Davutoğlu says İzmir to become center of diplomacy

April 11, 2011, Monday/ 17:57:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said he wants to see İzmir as one of the centers of diplomacy in Turkey, heralding the Foreign Ministry’s third representative office to be launched soon after Ankara and İstanbul.

Davutoğlu, who was in İzmir on Saturday to meet with consular staff and have talks with local officials, told reporters that Turkey’s Ambassador to the Slovak Republic Dicle Kopuz will soon head Turkey’s third diplomatic representative office in İzmir. Davutoğlu also said Turkey plans to open another representative office in Antalya in the near future.

“I believe İzmir will regain its previous commercial and diplomatic position in a short period of time. The number of consulates and honorary consulates in İzmir will also increase,” Davutoğlu said.

The foreign minister said Turkey would like for İzmir to host numerous important international gatherings, adding that the city will host the Council of Europe Human Rights Conference on April 26-27.

Recalling what he called Turkey’s “extraordinarily successful operations” to rescue Turkish nationals and wounded people out of Libya, Davutoğlu praised İzmir’s hospitality and thanked officials there for effectively treating injured Libyans.

Turkey organized a large-scale humanitarian operation last week to fetch more than 300 wounded Libyans from Misrata and Benghazi and bring them to İzmir for treatment.

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