Speech by H.E. Murat Ersavcı on the occasion of the signing ceremony of Agreement in the area of Culture, Education and Scientific Research between the Government of the Republic of Turkey, the Government of the French Community of Belgium, the Government of Wallonia and the College of the Brussels- Capital Region French Community Commission
07.06.2011, N. Murat Ersavcı, Büyükelçi, Brüksel BE
Brussels, June 7, 2011
-I am honoured to sign on behalf of the Turkish Government the Cooperation Agreement in the area of Culture, Education and Scientific Research with the Government of the French Community of Belgium, the Government of Wallonia and the College of the Brussels- Capital Region French Community Commission.
-At the outset, let me emphasize that, Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Ahmet Davutoğlu intended to sign this important Agreement. However, the upcoming elections of 12 June prevented him from doing so. Therefore it is my distinct honour to fulfil this duty on his behalf.
-The Agreement which will be signed today is noteworthy for various reasons. During their diplomatic relations, dating back 173 years, the Turkish and Belgian Governments concluded their first Cultural Agreement back in 1959. Today’s agreement constitutes the first international agreement that we sign with the regions and communities. I am confident that the signing of this Agreement will pave the way for the intensification of bilateral ties between Turkey and the French Community of Belgium, Wallonia and Brussels.
-Today’s Agreement is also a product of a lengthy and arduous process and keen efforts of personnel on both sides well deserve appreciation.
-At a time where intolerance and ignorance about the “other” prevail in some parts of the world, preventing true integration and peaceful coexistence among societies, the two sides showed the courage and willingness to discover each other’s cultural, educational and scientific specificities and leave a legacy to the next generations to come. The true value of such initiatives will be better understood and appreciated in time, and especially with the factual implementation of the Agreement, which is expected to enrich interactions among our peoples.
-Today, the bilateral contacts among artists, writers, film directors, educators, youth and scientists are indispensable to the multifaceted development of international relations. In the absence of such exchanges, an important pillar would be missing. Thus, I would like to underline once again that we attribute a significant role to this Agreement.
-The Turkish Embassy and the Turkish Consulate General in Brussels will be ready to further our cooperation in the areas of culture, education and scientific research.
-On a personal note, I am ending my term of duty in Belgium as Ambassador and returning to Turkey in a couple of days. Therefore, I am personally pleased to witness the realization of this very important project before my departure.