MAG Chairman paid a visit to RACVIAC

On Tuesday, 13 February 2024, Chairman of the Multinational Advisory Group, H.E. Ambassador Ilhan Saygili, Director General for Balkans and Central Europe in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Türkiye together with H.E. Ambassador Basat Öztürk, Director General for International Security Affairs, MFA TR, paid a visit to RACVIAC. They were warmly welcomed on RACVIAC premises by RACVIAC Staff headed by H.E. Ambassador Constantin-Mihail Grigorie, RACVIAC Director.

The meeting’s aim is to define the final venue of the Spring MAG meeting that should take place in Türkiye (16-18 April 2024, Istanbul). Furthermore, this was an opportunity to briefly go over the mutual responsibilities of both sides regarding the Spring MAG meeting.

The primary agenda of the meeting included a presentation of RACVIAC history, Programme 2024, past cooperation with Türkiye and potential areas for increase of future cooperation after which exploring ways to improve cooperation between RACVIAC and Türkiye were discussed.

Republic of Türkiye is currently chairing the MAG for the second time to date. It chaired the MAG Meeting also in 2003/2004.

RACVIAC Director, Ambassador Grigorie, used the opportunity to express his gratitude to the Republic of Türkiye for its continuous support over the past 23 years. From the foundation of RACVIAC until the present day Republic of Türkiye, as an active Member, has fulfilled all of its membership obligations including chairing the Multinational Advisory Group (MAG), providing financial contributions, hosting RACVIAC activities and seconding representatives; from 2015 to 2018 the Director of RACVIAC was the Turkish Ambassador H.E. Haydar Berk who excelled as a true leader during a demanding phase of RACVIAC transformation process. Ambassador Grigorie thanked the Ministry of National Defense for seconding high-calibre officers to RACVIAC since its very beginnings who have always held top positions as Pillar Chiefs.

Ambassador Grigorie also seized the opportunity to bring to the Ambassador’s attention the importance of Turkish grater participation in fostering security dialogue and cooperation in South East Europe. This may involve providing lecturers’ support in RACVIAC activities, financial support or hosting activities, he said.

The Director also thanked for the invitation to participate in the meeting, for exceptional hospitality during the SEDM meeting in Ankara in November 2023 and for the invitation to participate in the Antalya Diplomatic Forum in March 2024.

Ambassador Sajgili’s highlighted his government’s dedication to productive dialogue and collaboration. He expressed gratitude to Ambassador Grigorie for the invitation and expressed a keen interest in further enhancing cooperation in all three RACVIAC Pillars: Cooperative Security Environment Pillar, Countering Transnational Security Threats Pillar and Security Sector Governance Pillar.

In conclusion, Ambassador Grigorie expressed his appreciation for the visit and highlighted the importance of Turkish-RACVIAC cooperation in promoting regional security and stability. Türkiye has been a RACVIAC Member since its inception and over the years its contribution to the Centre has been substantial which RACVIAC is extremely grateful for, he underlined.

Both parties affirmed their dedication to bolstering collaboration through joint initiatives, knowledge-sharing and the execution of exchange programs focused on areas and topics mutually beneficial for all RACVIAC Members with the aim of promoting security cooperation and dialogue in the region.