IN RESPONSE TO THE ADDRESS BY H.E.SERGI KAPANAZDE, DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER OF GEORGIA

Tacan İldem 20.09.2012
Thank you Mr. Chairperson,

I join the previous speakers in warmly welcoming Deputy Foreign Minister Kapanazde to the Permanent Council and express my gratitude for his comprehensive presentation.
Turkey has supported the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia from the onset. We are pleased to see that our bilateral relations have increased at a steady pace not only for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries but also for regional stability. Indeed successful projects and relations can be an example of what can be achieved for the whole region.

We hope that Georgia will continue with determined efforts in developing further its democracy and in building a sound economy. We share the view that the OSCE will also be able to contribute to this goal by resuming its presence in the country.

Protracted conflicts stand as obstacles to peace and stability both in Georgia as well as in the region as a whole. Indeed, peaceful resolution of all the conflicts of the South Caucasus will contribute to political stability and economic prosperity of these countries and open up new possibilities for bilateral and regional cooperation.

We expect that substantial progress in the Geneva discussions will help to improve the living conditions of the population in the conflict-affected areas. In view of the latest developments, we call on all parties to contribute to the preservation of the already volatile security conditions in the region.

Finally, it is beyond doubt that the upcoming Parliamentary elections and the Presidential Elections to be held next year are of great importance for the future of democracy in Georgia. We are confident that the upcoming elections to which Turkey will send 7 short term observers, will be held in accordance with our shared commitments and in a peaceful manner.

Thank you.