Statement By Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representative Of Turkey, In Response To The Report Of Ambassador Peter Burkhard, Head Of Mission To Serbia, At The 942nd Permanent Council

Tacan İLDEM 28.02.2013
Thank you Mr. Chairperson,

I join the previous speakers in welcoming Ambassador Burkhard in his first appearance before the Permanent Council in his capacity as the Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia and would like to express my thanks for his comprehensive presentation.

Turkey welcomes the steady progress made by Serbia on its path towards comprehensive reforms and the Missions valuable contributions in this regard.

Support provided to the National Assembly and local self governments, together with the endeavors to uphold the human and minority rights, enhancement of independent institutions and police accountability are the main venues that worth mentioning and appreciation.

Besides, the efforts directed to achieve stability, harmony and mutual understanding in southern and southwestern Serbia are of utmost importance and should be supported not only for the own sake of Serbia but for maintaining sustainable stability, peace, tranquility and cooperation at regional scale.

We welcome the positive results achieved so far from the ongoing Pristine-Belgrade dialogue process.

Meeting of the Presidents on February 6, in Brussels, the first time ever since the independence of Kosovo which was followed by the political dialogue meeting at the level of Prime Ministers again in Brussels are important mile stones towards the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina as well as the consolidation of peace and stability in the Balkans.

It is our sincere desire to keep the ongoing process moving forward and we will continue to support this process and efforts to find practical solutions to the outstanding issues.
Mr. Chairperson,

Turkey remains committed to cooperating with Serbia in efforts geared towards building the future. Be it bilateral, regional or international platforms we are determined to further develop our close relations with Serbia. This is repeatedly voiced during Turkish Foreign Minister’s visit to Serbia earlier this month which is followed by the visit of President Nikoliç to Turkey.

On the other hand, we are confident that the already existing constructive and cooperative atmosphere will continue to prevail for the benefit of all parties concerned and have positive repercussions during Serbia’s OSCE Chairmanship in 2015.

In conclusion, we would like to reiterate our support for the goals and priorities adopted by the OSCE Mission to Serbia. Once again we thank Ambassador Burkhard for his presentation and look forward to further progress and reports from the Mission in the months ahead. We hope that the excellent cooperation between the OSCE Mission and the government of Serbia continues, as we pursue our common goals through the Mission's mandates.

Thank you Mr. Chairperson.