STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR RAUF ENGİN SOYSAL, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY, In Response to the Report by Ambassador Tuula Yrjola, Head of the OSCE Office in Tajikistan (1147th Permanent Council)

Rauf Engin Soysal 25.05.2017

Thank you Mr. Chairperson.

We are pleased to warmly welcome Ambassador Yrjola to the Permanent Council for her first presentation for which we are also appreciative.

Turkey’s relations with Tajikistan are firmly anchored in the deep-rooted historical and cultural bonds between our nations. The visit of our Deputy Prime Minister Tuğrul Türkeş to Tajikistan in February set the scene for a re-confirmation of the strong will on both sides to strengthen their cooperation in many fields. During this visit, it was agreed that regular Cooperation Council meetings will be held, in addition to our Joint Economic Commission meetings.

We are pleased to follow the continuing open and constructive dialogue between the Office and the Tajik government. We appreciate the efforts by Ambassador Müller, as the Special Representative of the Chairmanship, for the extension of the Office’s mandate until the end of June. We look forward to the adoption of the Office’s new mandate.

The Office is now concentrating its efforts on adapting itself to its new mandate, mindful of the importance of host country ownership, as well as of the advantages of strengthening cooperation with regional and international partners. We appreciate the manner in which these are being realized based on Tajikistan’s needs and requests. We also welcome the Office’s focus on three core issues related to countering transnational threats, promoting economic stability and enhancing community security.

The deterioration of the security situation around the Afghan-Tajik border highlights the already important role played by the Office in bolstering the capacity of regional border management institutions. Within this framework, we commend the Office’s assistance in effective implementation of Tajikistan’s National Border Management Strategy and the external evaluation of the implementation. Measures such as these are crucial for both regional security and the development of local economies.

We are pleased with the continuation of the process of the demarcation and delimitation of the Tajik-Kyrgyz border, and the improvement of the Tajik-Uzbek relations. These will, no doubt, help fostering greater cooperation within the region.

Within the ambit of border management issues, as one of its donor countries I would like to reiterate our support to the Border Management Staff College (BMSC). This also goes for its inclusion in the Unified Budget. We are pleased to observe the BMSC strengthen its scope and international outreach, through which it is now ensuring transfer of expertise and best practice to border staff in not only Central Asian countries, but also other participating States and Partners for Cooperation.

We note the Office’s work relating to such issues as police reform, counter terrorism, mine clearance, legal reforms and dialogue between political and non-political actors.

Mr. Chairperson,

We are pleased to note the Office’s healthy emphasis on activities related to economic and environmental issues. Support to the development of the concept of green economy, ecological education, national safety guidelines for the natural reserves and combating corruption all help the improvement of economic and environmental conditions.

We also welcome the activities conducted in the third dimension, particularly on promoting human rights education and gender equality, which will contribute advancement of Tajik democracy. We commend the improved efficiency of Tajik authorities in dealing with domestic violence cases and torture-related civil proceedings.

In conclusion, we thank Ambassador Yrjola and the entire team in Tajikistan for their work and wish them every success in their future endeavors.

Thank you.