IN RESPONSE TO THE REPORT BY THE CO-CHAIRMEN OF THE MINSK GROUP AND THE PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CHAIRMAN IN OFFICE ON THE CONFLICT DEALT WITH BY THE OSCE MINSK CONFERENCE

Tacan İLDEM 03.11.2011
PERMANENT MISSION OF TURKEY TO THE OSCE

STATEMENT BY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF TURKEY, AMBASSADOR TACAN ILDEM

886TH MEETING OF THE PERMANENT COUNCIL IN RESPONSE TO THE REPORT BY THE CO-CHAIRMEN OF THE MINSK GROUP AND THE PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CHAIRMAN IN OFFICE ON THE CONFLICT DEALT WITH BY THE OSCE MINSK CONFERENCE
3 November 2011

Mr. Chairman,

As a member of the Minsk Group, Turkey welcomes the Co-Chairmen of the Minsk Group and the Personal Representative of the Chairman-in-Office on the Conflict dealt with by the OSCE Minsk Conference to the Permanent Council and thank them for their comprehensive reports.

At the outset, let me stress the importance we attach to the resolution of the protracted conflicts dealt by our organization. Indeed, our Heads of States have through the Astana Commemorative Declaration stated that “increased efforts should be made in order to resolve these conflicts in a peaceful and negotiated manner, within agreed formats, fully respecting the norms and principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter, as well as the Helsinki Final Act”. Following this tasking, we were encouraged that Lithuania included in its 2011 OSCE Chairmanship’s work programme that “protracted conflicts (…) will be among key priorities in 2011”.

Being a neighboring country who is naturally affected by the prevailing conflict, Turkey attaches great importance to comprehensive and sustainable peace, stability and prosperity in the South Caucasus. With this position, we are more than any other participating state, interested in progress without further delay in the settlement process.

Nevertheless when we look to the overall picture, it is unfortunate that the process so far has not yielded the long awaited result.

This year, a number of initiatives have been taken by the Co-Chair countries of the Minsk Group in order to give a boost to the settlement process. We commend President Medvedev for the role he took in the settlement process. In the aftermath of the meeting between the Presidents of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia in Kazan, we trust that the Co-Chairs will spare no efforts in order to help reach a balanced document which takes into account the concerns of both sides without losing the momentum that has been achieved so far.

In our opinion, with all due respect to the commendable efforts of the Co-Chair countries, after 19 years of existence, there is a need to reinvigorate the work of the Minsk Group. We should take into account the fact that the credibility of the Group as well as that of our organization is at stake.

No doubt, the success will depend on parties’ willingness and courage to sustain their political determination and their sincere approach to the process. It will require a spirit of dialogue and compromise. We should all strive to create an atmosphere conducive to progress.

Thank you.