UPDATE - Türkiye's vision to become one of world's system-building actors, says foreign minister

UPDATE - Türkiye's vision to become one of world's system-building actors, says foreign minister

Türkiye to work with other countries to establish effective, inclusive international system that embraces humanity, eliminates global injustices, Hakan Fidan tells ambassadors

ADDS MORE REMARKS FROM TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER

By Diyar Guldogan

ANKARA (AA) — As Türkiye prepares to mark its 100th anniversary, Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said on Monday the country's vision was to be among the world's system-building actors.

"Our vision is to make Türkiye one of the system-building actors at the 'Century of Türkiye.' We will reach this big goal by foreseeing and shaping change," Fidan said in an address to Turkish ambassadors serving abroad and at home.

The envoys gathered in the capital Ankara for the 14th Ambassadors Conference to discuss regional and international developments, global trends, and recent challenges and opportunities.

"We will work with other countries to establish an effective and inclusive international system that embraces humanity, eliminates global injustices, addresses economic inequalities, and produces peace, security, stability, and prosperity," Fidan said.

With the awareness that major changes require strategic patience and strong will, Türkiye will proceed with "modest but steady" steps, he added.

"While implementing these steps, we will act in line with four basic strategic goals. These are: To establish peace and security in our region, to establish our foreign relations on a structural basis, to develop an environment of prosperity and to advance our global goals," Fidan stressed.


- Complex period in global system

The current global system is experiencing a "more complex" period marked by multiple crises, said the Turkish foreign minister, pointing to the diverse challenges that the world currently faces.

The current international system, Fidan said, is unfortunately unable to produce peace, stability, and justice for most. "We are witnessing that the competition between great powers is increasing tension and polarization at a global scale."

In the international system, countries are simultaneously faced with many political, military, economic, environmental, technological, and social challenges, he added.

"We see that various challenges such as armed conflicts, terrorism, irregular migration, xenophobia and Islamophobia, climate change, and waste crisis trigger and feed each other," he stressed.

Fidan underlined that through all this, Ankara would remain an independent and influential actor on the world stage.

"We will work tirelessly to strengthen Türkiye's position as a fully independent, active, and influential actor that sets the international agenda, setting and breaking the game when necessary," he said.


- Terror groups: Biggest threat to security

In Türkiye's region, terrorist and other proxy groups are the biggest threat to security, peace, and stability, Fidan underlined.

"Whether its name is FETO (Fetullah Terrorist Organization), PKK/YPG, or Daesh, together with all our relevant institutions, we will not let the terrorist organizations and the forces behind them open their eyes in our country and in our region. We will not leave any space (for them), we will not let them take a breath," Fidan added.

To this end, Fidan said Türkiye will continue fighting terrorists by stepping up its military, intelligence, and technological capabilities at home, while ensuring effective cooperation with friends abroad.

FETO and its US-based leader Fethullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, in which 253 people were killed and 2,734 wounded in Türkiye.

The PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US, and EU — has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants, in its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye.

In 2013, Türkiye became one of the first countries to declare Daesh/ISIS a terrorist organization.

The country has since been attacked by the terror group multiple times, with over 300 people killed and hundreds more injured in at least 10 suicide bombings, seven bomb attacks, and four armed attacks. In response, Türkiye launched anti-terror operations at home and abroad to prevent further attacks.


- Russia-Ukraine war

On the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, Fidan vowed that Türkiye will remain determined to end the fighting and bring peace.

"We will stubbornly and persistently continue to strive for the end of the Ukraine war and the establishment of peace," he said.

Türkiye's main priority will be to preserve calm in the Black Sea region and block attempts to jeopardize it, Fidan stressed.

"We will continue our contacts with all parties for the revival of the Black Sea grain initiative, which affects every household in the world," said Fidan, stressing that Türkiye is "the only actor that can do this."

