No: 68, 28 February 2014, Press Release Regarding the Mission of the Special Representative of the President of the Republic of Turkey to the Central African Republic

Turkey is closely following the recent humanitarian crisis and religious divide and polarization in the Central African Republic (CAR). Taking into account the preoccupations and concerns of the Turkish public opinion in the face of the incidents in that country, the Turkish Government deemed it appropriate to send a delegation to observe the situation on the ground and meet all relevant parties, starting with the President of the Republic.

In this framework, Ambassador Hulusi Kılıç, Director General for African Affairs, paid a visit to Bangui, Capital of the CAR, in the capacity of Special Representative of H.E.Mr. Abdullah Gül, President of the Republic of Turkey, accompanied by a delegation from the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and the Disaster and Emergency ManagementAdministration (AFAD) on 24-25 February 2014. Our delegation visiting the CAR during this sensitive and difficult period was warmly welcomed by CAR authorities.

During the visit, the delegation notably met with the Interim President of the Central African Republic, the Speaker of the National Transition Council (Parliament), the Prime Minister, government officials, leaders of religious communities, UN agencies and other international organizations working in the area of humanitarian aid and the EU Delegation.

The delegation expressed its sorrow and concern about the violence, especially against the Muslim people and the destruction of places of worship to H.E. Mrs. Catherine Samba-Panza, Interim President, and to other senior officials and stated our expectation that such attacks and violence would be prevented as soon as possible.

This visit has also been helpful to identify the humanitarian needs of the country on the ground. In this context, as a first stage our relief agencies will launch assistance for displaced people in the camps.

During the visit it was reiterated that Turkey attaches importance to preserving the sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity of CAR.

Turkey will continue to support efforts to find a peaceful solution to the crisis with the participation of all segments in the country to ensure the restoration of security, public order and stability of the CAR without delay.