mardi 17 février 2009

Abant Platform calls for tolerance in closure statement

The Abant Platform's meeting in Arbil, "Searching for Peace and a Future Together," held in cooperation with Salahaddin University and the Mukriyani Institute, was conducted with goodwill and sentiments of friendship felt by participants.

Gathered together and guided by the common denominators of human rights, democracy, the rule of law, mutual security and stability, the participants underlined the need to foster tolerance and friendship.

In the two-day discussions, it was strongly emphasized that mutual relations and the freshly established dialogue process should be maintained and expanded.

The Abant Platform, Salahaddin University and the Mukriyani Institute hereby announce the following points as a text jointly approved by all parties:

1. Developing relations between Turkey and the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq will bring peace and stability not only to both parties, but also to the entire region. This development will be to the benefit of Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, Assyrians, Syriacs, Keldanis, Armenians and all Middle Eastern peoples in Iraq.

2. History, geography and culture have made the Turkish and Kurdish peoples sister peoples. It is our responsibility to reinforce these ties of brotherhood.

3. All sorts of policies based on ethno-nationalism are rejected.

4. Iraq's border with Turkey is a gateway to Europe for Iraq. Turkey's border with Iraq is a
door to history and civilization for Turkey. These doors must be kept fully open.

5. Close cooperation should be established between Turkey and the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq not only in politics, but also in culture, economy, commerce, education and health.

6. Passage through border gates should be facilitated as soon as possible.

7. Parties regard respect for human rights secured by the rule of law as the most precious common denominator.

8. Every opportunity or occasion should be used to establish and improve an atmosphere of tolerance and dialogue.

9. Parties believe that securing democratic rights and freedoms, reinforcing democratic institutions and mobilizing democratic players in these relations are inevitable.

10. Parties deem it a positive step to organize a conference where Kurdish political groups may discuss issues through peaceful and democratic methods.

11. Media organizations should use peaceful, respectful and constructive language.

12. Parties reject violent methods in the settlement of all sorts of problems.

13. Parties attach importance to organizing and popularizing meetings of this kind by utilizing all available resources.

14. It is a generally voiced wish that a Turkish consulate should be opened in Arbil and a representation office of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq should be opened in Ankara.

17 February 2009, Tuesday


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