Statement of Turkey

Tacan İLDEM 14.07.2011

14 JULY 2011

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to join the previous speakers in extending my warm welcome to Ambassador Chrysanthopoulos to the Permanent Council and thank him for his insightful presentation.

We appreciate the Lithuanian Chairmanship’s dedication to invite representatives of relevant regional organisations to the Permanent Council. In this way, we can appraise the way other organisations are progressing in our common endeavour to consolidate stability and security in our wide OSCE region. Indeed in today’s globalised world, the importance of regional cooperation in providing peace and stability cannot be understated.

The address by the Secretary General of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) allows all of us to reflect on what can be done in terms of regional cooperation when the initiatives are based on a regional ownership.

As eloquently stated by Ambassador Chrysanthopoulos, BSEC was established on the idea that stronger economic cooperation among the Black Sea countries would enhance stability and prosperity in the region.

In this connection, Turkey, as the initiator of the project, strongly supports it and places BSEC high on its foreign policy priorities. We see the BSEC as the region’s most institutionalized and comprehensive multilateral platform.

Turkey was also instrumental in the broadening of the scope of activity of BSEC to encompass new fields including environmental protection, good governance, as well as soft security measures. As it has been touched upon by Ambassador Chrysanthopoulos, BSEC is also assuming a role in combating transnational threats and organised crime. These are all issues tackled by the OSCE as well. In this vein, mutually beneficial ways of co-operation between the OSCE and BSEC on the basis of the 1999 Platform for Cooperative Security could be further elaborated.

In his presentation, the Secretary General of BSEC emphasized the importance of inclusiveness, transparency and regional ownership as the main pillars of this initiative. We very much concur with his observation. In fact my country underlines the importance of regional ownership in all platforms where the subject is discussed. In addition to BSEC, which is a larger format to cover a geography that goes beyond the Black Sea per say, it is perhaps useful to recall on this occasion that there are mechanisms that directly relate to the security of the Black Sea littoral states. In that connection we are happy and proud to have celebrated a few months ago in Istanbul the 10th anniversary of the founding of BLACKSEAFOR, which is the first regional grouping in the maritime security realm.

Alongside BLACKSEAFOR, another initiative called Operation Black Sea Harmony has proven to be a useful mechanism for the maintenance of dialogue among the parties and consolidation of security in the Sea focusing on efforts of coastal states in the area of counter-terrorism.

Turkey believes that in so far as security of the Black Sea is concerned, building on the positive influence of the Montreaux Convention, the responsibility and ownership lie with the littoral states.

In his presentation, the Secretary General of BSEC has dwelled in length on the need to strengthen relations between BSEC and the EU. We certainly welcome the interest of the European Union in the Black Sea region as well as its desire to develop its relations with the region in a more cohesive and solid manner. As an accession country to the EU, Turkey supports further enhancement of cooperation and interaction between BSEC and the EU.

While formulating and implementing initiatives related to the Black Sea Region, we would like to the EU to see BSEC as its main, full-fledged and equal partner, which is the region’s most institutionalized and comprehensive multilateral platform.

I take this opportunity as well to express our best wishes of success to the Russian Federation for the conduct of responsibilities as the CiO of the BSEC.

In conclusion, let me again thank Ambassador Chrysanthopoulos and the Lithuanian Chairmanship for allowing us to bring to light these important regional developments that are beneficial to the whole OSCE area.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.