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First Turkey-CARICOM foreign ministers meeting opens in Istanbul
Published on July 19, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Ray Chickrie
Caribbean News Now contributor

ISTANBUL, Turkey -- The first meeting of the foreign ministers of Turkey and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was due to be hosted by Ahmet Davutoğlu, minister of foreign affairs of Turkey, in Istanbul on Friday, according to a press release from the Turkish foreign ministry.

Davutoğlu and Irwin LaRocque, CARICOM secretary general, signed a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of a consultation and cooperation mechanism back in September 2011, with a view to institutionalizing relations between Turkey and CARICOM member states.

CARICOM has become an important partner for Turkey, the press release stated, especially that they both share common interests in international organizations.

In March, during the CARICOM heads of government summit in St Vincent and the Grenadines, the Turkish foreign minister attended as a special guest. This meeting enhanced Turkish-CARICOM relations and set the groundwork for expanded ties. It was during this meeting that Davutoğlu invited the CARICOM foreign ministers to hold the first meeting between CARICOM foreign ministers and Turkey.

According to the press release, this meeting is the highest level event organized between Turkey and CARICOM, and “will provide an opportunity to evaluate current progress and determine the necessary steps to ensure further development of cooperation and to review our bilateral relations with member states.”

The Turkish foreign ministry said, “The meeting, which constitutes one of the steps aimed at implementing our outreach strategy to different regions of the world, will be the beginning of a new era between Turkey and CARICOM.”
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