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Peace at home, peace in the world

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Second Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs from the Central American Integration System (SICA) and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, Istanbul, Turkey, 20 April 2017

The Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs from the Central American Integration System (SICA) and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey met in Istanbul on 20 April 2017 with the purpose of further strengthening and diversifying the relationship between SICA Member States and Turkey.

They reaffirmed the excellent ties of friendship and solidarity that exist between both Parties and reiterated their will to continue strengthening their relationship in the diplomatic, political, economic and cooperation for development, and coincided on the importance of enhancing multilateralism.

The Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of SICA welcomed the incorporation of Turkey as an Extra Regional Observer State of SICA in 2015.

The Parties highlighted the growing interest of Turkey towards SICA Member States, and in particular, the opening of the Turkish Embassies in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Panama.

They also, welcomed the opening of the Embassies of Costa Rica (2014), Guatemala (2017) and Panama (2014) in Ankara as well as the prospective opening of the Embassy of the Dominican Republic.

They underlined the importance of Turkish Airlines flights to the SICA region and the recent inclusion of Panama to the destinations served by Turkey’s flagship airline company.

The Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of SICA thanked Turkey’s voluntary financial contributions to the System, especially in the field of public health in support of the Regional Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of the Zika Virus in Central America and the Dominican Republic and the Secretariat of the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic (COMISCA).

The Parties expressed their interest in strengthening cooperation, particularly in the areas of environment and sustainable development, security, health, education, economy, energy, tourism, culture and social affairs among others, in conformity with the juridical institutional framework of SICA and the national legislation of each member State.

They agreed to promote the exchange of experience and implementation of projects on Comprehensive Risk Management and Climate Change, especially on sustainable human development, early warning mechanisms, emergency and risk prevention.

They highlighted the importance of fostering exchange of experience for promoting and developing the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), with the strengthening and cooperation of the Establishment of International Centers of Incubation Support Program and the Support to the International Accelerator Program led by the Government of Turkey trough the Organization for the Development of the Small and Medium Enterprises (KOSGEB).

They emphasized the importance of promoting and increasing cultural and educational relations as an essential tool to closer ties and promote greater interaction between their peoples.

The Government of Turkey called on SICA member States to encourage their students to apply for scholarships extended by the Turkish Government.

The Parties highlighted the importance of promoting development cooperation, to promote triangular and South-South cooperation. In this context, the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of SICA expressed their appreciation for the initiatives of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) in the region and welcomed the opening of TIKA’s regional program coordination office in Mexico City.

They highlighted that terrorism is an increasing critical threat to global security and combating all forms and manifestations of terrorism and violent extremism should be pursued with determination. In this respect, they strongly condemned terrorist attacks in Turkey. They agreed to be in solidarity and cooperation with Turkey in its fight against terrorist organizations and associated groups.

They agreed to develop initiatives aimed at promoting bilateral trade and investments between Turkey and SICA Member States.

The Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of SICA welcomed the invitation extended by Turkey to the SICA Secretariat to visit Ankara and hold an exchange in areas of cooperation identified during this meeting.

The Parties convened to subscribe an instrument to establish the SICA-Turkey Dialogue and Cooperation Forum, for which they instructed to initiate consultations for its negotiation and signature; with the proposal to carry out the First Dialogue and Cooperation Forum in 2018, in a SICA Member State in a date to be determined.

They welcome the constitutional referendum which took place in Turkey, on the 16th April 2017.

They expressed their satisfaction for the positive outcome of this meeting. Likewise, they recognized the work by the Government of the Republic of Turkey, and the Presidency Pro-Tempore of SICA under the auspices of the Government of the Republic of Costa Rica.

They expressed their gratitude to the Government and the People of the Republic of Turkey for the warm hospitality.

Istanbul, Turkey, 20 April 2017