Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu is in New York
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu is in New York

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu is paying a visit to New York from 24 September 2015 to 1 October 2015 to participate in the summits organized on the occasion of the high-level week of the 70th UN General Assembly. Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu is accompanying Prime Minister Davutoğlu during his visit to New York.

Within the scope of his visit, Prime Minister Davutoğlu co-chaired an Interactive Dialogue Meeting titled “Delivering on Revitalized Global Partnership” with the Senegalese President Macky Sall. In the meeting, Prime Minister Davutoğlu shared Turkey’s stance on sustainable development goals.

Delivering a speech in the UN Sustainable Development Summit, Prime Minister Davutoğlu referred to Turkey’s attempts to widen the scope of its development assistance and mentioned the increasing amount of aid delivered by Turkey had increased in recent years. Stating that the development assistance offered by Turkey rose from 967 million US Dollars in 2010 to 3.5 billion US Dollars in 2014, Prime Minister Davutoğlu said that Turkish aid spending amounted to 0.45 % of Turkey’s GDP and that Turkish aid budget would keep growing.

Prime Minister Davutoğlu participated in the Leaders' Summit on Peacekeeping hosted by H.E. Barack Obama, President of the United States. Speaking at the summit, Prime Minister Davutoğlu said that 70th Anniversary of the UN provided a timely and crucial opportunity to discuss the efforts made to maintain peace and stability. Prime Minister Davutoğlu also attended a high-level meeting on Somalia and later delivered a speech at the Leaders’ Summit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism again hosted by the US President. In his speech, Prime Minister Davutoğlu asserted that terrorism had no religion, no race and no geography.

Prime Minister Davutoğlu also attended the 7th Turkey Investment Conference and gave a speech. In his speech, Prime Minister Davutoğlu noted that as railways linking the Caspian Sea with the Adriatic Sea and the pipelines stretching from Central Asia to Central Europe would cross Turkey, the future looked bright for not only Turks but also those preferring to invest in Turkey.

Addressing a preparatory meeting for the World Humanitarian Summit, Prime Minister Davutoğlu stated that the Summit which would be organized in İstanbul on May 2016 was a first of its kind and added that hosting this historic conference was both a privilege and a source of pride for Turkey. Prime Minister Davutoğlu underscored that Anatolia, located at the crossroad of Africa, Europe and Asia, embraced people persecuted for their religion and ethnicity for centuries and said that this heritage formed the basis of Turkey’s humanitarian diplomacy and its approach to those fleeing conflicts, getting affected by the natural disasters and fighting against epidemics. In his speech, Prime Minister Davutoğlu underlined that Turkey hosts millions of people who had to leave their countries and has become the country with the largest number of refugees in the world. Noting that the progress made globally in terms of humanitarian relief was important, Prime Minister Davutoğlu said that when the recent developments were taken into consideration, it was undeniable that the international community faced serious challenges. Prime Minister Davutoğlu also underlined that with its 3,5 billion US Dollars of official development aid and 1,6 billion US Dollars of foreign humanitarian aid Turkey has become the third-largest donor of humanitarian aid and a reliable partner. Reminding that we faced a refugee crisis, Prime Minister Davutoğlu said that such crises posed problems not only for the source country but also for the neighbouring countries. Prime Minister Davutoğlu also underscored the immediate need for shouldering responsibility in refugee crisis by helping both the refugees and the countries that hosting them.

Within the scope of his visit, Prime Minister Davutoğlu participated in the opening of a high-level meeting chaired by Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the UN. Speaking at the meeting titled “Strengthening Cooperation on Migration and Refugee Movements in the Era of Sustainable Development”, Prime Minister Davutoğlu asserted that it was unfair and impossible to expect that Turkey and the other neighbouring countries would take on the pressure, risks and threats posed by the refugee crisis. Reminding that Turkey co-chairs Global Migration and Development Forum at this critical time, Prime Minister Davutoğlu said that what migrants needed was a future where their rights would be upheld and they could contribute to development and take their share from it rather than getting emergency assistance.

