Peace at home, peace in the world

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Speech Delivered by H.E. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, at the OIC Ministerial Contact Group for Mali, 13 May 2013, Jeddah

H.E Secretary-General of the OIC,
Dear Minister Colleagues,
Brothers and Sisters,

I would like to start by thanking the OIC Secretariat for convening this meeting at such an important time for Mali. We have discussed the situation in Mali at the last OIC Summit in Cairo in February. The Declaration adopted during the Summit envisaged the establishment of this Ministerial level Contact Group. We have to continue on this platform. I am confident that the outcomes of this meeting will boost the efforts of the Malian Government and demonstrate the solidarity of the OIC.

OIC is a big family. We have to find solutions to problems of the family members first and foremost within this family. Furthermore, all of the neighbouring countries who are adversely effected from the crisis and pay efforts to assist Mali are also OIC members.

We believe that it is not only moral, but political responsibility of the OIC and all of us to demonstrate utmost solidarity with their Malian brothers and sisters. That is why, we believe that our this group should have been convened much earlier. We have to decide today to convene more frequently to discuss this issue within the family.

We have to keep in mind the vast cultural heritage in Mali where our common civilazation stemmed from. That is why, destruction of the unique cultural property in northern Mali such as the mosques and the Ahmet Baba Library ın Tımbuktu which I visited some years ago was and is unacceptable. The assistance to be provided to protect this world cultural heritage by the OIC through ISESCO and IRCICA to this end is a must. Turkey is ready to assist Mali in this process as well.

Closer cooperation between OIC and African Union plus ECOWAS was envisaged by the OIC Summit in Cairo. There was a strong reference to common efforts for post-conflict reconstruction and preservation of the cultural heritage among others. We have to implement these tasks as well and as early as possible.

In this context, I would like to commend the Secretary-General of the OIC for appointing H.E Yipéné Djibri Bassolé as Special Representative for Mali and Sahel. I had the privilege to host him in Ankara last week and exchanged views. I would like to congratulate him for his tireless efforts. I also welcome enlargement of our group with new brothers and sisters such as Kuwait, Algeria, Iran and Ivory Coast.


We all followed the events unfolding in Mali since early last year with grave concern. Turkey’s main concern has been the preservation of sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the brotherly and friendly Mali.

Since the beginning of the crisis Turkey's policy was to assist our brothers and sisters in Mali: on different levels

- On international arena, we always underlined the importance of regional ownership and stressed that we have to address this issue within the OIC since Mali is a founding member of our organisation.

- We emphasized the importance of ownership to be demonstrated by Mali and the region as a whole including the African Union for a long lasting solution.

- We supported the international efforts led by the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations to provide assistance from international community.

- We participated in the Donors Conference organized by the African Union in Addis Ababa in January to assist African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) and Malian Defence and Security Forces.

- On a bilateral account, we transferred 750.000 USD to the relevant trust fund,

- We also provided an additional 250.000 USD to be used to provide police training to the Malian security forces in Turkey.

- A delegation from the General Directorate of Security will visit Mali in the coming days to assess the situation and prepare a tailor made training programme in close coordination with the Malian Government.

- We will participate in the European Union Training Mission (EUTM) in Mali upon the invitation extended by the European Union.


In order to achieve enduring peace, stability and economic recovery in Mali we have to focus on four points:
- ensuring territorial integrity and national unity,
- efforts for national reconciliation,
- steps for the restoration of democratic order,
- sustainable economic recovery.

All these steps have to be administered simultaneously. With this understanding, Turkey welcomed the adoption of the Transitional Road Map by the Malian National Assembly, the establishment of the Dialogue and Reconciliation Commission and steps for the realization of presidential elections.

We believe that national reconciliation has to be pursued with determination and all groups who lay down their arms, cease hostilities, cut off all ties with terrorist organizations, recognize the unity and territorial integrity of the Malian state should be included in this process. Turkey is ready to host any meeting to that end in order to support the efforts of the Reconciliation Commission should there be a request.

We must be ready to assist Mali in their efforts.

To this end, we welcomed the “Plan for the Sustainable Recovery of Mali 2013-2014” prepared by the Malian Government and submitted to the Preparatory Meeting held in Paris on 3 May 2013 for the International Donor Conference for Development of Mali with a view that there will be no development without security and there will be no security without development.

The OIC member states and financial institutions should provide financial assistance for the sustainable economic recovery of Mali including the steps to be taken to establish a trust fund as decided at the 12th OIC Summit in Cairo. Turkey will be represented at a high level, by our Minister of Economic Development at the International Donor Conference for Development in Mali to be organized in Brussels on 15 May 2013.

We sincerely hope that Resolution 2100 (2013) adopted by the UN Security Council last month, which among others foresees the establishment of Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and transfer of authority from AFISMA to MINUSMA will contribute positively to peace and stability in Mali.

Again on bilateral basis, as agreed during the visit of H.E. Tieman Hubert Coulibaly to Turkey last month upon our invitation, we prepared an Action Plan which aims the enhancement of cooperation in a variety of interrelated and intersecting areas under four thematic sets. These are:

- political and security fields;
- economic field;
- social development field; and
- cultural, educational and scientific fields.

We are pleased to see that this Action Plan is in line with the “Plan for the Sustainable Recovery of Mali”. As we agreed with this action plan includes;

- enhanced political dialogue,
- cooperation between defence and law enforcement authorities,
- completion of the legal basis in economic and interrelated areas,
- cooperation in agriculture and energy,
- vocational education,
- increasing scholarships based on the socio-economic needs of Mali, and
- enhanced cooperation between TIKA and relevant Malian institutions.


Having this opportunity, I would like to underline the importance of Islamic solidarity and reiterate our confidence in the unity, political stability and economic recovery of brotherly and friendly Mali. As Turkey, we will continue to assist Mali in this challenging process to the best of our capacity.

As discussed this morning at the High Level Officials Meeting and if agreed, we would be very happy to host the next Contact Group meeting in Turkey.

We very much look to see and remain confident that Mali will take its rightful place within the ranks of the international community. I want to assure my brother H.E. Coullibaly and the Malian Government that the entire Turkish population stands in solidarity with the Malian people and remain ready to provide any assistance we can.

Thank you.