OSCE remains most comprehensive platform for dialogue: Secretary general

OSCE welcomes Türkiye's humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, says Helga Maria Schmid at 13th Ambassadors Conference in Ankara.

OSCE remains most comprehensive platform for dialogue: Secretary general

Hailing Türkiye's efforts in "promoting a regional approach in close cooperation with other stakeholders," the head of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe said Monday that her organization "remains the most important inclusive platform for dialogue."

Commending Türkiye and Armenia's efforts to normalize relations, Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid said at the 13th Ambassadors Conference in Ankara that she will meet with Turkish Ambassador Serdar Kilic, the special representative for the normalization.

Schmid further called Russia’s war in Ukraine "a war of aggression" and an "unprovoked war" in which she stressed the need for it to stop.

"I believe that the OSCE remains the most important inclusive platform for dialogue. The problem is that dialogue is sometimes conflated with compromise, concession and appeasement," she noted, adding that speaking to those you disagree with does not mean it is benefitting them and that such a perception is "too simplistic."

"Dialogue is also a means of holding (one) to account. It means preventing further catastrophe. It means forecasting our response if there is any escalation," she said.

Saying that Türkiye and the OSCE enjoy routine cooperation in mediation efforts, the secretary-general said "I'm very grateful for Türkiye's support towards my newly launched network for women leaders, including peacebuilders and mediators, including the mentorship program I will launch in October."

On the recent grain export deal signed between Türkiye, the UN, Russia and Ukraine, Schmid said "I'm heartened by the success of Turkish diplomacy, together with the UN."

"This is so crucial for Ukraine, whose agricultural sector is vital to the economy and people's livelihoods, but also for the rest of the world which depends on the output," she added.

Schmid also commented on the ongoing humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, saying she "very much welcomes Türkiye's provision of humanitarian aid, including via its kindness train,” referring to a train carrying tons of humanitarian aid materials that departed earlier this year from Türkiye to Afghanistan.

“With disgraceful restrictions on women and girls and rights by the Taliban authorities, I also thank Türkiye for its efforts to promote girls’ education," she added.

War-torn Afghanistan is facing a humanitarian crisis after the exit of foreign forces last August and the fall of the US-backed Kabul administration which resulted in the Taliban regaining power after 20 years of bloody war.

However, as the Taliban-led interim government awaits recognition by the international community that would allow it to bring in foreign investments and other financial benefits, the UN is leading a humanitarian mission to support the people in need.