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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)
14 June 2004



ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY AHMET NECDET SEZER
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY
AT THE OPENING OF THE THIRTY-FIRST SESSION
OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE OF FOREIGN MINISTERS
ISTANBUL - 14 JUNE, 2004

Mr. Chairman,
Mr. Secretary-General
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have the pleasure of opening the Thirty-First Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers and addressing you.

/...

Mr. Chairman,

In order for the ownership of projects concerning reform, modernization and democratization to be claimed by the countries in the region, and to ensure that the hand extended by the international community for assistance bears fruit, it is important that concrete steps are taken for a just and lasting settlement of the conflicts in the Middle East region. The Arab-Israeli dispute lies at the forefront of these conflicts and the question of Palestine in its center.

I would like to reaffirm Turkey 's solidarity with the Palestinian people at this very difficult time. As a result of the continuing occupation in the territories of Palestine, and excessive use of force as well as destruction that have claimed the lives of many Palestinians, the conflict has escalated to a dangerous level. This situation seriously impacts efforts aimed at establishing security and stability in the region.

We do not disregard the security concerns of Israel. However, we see the use of excessive force as a big mistake that does not serve any end other than further escalating tensions and harming civilians.

The ongoing negative developments in the region displays how important it is for the leaders on both sides to heed the calls of the international community. The future of the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples are interlinked. A better future in the region can be built only through wisdom and reconciliation by the two peoples, rather than building walls and physical barriers. Policies that ignore international law and the calls of the international community are doomed to failure.

It is evident that a viable peace agreement is the only way to provide a safe future for both parties. And this can be achieved through the vision of “two States¸ Israel and Palestine , living side by side within secure and recognized borders” in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. In this vein, we believe that the ground laid by the Road Map should be effectively utilized.

In order to achieve progress in the implementation of the Road Map, high-level engagement of the international community is necessary. The ongoing contacts with the members of the Quartet by the OIC Ministerial Delegation, in which Turkey is also represented, demonstrate the commitment of the international community to a just and lasting settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Likewise, the confirmation at the Arab League Summit of the validity of the Arab Peace Plan is important. I would like to reiterate that Turkey stands ready to fulfil any responsibility that falls on its shoulders for the resolution of the conflict.

/...

With these thoughts in mind, I would like to welcome all participants once again and wish that your work will yield significant results in our quest for peace and prosperity.


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