Turkey’s honorary consuls meet to discuss foreign policy

ISTANBUL (CIHAN)- Honorary consuls, who serve under Turkish embassies abroad in countries or cities where there are no Turkish diplomatic missions, are scheduled to hold meetings in Ankara and Istanbul to exchange views regarding Turkey’s foreign policy.

A total of 29 honorary consuls from 23 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East will be visiting Turkey between April 14 and 19. The meeting is part of a program launched by the Foreign Ministry to periodically invite the honorary consuls to Turkey in regional groups. “The purpose of this program is to enable our honorary consuls to provide more efficient and comprehensive services to the Turkish citizens residing in their consular districts and to Turkish businesspeople, and to be closely acquainted with political, economic, social and cultural developments in Turkey as well as in changes in our legislation,” said a Foreign Ministry statement.

Turkish honorary consuls in European countries were invited to Turkey in 2012, while those in North and South America and Australia were invited last year.

A senior Turkish diplomat from the Foreign Ministry told Today’s Zaman that honorary consuls would first be hosted in Ankara and then in Istanbul to exchange views. “During their stay in Ankara, the honorary consuls will receive comprehensive information about Turkey’s foreign policy, economy and changes in our consular legislation,” said the official.

He added that Turkish diplomats will brief the honorary consuls on Turkey’s main foreign policy issues, such as Ankara’s pursuit of non-permanent membership on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2015-2016 term and the alleged Armenian genocide of 1915 as its centennial approaches. After serving as a temporary member of the UNSC in the 2009-2010 period, Turkey has once again announced its candidacy for the 2015-2016 period.

Meanwhile, the Armenian lobby has intensified its efforts to support resolutions in other countries to acknowledge as “genocide” the mass killing of Armenians who were massacred or marched to their deaths in the final days of the Ottoman Empire.

Diplomats and honorary consuls will also exchange views regarding regional issues.

“The honorary consuls will visit Istanbul in order to better familiarize themselves with Turkey’s social and cultural characteristics and to meet businesspeople. The occasion will be hosted by the Foreign Economic Relations Board [DEIK],” added the statement.

Turkey’s honorary consuls meet to discuss foreign policy C