Statement by Ambassador Tacan İldem in response to the Report by Ambassador Ralf Breth, Head of the OSCE Mission to Skopje, 1012th Permanent Council Meeting

Tacan İLDEM 24.07.2014
Thank you Mr. Chairperson,

I join the previous speakers in welcoming Ambassador Breth back to the Permanent Council and thank him for his comprehensive and informative report. We commend the Mission’s ongoing activities which are tailored and implemented in line with the needs and expectations of Macedonia.

Mission’s findings regarding the security environment surrounding the presidential and early parliamentary elections, as stated in the report to the effect that that they were held in a mostly calm atmosphere with no major security incidents is a positive development that we took note of. We sincerely believe that Macedonian people deserve more support on their challenging way towards democratization.

On the other hand, escalation of tensions and inter-communal discord is a great source of concern for each and all of us. Having said that we commend the Mission’s declared readiness to assist the government of Macedonia in addressing the existing hardships.
As a matter of fact, increasing confidence in relations between communities is an issue which is dear to us. Equitable representation of the ethnic communities within the public administration, which is among the long term goals and five focal areas of the Ohrid Framework Agreement is an important endeavor. Progress is being carried out in this respect and we would like to make reference to the situation of the small Turkish community, which comprises less than %4 of population and whose members are also aspiring to enjoy equal opportunities.

Mr. Chairperson,

We praise the Mission’s work and its assistance provided to the overall reform process in the host country. The Mission’s programs in the areas of rule of law, public safety and community outreach and police reform, and countering transnational treats are having positive and complementing impact on the overall stability and development in Macedonia. We value the continued support provided by the Mission inter alia to the relevant authorities in Macedonia in strengthening their organizational capacities. Referring to these topics, I wish to reiterate that Turkey will continue its assistance particularly to the police development activities.

Mr. Chairperson,

Since the early 1990’s Turkey has been a staunch supporter of Macedonia at every walk of life. The reason for this is our firm belief in the importance of sustainable stability and indivisible security in the whole region. In this regard we welcome the progress shown by Macedonia during the reporting period which enables the country to move towards integration with Euro-Atlantic institutions. Pursuant to the regional inclusiveness principle and being among those countries who have recognized Macedonia with its constitutional name we earnestly believe that the “name issue” should not be an impediment to successful conclusion of this process any more. As it has been thoroughly emphasized earlier as well, an impasse in Euro-Atlantic perspective might have far reaching negative consequences which we believe will serve the interest of no one in the Balkans region and beyond.

In conclusion, we would like to thank Ambassador Breth and his able team and wish every success in their future endeavors.