Türkiye’s diplomacy moved to higher league: Erdoğan
The mediatory role Türkiye has been playing since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war, which yielded a much-anticipated grain corridor and prisoners’ exchange, has moved Turkish diplomacy to a much higher league, President Recep Tayyip Eroğan has said.
“I take pride in expressing that ‘Turkish Diplomacy’ is enjoying its most successful period in recent centuries. Our approach in the Ukraine crisis is the latest example of our foreign policy centered on peace, stability, people and human life,” Erdoğan told the Turkish Parliament in his address on the occasion of the beginning of the new legislative year on Oct. 1.
“Just think about it, that we have sent over 5 million tons of grain to the world through this corridor has been recorded everywhere. The ‘prisoner exchange’ between Russia and Ukraine has moved Turkish diplomacy up to a much higher league,” he stated.
With good ties with both Russia and Ukraine, Türkiye played an important role in the resumption of the Ukraine grain export to the world markets to avoid a global food crisis and in the exchange of war prisoners.
“In this war between our two neighbors, we opted for peace, dialogue and being a fair referee. Given our close relations with both countries, we preferred to strive to end the war instead of fanning the fire and inciting sedition,” the president noted.
Türkiye expands its vision
Recalling that he attended the Shanghai Summit in Samarkand before going to New York for the U.N. General Assembly, Erdoğan said. “[This] constituted an example of our country’s expanding foreign policy vision with our bilateral and multilateral contacts. Attended by many countries in the region from Russia to China, Kazakhstan to Pakistan, India to Iran, this summit confirmed that Türkiye is seen as an important cooperation partner in the East as well as the West.”
“No one can confine Türkiye’s horizon to 780,000 square kilometers,” he stated, underlining that the country continues to implement a constructive and active policy that takes initiative in solving global and regional problems.
Türkiye reinforces its own axis
On the criticisms against Türkiye following his attendance at Shanghai Summit along with the leaders from Russia and China, Erdoğan said, “I would like to underline this point in particular. Some circles were trying to portray our foreign policy initiatives as a ‘shift of axis.’ However, Türkiye is not experiencing a shift of axis; it is strengthening its own axis by simultaneously conducting its different diplomatic relations in the world on the basis of our national interests.”
Sweden, Finland should take concrete steps
Erdoğan also conveyed important messages on a number of key current foreign policy matters, including the potential admission of Sweden and Finland into NATO should they fulfill the demands tabled by Ankara.
“With the Tripartite Memorandum we signed before the Madrid Summit, we created a record of our expectations in the fight against terrorism. We are diligently monitoring Sweden and Finland’s efforts in fulfilling their commitments. The final decision will be made by our Veteran Assembly on behalf of our nation,” the president stressed.
The memorandum stipulates that Sweden and Finland take concrete measures to cooperate with Türkiye against terror and extradite terrorists.
“Until the promises made to our country are kept, we will continue our principled and determined stance. As a country that has been fighting terrorism for nearly 40 years and has lost tens of thousands of lives to terrorism, we are not in a position to make concessions to anyone on this issue,” he vowed.
Meeting with Pashinyan in Prague
Erdoğan emphasized that Ankara was in favor of stability and peace in the South Caucasus following the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia. “We are doing our part to ensure that the new situation that has emerged will be instrumental in the establishment of lasting peace and order in the region,” he stated.
Ankara has shown its will to take its relations with Armenia to a new level as the two sides appointed the special envoys for the normalization, Erdoğan said, adding, “Armenia should make good use of the peace opportunity we have extended. [Armenian President] Mr. [Nikol] Pashinyan has a meeting request during the Prague summit. Perhaps, there will be a meeting.”