On July 17, Russia suspended its participation in the deal, which it signed in July 2022 along with Türkiye, the UN, and Ukraine to resume grain exports from Ukrainian Black Sea ports which were paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February. Moscow has complained that the Russian part of the agreement was not being implemented.

Türkiye, internationally praised for its unique mediator role between Ukraine and Russia, has repeatedly called on Kyiv and Moscow to end the war through negotiations.


- Regional issues

Turning to Syria, Fidan said Türkiye will make every effort to make Syria no longer a safe haven for terrorist organizations or an arena for proxy wars.

Ankara will accelerate work on the voluntary return of Syrian refugees in Türkiye to their country, he stressed.

More than 3.7 million Syrians currently reside in Türkiye, making it the world's top refugee-hosting country.

Following the start of a civil war in Syria in 2011, Türkiye adopted an "open-door" policy for Syrians fleeing persecution and brutality.

Türkiye is the main defender of territorial integrity and political stability in its other southern neighbor Iraq, Fidan said, adding: "To this end, we will continue to support (efforts to) clear Iraq from terrorist organizations, especially the PKK."


- 'Positive agenda'

Türkiye desires to advance its relations with all countries in the region through a "positive agenda," the minister said.

"We believe that the current positive atmosphere offers a great opportunity to find solutions to conflicting issues with our neighbor Greece. We are sincere about this," Fidan added.

Underlining the clarity of Türkiye's stance on Cyprus, Fidan said ensuring the sovereign equality and equal international status of Turkish Cypriots remains Türkiye's basic policy.

In the face of the recent instability in Africa, the minister said Türkiye is taking preliminary steps to establish security and ensure peace.

"For lasting peace in Libya, on the basis of a broad consensus, it is essential that transparent, fair, and free presidential and parliamentary elections be held throughout the country, wasting no more time," he said.

About Türkiye's reconciliation and normalization processes in the Middle East and the South Caucasus, Fidan said: "On the basis of our basic foreign policy principles, we will seek to solve problems, increase the number of our friends and strengthen our existing friendships."

Coordinated progress in the "Türkiye-Armenia and Azerbaijan-Armenia processes" is essential for stability, peace, prosperity, and security in the South Caucasus, he added.

"The only way to lasting peace in the Middle East is a two-state solution based on international parameters. It is the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

"We will stand against any step that harms this vision and any provocations targeting our first qibla, the al-Aqsa Mosque," he said.


- 'Strategic blindness'

In the coming period, Fidan said it would be important to approach Türkiye-EU relations with a perspective to revive Ankara's accession for full membership.

"In an environment where all Balkan countries, Moldova, and even Ukraine's membership to the EU and NATO are being discussed, it is strategic blindness that Türkiye's EU membership process has been aborted," he said.

Fidan emphasized that an EU without Türkiye would not be a "truly global actor."

Türkiye applied for EU membership in 1987 and has been a candidate country since 1999.

Negotiations for full membership started in October 2005 but have stalled in recent years due to political hurdles erected by some countries.

Fidan also underscored the need for equal consideration of the security threats and concerns that NATO members face.

"In this context, we reiterate the call for some NATO countries to immediately end their open and covert cooperation with the PKK in Syria and Iraq," he added.

Türkiye will work to make its existing cooperation and alliance systems "more effective" in political, military, economic and other fields, Fidan said.

Ankara also will endeavor to make the economic, trade, and financial pillars of its bilateral and regional relations more systematic and institutional, he added.

"In line with our goal of being among the top 10 economies of the world, we will develop and diversify our commercial and economic relations with all geographies," he said, adding that Türkiye will take more steps in the areas of defense industry, energy, and transportation.

Türkiye will continue to help solve global problems for a fairer world order, Fidan stressed. "We will continue our efforts to ensure fairer representation in the UN and other international organizations and to increase the effectiveness of these organizations."

"We will carry our country, which has one of the five largest diplomatic networks in the world, even higher in this ranking," Fidan told ambassadors.

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