IN RESPONSE TO THE SPEECH OF H.E. ARAZ AZIMOV, DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER OF AZERBAIJAN

Tacan İldem 25.10.2012
Thank you Mr. Chairman,

I would like to extend a warm welcome to Deputy Minister Azimov and thank him for sharing with us his insight on the prevailing situation in the region.

Mr. Minister,

Your presentation today comes a few weeks after the visit that some of us, Permanent Representatives to the OSCE, have conducted in your region, where we had the chance to have a number of very useful high level discussions. Let me take this opportunity to thank you and your authorities for the generous hospitality extended to us on that occasion.

Your statement today shows us once more that there is an unfinished business in the OSCE area and the need to alleviate the unacceptable status quo in the region.

Being a neighboring country, Turkey is feeling the effects of the status quo, of the deadlock in the negotiations and the negative consequence that it produces on the future of the peoples of the region.

In the coming weeks, this organization will once more hear our statements of support to the peaceful resolution of the conflict or our calls to step-up efforts towards finalizing the agreement on the Basic Principles. We will repeat these messages to the Minsk Co-Chairs in two weeks time and hear their plans for the weeks ahead. We will then all hope to have a good declaration during the Ministerial in Dublin in 5 weeks time.

Of course Turkey fully subscribes to these statements of support to the resolution process, to the Minsk Group and the Co-Chairs, the agreed principles and formats.
Nevertheless, I think that your presence today and also the presentation to be given by the Deputy Minister of Armenia next week, should lead to a profound thinking on how to proceed to achieve a tangible result in breaking the deadlock.

At a time when we are discussing the way for our Ministers to launch a process in Dublin that will lead to a major step that will coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act, we should also have the courage to identify further roles that this organization could play in helping both Azerbaijan and Armenia to make a determined path towards resolution of the conflict.

Until lasting peace will prevail in the region, our efforts to strengthen a security community in the OSCE area will not yield positive results. We should always remind ourselves of the necessity to deal with conflicts as a priority issue. After all prevention and settlement of the conflicts are in the heart of our work here in this organization. If we don’t have a success story in the settlement of the conflicts that OSCE has in its mandate to deal with, it will erode the organizations credibility.

We hope that the two countries involved, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and the members of the OSCE Minsk Group, will agree that injecting dynamism to the process is needed. In this regard, we agree with you that the OSCE toolbox and all cooperation avenues offered by this organization that have the support of both Azerbaijan and Armenia should be mobilized in a more creative way in order to change the current stalemate.

I took note with interest your remarks regarding the necessity to develop a road map for a peaceful settlement with sequential steps to be determined when implemented would pave the way for a much needed regional integration with a tremendous value added for efforts to normalize relations between the countries of the region.
Our aspiration for peace and stability in the South Caucasus is based on our willingness to have in its vicinity peoples that enjoy the same prosperity and development than in other parts of the OSCE area.

We took note of reaffirmation of your commitment for a peaceful settlement. The portion of your statement that Azerbaijan does not see military solution as an option is so reassuring and we have every reason to welcome it.

Mr. Chairman,

Let me also voice a word of support to the activities of the OSCE Office in Baku, which in our opinion are offering a positive contribution to the efforts of the host country in enhancing its democracy. We attach importance to the continuation of the favorable dialogue between the Office and the Azeri Authorities.

Finally Mr. Deputy Minister, we are looking forward to meeting you again in Dublin where we expect your contribution to the important decisions that are already on the table here in Vienna.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.