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 Meeting of Council of Foreign Ministers of the 13th Islamic Summit of the OIC, 12 April 2016, İstanbul

Distinguished Ministers,
Mr. Secretary General,
Esteemed Friends,

I am pleased to host you on the occasion of the Meeting of Council of Foreign Ministers of the13th Islamic Summit.

Welcome to Istanbul, the city connecting the continents and hearts.

Today, our world is in need of justice and peace more than ever.

In this difficult period, the whole mankind, but most of all the Muslim World need to demonstrate unity and solidarity.

For this reason we set the theme of the 13th Islamic Summit as “Unity and Solidarity for Justice and Peace”.

I wish that the decisions we take during this Summit will benefit the whole world.

Our Senior Officers have drafted the Summit final documents.

I congratulate all the delegations who carried out the negotiations in a reconciliatory mind-set and in a constructive way.

I would like to thank especially the Secretary General and the officials of the Secretariat General for the organization of Summit and the support for the preparation of final documents.

The Final Declaration is a manifestation of our joint stance towards the problems affecting our peace, security, stability and prosperity.

It demonstrates the Islamic world's stance on global issues.

With the Final Declaration; we also take some important decisions on institutional, legal and political issues.

We adopt a separate decision on the issue of Palestine and al-Quds which is a joint cause of our organization.

Undoubtedly, one of the most important achievements of the Summit is that the “Organization of Islamic Cooperation 2025: Action Plan”, which draws the road map of the coming 10 years, will be adopted.
I believe that we will meet our goals in the Action Plan with the spirit of cooperation and solidarity.
In this regard, we, as Turkey, will assume all the necessary responsibility.

Moreover, during our Term Presidency of the Summit, we will seek solutions to the problems faced by the Islamic world in cooperation with member states and Esteemed Secretary General.

We will exert efforts for making Muslim countries to have more say in global matters.

Dear Friends,

We hold this Summit at an extremely delicate period in terms of global and regional problems.
Unfortunately, in such a period, the Islamic world goes through many disputes within itself.

Fratricidal conflict cause great pain. Sectarianism divides the Ummah.

Civil wars and armed clashes threaten our peace and serenity.

Terrorism and extremist movements target our stability.

In the end, the greatest harm is inflicted on innocent Muslims.

We cannot tolerate this situation. We cannot stay silent against this picture.

First and foremost, we have to say “stop” to discriminatory policies.

Oppressing people who have different opinions with a sectarian mind cannot be accepted. This has nothing to do with Islam.

Ignoring these ongoing events is a sin, as well.

Eliminating the sedition of sectarianism is the responsibility of all of us, as the Muslims.
We call on everyone to play their part on this issue.

Let’s leave the sufferings of the past behind. Let’s work for the welfare of the Islamic world.

Hopefully, this Summit will pave the way for healing some wounds.

Dear friends,

The problems we face among ourselves prevent us from addressing the problems faced by the Muslims across the globe.

All across the world, there is a severe surge in prejudice towards Islam and the Muslims.

Islamophobia, racism and xenophobia gain strength.

Consequently, our brothers are being alienated; and subjected to injustice and violence.

It is high time that the Islamic world must criticize itself seriously.

We, together, have to question why the Islamic geography which gave the best examples of the culture of co-existence has fallen into this situation.

What we need is not further divisions, but further unity and solidarity.

Otherwise, the problems we face will grow incessantly.

The powers infiltrating to our region from outside will try to impose their own polices on us.

My Distinguished Friends,

Terrorism is the prominent problem against which we should enhance our unity and solidarity. This sickness aims at spreading terror and hatred in our geography.

They try to pit us against each other on the basis of religion, sect and ethnic origin.

Unfortunately, some terrorist organizations dare to exploit the name of our holy religion. Thus, they harm Muslims more.

Islam means “peace”. We are not allowing and will not allow homicidal networks to exploit our religion.

This truth should always be kept in mind: Terrorism does not have any religion, nationality or sect.
In this framework, as the Islamic World, we as a whole should stand against terrorism without discrimination. This is a duty for all Muslims.

Dear Fellows,

We should first of all ask the following question while fighting terrorism: How can we drain the swamp in which terrorism spreads?

