In New York, Davutoglu holds bilateral talks with counterparts from across world
On the sidelines and following the current UN General Assembly, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is holding talks with more than 60 of his counterparts from around the world. Davutoglu, formerly chief foreign policy advisor to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan since 2002, when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) came to power, was appointed foreign minister in May. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday following a Balkan leaders meeting, Davutoglu said his meetings on the sidelines of the UN meeting have been fast paced. In addition to his own talks, Davutoglu has been accompanying Erdogan on some of his bilateral meetings. "We have a unique opportunity to have close contact with all countries both as a member of the UN Security Council and the General Assembly and as a necessity of our international responsibility," Davutoglu told reporters. "In addition, we have had an opportunity to discuss fundamental issues of Turkish foreign policy – particularly Cyprus, developments in the Middle East, the Balkans and the Caucasus – in a comprehensive way with our counterparts." Last October, following years of intense lobbying, Turkey was elected to the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member for a two-year term which started on Jan. 1. Leaders Davutoglu has had bilateral talks with so far include US Middle East Envoy George Mitchell, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen, Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Jandrokovic, and a number of counterparts from Africa. Stating that many African nations want Turkey's support to solve their issues, Davutoglu said this shows Turkey's rising credibility and clout on the international stage. Asked about Turkish-Armenian relations, Davutoglu said Turkey has a policy of zero problems and maximum cooperation with neighboring countries, adding that they would continue to follow this path in the months and years to come.