During his New York visit, Prime Minister Davutoğlu was received by H.E. Rosen Plevneliev (President of the Republic of Bulgaria), H.E. Mahmud Abbas (President of Palestine), H.E. François Hollande (President of the French Republic), H.E. Hasan Ruhani (President of the Islamic Republic of Iran), H.E. King Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and H.E. Macky Sall (President of the Republic of Senegal). Prime Minister Davutoğlu also met with H.E. Angela Merkel (Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany), Charles Michel (Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Belgium), H.E. Irakli Garibaşvili (Prime Minister of Georgia), H.E. Haider Al-Abadi (Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq), H.E. David Cameron (Prime Minister of the UK), Tony Blair (Former Prime Minister of UK), H.E. İsa Mustafa (Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo), H.E. Tammam Salam (Prime Minister of the Republic of Lebanon), H.E. Erna Solberg (Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway), H.E. Nawaz Sharif (Prime Minister of Pakistan), H.E. Prayuth Chan-o-cha (Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand), H.E. Habib Essid (Prime Minister of Tunisia) and H.E. Alexis Tsipras (Prime Minister of Greece). In the meetings, regional and international issues of common interest were discussed and views were exchanged on major international issues such as Syria, situation of the refugees and counterterrorism. Prime Minister Davutoğlu also held a meeting with the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon and President of the European Council, Donald Tusk.

Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioğlu not only participated in the meetings held by the Prime Minister Davutoğlu but also attended some summits and forums and held bilateral meetings with his counterparts.

Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu co-chaired the Ministerial Meeting of Global Counterterrorism Forum with John Kerry, the Secretary of State of the United States. Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu underlined the fact that the threat of terrorism is not only growing; it is evolving and manifesting in ever changing ways, and there is a need for adopting new approaches to address terrorism. Stating that, “we, together, are only as strong as the weakest link that bound us in our efforts to confront the complex challenge that terrorism poses,” Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu stressed the importance of cooperation and mutual support among countries were essential to tackle that insidious threat.

Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu also attended a meeting on Syria which was hosted by the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, on the sidelines of the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly. In the meeting where Foreign Ministers of United Kingdom, France, Republic of Federal Germany, Saudi Arabia and Jordan were present, situation in Syria and the possible ways for a successful political transition in the country were discussed. Foreign Ministers stated that they reached a consensus for the need of an international action to put an end to the crisis in Syria.

Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu also attended the Quartet of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) (Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, on behalf of CARICOM, in its capacity as the chairman of the said organisation) and had a working breakfast with his counterparts from the MIKTA states (Mexico, Indonesia, Republic of Korea and Australia) Foreign Ministers.

Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu also attended a high-level meeting titled “Re-Thinking the International Response to the Biggest Crisis of Our Times – How to Respond Better to Growing and Evolving Needs”, which was organized by Jordan and the EU. After addressing OIC Contact Group on Jammu-Kashmir, Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu participated in the Foreign Ministerial Meetings of Turkey-Bosnia-Herzegovina-Serbia and Turkey-Bosnia-Herzegovina-Croatia Trilateral Consultation Mechanisms. Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu also attended a panel discussion titled “Settlement of Conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa and Countering the Terrorist Threat in the Region” and addressed the participants. In his speech, Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu stated that for centuries, the peoples of the Middle East and North Africa lived together in peace and harmony, regardless of race, religion, language, sect or ethnicity and flourished, politically, economically, socially and intellectually, always with a sense of shared destiny, all the while embracing their differences as a perpetual source of wealth and not weakness. Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu added that today’s reality differed dramatically from that history and the region was confronted with many complex challenges. Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu underscored that sectarian and divisive policies, brutal oppression of legitimate demands for democracy, unresolved conflicts resulting in mass displacements, coupled with feelings of resentment due to growing discrimination and xenophobia in other parts of the world, had combined to create a breeding ground for violent extremism and terrorism. Asserting that terrorist groups such as DEASH could not be defeated without addressing the root causes that created it, Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu said that terrorism was a global and transboundary phenomenon which needed to be addressed through effective bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

In his speech, Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu said that DEASH did not suddenly, spontaneously appear out of nowhere and spread like a cancer on its own, but was aided and abetted by the politically defunct, totalitarian Assad regime that, in its desperate drive to retain power at all cost, deployed any means available to it, including chemical weapons and barrel bombs, to kill, maim, oppress and otherwise terrorize its own people into submission. Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu asserted that the suppression of the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people, divisive sectarian policies, war crimes and massive violations of human rights that were committed without impunity by the Assad regime had combined to create fertile ground for radicalization, extremism and the recruitment of foreign terrorist fighters by DEASH. Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu underscored the need to create safe zones free of DEASH and work together for a solution to the conflict that met the legitimate demands and aspirations of the Syrian people and ensured a managed and orderly transition to a real political change. Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu underlined that the political process to be vitalized would lead to a united, democratic, secular, non-sectarian, multicultural Syria, without Assad.