Unfortunately, source of the problem is not too far.

We witness one of the greatest suffering experienced in the world history in Syria, just by the side of Turkey.

The atrocities of the Assad regime has become a shameful scene for all humanity.

We wholeheartedly felt the grief of nearly 500 thousand people who lost their lives, 12 million people who have been removed from their houses and our 5 million brothers and sisters who have been forced to leave their countries.

The terrorist organizations such as DAESH and PYD take the advantage of the chaotic environment in Syria.

Seizing the opportunity in this country, they cause substantial damage to peace and stability in our region.

As the Islamic world, it is already time to put an end to the course of events in Syria.

We should work with all of our powers to bring peace back to Syria.

It is apparent that this change cannot be achieved with Assad who oppresses his people and incites the sectarian differences.

We hope that a political transformation can be carried out in the shortest time in a way that will respond to the expectations of the Syrian people.

My Distinguished Friends,

The migration crisis is one of the catastrophes triggered by the situation in Syria.

As Turkey, we have considered as our human duty to extend a helping hand to the innocent people in Syria.

We will continue to protect our brothers in these hard times.

We are trying to prevent these desperate people on their journey of hope to suffer in the hands of the migrant smugglers.

For this purpose, we have developed a significant cooperation framework with the European Union.
We will bring this issue to the agenda of the 1st UN World Humanitarian Summit which we will host in İstanbul in May.

The whole Islamic world has significant duties also on the fight against irregular migration.

Today, unfortunately, Muslims make up the majority among millions of people who are obliged to leave their countries.

We should eliminate the conditions which force these brothers and sisters of us to leave their countries. Otherwise, we cannot fulfil our humanitarian and Islamic obligations.

My Esteemed Friends,

One of the main reasons for the issues in our geography is the persecution facing the people of Palestine.

Unfortunately, the occupation of Palestine still continues.

It is a shame for whole humanity to compel a nation to live under the shadows of arms.

There is not any justification for depriving the people of Palestine from having their own state.

Unless this historical injustice is undone, it is not possible to ensure stability in our region.

The only resolution for a lasting peace is an independent and sovereign Palestine, within the borders of 1967, and whose capital is al-Quds.

Today, the flag of Palestine raised in the UN Offices is the symbol of freedom, solidarity and resistance against persecution.

The State of Palestine is presently recognized by 137 countries. We should try to increase this number.
Turkey will continue its support to Palestine in all fields as the member of the Committee on Jerusalem of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in a further effective way.

My Distinguished Friends,

One of the problems with which we should pay close attention is the Nagorno-Karabakh problem.

A serious conflict occurred in the line of contact a short while ago as a result of the attack initiated by Armenia.

As long as the occupation of Armenia continues, the risk of conflict will remain.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be settled as soon as possible in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, sovereignty and the internationally recognized borders.

As OIC, we also have to undertake the necessary initiatives. In this context, it will be a significant step to create a contact group on the Nagorno-Karabakh.

Dear Friends,

Our most significant responsibility is to deal with the problems of Muslims and to show solidarity with them.

One of the Muslim people who is looking forward to our support is the Turkish Cypriot people.

As Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot party, we exert efforts find a fair lasting and comprehensive political solution to the Cyprus problem.

We continue to support the well-intentioned efforts in this direction.

Comprehensive negotiations for settlement have been continuing since May 2015.

We have seized an important opportunity. We hope that it will be put into good use. For this is also the last chance.

We need the active cooperation of Islamic countries to alleviate the unjust isolation of Turkish Cypriots.

We hope this support will be given in accordance with the decisions and declarations of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

My Dear Friends,

As the Islamic world, we need to eliminate the seditions that separate us from each other and divide our Ummah.

We need to bring the common values uniting us to the forefront.

We do not want any more trouble or more division.

Achieving this is our duty towards millions of our brothers and sisters who are suffering.

We have an enormous responsibility.

Our success will be the success of the entire Muslim World.

We are very pleased to host you, my dear colleagues and brothers, from all over the world, in Istanbul
Let us give a message of justice, peace, unity and solidarity to the whole world from this unique city, which unites continents and merges civilizations.

I greet all of you with affection and respect.