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Brief remarks delivered by Ambassador Henry Mac Donald at the CARICOM Turkey Forum held on August 23 – 25, 2008 in Istanbul, Turkey.
10 October 2008 / 11:20

Mr. Moderator,
At the outset, allow me to thank the Government and People of the Republic of Turkey for their warm hospitality extended to me and my delegation, since we have arrived in this wonderful and historic City; and for the excellent arrangements made in hosting and guaranteeing a successful outcome of this very import forum.
Allow me also to recognize the tireless efforts made by the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations, Ambassador Baki Elkin and his very devoted and enthusiastic staff in ensuring that this meeting take place in such a timely and flawless manner.
Today, I am accompanied by the Honorary Consul of Turkey in Suriname, Mr. Jim Bousait.
Mr. Moderator,
The Republic of Suriname and the Republic of Turkey established bilateral relations since May 1976. In fact this milestone happened within a year after our independence. Since then, the diplomatic relations between our countries have been quite constructive and beneficial. Over these many years we have managed to engage in some trade relations between our business sectors. Mostly furniture, carpeting, textile products and construction materials have been traded over time.
Suriname is eager to expand the existing trade relations with Turkey as well as to improve the existing relations bilaterally and multilaterally in the cultural, economic and scientific areas.
In this regard we have recently proposed the following specific areas of cooperation:
• Education; preferably between our Universities;
• Cooperation between the Chambers of Commerce of both countries;
• Tourism;
• The agricultural sector; more in the field of exchange of technical expertise and knowledge.
Mr. Moderator, distinguished colleagues and guest,
Suriname has become a full member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in 1996 and has since also participated in various supporting bodies of this international institution such as:
• the Islamic Development Bank;
• the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization;
• the Islamic Statistical Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries, and many others.
We welcome the active and effective leadership of Turkey as one of the founding members of the OIC and recognize the many efforts, both politically and economically to the overall benefit of the Organization and its members
Let me also put on record that my delegation also fully aligns its self with the statement delivered by Ambassador Crispin Gregoire on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). In that regard my delegation also takes note of the remarks made by the distinguished Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Ali Babacan, in which he introduced the new foreign policy objectives of his country, in expanding Turkey’s official development assistance towards the developing world in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean regions.
The specific efforts of Turkey to speedily raise its overall cooperation with CARICOM countries to a higher and more significant level are highly appreciated. In this respect we will obviously support all initiatives within this new partnership to establish a formal Consultation and Cooperative Mechanism between CARICOM and Turkey.
We thank you kindly for your attention.