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Statement by
H.E. Mr Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
President of the Republic of Turkey
at the Fifth Summit of the Conference on Interaction
 and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA)
June 2019
Dushanbe, Republic of Tajikistan

Distinguished Friend, Mr. President,
Esteemed Heads of State and Government,
Distinguished Ministers,

On behalf of myself and my country, I would like to greet you all with my most heartfelt feelings.

I am pleased to be in Dushanbe on the occasion of the Fifth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.

I congratulate my dear friend, His Excellency Mr. Rahmon, the President of Tajikistan, for their successful Chairmanship.

I extend my thanks to him for his kind hospitality.

I wish that our meeting will be beneficial for our region.

We are holding this Summit in a critical period in terms of regional and global developments.

The foundations of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia

were laid by the visionary suggestion of the wise person Nur-Sultan Nazarbayev.

As a result of our joint efforts, our conference has turned into a substantial and highly representative regional forum.

The rise in the number of the member countries is a proof of this.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Sri Lanka as our twenty seventh member.

I would like to once again extend my condolences and reiterate our solidarity to Sri Lankan people for the abhorrent act of terrorism which took place 2 months ago.

We are also pleased that Laos has joined us as an observer.

We, as Turkey, primarily believe that our cooperation should be deepened.

In this context, we think that institutionalization of CICA’s structures and its work can be furthered.

We need to increase our ownership of  CICA.

This sense of ownership could only be achieved through a tangible support and an active participation in implementing CICA’s Confidence Building Measures, as well as providing a financial support.

We can give momentum to our work in these areas by defining some concrete calendar-based targets.

Distinguished Friends,

In today’s world, unfortunately disorder prevails instead of order.

We are fighting against conflicts, civil wars, proxy wars and terrorism in our proximity.

The Conference on Cooperation and Confidence Building Measures in Asia is a platform where we can take joint steps against all these challenges.

Turkey endeavours to shape the dynamics around us towards peace, welfare and stability.

We do our best to end the civil war and establish stability in our neighbour Syria.

We host almost four million Syrians in Turkey.

With the cross-border operations, we have caused heavy blows to DAESH and PKK/YPG terrorist organizations which are threatening the future of Syria.

We saved more than 4,000 square kilometers from the invasion of terrorist organizations.

We have enabled 330 thousand Syrian refugees to return to their homeland.

We are also active in the Palestinian issue, another bleeding wound of our region.

Human dignity requires that the occupation, oppression and injustice be removed from Palestine's fate.

We reject the efforts to create a new fait accompli in Jerusalem.

We invite all countries to respect the UN resolutions and the historical and legal status of Jerusalem.

We support the efforts to establish peace and end violence in Afghanistan.

Within this context, we will continue our efforts within the Heart of Asia / Istanbul Process.

We support the settlement of the Kashmir issue in line with the expectations of the people of Kashmir, based on dialogue between Pakistan and India and on relevant UN resolutions.

We closely follow the situation of the Rohingas and hope that this humanitarian drama will cease as soon as possible.

We are currently co-chairing the Mediation Groups within the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Organization for Islamic Cooperation.

We also deem it useful to improve the capacity of mediation within this Conference.

Distinguished Friends,

Violent extremism and terrorism are on the rise worldwide.

Turkey is a country which has been fighting against terrorism for the last 35 years and has become the target of different terrorist organizations ranging from PKK to DAESH and from FETO to Al-Qaeda.

So far tens of thousands of our citizens have been victims of terrorist acts.

I would like to underline that terror and violence have no legitimate justification.

It is crucial to display a firm and clear stance in this area.

The policies of “destroying a terrorist organization by means of another terrorist organization” lead to more blood, more occupation, more cruelty and tears.

The Syrian field has unfortunately proved this bitter truth.

On the other hand, concrete steps are required to ensure the foundations of stable and sustainable development.

In this context, we believe in the benefit of multilateral solutions based on equity.

We attach importance to the development of combined transport corridors in our region and support the reconstruction of the modern Silk Road.

Our initiative “Trans-Caspian East-West-Middle Corridor”, which passes through the Caucasus and Central Asia and eventually reaches China, is the epitome of our approach.

I would like to state that we do not agree with the unilateral steps and sanctions that undermine regional peace, stability and economic cooperation.

With these thoughts, I wish that the Dushanbe Summit will be the turning point of long-term solidarity between us.

I would like extend my warmest regards to all the participants.