Statement By Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representative Of Turkey, In Response To The Report Of Ambassador Fletcher Burton, Head Of OSCE Mission To Bosnia And Herzegovina, At The 951st Permanent Council

Tacan İLDEM 09.05.2013
Thank you Mr. Chairperson,

I join the previous speakers in warmly welcoming Ambassador Burton back to the Permanent Council and would like to express my thanks for his comprehensive presentation.

Let me at the outset state that we agree with his approach and its overall assessments of the situation both in the country and the region.

The Balkans in general and Bosnia and Herzegovina in particular are passing through an important transition process and we have been witnessing developments having decisive nature for the future of the region. As also stated by Ambassador Burton, for enabling all sides concerned to keep pace with this dynamic environment, each and all of us should continue to support the many regional ownership initiatives which we believe will continue to be the main factor for designing a prosperous future for the entire region.

As the only international actor with such a widespread outreach throughout the country and with experience, we appreciate the efforts of the OSCE Mission and also dynamism both at local and state levels and will continue to lend our support to its activities. Besides all its efforts, we appreciate that the Mission plays a complementary role towards national and regional reconciliation.

There are many other areas worth highlighting in your praiseworthy work. Let me cite only a few of them. Work in the area of non-discrimination, hate crimes, education or in support to housing programme for displaced persons are all commendable. We also value the Mission’s work among others in the first dimension, especially in assistance provided for management of stockpiles of weapons and ammunition.

On a more global level, we are appreciative of the measures taken by the Office in order to remain both effective and efficient. We support the vision and strategic path in a multiannual perspective with a view to keep delivering the added value provided by the Mission throughout the country.

Bosnia and Herzegovina occupies a unique place in the hearts and minds of Turkish people and we stand ready to continue our efforts aimed at increasing the prosperity and well being of Bosnian people in all fields. The creation of a functioning state structure in a sovereign and united country enjoying full territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders are among our priorities. Restoration of mutual trust among the countries of the region is also a major endeavour of all of us in the region.

We believe that the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina lies with integration to the European and Atlantic institutions and support the enhancement of Bosnia’s perspectives in this respect. For attaining this goal, political stability coupled with national consensus among three main peoples and two entities are the main key factors.

For enabling and continue to encourage Bosnia for active involvement in regional as well as international initiatives, the Turkish Government has been pursuing multi-sectoral economic policies covering many areas including commerce, energy, transportation, agriculture, health, culture and education.

The trilateral Consultation Process Meeting Mechanism between the Foreign Ministers of Turkey, Bosnia Herzegovina and Serbia, sets a good example of these initiatives. The eighth meeting of this format, which we believe serves as an effective confidence building measure took place yesterday in Sarajevo. Minister Davutoğlu paid a visit to Bosnia to participate in this meeting of this mechanism which was established in October 2009 upon his initiative of with the aim of contributing to normalizing the relations between Sarajevo and Belgrade, and also to developing good neighborly relations and regional cooperation in the Balkans. We are delighted that some concrete achievements towards strengthening peace and stability in the region have been made within the framework of this process.

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

Thank you.