The 12th meeting of the Trilateral Strategy Group (TSG), organized by The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) in partnership with Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD), Koç Holding, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, was held in Washington, DC on November 4-6, 2015. The theme for this meeting was “pressing issues on the transatlantic agenda” with panels on the challenges of global imbalances, Cyprus, Turkey, the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, migration, and failed states and their successors. Conducted under the Chatham House Rule, the two-day discussion brought together 56 participants from the United States, EU, and Turkey from the public, private, and NGO sectors. The event began on November 4 with a dinner hosted by Serdar Kılıç, ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to the United States.
The first day of discussions began with welcome remarks from Mikaela Kumlin-Granit, head of the EU department, ministry of foreign affairs of Sweden; Bahadır Kaleağası, international coordinator, Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) as well as the president of Institut du Bosphore; and Özgür Ünlühisarcıklı, Ankara office director, GMF. After the welcoming remarks the first discussion examined the implications of the global current-account imbalances for transatlantic partners. The second session explored the prospects for a Cyprus settlement. The luncheon discussion featured John Harris and Charlie Mahtesian from Politico and evolved around comments and forecasts on the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. The first day discussions concluded with a panel on recent developments in Turkey. During the evening, participants gathered for a reception hosted by Björn Lyrvall, ambassador of Sweden to the United States.
The second day of discussions began with a panel on failed states and their successors and concluded with a panel titled “managing migration” focusing particularly on the refugees from Syria into Turkey, the European Union, and the United States. TSG participants included The Brookings Institution’s Vice President Kemal Derviş; IMF’s Financial Counselor and Director of the Monetary and Capital Markets Department José Viñals, the Turkish Prime Minister’s Foreign Policy Advisor Mesut Özcan, and Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake, as well as policymakers, intellectuals, and business representatives.