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Peace at home, peace in the world

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Speech by H.E. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey at the Fifth Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), 28 April 2016, Beijing

Dear Colleagues,
Excellencies,

Allow me first, to thank our Chinese hosts and particularly my colleague Minister Wang for their hospitality. China has shown an outstanding Chairmanship over the past two years.

Inspired by Kazakh President Nazarbayev’s intellectual vision, CICA has become one of the leading international organizations of our time.

Today, we are pleased to welcome our Belarusian colleague, Minister Makei as our new observer.

Dear Colleagues,

Current challenges such as terrorism, irregular migration, violent extremism and organized crime require our close engagement.

We need to focus on root causes of these problems.

We cannot deal with international terrorism or irregular migration without finding a political solution to the ongoing conflict in Syria.

We also need to pay attention to the instability in Iraq, if we want to understand the dynamics of rising sectarianism.

Xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and anti-Christian sentiments are rooted in socio-economic problems, as well as political engineering by extreme right parties in the West.

Dear colleagues,

Asia, with its resources and human potential, has an enormous capacity to offer solutions to these challenges.

But we should display a stronger leadership by resolving some of the issues that we have among ourselves. The Nagorno – Karabagh problem is one of those conflicts that needs our closer attention. We hope and expect that this problem will be solved through peaceful means within the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan.

We can also generate confidence for the rest of the world, by building networks of cooperation among us.

Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia have been able to achieve this by developing transportation and energy projects.

Turkic Council is another example. From counter-terrorism efforts to tourism and education, it contributes to the region on a wide range of issues.

We must also work harder to spread values such as tolerance and multiculturalism that we have been enjoying in Asia for hundreds of years.

Two weeks ago, we hosted the Islamic Summit in İstanbul. We underlined that we need “unity and solidarity for justice and peace.”

Before coming here, I was in Baku to participate in the Seventh Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.

I believe that our consultations here would be complementary to our exchange of views in İstanbul and Baku.

In this sense, let me commend the Chinese Chairmanship for choosing “Promoting Security through Dialogue” as the main theme of this meeting.

Dear colleagues,

We also need to focus on economic dimension, as increasing trade and investment reinforce our efforts to create a more secure environment.

With this understanding, Turkey has developed the "Middle Corridor" transportation line; linking Turkey, the Caucasus and the Central Asian Republics via the Caspian Sea.

We are glad that two ideas initiated during our Chairmanship have been realized under the Chinese Chairmanship. These are the CICA Business Council and the CICA Youth Council.

Concept Paper on the Organization for Security and Development in Asia, which is proposed by Kazakhstan, will be crucial for the transformation of the Conference into a full-fledged organization.

We invite all Member States to actively contribute to discussions on this matter and hope that consensus will be obtained on the basis of the Kazakh Concept Paper.

Dear Colleagues,

Some of us in this hall are also participants or partners of the OSCE. The OSCE has made important contributions to the security of Europe.

I am confident that, with the same energy and determination, CICA will assume a similar role in the bright future of the Asian continent.

Thank you.