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Secretary-General’s Remarks at Accreditation Ceremony for new Ambassador of Turkey to CARICOM, 18 November

  • Your Excellency Bengü Yiğitgüden, Plenipotentiary Representative (Designate) of the Republic of Turkey to CARICOM.

Ambassador, it is with distinct pleasure that I accept your Credentials accrediting you as the Plenipotentiary Representative of Turkey to the Caribbean Community.

Your accreditation is warmly welcomed as yet another indication of Turkey’s continuing commitment to ensuring that the potential of our relationship is fully realised.

Secretary-General Dr Carla Barnett presenting her remarks

Development of relations with Turkey constitutes an important part of CARICOM’s larger foreign policy coordination strategy, which sees the forging of relationships with non-traditional partners as critical to repositioning the Region in the global community.

The framework is in place for enhancing our relations with the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK) in 2014, which among other things, agreed to establish Turkey-CARICOM Business Councils.  These Councils were planned to assist in building trade and investment relations between our countries, and it is in both our interests to advance this proposal.  I look forward, Excellency, towards us working together in this regard.

Already, Turkey has made highly appreciated contributions to the development of our Community, with significant support to the CARICOM Development Fund and to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), as well as granting scholarships to our nationals and more recently support in our fight against the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Your country has also advocated strongly in international fora on behalf of Small Island and Low-lying Coastal Developing States (SIDS), and Lesser Developed Countries (LDCs).  This support is most welcome as Turkey is a member of influential global bodies, such as the G20 and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in which our Member States have no voice.

Excellency, the potential for the expansion of the CARICOM-Turkey relationship is immense and it is my hope that during your tenure much of it can be fulfilled.

Ambassador Bengü Yiğitgüden

Welcome to the family of Plenipotentiary Representatives accredited to CARICOM.

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