The Turkish foreign minister on Tuesday said “global problems require global solutions.”

Speaking at Antalya Diplomacy Forum’s virtual seminar on Tuesday, Mevlut Cavusoglu said: “Turkey has done its part by supporting others and global initiatives.”

Turkey sent medical supplies to 141 countries and five international organizations, Cavusoglu added.

“With these figures, Turkey has become the second largest provider of medical aid in the world,” he added.

Underscoring that without a cure, the battle against the coronavirus pandemic “is far from over,” Cavusoglu said: “No body is safe until everybody is safe. We must all act together in the face of global challenges.”

“It is time to reflect on how we can change the way we do things for the better,” he stressed.

The virtual seminar — titled Leveraging the effects of the pandemic towards regional cooperation in Asia — focused on the Asian response to the coronavirus pandemic and its social and economic impacts.

The minister told international community to “utilize the fight against pandemic for dialogue and peace” and reminded that “economies are integrated with one another now more than ever.”

“Therefore, we have to adopt an integrated multilateral approach in the fight against the pandemic,” he added. 

Cavusoglu also urged to “expand digital connectivity, improve logistics and transport infrastructures, secure our supply chains, and fortify businesses’ resilience and financial strategy.” 

He further expressed Turkey’s readiness to “work closely with each and every partner in the Asia Pacific” on such global efforts. 

Azerbaijan plays active role in COVID-19 fight

For his part, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov said that the seminar “will also be a good opportunity in providing an insight into how the Republic of Azerbaijan is tackling the coronavirus pandemic since its emergence”. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic brought a number of unparalleled challenges and disruptions that require a worldwide effort in protecting public health. Countries have taken reinforcement measures on containment, prevention, and response to the spread of the pandemic under the leadership of their respective heads of state and government,” Bayramov said.

“Azerbaijan plays an active role in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic both at the domestic and multilateral levels. So far Azerbaijan provided voluntary financial assistance to the World Health Organization,” he added.

He also emphasized Azerbaijan’s active role under the framework of the Turkic Council.

“Azerbaijan assumed the Chairmanship of the Turkic Council on 15 October 2019, during the 7th Summit held in Baku, with the aim of further strengthening cooperation and concerted efforts in attaining the goals and objectives of the Turkic Speaking World,” he added. 

On recent tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Bayramov said: “While the entire world is mobilized to fight COVID-19 pandemic, Armenia resorts to provocation and diversion attempts to escalate tension.”

“On July 12, 2020, the armed forces of Armenia flagrantly violated the ceasefire and used artillery to fire on the positions of Azerbaijan’s armed forces in the Tovuz district, along the state border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. As a result of the attacks, 12 servicemen, including one major general, of the Azerbaijani armed forces and 1 civilian have been martyred,” he added. 

Speaking at the event, Japan’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Suzuki Keisuke thanked Cavusoglu and other participants.

In geographical and political sense, Japan has a role in linking the East and West, Asia and America, adding Turkey has a similar role due to a bridge connecting Europe and Asia.

For her part, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Armida Alisjahbana said the pandemic showed how interconnected world economies and societies are and that no country can cope with the economic effects of this outbreak alone. 

“Countries have an opportunity to mitigate inequalities, adopt sustainable consumption & production, and accelerate decarbonization of the economy. Recovery with social & economic transformation will not be possible without strengthening #SDG16 on institutions and good governance,” Alisjahbana said on Twitter.

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