Statement by Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representative of Turkey, on the Situation in Ukraine, 1012th Meeting of the Permanent Council

Tacan İLDEM 24.07.2014
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.

Last week, the deteriorating security situation and mounting tensions in the eastern oblasts of Ukraine were aggravated through a tragedy of unprecedented proportions. We consider the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines passenger flight MH-17 over Ukrainian airspace in the region of Donetsk, where illegal separatist armed groups are active, as a heinous attack targeting innocent civilians. We condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms. We are deeply saddened by the loss of the lives of the 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board. I would like to take this opportunity to once again extend our heartfelt condolences to the relatives of those who lost their lives, to express our sympathy and to wish them fortitude. We mourn with the countries who lost their citizens.

It is absolutely necessary to discover the perpetrators of this attack and bring them to justice by means of a thorough, transparent and unimpeded investigation to be conducted through the cooperation of all relevant countries and organizations with the Ukrainian Government. Within this context we welcome and commend the Permanent Council Declaration adopted on July 18th, and hope that all parties concerned will continue to act upon the calls expressed therein.

We wish to stress that following this tragedy, it has become imperative for all relevant parties to take concrete steps in order to immediately end the illegal acts of violence and conflicts which are ongoing in eastern Ukraine and which have started to threaten stability at the international level. We reiterate our firm conviction that the current crisis in Ukraine, including the illegitimate and illegal de facto situation in Crimea, must be resolved through peaceful diplomatic means within the framework of respect towards the territorial integrity, independence, sovereignty, and political unity of Ukraine, in keeping with our shared OSCE commitments and international law.

In this context, let me express once again our full support for President Poroshenko’s Peace Plan. We further welcome the ongoing efforts of the Trilateral Contact Group to reach a peaceful settlement of the crisis and look forward to any progress that can be made in this regard, also along the lines of the Joint Declaration of four Foreign Ministers adopted in Berlin on July 2nd. In this vein we welcome today’s Decision on the Deployment of OSCE Observers to Two Russian Checkpoints on the Russian-Ukrainian Border. We stand ready to contribute to all efforts aiming towards de-escalation of the crisis in Ukraine.

Mr. Chairperson,

In the immediate aftermath of last week’s horrific tragedy, the Special Monitoring Mission has yet again proven its worth as an invaluable enabling instrument on the ground. The SMM was the first international presence at the crash site. Along with its regular activities the Mission is now also engaged in monitoring developments regarding the relevant recovery and investigation activities, and continues to fulfill a key role in facilitating access to various areas for both Ukrainian and international officials and experts. We reiterate our full support for the SMM and its activities, and express our appreciation to the Mission’s leadership and all its members for their swift and professional reaction to last week’s terrible events.

In this context we welcome the adoption of Permanent Council Decision No. 1129 on the extension of the SMM’s mandate, and thank the Swiss Chairmanship for their unwavering efforts to secure this important Decision before the OSCE’s summer recess.

Thank you.