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PH filing diplomatic protest vs Turkey but Locsin aborts after everything ‘cleared up’

/ 06:40 PM December 27, 2019
Locsin

Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin Jr. INQUIRER file photo

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the Philippines is filing a diplomatic protest against Turkey over a meeting between Turkish officials and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim.

“Filing a diplomatic protest against Turkey; studying charges vs Filipino BARMM officials involved. If not repudiated by Ankara NOW I propose breaking diplomatic relations,” Locsin initially said over Twitter on Friday.

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“A slap at Philippine sovereignty and an attack on our territorial unity and integrity. Reek$ of $ellout,” he added.

A photo, which he also posted on Twitter but later deleted, showed the summary of points of the diplomatic protest where the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) had noted that “Turkish national agencies expressed interest in entering formal agreements or steering committees with BARMM, instead of with the PH Government.”

It noted that Murad met with Turkish government officials in Ankara on December 13 to 15, 2019.

It said that the DFA’s Office of the Undersecretary for Civilian Security and Consular Concerns (OUCSCC) had initially recommended that the meeting be postponed because the information on the meeting “did not go through the proper vetting process.”

The document also said that the DFA’s Office of European Affairs (OEA) had requested the Turkish Embassy in the Philippines for the postponement of the meeting.

“But due to the situation then, the Department’s efforts were in response to a fait accompli,” it read.

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“It is also of note that PH Ambassador (Raul) Hernandez was only invited to the meetings following the Department’s request for an invitation from Turkish officials,” it further read.

The document also added that the OEA “received unofficial information that the Turkish side ‘though it was ok’ to invite the BARMM Chief Minister to official meetings in Ankara as he had authority to travel.”

The OEA then pointed out that there is a supposed “lack of reference” to the Philippine government during discussions between Turkish officials and BARMM “and that neither side referred to the role of the (Philippine) (g)overnment in the (peace process) or on any topics discussed.”

‘All cleared up’

But just over two hours after his earlier tweet, Locsin said he met with Turkish Ambassador to the Philippines Armetiz Sümer to “clear up the misunderstanding.”

“We both agreed to continue to coordinate all engagements with BARMM together,” the foreign affairs chief said.

“I reaffirmed to my good friend Amb. Sümer that my affection for Turkey has only increased w/ the swift resolution of this issue,” he added.

Responding to a reporter’s question regarding the filing of the  diplomatic protest, Locsin said it has been “aborted.”

“Swift response from the Turkish ambassador. All cleared up,” he added.

Edited by JPV
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TAGS: BARMM, Diplomatic Protest, Features, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Global Nation, nation, Turkey
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