Statement By Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representative Of Turkey, In Response To The Speech Of H.E. Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister For Foreign Affairs Of Azerbaijan, At The 952nd Special Permanent Council

Tacan İLDEM 14.05.2013
Thank you Mr. Chairman,

I would like to join the previous speakers in warmly welcoming Minister Memmedyarov to the Permanent Council.

We consider Azerbaijan as an important country in her region and we are gratified to see our intensified bilateral strategic partnership relations expanding in every possible field strengthened by the everlasting bonds of friendship between our peoples.

Mr. Minister your very presence today in our midst to address the Permanent Council testifies to the importance that your country attaches to the work of the OSCE.

In the discussions of Helsinki+40 process that we have embarked upon in consolidating a security community in line with the decision that you, the Ministers, took in Dublin last December, the need for dealing properly with the deficit of trust and creating a new culture of engagement surfaced as recurring themes. In this context, this meeting signifies to such a need and we welcome your attendance which is a clear indication of Azerbaijan's readiness to continue engaging at proper political levels with this Organization.

In our discussions so far within the context of Helsinki+40 process we seem to be in agreement that conflict prevention and conflict settlement are in the heart of the work of the OSCE. To our regret, the protracted conflicts which the OSCE is mandated to settle still remain unresolved.

We attach importance to the format of negotiations that were created for the settlement of conflicts and in that context we consider the role of the Minsk Group, for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to remain important.

All we wish to see is the reinvigoration of the work of the Minsk Group in support of the valuable efforts of the Co-Chairs in bringing about a vision that would be shared by both sides to the conflict, conducive to triggering their political will to settle the conflict. We note with satisfaction that such an understanding and interest to contribute to the efforts of the Co-Chairs is emerging on the part of other members of the Group as well.

For that we need to look to the future with concrete steps that would lead to a peaceful settlement of the conflict and normalization of relations of the countries of the region ensuring all to be integrated to regional schemes for their peoples to be part of a same brighter destiny. In essence, what we all should aim at can be qualified as a “win win” situation, since we share the view expressed by the Co-Chairs that the status quo in this conflict is neither acceptable nor sustainable.

On the other hand, the OSCE’s broad acquis, means and capabilities as well as its comprehensive approach to security provides the most suitable framework where protracted conflicts can be dealt with comprehensively and in a cross dimensional manner. We believe that the OSCE tool box in conflict prevention could be mobilized on the request of participating states and parties to the conflicts to help demonstrate political will.

Mr. Minister,

I was among the Permanent Representatives to the OSCE who have visited last year the South Caucasus and who during our stay in Baku, had the chance to see the impressive progress made by your country in many areas and to witness the scope of the remarkable transformation of your country. I have to note with satisfaction that progress is not unique to one dimension but also covers wide areas of socio-economic strides as well as democratic development.

In this area, as it is apparent from our daily work here in Vienna, no country is immune from criticism. Consolidation of our democratic structures is a continuing process equally valid for old democracies as well as for the new ones. This is why through the Astana Commemorative Declaration, our Heads of States and Governments have recommitted themselves to full adherence to all OSCE norms, principles and commitments, and acknowledged that more must be done to ensure full respect and implementation.

Your statement today concerning your vision in this respect is an indication of the determination of Azerbaijan to continue strengthening its democracy. As you have referred to it is a generational process, we are confident that the upcoming Presidential elections scheduled for next October in your country will mark yet another strong confirmation of the progress that you have so far achieved. In this regard, we welcome your remarks that you would be acting in line with your commitments as to the election monitoring by the international actors, including the involvement of the OSCE to that effect.

Field operations are an important component of OSCE’s work. We see them as structures that are conducting a commendable work in helping the host country to strengthen capacities in different selected areas. Of course, the host nation’s consent and preferences are essential in order to ensure a positive outcome from the OSCE’s field activities. It is also incumbent to the OSCE and to the participating States that field operations remain attractive and effective for hosts.

We have engaged constructively in the informal working group created by the Ukrainian Chairmanship following your letter concerning the OSCE Office in Baku. We hope that a satisfactory outcome will be reached on this issue, during the consultations that are underway.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate our satisfaction of having you Mr. Minister addressing us today and would like to extend our best wishes to You and for the future of your country.

Thank you Mr. Chairperson.