Touching on the developments in Iraq and Libya in his address, Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu reminded the plight of Palestinians as well. Stating that the historical injustice against the Palestinian people was fuelling hatred, alienation and radicalism across the region, Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu asserted that it was time for a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on two-state vision without further delay.

Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu also attended the Sixth Foreign Ministerial Breakfast Meeting of Friends of Mediation Group, co-hosted by Turkey and Finland. Following the meeting, two Foreign Ministers organized a joint press conference. Speaking at the joint press conference, Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu said that in the meeting, work done in the last five years was reviewed. Stating that the Group had 49 members, from every continent, Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu reminded that the Group had helped UN General Assembly to adopt three resolutions for the prevention and settlement of conflicts. Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu also noted that by enhancing cooperation among regions and employing preventive diplomacy, Turkey sought to save more civilian lives. Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu added that in the meeting situation of Syrian refugees was also discussed and said that their journey to hope could not be prevented only by security measures. Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu stressed the need to find a solution to the civil war in Syria and underlined that including Assad in such a solution for Syria was impossible.

Within the scope of his meetings on the sidelines of the UN, Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu also attended a meeting on Syria where Foreign Ministers of the US, Republic of Federal Germany, France, United Arab Emirates, UK, Qatar and Saudi Arabia were present.

Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu also participated in the Ministerial Meeting of Friends of Alliance of Civilisations and delivered a speech. In his speech, he underscored that development goals could not be reached without resolving problems about security, human rights and humanitarian issues and added that terrorism could be countered with universal values such as democracy, rule of law, tolerance and respect for human rights.

Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu later met with Secretary of State John Kerry. In the meeting developments in Syria including latest Russian operations in the country were discussed and the agreement on the fight against terrorism and terror organisations, particularly DEASH, were confirmed. Two Foreign Ministers also exchanged views on the latest developments in the Cyprus peace talks. Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu also participated in a Foreign Ministerial Meeting on Libya.

Within the margin of the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly, Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu also held bilateral talks with Johannes Hahn (EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations), Gen. John Allen (US Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL), Lisa Monaco (US Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism), John Kerry (US Secretary of State), Victoria Nuland (US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs), Wendy Sherman (US Under Secretary for Political Affairs), Salahuddin Rabbani (Foreign Minister of Afghanistan), Ambassador James Warlick (U.S. Co-Chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group), Ditmir Bushati (Foreign Minister of Albania), Khalid Bin Ahmed Mohammed Al Khalifa (Foreign Minister of Kingdom of Bahrain), Jeffrey D. Feltman (Under-Secretary-General of Political Affairs of UN), Espen Barth Eide (Special Advisor of UN Secrtary General on Cyprus), Terje-Roed Larsen (Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Implementation of Security Council resolution 1559 on the situation in Lebanon, Ján Kubiš (Special Representative the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI)), Steffan de Mistura (Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria), Daniel Mitov (Foreign Minister of Bulgaria), Laurent Fabius (Foreign Minister of France), Albert Koenders (Foreign Minister of the Netherlands), İbrahim Al Jaafari (Foreign Minister of Iraq), İyad Ameen Madani (Secretary General of the OIC), Paolo Gentiloni, (Foreign Minister of the Republic of Italy), Khalid bin Mohamed al Attiyah (Foreign Minister of Qatar), Emine Çolak (Foreign Minister of TRNC), Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah (First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Quwait), Beatrice Atallah (Foreign Minister of Madagascar), Claudia Ruiz Massieu (Foreign Minister of Mexico), Borge Brende (Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Norway), Sergei Lavrov (Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation), Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir (Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), Khaled Khodja (President of the Syrian National Coalition), Peter Maurer (President of the International Committee of the Red Cross), Jean-Marie Guéhenno (President of the International Crisis Group), Yukiya Amano (Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency, Riyadh Yaseen (Foreign Minister of Yemen) and Nikos Kotzias (Foreign Minister of Greece). Foreign Minister Sinirlioğlu also met with Turkic Council Foreign Ministers and held talks with his Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz.