Istanbul to be hub of global mediation efforts, says FM Davutoğlu
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (R) shakes hands with his Norwegian counterpart Borge Brende after a meeting on mediation held in Ankara. AA photoForeign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has reiterated his aspiration to make Istanbul a United Nations center for mediation in resolving international crises.
“We are organizing many mediation meetings in Istanbul. Now we are preparing to open a U.N. Mediation Center there,” Davutoğlu said at a meeting in Ankara on the mediation perspectives of Turkey and Norway, also participated by Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende.
Davutoğlu recalled that Turkey played an active role in mediation efforts between Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sudan and South Sudan, and Pakistan and Afghanistan, adding that Turkey had gained experience in these processes. He also brought up the Syrian civil war, saying the Turkish government had exerted efforts to resolve the crisis in 2011 by facilitating communication between the regime and opposition groups, but said this failed because of the al-Assad regime’s attacks on dissidents.
“Mediation initiatives become very difficult if people are killing civilians through air bombardments and by using tanks, missiles and chemical weapons,” Davutoğlu said.
Turkey’s mediator role
For his part, Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende also said Turkey could well become an important international mediator. “Turkey and Norway, coming from two different geopolitical backgrounds, can cooperate in mediation efforts. Turkey can play the role of mediator as an influential and powerful actor. Norway, however, can be just a facilitator,” Brende said.