“Turkey-Palestine Sister City Workshop” was held on 22 September 2017 in Nevşehir, Turkey, by the Union of Municipalities of Turkey (UMT), President of UCLG-MEWA Committee on Development Cooperation and City Diplomacy, with an aim to strengthen the existing sister city relations between municipalities in Turkey and Palestine.

During the workshop, held under the presidency of Hayrettin Güngör, UMT Secretary General, and with the participation of Mehmet Duman, UCLG-MEWA Secretary General, and İsmet İnce, Mayor of Avanos; the participants made discussions on activities that are carried out within the context of existing sister city relations between the two countries, together with challenges and solutions in this regard. In the light of the suggestions offered, the participants decided on establishing sister-city relations between all municipalities in Palestine and Turkey and creating a UMT database for gathering demographic and geographic data of municipalities in Palestine, along with a needs analysis for each. In this respect, Palestinian municipalities will submit backgrounders on their specific dynamics to UMT, to lead a smoother and fast process.

Following the evaluations on the sustainability of the sister city relations, the participants decided to determine three main titles for the problems encountered in the provision of mutually agreed service areas, and emphasized the need to conduct project-oriented works. The participants also decided to organize a Sister City Summit in the forthcoming period in order to sign the Sister City Protocols.

On the issue of monitoring process, that is a principal challenge area in the sister city relations, the participants decided to establish a “Monitoring and Evaluation Committee”, constituted by local government representatives from Turkey and Palestine, the Union of Municipalities of Turkey, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Turkey, Embassy of Palestine in Ankara, Turkey, and Republic of Turkey Prime Ministry Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA); and to convene this committee at least twice a year, being one in Turkey and the other in Palestine.

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