in negotiations between Al Fatah and Hamas in 2007, and said that that mediation effort failed because a unity government was not seen as a legitimate option at that time. Referencing the Cyprus issue, he pointed out that Greek Cyrus was able to join the European Union although they did not accept the Annan Plan in 2004. The indirect talks between Syria and Israel, mediated by Turkey, also failed when Israel attacked Gaza, said Davutoğlu.

Finland’s Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, Qatari Foreign Minister Halid Bin Muhammed El Ettiyah and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon also spoke on the panel. Turkey launched the “Mediation for Peace” initiative in 2010 together with Finland and pioneered the preparation of the resolution on mediation adopted in June 2011 by the U.N. General Assembly. Following the adoption of the resolution, the president of the General Assembly designated “mediation” as one of the top priorities of the general assembly’s ongoing 66th session, and the May 23 conference was held in the context of this.

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