Hlavní strana » English Pages » Václav Klaus: In the Middle…

Václav Klaus: In the Middle of The Age of Wars and Conflicts

English Pages, 23. 2. 2024

Prof. Suver, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, 

Many thanks for bringing me back to Istanbul and many thanks for including me in this final session of the forum where I have a pleasure of being together with some of my former colleagues. 

Last year’s forum was affected by two events – the devastating earthquake in this country and in the neighborhood on the one hand and the preparations for the 100th anniversary of modern Türkiye on the other. As we see now both events proved the internal strength of the country, an efficient functioning of its institutions, and – last but not least – the coherence of the country in a radically changing international setting, especially in your country’s neighborhood. 

I always pay attention to titles of conferences I attend. I considered the last year’s forum title “End the Distrust, Build the Cooperation” extremely important. The overall distrust among nations, among institutions, and among men which considerably increased because of the Ukraine-Russia conflict two years ago has become a new dominant characteristic of the world of today. I appreciate the role of your country and of President Erdogan in the efforts to bring the conflict to an end. 

Much remains to be done, however. We are not much closer to the end of this war than we were a year ago. The number of victims has significantly increased, the Ukraine is more destroyed and exhausted. The mood and the state of mind both in the fighting countries and in the rest of the world indicate the necessity to stop talking and making strong, but shallow statements only. Deeds are still missing. I am convinced the international community, and especially its main players, is co-responsible for the absence of much-needed deeds. 

Regretfully, a new tragic conflict broke four months ago in the vicinity of Türkiye – the Hamas attack on Israel and – as a retaliation – the merciless destruction of Gaza. Both the brutal attack on Israel and the wiping out of the whole city are qualitatively new phenomena in the world of today. Both will not be forgotten for decades and will certainly influence relationships among countries of the Middle East region for years to come. 

The international community does not have to passively wait for a miracle. It has to act, and it has to act now. When looking for a solution or for a way to a solution one shouldn’t pay attention to the first day events of a conflict only. The Arab-Israel (or Israel-Arab) conflict didn’t start on October 7, 2023. There was no peace and friendship there the day before. We all know it. The conflict didn’t start all of the sudden. 

The title of this year’s Marmara Forum “From Crisis, Build Stability” is a correct one in many respects but not in this case. We are still in the crisis. We are far from moving from it. The acute phase of the crisis must be solved first. We in Central Europe are afraid of a possible extension of the conflict and of its not fully imaginable consequences. 

Again, the responsibility of the international community, and of its main players, is crucial. What is going on in Gaza is neither defendable nor excusable. It asks for a large-scale peace conference aimed to find a new model for dealing with the Arab-Israel dilemma. 

I speak about the international community, but I am aware of the fundamental role which Türkiye plays in it. Your country is the biggest and the most important player in the region. Your country shouldn’t wait for the activity of the superpowers. They don’t belong to this region and don’t significantly feel and understand it. They advocate their own solutions, their own priorities, their own interests. In this respect I wish your country a success. 

Václav Klaus, The 27th Eurasian Economic Summit, Istanbul, February 22, 2024. 


Jdi na začátek dokumentu