STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR RAUF ENGİN SOYSAL, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF TURKEY, In Response to the Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Ambassador Michael Scanlan (1139th Meeting of the Permanent Council)

Rauf Engin Soysal 30.03.2017

Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.

We welcome Ambassador Scanlan back to the PermanentCouncil and thank him for hiscomprehensive report.

We enjoy close relations with Moldova and attributeimportance to developing our bilateral cooperation in all fields. Asconsistently expressed at the high level bilateral meetings, we supportMoldova’s European integration perspective and its reform agenda.

Mr. Chairperson,

Turkey supports the settlement of the Transnistrianconflict through dialogue within the framework of respect for Moldova’s sovereigntyand territorial integrity. We take good note of the references to the positiveconsequencesthat a special status for Transnistria would engender. Weencourage the sides to intensify their efforts to ensure greater continuity andeffectiveness for the negotiation process in the 5+2 format and call for workingon the confidence-building measures in the package of eight initiatives thatthey agreed at the beginning of the year.We think that this should be thecommon goal of the sides especially for the tangible benefits it would bringaboutfor the lives ofpeople. In this framework, we attach significance to themeetings of the Chief Negotiators and substantive discussions in the joint expertWorking Groups.

We support the Mission’sefforts in the settlement ofthe Transnistrian conflict. As we stressed on earlier occasions, unlimitedaccess for Mission members to all regions in Moldova is an importantprerequisite for the proper discharge of the Mission’s monitoring, observationand reporting mandate.

Meanwhile, our financial contribution continues to theVoluntary Fund to complete the withdrawal and destruction process of ammunitionand military equipment from Transnistria.

Mr. Chairperson,

One important aspect of our friendly relations withMoldova is the Gagauz community with whom Turkey has strong cultural andhistoric ties. We attach great importance to the development of the Gagauziaregion and areready to undertake joint projects with Moldovan authorities for theregional development of Gagauzia that will ultimately benefit Moldova as awhole.

We welcome increased cooperation between Chisinau andComrat. In this context, we appreciate and support the work of the permanentWorking Groupfor cooperation between the Moldovan Parliament and the Gagauz People’sAssembly. We consider the work of this Working Group crucial for overcoming issuesrelating to the implementation of the 1994 Law on the Special Legal Status ofGagauzia. We, therefore, have offered the services of an academician to theWorking Group, and further expect that the two amendments to Moldovanlegislation introduced in the Moldovan Parliament by the Working Group to beadopted soon. We think that the adoption of these laws will create a positiveatmosphere for the work of the Group in 2017. We welcome the region’s economicdevelopment plan adopted by the Government last year and we expect necessaryfunds to be allocated for the implementation of the plan.We welcome the Mission’s support in all these efforts.

Moreover, we appreciate the adoption of the Strategyfor Consolidation of Interethnic Relations 2017-2027 by the Moldova Governmentwhich is an important step towards building a more inclusive and cohesivesociety. We welcome the support of the Office of the High Commissioner onNational Minorities (HCNM) and the Mission in this field.Wealso welcome the Government's adoption of an action plan to promote thecommemoration and study of the Holocaust.

Last but not least, I would like to express our appreciationfor the Mission’s activities in the fields of human rights, rule of law, civilsociety, gender equality, preventing domestic violence and combatting human trafficking.

In conclusion, I would like to thank AmbassadorScanlan.

Thank you.