Decline of trust subjects OSCE to existential crisis: Turkish foreign minister

International order is again dominated by zero-sum approaches, Mevlut Cavusoglu laments at OSCE Ministerial Council in Poland.

Decline of trust subjects OSCE to existential crisis: Turkish foreign minister

Under the shadow of the ongoing war, the decline of trust among countries has made the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development face "an existential crisis," said the Turkish foreign minister on Thursday.

"This year we are gathered under extraordinary circumstances due to the ongoing war in Ukraine. Respect for territorial integrity, sovereignty, and political independence is at the core of the United Nations and is one of the founding principles of the OSCE," said Mevlut Cavusoglu in his remarks at the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in the Polish city of Lodz.

Saying that the "decline of trust has brought the OSCE face to face with an existential crisis," Cavusoglu said: “This has also resulted in deep polarization."

"The international order is again dominated by zero-sum approaches. At the same time, we remember that the OSCE is a product of a more polarized Cold War period," he added.

Saying that the OSCE has "gained experience in managing the conflict cycle" in the almost half-century since the 1975 Helsinki Accords, Cavusoglu stressed that the group's "inherent strengths, which is the core of the OSCE's comprehensive approach to security," must be reactivated.

"We should also remember that principle of consensus lies at the heart of this organization," he added as he praised Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau for focusing on the importance of addressing the lack of trust among participating OSCE states.

"Trust can be built on principle policies. That is how our (Türkiye's) facilitation efforts yield concrete results on the most immediate challenges in our common geography," Cavusoglu explained.

He also cited this summer’s landmark Black Sea grain initiative reached in Istanbul, the prisoner exchange deal, as well as talks between Russian nuclear power company Rosatom and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as a fruit of Türkiye's mediation efforts.

"There are various other confidential initiatives that we are facilitating to end the ongoing war in Europe. A negotiated settlement is possible when diplomacy is given a chance of course," he stated, adding that such peace must be "a fair peace for Ukraine."

"Undermining this vital platform will serve no one's interests. Türkiye will continue to actively support the OSCE's work because we have no other platform as inclusive as the OSCE," he added.

Cavusoglu is in the Polish city for the annual meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council on Thursday and Friday.

The session provides foreign ministers of the 57 participating states an opportunity to review and assess the organization's activities and strengthen the dialogue on security issues.

Civil society representatives from across the OSCE area on Wednesday presented their recommendations that focused on stopping the war in Ukraine, which started in February and overhauling the international security architecture.

Hüseyin Demir

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