Turkey expresses support for PHL’s position in West Philippine Sea issue

By on November 18, 2014


President Benigno S. Aquino III witnesses as His Excellency Ahmet Davutoglu, Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, signs the Palace Guest Book at the Reception Hall of the Malacañan Palace during his Official Visit to the Republic of the Philippines on Monday (November 17). Diplomatic relations between Turkey and the Philippines have been established with the Treaty of Friendship signed on 13 June 1949. Friendly and problem-free relations between Turkey and the Philippines constitute a solid basis for the development of bilateral relations. Economic relations have gained momentum in recent years despite the geographical distance. In recent years, enhanced economic and commercial relations paved the way for the Philippine business circles to increase their interest in the Turkish economy. Currently, approximately 5,000 Philippine citizens are living in Turkey and there are approximately 200 Turkish citizens living in the Philippines. (Photo by Benhur Arcayan/ Malacañang Photo Bureau)
President Benigno S. Aquino III witnesses as His Excellency Ahmet Davutoglu, Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, signs the Palace Guest Book at the Reception Hall of the Malacañan Palace during his Official Visit to the Republic of the Philippines on Monday (November 17). Diplomatic relations between Turkey and the Philippines have been established with the Treaty of Friendship signed on 13 June 1949. Friendly and problem-free relations between Turkey and the Philippines constitute a solid basis for the development of bilateral relations. Economic relations have gained momentum in recent years despite the geographical distance. In recent years, enhanced economic and commercial relations paved the way for the Philippine business circles to increase their interest in the Turkish economy. Currently, approximately 5,000 Philippine citizens are living in Turkey and there are approximately 200 Turkish citizens living in the Philippines. (Photo by Benhur Arcayan/ Malacañang Photo Bureau)

MANILA — Turkey has expressed support for the Philippines’ quest for a rules-based approach in settling its West Philippine Sea dispute with China.

In his press statement following his bilateral meeting with visiting Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in Malacañang Palace on Monday, President Benigno S. Aquino III said he briefed his Turkish counterpart on the situation in the West Philippine Sea and underscored the need to settle the dispute through peaceful means.

“The Prime Minister noted that the Philippines’ decision to pursue arbitration is one that advances a durable and peaceful resolution to the issue,” President Aquino said.

“Likewise, Turkey stands with the Philippines in calling for the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea), as well as an expeditious conclusion of a legally-binding Code,” he added.

The Philippines, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan are laying claim, in whole or in part, to the West Philippine Sea.

At the same time, President Aquino said, he and Prime Minister Davutoğlu discussed the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), as well as the danger posed by similar organizations against religious and ethnic minorities in various parts of the world.

“We share the belief that it is the fundamental purpose of government to safeguard the welfare of its people, and we seek to fulfill this purpose by working hand-in-hand with our partners at home, within our regions, and in the larger community of nations,” he said.

In his press statement, Prime Minister Davutoğlu said he discussed with President Aquino the Middle East crisis, especially the ongoing civil war in Syria.

There is a humanitarian tragedy in the region, and about two million refugees from Syria are now in Turkey, he said, noting that 1.5 million were victims of the repressive Syrian regime in the last three years while 500,000 were forced to relocate because of the brutal attacks of the ISIS.

Prime Minister Davutoğlu said regional stability and peace are essential to Turkey’s security and it shares the experience of the Philippines in these issues