IN RESPONSE TO THE ADDRESS BY AMB. DIMITRIOS KYPREOS, THE HEAD OF THE OSCE MISSION TO SERBIA

Tacan İLDEM 01.03.2012
STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR TACAN İLDEM, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF TURKEY
IN RESPONSE TO THE ADDRESS BY AMB. DIMITRIOS KYPREOS, THE HEAD OF THE OSCE MISSION TO SERBIA
903rd PERMANENT COUNCIL
1 March 2012

Mr. Chairman,

I join my colleagues who have spoken before me in warmly welcoming Ambassador Kypreos back to the Permanent Council and in thanking him for his comprehensive presentation.

We welcome the continued progress achieved by Serbia on its reform agenda and the Mission’s valuable support to the host country in this regard.

The Mission’s activities in support of the National Assembly, promotion of local self government and human and minority rights, particularly in establishment of a multi-ethnic University Department of Economics; as well as in developing the National Media Strategy, enhancing police and judicial reform and combating organized crime have been instrumental for Serbia in achieving these positive results.

The Mission has actively contributed to the process of establishment of the national minority councils and to their capacity building. It is our hope that the difficulties in relation to the establishment of the Bosniak National Minority Council will also be resolved in the near future.

We appreciate the Mission’s efforts towards achieving stability and mutual understanding in southern and southwestern part of the country. In this respect, the Turkish Government has recently decided to contribute to the 2012-2014 phase of its project which is conducted in support to the southwestern Serbia through its Training Facility in Novi Pazar, for an amount of 40 thousand Euros.

The ongoing cooperation with the Mission in Kosovo through which representatives from different professions are being brought together as a contribution to the dialogue between the two societies is another welcome activity on our side.

On a wider regional scale, the negotiations for achieving a durable solution to the protracted displacement problem in the Balkans was supported by the Mission as well. Turkey considers the resolution of the issue of refugees and IDPs in the region as a critical and important aim to be achieved and hopes that the Donors Conference to be held in Sarajevo in April will crown the success of this process.

We very much appreciate the constructive engagement of Serbia towards regional reconciliation and cooperation, to which my country is firmly engaged as a facilitator. We also welcome the positive results achieved so far during the dialogue process between Belgrade and Pristina, notably the recent agreements on the representation of Kosovo in the regional fora and the integrated border management. We congratulate the respective Governments of Belgrade and Pristina on their flexible stance. We consider these agreements as a major step towards the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina as well as the consolidation of peace and stability in the Balkans.

In bilateral, regional and international platforms, Turkey is determined to further develop its close relations with Serbia, which we consider as a key country for the lasting peace and stability in the Balkans.

We are confident that this constructive and cooperative atmosphere will continue to remain dominant for the benefit of all the countries of the region and have a positive impact during Serbia’s Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2015.

In conclusion, I would like to wish Ambassador Kypreos and his able team every success in their work.

Thank you.