STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR RAUF ENGİN SOYSAL, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF TURKEY, In response to the address by the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Macedonia, H.E. Nikola Dimitrov (1160th Permanent Council Meeting)

Rauf Engin Soysal 12.10.2017

Thank you Mr. Chairperson.

I would like to warmly welcome you, Mr. Minister, to the Permanent Council,
and thank you for the insightful and comprehensive presentation that you have
shared with us.

We are more than pleased that Turkey and Macedonia entertain
excellent relations.
The
deep-rooted ties between our countries, firmly anchored in common history and
culture, provide us with a similar vision for the future of our region, and
allow us to progress further in deepening and enhancing our bilateral
cooperation. Our shared determination to further our bilateral relations in all
fields was confirmed once again with the visit of
our Foreign Minister Mr. Mevlüt
Çavuşoğlu to Macedonia in June.

The Turkish community, which is the third largest in
Macedonia, is a special element reinforcing our bilateral ties. The improvement
of their social, political as well as cultural status will undoubtedly add even
more energy and strength to our relations. We are also satisfied to see that
the increasing Turkish investments and the projects of the Turkish Cooperation
and Coordination Agency are being well received by the Macedonian people.

Mr. Minister,

Turkey attaches great importance to
the security, stability and territorial integrity of Macedonia.

Social cohesion and equitable representation of the ethnic communities
within the public administration, which are among the long term goals and five
focal areas of the Ohrid Framework Agreement, are of paramount importance for
harmony within the country.

We will continue to stand by the Macedonian nation as whole, and support
the new government by all means. We welcome the 3-6-9 reform plan of the
government to ensure a democratic government,
continued
transparency and inclusiveness.

This plan is significant
on Macedonia’s quest for
integration with European and
Euro-Atlantic institutions, which we have supported all along.
We closely
follow and highly appreciate Macedonia’s steady and resolute reform efforts in
this regard.
It is our conviction that clearing the way for Macedonia’s
Euro-Atlantic path is crucial not only for ethnic harmony in the country, but
also for the overall peace and stability in the Balkans.

As a country with deep-rooted historical and cultural ties with all Balkan
nations, Turkey attaches great importance to the achievement of a durable
atmosphere of mutual understanding, respect and conciliation among all Balkan
states. We strongly support the integration of the countries of the region to
the European and Euro-Atlantic structures.

We would also like to state our appreciation of the
constructive and proactive role played by the OSCE Mission in facilitating
dialogue during times of political
hardships in Macedonia. We commend the Mission’s ongoing activities, which are crafted and
implemented in line with Macedonia’s needs, expectations and the overall reform
process within the country.
We wish to see this cooperation and the reform process continue.

We appreciate the Mission’s activities in the three dimensions and its
contributions to enhancing cooperation among the OSCE field operations in the
region. This cooperation is important for increasing the OSCE’s impact in the
Balkans and enhancing security and stability in the region and beyond.

In conclusion, Mr. Minister, I wish to reiterate on this occasion how
Turkey is willing and prepared to support Macedonia in all fields, and wish you
the best in all your future endeavors.

Thank you.