Statement of Turkey

Tacan İLDEM 14.06.2012
Response to the Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania H.E. Edmond Haxhinasto
14 June 2012

I would like to join the previous speakers in warmly welcoming Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania, H.E. Mr Haxhinasto, and thank him for outlining the priorities of his country during its six-month Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE).

I would like to congratulate Albania for assuming the Chairmanship. This gives the Albanian Government a great opportunity to offer once more, its tangible contribution to anchoring, including in its near vicinity, the shared values which the Organization is built upon.

On this occasion, let me also express how much we welcome the election of

H.E. Mr Nishani as the 6th President of the Republic of Albania. We believe that his term of office will contribute to sustaining the synergy and spirit of cooperation already reached through harmonious efforts of the political parties, in passing laws required in the EU integration process. The Albanian aspiration for EU membership along with the reform process engaged to this end deserves credit since such a path will not only provide benefits to Albania and its people but will also contribute to the strengthening of stability and prosperity of the whole region.

In our assessment, Albania has come a long way in adapting itself to democratic practices and in taking necessary measures to integrate with international community and institutions, including the OSCE, the CoE and lastly NATO in 2009.

In addition, we recognize the constructive and stabilizing role that Albania has been playing in the whole region. Therefore, we are confident that Albania has much to offer through its Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the CoE while also gaining from it.

We have noted, with appreciation, the priorities that will be focused on during Albania’s Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the CoE. These cover areas that require urgent progress across the whole CoE area, which also corresponds to a large portion of the OSCE geography.

I would like to express our satisfaction for the inclusion of the “promotion of sustainable democratic societies” among the priorities. Activities devoted to ensuring our citizens to live freely in a democratic society which respects diversity deserve particular attention. In this regard, we subscribe to the view expressed by the Albanian Chairmanship in Strasbourg, to the effect that the cohesion of multicultural European societies is our common responsibility.

The OSCE with its comprehensive approach to security, can also contribute to this objective. We should have an additional emphasis on the “living together” concept, and it is in this vein, that we have been reiterating time and again on every occasion our call to OSCE institutions, particularly ODHIR as well as to the participating States to play a more active role in addressing the elements that fall within the scope of tolerance and non- discrimination agenda.

Turkey also welcomes Albania’s interest in stimulating dialogue between the CoE and the OSCE, and its decision to take the opportunity offered by its Chairmanship to make a more tangible contribution to the strengthening the cooperation between the two Organizations, in order to ensure complementarity between them. In this vein, I would like to reiterate Turkey’s support for further coordination and joint work between the OSCE and the CoE on issues relevant to their objectives and expertise.

As a recent Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Turkey also subscribes to the priority of bringing forward the political reform of the organization. Success in the objective of strengthening the political relevance of the Council of Europe in the European architecture and transforming it into a more effective and more flexible institution, will also have a positive impact for the whole of the OSCE region, and to the overall objective of establishing a security community.

In conclusion, we wish lots of success to Albania in the fulfillment of the objectives set for the organization and would like to assure the Minister of our readiness to contribute positively to the work ahead of us in Strasbourg.