Turkey's FM addresses Civilizations Alliance meeting in Bosnia

Giving an example on freedoms, Davutoglu said that an Ottoman law dating back to 1463 preserved the rights of Bosnian Christians and that it was one of the oldest laws on religious freedoms.

Turkey's FM addresses Civilizations Alliance meeting in Bosnia

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu attended Monday a Ministerial Meeting on Alliance of Civilizations Southeast Europe Strategy in Sarajevo.

I am honored to attend such a meeting and address the participants. I believe that the high level participation would add momentum to the (Alliance of Civilizations) initiative, Davutoglu said.

With this meeting, the Alliance of Civilizations initiative has reached a new level. The Alliance keeps growing, Davutoglu noted.

Reminding that during the Alliance's meeting in Istanbul in April a decision was taken to establish regional strategies, Davutoglu said that he was pleased with the establishment of the first regional strategy in Southeast Europe.

The Balkans needed such an initiative and deserved such an initiative as it is a region with rich history and culture, Davutoglu stressed.

What happened in the past 20 years should be kept in mind so that similar incidents do not repeat. As such, we must speed up regional initiatives, Davutoglu said.

The Balkans must be accepted as a central region. Globalization has made the Balkans an important center. The Balkans have the necessary human resources, cultural heritage and vision in order to become the center of interest in Southeast Europe, Davutoglu said.

As Turkey, we have contributed to the establishment of a Regional Strategy for Sarajevo and Southeast Europe. The region is important for Turkey not merely for historical reasons but also due to the status quo, Davutoglu said.

Turkey is attached to the Alliance of Civilizations initiative. We can not ignore radicalism and polarization in the world in recent times. We were disappointed with a Swiss decision to ban new minarets, Davutoglu said.

It was a wrong step to hold a referendum on basic religious rights (in Switzerland). I hope that this mistake would be compensated. Widening of human rights, basic rights and freedoms should not push countries to hold referendums, Davutoglu said.

Giving an example on freedoms, Davutoglu said that an Ottoman law dating back to 1463 preserved the rights of Bosnian Christians and that it was one of the oldest laws on religious freedoms.

Davutoglu concluded his speech with a Bosnian proverb: "There can not be coffee without a cigarette and there can not be a mosque without a minaret".



AA

Last Mod: 14 Aralık 2009, 14:29
Add Comment