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Joint Declaration of the Third Meeting of the Republic of Turkey-Russian Federation Joint Strategic Planning Group, 17 April 2013, Istanbul

Third Meeting of the Republic of Turkey-Russian Federation Joint Strategic Planning Group was held on 17 April 2013 in Istanbul under the chairmanship of H.E. Mr. A. Davutoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey and H.E. Mr. S. V. Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

During the meeting, Foreign Ministers thoroughly discussed the current state of bilateral relations with all its aspects and the cooperation possibilities in regional and international issues.

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The Ministers underlined the joint political will, repeatedly confirmed by the leaders of the two countries, to move forward the relations between the Republic of Turkey and the Russian Federation. The Ministers also confirmed bolstering the existing momentum with a view to further enhancing the relations between the Republic of Turkey and the Russian Federation; and agreed to continue political dialogue with further intensification.

The Ministers stressed that the activities of the High Level Cooperation Council established between the two countries and its sub-organs are playing a leading role in developing the relations.

The Ministers, noting with satisfaction the absence of any bilateral political problems between the Republic of Turkey and the Russian Federation, thoroughly discussed how to further develop political relations, economic-commercial cooperation, cultural ties and human contacts, and had a comprehensive exchange of views.

The Ministers, within the framework of the mutually beneficial commercial-economic cooperation between the two countries, discussed the steps taken towards the goals of increasing the volume of bilateral trade to 100 billion Dollars as agreed, and  further enhancing the investment cooperation; and stressed the importance of the implementation of the projects of interest to both countries such as the construction of a nuclear power plant at the "Akkuyu" site, of the "South Stream" gas pipeline and of the Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline as well as the reinforcement of the existing strategic partnership in the energy sector.

The Ministers, stressing that increasing humanitarian and cultural contacts would significantly help developing bilateral relations in all fields, agreed on the importance of completing all necessary procedures by all relevant institutions so as for the cultural centers to be established between the two countries to commence their activities as early as possible.

The Ministers agreed on the necessity of launching comprehensive activities of the Civic Forum under the High Level Cooperation Council.

The Ministers, as another element advancing interaction between the societies, emphasized the significance they attach to the dialogue started between the Presidency of Religious Affairs and the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Ministers, noting the great potential to further the cooperation between the two countries, gave instruction to further intensify the ongoing consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs on various subjects, with a view to realizing this potential in a way that helps achieve new concrete outcomes. In this context, until the forthcoming 4th meeting of the JSPG, it was decided to hold consultations on bilateral political dialogue, arms control and disarmament issues, Middle East and North Africa, Eurasia, the Balkans, Cyprus, Asia-Pacific region, South-East Asia, cooperation in the relevant European and Euro-Atlantic organizations, policy planning, fight against terrorism, diplomatic and consular residence and real estates and consular issues, besides carrying out, as before, consultations between the two Ministries on bilateral, regional and international issues when deemed necessary.

The Ministers, in line with the agreement they reached at the 3rd Meeting of the High Level Cooperation Council held on 3 December 2012, noted with satisfaction that the consultations aimed at evaluating the possible contributions of the important shared interests in their wide, common geography to the regional stability and prosperity have been commenced by the talks on Eurasia and Balkans; and in this framework they reaffirmed their shared approach regarding the views and considerations stated below. 

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The Ministers highlighted that Eurasia will be the focal point of the global political and economic developments in the 21st century. Mindful of the shared “regional ownership” principle, and recalling the document signed between Turkey and Russia in 2001, entitled “Plan on joint actions in Eurasia between the Republic of Turkey and the Russian Federation”, the Ministers reconfirmed a common vision of peace, security, stability and prosperity towards this region.

In this context, The Ministers exchanged views on strengthening bilateral cooperation in Eurasia, including concerted efforts aimed at helping resolve the protracted conflicts and problems in the entire region through diplomatic, peaceful means via inclusive political dialogue, in full compliance with the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

The Ministers, in line with this common vision, declared their intention to strive also for fostering cooperation in humanitarian, commercial, economic and academic fields, and in areas such as combating violent extremism in all its forms and radicalism, terrorism, organized crime with drug trafficking being the foremost, and in designing and realizing projects that would contribute to regional cooperation, prosperity and stability.

Russian side gave information about the Customs Union of the Russian Federation-Belarus-Kazakhstan, the Common Economic Space and also about the work on the forming of the Eurasian Economic Union. Turkish side stated that it is carefully following these important activities and realization of these projects.

The Ministers confirmed that the endeavors towards the jointly set goal of increasing bilateral trade volume in the near future will also have a positive effect on economic cooperation in the Eurasian region. In this vein, the Ministers are determined to jointly act for increasing regional trade.

