Ankara, Turkey – President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the 12th Halifax International Security Forum via video message. “We will continue our work with the same determination,” President Erdogan said, noting that Turkey is open to dialogue and diplomacy on the Eastern Mediterranean. We have never closed our door to dialogue and diplomacy, we will not close it. Turkey has always taken a constructive position to overcome the existing problems in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean,” he said.

“We are trying to ensure our own national security, the safety of our own citizens’ lives and property and to evaluate them at a solid point, and then to contribute to the stability, peace and internal peace of our region and our heartland geography.” said.

“This region, which is Azerbaijani territory, has been occupied by Armenia for about 30 years, despite the decisions of the United Nations and the OSCE,” Erdogan said, noting that the Nagorno-Karabakh issue is an important example at this point. The co-presidents of the MINSK Group, created to solve the problem, have unfortunately not taken any steps so far to end the occupation. Thanks to our joint efforts with the Russian Federation, we have ended a heated conflict with the agreement reached and contributed to the solution of a problem that has been refrigerated for 30 years. “he said.

President Erdogan said that since the beginning of the crisis in Libya, they have argued that the conflict can only be resolved through political dialogue:

“The training and advisory support we provided to the Libyan National Reconciliation Government prevented the country from being dragged into further civil war and paved the way for the United Nations-led political process. If the prospects for a political solution in Libya have blossomed again today, Turkey’s timely intervention has a very serious contribution to it. We continue our efforts in coordination with all parties, especially the United Nations, to establish a permanent ceasefire on the ground and to advance an inclusive political process. We also support the work of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum.”

“Of course, we could not consent to the fact that our country, which bears the burden of all kinds of developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, was ignored when it came to natural resources.”Erdogan said that despite the provocations of Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, they have always been patient and cold-blooded on the Eastern Mediterranean issue.

Erdogan said that the accusations of the European Union, under the name of “solidarity in the Union”, about the exploration and drilling activities that they carried out with determination to protect both the rights of Turks and the interests of Turkish Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean are incompatible with history, law and facts:

“We will continue our efforts to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots and the equitable sharing of hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean with the same determination. On the other hand, we have never closed our door to dialogue and diplomacy, we do not close it. Our proposal to organize an Eastern Mediterranean Conference, in which the Turkish Cypriots will also participate, is a manifestation of our will to solve the problem through dialogue. Turkey has always taken a constructive position to overcome existing problems in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean. As a matter of fact, we have actively and sincerely participated and contributed to the separation negotiations held under the umbrella of NATO between our country and Greece at the initiative of the Secretary General of NATO in recent months. In addition, we agreed with Greece to restart the process of exploratory negotiations, the last of which was conducted 4.5 years ago, in which the Aegean problems were discussed.”

“It is wrong and not possible to imprison Turkey, which is geographically an Afro-Eurasian country, in a narrow framework of diplomacy.”by saying, he noted:

“We can have the luxury of turning our backs on neither the East nor the West. In developing our relations with Europe, we never neglect Asia and Africa. We do not see our recently deepened cooperation with Russia as an alternative to our deep-rooted ties with America. In particular, we attach great importance to our position within NATO, of which we have been a member for 68 years. Turkey’s borders are also NATO’s. Today, we take on critical responsibilities as a reliable ally in the face of the new challenges and threats facing NATO. With our significant contributions to the alliance in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq, The Black Sea, the Mediterranean and other geographies, we have shouldered a great burden of burden-sharing. We do not allow this fact to be overshadowed and questioned by narrow political motives. It is of course that we expect the same sensitivity and spirit of solidarity from our allies while respecting the rights and interests of both our country and our allies.”

Erdogan expressed his desire to emphasize that Turkey has the will to continue its decisive struggle in the face of threats to international security and stability.

Erdogan, who wants the ideas that they will put forward on important topics on the forum’s agenda to contribute to the search for peace and security, ended his words by wishing success in his work.