Speech at the XXth Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the CPLP
FIRST COUNSELLOR ÖZGÜR ULUDÜZ
ON THE OCCASION OF THE XXth MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS OF THE CPLP
(24th of July 2015, Dili)
Turkey’s strategic location requires us to pursue an active, constructive and multi-dimensional foreign policy, and to intensify its relations in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific regions in an increasingly globalized world. This dynamic foreign policy naturally leads Turkey to seek partners not only in its immediate or larger neighbourhood, but also to a wider scale across continents. Therefore, enhancing our cooperation with the CPLP, representing a total population of 250 million, is complementary to our foreign policy vision.
Among others, Turkey is a member of NATO and a founding member of the Council of Europe and the OECD. Turkey also is a candidate to full membership of EU with which we have a Customs Union since 1996. It is also a member of the OIC and is currently the term president of the G-20 group of major economies, since 1st of December, 2014.
Turkey is among the newest Associate Observers to the CPLP and we were granted this status at the 10th Summit of Heads of State and Government of CPLP a year ago here in Dili. In addition, Turkey also decided to further solidify its newly acquired status by accrediting its Embassy in Lisbon also as its Permanent Representation to the CPLP.
While a common action among full member states, it was in fact the first time that an observer country has accredited a Permanent Representative to the CPLP. It is also a step which clearly demonstrates Turkey’s will to strengthen its relationship with the CPLP and a reflection of its policies that derive from its desire to develop strong institutional ties with new partners around the world. In this context, I would like to thank the Executive Secretary of the CPLP, Ambassador Murargy and through him the members of the Secretariat for their very supportive and cooperative approach throughout this process.
In a nutshell, The Associate Observer status of Turkey marks the start of a new era in Turkey’s relations with the Lusophone world. For Turkey, CPLP represents a unique multilateral forum, bridging four continents and also an organization with whose members Turkey enjoys increasingly good relations and friendship.
Turkey at present has Embassies in Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, and is enhancing its diplomatic, economic and commercial ties with other members of the CPLP as a part of its foreign policy orientation which puts great emphasis also on other continents outside its immediate neighbourhood, particularly Africa, Latin America and Asia.
Turkish Airlines represents this trend very well by flying basically to more destination than any other airliner in the world (276 to be precise) with particularly strong coverage of the African capitals. Among those African destinations, Turkish Airlines has recently announced that flights to Maputo will start soon, maybe as early as October this year. Flights to Luanda are also in the pipeline. In Latin America, the first destination that Turkish Airlines started flying was Brazil (Sao Paulo) back in 2009. Thus, we now have more direct contact with the Lusophone world, arguably for first time ever in our history in this scope.
We believe that our Associate Observership can be mutually beneficial, providing added value to the CPLP as well and it might enable us to cooperate better on several global issues of mutual interest on a structural basis.
One of the first concrete steps taken in the direction of enhancing our collaboration in international platforms following our observer status was taken when Turkey became a co-sponsor of the Resolution titled “Cooperation Between the UN and the CPLP” which was adopted by the UN General Assembly this year on 6thof July.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me also briefly outline some recent and planned activities concerning Turkey’s efforts, as a new Associate Observer to the CPLP, which is by no means an exhaustive list.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Turkey is a reliable partner for the CPLP and our presence here today is once again an affirmation of our desire to deepen our cooperation with the Lusophone world by creating new synergies on a mutually beneficial basis.
Thank you very much for the opportunity and for your attention.
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