UN envoy to Pakistan links appointment to trust in Turkey
Turkey is the country best placed to help flood-stricken Pakistanis, and the UN chose a Turkish envoy to the country with that in mind, said Turkish diplomat Rauf Engin Soysal yesterday, recently appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to be the UN's new special envoy for assistance to Pakistan. The UN's decision was motivated by the belief that a Turkish envoy could truly look after the country, he said, linking his appointment to Pakistan's love and trust of Turkey. "Turkish ambassadors have always had a special place in the eyes of Pakistanis. The image of Turkey is one which is close to Pakistanis," he said. The proposal for Soysal's appointment came from the UN side and was personally favored by both Ban and Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters in New York late last month. Soysal is also Turkey's representative in the group of special representatives for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and served as ambassador to Pakistan from January 2007 to July 2009. He was a well-known ambassador in Pakistan and was liked by Pakistani officials. Soysal said "a global effort" is needed to see Pakistan through the flood disaster and that he could help that. Saying that he first served in Pakistan in the wake of the terrible 2005 earthquake, Soysal said he would be effective at his post, as he knows numerous Pakistani officials from his earlier tenure. Soysal worked in the field following the earthquake and personally took part in the distribution of humanitarian relief.