Statement by Ambassador Rauf Engin Soysal, Permanent Representative of Turkey, in response to the address by Ambassador Bernd Borchardt, Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania (1165th Meeting of the Permanent Council)
Thank you Mr. Chairperson.I would liketo join the previous speakers in warmly welcoming Ambassador Borchardt back tothe Permanent Council. Thank you,Ambassador, for your comprehensive presentation.We enjoy exemplary relations with Albania solidly based on our commonhistory and shared cultural values. We look forward to enhance our excellentcooperation with the new Albanian government. Our shared determination tofurther our bilateral relations in all fields was confirmed once again at the highest level during the visit of PrimeMinister Edi Rama to Turkey last July.We attach importance to the continuing progress in the country, includingthe successful strides made in the implementation of its OSCE commitments. Withinthis ambit, we welcome the determination of the government to realize economicgrowth, implementation of justice system reform and acceleration of thecountry’s EU integration process as set in its four-year mandate. Weappreciate the Albanian government’s will to implement reforms in key areasincluding elections and public administration. We closely follow and commendthe active and constructive engagement of the Presence in the reform process ofthe country. Albania’sachievements particularly in the field of tackling organized crime, preventing cultivationand trafficking of drugs, countering violent extremism and taking steps toestablish a Centre of Excellence on the phenomenon of foreign fighters, improvingpublic administration, establishing ad-hoc committee on electoral reform andhosting the Regional Youth Co-operation Office deserve praise. We deemAlbania’s co-operative bilateral and multilateral engagement as a vitalcontribution to the prosperity and security not only in its region but also inthe wider OSCE area. Mr.Chairperson,Theintensive work of the Presence in the three dimensions and the technical support it provides to Albanian institutions such as the State Police, HighInspectorate of Justice, Directorate of Civil Emergencies, Albanian RadioTelevision and Probation Service, just to mention a few, are significant forbuilding strong infrastructures and powerful civil society in Albania. Weappreciate the constructive relationship between the Presence and the Albanian governmentand other stakeholders, whose maintenance is of crucial importance for preservingthe momentum in the country’s progress. In this regard, we believe that theremaining challenges in Albania in the fields of strengthening rule of law,fighting corruption, organized crime and trafficking will be overcome with thecontinued active support of the Presence.In thisvein, we call on the Presence to continue focusing on the development of stateinstitutions, on improving their effectiveness, accountability andtransparency, while enhancing participatory channels of this process forAlbanian citizens. Turkey is ready to contribute to the Presence’s efforts inthis regard.Turkey shares a similar vision with Albania for the future of our region. Turkeyhas supported Albania’s full integration with European and Euro-Atlanticstructures, which will significantly contribute to stability in SoutheastEurope.Whileconcluding, I would like to thank Ambassador Borchardt and his able team fortheir valuable work once again, and wish them every success in their futureendeavours.Thank you.