Turkey kicks off Antalya Diplomacy Forum

Turkey kicks off Antalya Diplomacy Forum

Sevil Erkuş - ANTALYA
Turkey kicks off Antalya Diplomacy Forum

Turkey will kick off Antalya Diplomacy Forum on June 18 in the southern province of Antalya where world leaders and dozens of foreign ministers as well as prominent diplomats, academics and journalists will convene for several discussions.

The forum will convene between June 18 and 20 under the title of “Innovative Diplomacy: New Era, New Approaches” through multiple panels and round tables devoted to regional issues and thematic subjects.

The developments in the Middle East and the Gulf, the eastern Mediterranean, the Southern Caucasus, Africa, Asia and Europe, the fight against extremism and discrimination, the global fight against terrorism and the future expectations in energy are some of the thematic topics that will be discussed during the two-day forum.

The forum will host 12 heads of state, 43 foreign ministers, four former heads of state, representatives of international organizations and intellectuals from all around the world.

Turkey expects the European Union to proceed with its accession process, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on June 17 while rejecting categorization by the bloc between Turkey and the Balkans in its policy papers.

“We cannot reconcile the artificial distinction between the Western Balkans and Turkey with our common assessments. Despite all the injustices we have faced, we want the full membership negotiation, which we have persistently continued for half a century, to conclude,” Erdoğan said, addressing the South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP).

Turkey is one of the crucial partners of Europe in the field of energy, Erdoğan said.

“Turkey is also one of Europe’s most important partners in energy. TANAP fortifies the energy security of southeast Europe as well as the rest of Europe,” the president stated.

Turkey is ready to cooperate with the regional countries in the fight against terrorism as the country has been struggling on the issue for years.

Fair responsibility and burden sharing must be the essence in efforts regarding the irregular migration, Erdoğan also said.

“We do not have the right to watch what is happening in irregular migration from the stands. We provide shelter to nine million people, including those who have been displaced within Syria. Burden sharing should be fundamental to migration management,” he stated.

Turkey aims EU accession process of SEECP member-states: Çavuşoğlu

The EU can only become a global actor if all of the southeast European countries become a member of the bloc, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on June 17, speaking at the opening of the SEECP foreign ministers meeting.

Çavuşoğlu said his country aims to strengthen the EU accession process of SEECP member-states.

“Strengthening the EU membership perspectives of the SEECP members is our common goal. The EU can become a global actor only when all Southeast European countries become members of the bloc,” Çavuşoğlu said.

“We also call for an immediate start to the accession negotiations of Tirana [Albania] and Skopje [North Macedonia] as soon as possible,” Çavuşoğlu said, adding that Turkey also wants the accession processes of Montenegro and Serbia to be expedited.

Turkey expects the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue Process to progress soon, and Ankara is ready to provide all kinds of support in this regard, the minister said.

Turkey assumed the chair of the SEECP in July 2020 for a one-year term. Greece will take the term presidency as of July 1.

Founded in 1996, the SEECP includes 13 countries from southeastern Europe and promotes comprehensive regional cooperation.

Meanwhile, Çavuşoğlu met with Albanian Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Olta Xhaçka, Montenegrin Foreign Minister Djordje Radulovic and Bosnia and Herzegovina Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic on the sidelines of the event.