Turkish FM: Istanbul to be hub of global mediation efforts
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has reiterated his aspiration to make Istanbul a United Nations center for mediation in resolving international crises, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
"We are organizing many mediation meetings in Istanbul. Now we are preparing to open a U.N. Mediation Center there," Davutoglu said at a meeting in Ankara on the mediation perspectives of Turkey and Norway, also participated by Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende.
Davutoğlu recalled that Turkey played an active role in mediation efforts between Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sudan and South Sudan, and Pakistan and Afghanistan, adding that Turkey had gained experience in these processes. He also brought up the Syrian civil war, saying the Turkish government had exerted efforts to resolve the crisis in 2011 by facilitating communication between the regime and opposition groups, but said this failed because of the al-Assad regime's attacks on dissidents.
"Mediation initiatives become very difficult if people are killing civilians through air bombardments and by using tanks, missiles and chemical weapons," Davutoglu said.