President of Türkiye highlights cooperation to overcome global crises at 77th UNGA session

President of Turkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022 at U.N. headquarters.

New York, The Gulf Observer: President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan highlighted the importance of cooperation and joint action, and restructuring of the U.N. in the face of ongoing global crises during his much-anticipated speech at the 77th session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.

“We are currently in a period when we have to take joint action against common tests affecting the world,” he said, noting that regional crises have global implications, such as in the example of the Russia-Ukraine war.

Praising the Istanbul grain deal mediated by Türkiye and the U.N., Erdoğan said it is one of the greatest achievements of the world body in recent years. He noted that it has been essential to maintain Ukraine’s grain supply and prevent a humanitarian catastrophe.

Türkiye, the U.N., Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul on July 22 to restart grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which were paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February.

A Joint Coordination Center with officials from the three countries and the U.N. was set up in Istanbul to oversee the shipments.

Since the first vessel sailed under the deal on Aug. 1, more than 160 ships have carried over 3 million tons of agricultural products through the grain corridor.

“Türkiye emphasizes the key role of dialogue and diplomacy to de-escalate tension between Russia, and Ukraine,” he said, adding that Ankara strives to resolve conflicts through mediation.

He also called for a “dignified way out” of the seven-month crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Erdoğan has been using his good working relations with both Moscow and Kyiv to try and find a diplomatic solution to the war.

He spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy by phone moments before addressing the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly with an urgent appeal for peace.

“Together, we need to find a reasonably practical diplomatic solution that will give both sides a dignified way out of the crisis,” Erdoğan told the United Nations.

He said a lasting peace must be based on protecting Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

“We will continue to increase our efforts to end the war that has flared up again in recent days on the basis of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and independence.

“I invite international organizations and all countries to give sincere support to Türkiye’s efforts.”

He noted that Türkiye’s foreign policy vision has always focused on peace: “We undertake a constructive role in eliminating disagreements and tensions in different regions,” he said.

Regarding the issue of energy, Erdoğan said Türkiye has always regarded the issue of energy as a matter of cooperation rather than competition.

Erdoğan also touched upon Türkiye’s security concerns regarding the PKK terrorists and its offshoots in Iraq and Syria.

“Türkiye cannot be expected to remain indifferent to the PKK, its offshoots, which carry out terrorist attacks and threaten Syria’s territorial integrity,” he said, adding that those who arm terrorists, try to legitimize them must abandon this path. He stated that Türkiye will ensure its border security in the face of YPG/PKK terrorist threats.

Reiterating Türkiye’s support for solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Erdoğan said the safety and security of Palestinians and their properties is crucial.

“A Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as capital must be established,” he said, adding that Ankara is determined to continue to build ties with Israel for regional peace.

Erdoğan noted that Türkiye strongly supports a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to facilitate permanent peace in the Middle East.