The Ministers confirmed the importance of enhancing the security cooperation and prosperity in the Black Sea region within the framework of the “Operation Black Sea Harmony” and “The Document on Confidence and Security Building Measures in the Naval Field in the Black Sea”, along with the useful endeavours of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and the "Black Sea Naval Cooperation Task Group" (BLACKSEAFOR).

The Ministers pointed out the importance of deepening cooperation on issues related to Eurasia in relevant regional and international organizations, including the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

The Ministers emphasized the importance of engaging in intensive consultations on regional cooperation to achieve lasting stability in Afghanistan in the post-2014 period. The Ministers paid attention to the significance of regional approaches and processes; declared their intention to deepen regional cooperation within the framework of the Istanbul Process to this end; and stated that the Istanbul Process is not an alternative for other regional initiatives such as the SCO, but on the contrary a complement to the existing mechanisms.

The Ministers exchanged views on the situation in the Asia-Pacific region and South-East Asia, including the situation on the Korean Peninsula. The Ministers addressed the need for the promotion of multilateral cooperation in Asia in order to deepen mutual trust, ensure the necessary conditions for sustainable development and help maintain security in the region based on the principles of international law, equality, transparency and indivisibility of security.

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The Ministers committed themselves to cooperate in the Balkans to achieve lasting peace and stability, to reinforce economic development and to support multicultural social structures.

Proceeding from this understanding, the Ministers reaffirmed their intention to develop projects in the political, economic and cultural fields.

The Ministers noted with satisfaction the perspective of the Balkan countries to contribute actively to the European institutions.

The Ministers confirmed their support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina and, in their capacity as member states of the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board, reiterated their desire to contribute to its development as an independent democratic state. Within this framework, the Ministers reiterated their commitment with regard to ensuring a functioning state mechanism in Bosnia and Herzegovina based on principles defined by the Dayton Peace Agreement.

Additionally, the Ministers, confirming their commitment to the principles enshrined in the Dayton Peace Agreement as well as to the constitutional structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina, called upon all political leaders of the country to cooperate to resolve current and long-term problems through national reconciliation and dialogue, and by focusing on reforms.

With regard to Kosovo, the Ministers underlined their support for the ongoing dialogue process between Belgrade and Prishtina, stressed their satisfaction with the progress reached through the process so far; and drew attention to the constructive impact that the normalization of Belgrade - Prishtina relations will have on the whole region.

The Ministers noted the importance of Macedonia for peace and stability in the Balkans due to its multicultural fabric, and expressed their expectation for the prompt settlement of the name issue under the UN mediation through dialogue and political will of both sides; and highlighted the need for the full implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement both in letter and spirit.

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The Ministers had an extensive exchange on the situation in Syria. They expressed grave concern about the loss of life, mass destruction and the human suffering, as well as the implications of the conflict on the neighbouring countries and the region as a whole. They reaffirmed their support for the peaceful solution of the conflict in accordance with the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. They also agreed to continue their cooperation in accordance with the final communiqué issued by the Action Group for Syria on 30 June 2012.

The Ministers stressed the necessity of finding a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, Madrid principles including the principle of land for peace, the “road map”, Arab Peace Initiative and agreements achieved by the parties earlier. The ultimate purpose of such settlement should be the establishment of the independent, viable, territorially integral Palestinian State within the 1967 borders coexisting in peace and security with Israel and other neighbors. The Ministers have agreed that the acquisition of the status of non-member observer state in the United Nations Organization is an important step on the way to the two-state solution of the Palestinian problem through negotiation and its international recognition as a state and reaffirmed their support for Palestine’s efforts towards this end.

The Ministers noted that settlement of the Cyprus problem can be achieved solely within the UN framework through an agreement between the two sides on the basis of their political equality and political compromise; and that a just and lasting settlement in Cyprus will contribute to strengthening of peace, stability and well-being in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Ministers have reviewed the situation in the South Caucasus, Iran’s nuclear program, the Middle East, Central Asia, Afghanistan, Africa, European security and also discussed a wide range of major international issues. In particular, the Ministers supported convocation of the conference on the WMD (weapons of mass destruction) free zone in the Middle East in conformity with the respective decision of the Review Conference of the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) and called upon all the states of the Middle East region to participate actively in preparing and holding this event.

Additionally, the Ministers exchanged views on the ways and means of enhancing the cooperation between the Republic of Turkey and the Russian Federation in international organizations such as the UN, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the BSEC, the SCO, the CICA and also in the G20.

The Ministers addressed the issues related to providing mutual support for their candidatures in various international structures and missions.

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 The Ministers expressed the satisfaction over the progress in all directions of the cooperation between the Republic of Turkey and the Russian Federation to the benefit of the peoples of the two countries. The Ministers agreed to present the results of this meeting to the leaders at the Fourth High Level Cooperation Council Meeting to be held in the Russian Federation during the second half of the year 2013.