By Umar Farooq
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu urged the UN on Monday to unite to counter hatred and polarization around the world.
Cavusoglu spoke at the opening of the 8th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), an initiative created in 2005 by the late former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and co-sponsored by Turkey and Spain.
“Lets unite on the need and dedication to tackle extremism and polarization,” Cavusoglu said.
"We should demonstrate continued resolve and political will to counter the prejudice, exclusion, polarization and hatred around the world," he added.
The UNAOC works to explore the roots of polarization by addressing priority areas of education, youth, migration and media.
Cavusoglu emphasized that when it comes to migration, “xenophobia, racism, discrimination, anti-Islam sentiments and hatred against Muslims” are on the rise with increased migrants flowing into Europe.
“Turkey, as believing in the merit of effective multilateralism, and as one of the core sponsors of this very important initiative of this United Nations is willing and ready to continue its firm support for our common efforts,” he said.
As part of his talks in the U.S., Cavusoglu will also meet with his American counterpart, Mike Pompeo on Tuesday.
It is the first official visit by a top Turkish minister since the release of jailed American pastor Andrew Brunson last month in Turkey on terror-related charges. Cavusoglu said the pair will discuss the Manbij roadmap as well as the extradition of the U.S.-based Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) leader Fetullah Gulen.
The Manbij deal between Ankara and Washington focuses on the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the city to stabilize the region, which is in the northeast of northern Syria's Aleppo province.
Cavusoglu said Washington failed to fulfill Turkey's request for Gulen’s extradition in the wake of the July 15, 2016, coup attempt. He said he would deliver more evidence to the Donald Trump administration about Gulen.
FETO and Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.
*Dildar Baykan in New York contributed to this story