The Antalya Diplomacy Forum, which is held in the Turkish city of Antalya, has begun on June 18 and will take place for three days until its end on June 20. The forum is hosted by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, under the auspices of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Under the title of “Innovative Diplomacy: New Era, New Approaches,” multiple panels and round tables devoted to regional issues and thematic subjects will be addressed, such as developments in the Middle East and the Gulf, the eastern Mediterranean, the Southern Caucasus, Africa, Asia and Europe. Among other topics of high importance include the fight against extremism and discrimination, the global fight against terrorism, and future expectations in energy.
Çavuşoğlu made the forum’s inauguration speech and emphasized that Turkey had the fifth largest diplomatic network with 252 missions carrying out proactive diplomacy in trying to solve problems in every corner of the world, both at the level of leaders and at the level of embassies. The foreign minister further noted that, with the initiatives of Asia Anew, Digital Diplomacy and Antalya Diplomacy Forum, they have created effective foreign policy instruments of the future and introduced a new area for foreign policy thinking.
During one of the panels conducted thus far, the Qatari foreign minister and his Kuwaiti counterpart discussed mediation in the cyberspace and diplomatic level, while also talking about the topic in the context of Afghanistan. Re-emphasizing the completion of the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan in September, Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani stated that there is “no consensus” on what the future of Afghanistan will look like. Elsewhere, when asked about his views on the conflict in Yemen, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah said that Yemen is going through a tragic situation, adding that some elements were also prevalent in Yemen’s conflict where they thought of their interests rather than the interests of their nation.
Another important panel held in the forum was with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. During the diplomacy forum, Zarif expressed that issues in Iran’s nuclear talks with Western powers were not insurmountable and he hoped to achieve a result before August. The foreign minister met with the Head of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah and with former Afghan foreign minister Salahuddin Rabbani on the latest developments in Afghanistan, as well as Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussain and EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell to discuss economic relations and the JCPOA, respectively.
The Antalya Diplomacy Forum is hosting 10 heads of state and government, 42 foreign ministers, three former heads of state and government, and more than 50 representatives of international organizations or former government officials, according to a statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry.