Mediation conference kicks off in Istanbul

Mediation conference kicks off in Istanbul

ANKARA-Hürriyet Daily News
Mediation conference kicks off in Istanbul

Turkish President Abdullah Gül (L) shakes hands with Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser, president of the 66th session of the UN General Assembly at a meeting in Ankara.

Turkey will host the Istanbul Conference on Mediation Feb. 24 and 25 with the participation of Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser, president of the 66th session of the U.N. General Assembly.

The theme of the conference will be “Enhancing Peace through Mediation.” New ideas on how the U.N. Security Council can enhance its role in mediation, how it can increase cooperation with different actors and how institutions such as the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation can develop their capacities will be discussed during the conference, a diplomatic source said.

Meanwhile, a U.N. statement said al-Nasser reiterated that a peaceful solution should be found to the crisis in Syria during his meeting with Turkish President Abdullah Gül in Ankara. The Istanbul Conference on Mediation will lay the groundwork for a high-level U.N. General Assembly meeting on mediation that will take place on May 23, al-Nasser told Gül at the meeting, according to a U.N. statement. Al-Nasser also met with Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu and Deputy Undersecretary Naci Koru to discuss developments in Syria, Libya and Somalia.

Under the framework of the conference, a simulation of a mediation effort for the Cyprus dispute will be conducted by Sabancı University students. Nearly 250 guests were invited, including diplomats, politicians and academics.

Turkey and Finland launched the mediation initiative in 2010. It then became a U.N. initiative after a resolution was approved in the U.N. General Assembly in 2011. Turkey’s offer to establish a “Center of Mediation” in Istanbul will be on the agenda of the talks, according to the source.