Istanbul declaration voices concern over Europe's conflicts
A meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Council of Europe's (CoE) 47 member states held in Istanbul yesterday produced the “Istanbul Declaration” on the future of the organization and the role of the CoE in maintaining democratic stability in Europe as well as the principles, binding commitments and efficient monitoring mechanisms it has represented in this regard.Contrary to expectations of having the Istanbul Declaration adopted by all members, it was issued in the form of a document signed by the two co-chairs of the CM -- namely Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, in his capacity as the outgoing chair, and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Gryschenko, the incoming chair of the CoE. This was due to disagreement between Georgia and Russia on the content of the declaration, Today's Zaman learned from reliable sources.” The foreign ministers of 47 member states of the CoE gathered in Istanbul on May 11, 2011 to review their common achievements and to address together the challenges that our democratic societies face,” the declaration says. “Today’s meeting also took place at a time of momentous change in Europe’s immediate neighborhood. In North Africa and Middle East, popular movements are voicing a legitimate demand for democracy and social justice. We express our hope that these events will give birth to peaceful, stable and democratic societies.” the document went on to say.