No: 146, 17 June 2011, Press Release Regarding the Meeting of Ambassadors in the Middle East and North Africa

A Meeting of Ambassadors in the Middle East and North Africa chaired by His Excellency Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs was held in Ankara on 16 June 2011 in order to evaluate current developments taking place in countries of the Middle East and North Africa, to examine probable courses of these developments in the short, medium and long term and to discuss all the dimensions of our relations with countries in the region. Our Ambassadors commissioned in capital cities of the region and other relevant centers and our Permanent Representatives related to this matter attended the meeting.

Following a general assessment by His Excellency Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, our Ambassadors conveyed their evaluations on how the change and transition movements in the region are perceived in the countries they are commissioned to. In this framework, the popular mass events occurring in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain were examined. Furthermore, potential effects of the transition wave on other countries in the region and chronic disputes were scrutinized.

The assessments made during the meeting pointed out that the political change and democratic transition in the Middle East and North Africa is fundamentally a belated normalization process of a lengthy and irreversible nature which includes difficult tests as well as great opportunities. It was also mentioned that this process which proceeds on the basis of societies’ legitimate expectations is predestined for success. Furthermore, it was stated that it is of vital importance in terms of regional peace and stability for the processes to be peaceful and well ordered. In addition, it was specified that the constructive and proactive contributions of our country in this respect are closely observed by all countries in the region and major international actors.

During the meeting, the importance of the institutional and economic restructuring of the countries that are in particular entering a transition period was pointed out. Furthermore, it was emphasized that assistance by the international community at large to these countries, which are managing a socio-political transition process and have to meet daily economic needs of their people, has priority.

It was evaluated that as a centre of attention and source of inspiration in the region with its successful democratic and economic performance and active foreign policy, it would thus be appropriate for Turkey to play a fundamental role in managing the change and transition winds blowing in the Middle East and North Africa by meeting the legitimate demands and expectations of the people in a way that will serve regional peace, stability and welfare. With this aim, it was decided that Turkey should increase its efforts while cooperating, coordinating and consulting with its regional and international partners.