Annual Ambassadors Conference begins with Goals 2023 on agenda

MERVE AYDOĞAN @mgulaydogan

Despite the heavy snowstorm that gripped Istanbul over the weekend, causing nearly 400 flight cancellations at its two airports, Turkey's ambassadors from all over the globe arrived in Ankara for the ninth Ambassadors Conference that began yesterday with the theme "Towards 2023: National Values and Global Goals."

The first day of the Ambassadors Conference began early in the morning with a visit to Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of the Republic's founding father, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, which was followed by a visit to the Turkish national Parliament building before noon.

The annual conference, which will continue until Jan. 14, will review events that are of concern to Turkey's foreign policy in the light of recent experiences. It will also discuss current challenges as well as opportunities and re-evaluate the country's priorities for the upcoming period.

After the first day's visits, an official opening ceremony will be held where Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu will deliver the inaugural speech, addressing a large number of invitees and a number of foreign ministers from different countries, including, Malta's George Vella, which assumed the presidency of the EU, Georgia's Mikheil Janelidze, Tunisia's Khemaies Jhinaoui, and Finland's Timo Soini.

Lacy Swing, the director general at the International Organization for Migration is also participating in the conference, a Turkish Foreign Ministry statement confirmed.

The Turkish envoys will also be briefed by the deputy prime ministers and ministers and were expected hold consultations with representatives of Turkish businessmen during various sessions of the conference.

The fight against terrorism was also set to dominate the agenda of the conference. A panel titled "Knowledge Economy and Diplomacy," will accommodate a detailed exchange of views concerning the contributions of foreign policy to the production of high technology in Turkey.

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