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Foreign Minister Davutoğlu “In the last six years, we have taken significant steps to strengthen our relations with Pacific Island States”

Foreign Minister Davutoğlu “In the last six years, we have taken significant steps to strengthen our relations with Pacific Island States”

The Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Turkey and 14 Small Island Developing States in the Pacific (Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Micronesia, Marshal Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu) has launched in İstanbul on 7 June 2014.

Speaking at the opening session of the meeting Foreign Minister Davutoğlu emphasized that Turkey has been expanding its foreign policy horizons including the Pacific as well.

“The Turkey-Pacific Islands Ministers of Foreign Affairs Meeting held in İstanbul in 2008 was a milestone in our relations with the Pacific. In the last six years, we have taken significant steps to strengthen both our bilateral relations with the Pacific island states and our institutional ties with the Pacific Islands Forum” said Foreign Minister Davutoğlu.

Foreign Minister Davutoğlu noted that Turkey has increased its high level contacts with the Pacific island states, has provided more development assistance and has enhanced cooperation in regional platforms. “We have achieved a long way in bringing Turkey more closer to the Pacific. Thanks to our action-oriented cooperation, we have created a robust joint awareness among our countries”, he added.

Foreign Minister Davutoğlu stressed that Turkey plans to open its first diplomatic mission in the Pacific Islands in a near future.

Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) has also participated in the meetings of the Pacific Islands Forum since 2011 and has supported projects in the Pacific island states, told Foreign Minister Davutoğlu. He said “Activities of the TİKA are the concrete indication of our determination to support sustainable development”.

Stating that Turkey’s assistance to the Small Island Developing States reached 5,24 million dollars in 2012 Foreign Minister Davutoğlu underlined that it is foreseen that total 5 million dollars will be allocated to various development projects in the Pacific Islands in the forthcoming period.

Following the opening session where progress in relations between Turkey and the Pacific Island States were addressed, Joint Declaration concerning the establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Niue, Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the Foreign Ministries of Turkey and Marshal Islands, Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the Foreign Ministries of Turkey and Vanuatu and Memorandum of Understanding concerning the Exchange of Information on Diplomatic Training between the Foreign Ministries of Turkey and Marshal Islands were signed.