Joint Press Statement of the Second Trilateral Ministerial Meeting between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Justice and Interior of Turkey and Belgium, 22 January 2013, Brussels

The trilateral meeting of Foreign Affairs, Justice and Interior Ministers of Belgium and Turkey was held on 22 January 2013 in Brussels.

The Belgian delegation consisted of Mr Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and European Affairs, Mrs Joëlle Milquet, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior and Equal Opportunities, Mrs Annemie Turtelboom, Minister of Justice, and Mrs Maggie De Block, Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, Social Integration and the Fight against Poverty.

The Turkish delegation was composed of Mr Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sadullah Ergin, Minister of Justice and Mr İdris Naim Şahin, Minister of Interior.

This trilateral meeting is the second one at the ministerial level, after a first meeting held in Istanbul in October 2008.

The aim of this platform is to maintain a dialogue between the political authorities of both countries on issues of common interest, primarily on the fight against terrorism, police and judicial cooperation, as well as the cooperation on consular matters and migration management.

1. The Ministers expressed their determination to fight terrorism and to further develop their cooperation in this field. They reiterated their commitment to pursue these objectives by means of measures in conformity with the obligations of the two States in terms of international law, particularly on suppression and prevention of terrorism, as well as on human rights and refugees.

The Ministers welcomed the ongoing political dialogue between Turkey and the European Union in fighting terrorism. Turkey’s very active participation in the UN instances dealing with terrorism was also underscored.

The Ministers also reiterated the importance of the fight against financing of terrorism and agreed to pursue their efforts to this effect.

2. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs expressed their pleasure on the steady development of bilateral relations in all areas in line with shared views and common interests. They also exchanged views on developments in the Middle East, including Syria, human rights and the relations between Turkey and the European Union. The Ministers also dealt with consular and visa issues.

3. The Ministers of the Interior (Home Affairs) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Police Cooperation which provides room for exchanges of experience and best practices in fighting terrorism, organized crime, human trafficking, illegal trafficking of drugs and money laundering, in full respect of national and international obligations.

4. The Ministers of Justice signed a Joint Statement on Judiciary Cooperation including the establishment of technical consultations on legal assistance, in full respect of national and international obligations. Direct communication channels will be established between the central authorities in order to increase the effectiveness of cooperation and improve mutual comprehension of national procedures and legislation.