Turkey to open first embassy to Pacific islands
ANKARATurkey is planning to open its first diplomatic representation in the Pacific Islands, the foreign minister has said, vowing that the country’s interest to the region will continue to increase.
The statement came from Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu at the opening of the foreign ministerial meeting of the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) that is being held in Istanbul on June 7 and 8. It’s another initiative from Turkey on the eve of crucial voting for the temporary seat at the United Nations Security Council.
“We have made important progress in making the Pacific closer to Turkey. We have established a strong joint awareness thanks to our cooperation based on action,” Davutoğlu said in his address to PSIDS’ meeting. “We are planning to open our first diplomatic representation in Pacific Islands. Our interest to the region will continue to increase,” he added. PSIDS is composed of 14 small island states in the Pacific. The UN has declared 2014 the year of PSIDS.
Recalling that the first PSIDS meeting was held in Istanbul in 2008 which established the milestone in relations between Turkey and the Pacific islands, Davutoğlu said important achievements have been observed in both institutional relations and in bilateral ties of these countries in the last six years.
“We learned and are continuing to learn about the region’s problems and needs. And we are trying to adequately address them,” the minister said, adding they will continue to work with them for sustainable development.
He also informed that Turkey provided $500,000 contribution for the third international conference of the PSIDS that will be held in September in Samoa, adding he is willing to join the conference. The total amount of Turkish assistance to Pacific islands in 2012 was around $5 million, Davutoğlu informed, saying another $5 million is planned to be allocated for some development projects.