Statement by Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representative of Turkey, in Response to the Report of Ambassador Jean-Claude Schlumberger, Head of Mission in Kosovo, at the 983rd Permanent Council

Tacan İLDEM 06.02.2014
Thank you Mr. Chairperson,

I join the previous speakers in welcoming Ambassador Schlumberger back to the Permanent Council and thank him for his comprehensive report.

I wish to begin by agreeing with his assessment of the current political situation in Kosovo. As mentioned in the report, the additional steps taken in the Belgrade-Prishtina Dialogue process are indeed promising. The Mission’s contributions to and efforts within this process are praiseworthy. After having made this observation, I will re-iterate our call to all sides to continue making the additional efforts that will take the process forward.

The mayoral and municipal assembly elections which took place in Kosovo on November 3, 2013, constituted a milestone in Kosovo’s quest for greater democratization. It is indeed important to note that these elections were held without major irregularities that affected the results. This success belongs to all Kosovars who have been active in promoting a culture of reconciliation while maintaining multiethnic, cultural and religious harmony in the land. I also wish to seize this opportunity to express our appreciation for the Mission’s on-going activities to enhance the communities’ effective participation in public life, to ensure equitable access to services and public utilities, as well as to advocate the cultural heritage rights of non-Albanian communities.

On the occasion of Ambassador Schlumberger’s previous report last September, I had welcomed the Mission’s intensive outreach activities to non-Albanian communities. We appreciate the support OMIK provides to the protection and improvement of the rights of all ethnic groups. Engagement of all communities in Kosovo’s social, economic and political fabric is a prerequisite for bolstering efforts to establish a democratic, multi-ethnic and modern state structure. Therefore the objective of endowing all communities with better access to policy making processes should remain a top priority.

Mr. Chairperson,

As we recognize the substantial work performed by the international presence in Kosovo, we also need to maintain our own contributions to this effort. As you are aware, we have also been actively supporting OMIK through police contributions as well as activities to reinforce the capacity of the Kosovo Police.

We must also bear in mind that the picture will not be complete unless we ensure Kosovo’s inclusion and involvement in pertinent regional and international initiatives. This will not only have an encouraging effect on the positive trend in Kosovo, but will also constitute a significant contribution to efforts for the stability and development of the region as a whole.

By way of conclusion, I would like to wish Ambassador Schlumberger and his able team continued success in their future endeavors.

Thank you.