GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala
Turkey’s foreign minister said Tuesday that Ankara is ready to share its experiences of migration management with Central American countries that are dealing with similar situations.
“Even though there is no world war, still there are almost 70 million displaced people,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told the Turkey-Central American Integration System (SICA) Third Political Forum of Foreign Ministers. “This is one of the major challenges of our world today.”
“At the regional level we try our best to address existing crisis. In Syria, for example, we use effective diplomacy in Astana and Geneva to end this long war that has caused tremendous suffering.
“We also launch operations to clear an area of 4,000 square kilometers (2,500 square miles) from Daesh and YPG/PKK terrorists and hundreds of thousands of Syrians were able to return to their country as a result,” he added.
Cavusoglu said Turkey’s partners in SICA have been dealing with a refugee crisis as countries of destination or transit countries as he offered to share Ankara’s expertise in hosting more than 4 million refugees.
In a news conference with his Guatemalan counterpart Sandra Jovel and SICA Secretary-General Vinicio Cerezo, Cavusoglu said Turkey is determined to continue strong relations with SICA and support its activities.
He said the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) will increase projects in the region and Ankara wants to sign a free trade agreement with SICA or have bilateral deals with individual members.
Jovel said Turkey is a regional power and its participation in SICA as an observer in 2015 was a major step.
She stressed the importance of SICA members to continue cooperation with Turkey in health, education, geothermal energy and the renewable energy industries.
Cerezo said Turkey and SICA have common features and Ankara is a bridge between Europe, Asia — east and west — while the bloc is a bridge between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and North and South America.