FMs meet in Istanbul for Counterterrorism Forum

FMs meet in Istanbul for Counterterrorism Forum

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
FMs meet in Istanbul for Counterterrorism Forum

Turkish FM Davutoğlu (L), US Secretary of State Clinton (3rd L) and German GM Westerwelle will participate the forum. Abacapress photo

Foreign ministers and senior representatives from 29 countries will convene in Istanbul on June 7 for the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) to discuss problems and threats and to devise strategies for combating terrorism.

As a “civil platform in the struggle against terrorism,” the forum will work on two papers; one is on the rule of law and criminal justice, the other is an explicatory document on radicalization and violence, a Turkish official told the Hürriyet Daily News.

Elaborating on the explicatory document on radicalization and violence, the official said, “The work will analyze issues such as conditions in prisons that provide a basis for spreading radical ideologies” – a reference to prisoners who had not killed anyone and were not militants but rather camp followers. The paper on the rule of law and criminal justice will guide governments in their legal studies, the official said.

As a concrete project, a global center for countering terrorism and violent extremism will open in Abu Dhabi, the official said. The Abu Dhabi center will provide a platform for training government officials, nongovernmental organizations and community leaders to minimize the number of recruits for terrorist organizations, undermine radical ideologies and hamper attacks.

PKK issue to be raised

Turkey will raise the issue of the fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and express its expectations for international cooperation, according to the official. The transition of Arab countries such as Egypt from emergency law to democratic rule is also a major focus of the forum. The GCTF is a new multilateral counterterrorism body that is co-chaired by Turkey and the United States and aims to “build the international architecture for dealing with 21st-century terrorism.” It aims to provide a unique platform for senior counterterrorism policymakers and experts from around the world to work together to identify urgent needs, devise solutions and mobilize resources for addressing key counterterrorism challenges.

A total of 29 countries, including some EU members, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, China, India, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Nigeria and Japan, are among the states currently participating in the forum.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle are among the 14 ministers that will participate the meeting in Istanbul.

On the sidelines of the forum, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Clinton are expected to hold a bilateral meeting to discuss developments on Syria.