Ankara, 28 October 2023 (TDI): Denmark Foreign Minister, Lars Lokke engaged in a productive discussion with his Türkiye counterpart, Haken Fidan on Friday in Ankara. The primary focus of their meeting was the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the situation in Israel-Gaza.

During a joint press conference after the meeting, Lars Lokke commended Türkiye as a major player in both international and regional politics and emphasized that Ankara’s role carries some responsibilities.

He also highlighted that Denmark and Türkiye are collaborating closely to establish new legislation regarding the burning of the Quran in Denmark. He said that some people in Denmark disrespected the Muslim holy book by burning it. He emphasized the need to address this issue.

In addition, he said that Türkiye and Denmark are close friends even though they do not agree on everything. He believes that they can make their friendship even stronger in the future.

Lokke stated that Türkiye and Denmark are closest friends despite their disagreements on certain matters.

Lokke expressed his concerns about the situation in Gaza, where heavy Israeli attacks and a blockade of basic humanitarian aid have been ongoing. He stressed the importance of restarting the Israel-Palestine peace process and emphasized that a two-state solution should be a precondition for peace.

The conflict in Gaza started after the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, 2023. In response, Israel initiated a heavy air and artillery strike on the Gaza region which caused  8,700  casualties including 7,326 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis. Gaza with a population of 2.3 million faced severe shortages of food, water, and medicine due to the Israeli attacks and blockade.

Lokke also commended Turkish President Erdogan’s decision to refer Sweden’s accession protocol to the Turkish Parliament for approval. Now the Turkish parliament will ratify the decision for Stockholm to become a member of NATO.

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Furthermore, he also highlighted the Russia-Ukraine conflict and expressed Denmark’s strong support for Ukraine in its efforts to resist Russian aggression and regain its territory. He emphasized that Russia’s actions have global consequences, including food and energy crises.

Additionally, he highlighted Türkiye’s role in a green deal between Russia and Ukraine in July 2022 but subsequently, the deal collapsed. Ukraine is now exploring new routes to sell its agricultural products after Russia refused to extend the previous agreement.