Statement by Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representative of Turkey, in Response to the Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Ambassador Michael Scanlan, and to the Head of the EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine, Mr. Francesco Bastagli, 1019th Permanent Council
We join the previous speakers in warmly welcoming Ambassador Scanlan in his first appearance before the Permanent Council as the Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova and would like to express our thanks for his comprehensive report. We also extend a warm welcome to Mr. Bastagli, the Head of the EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine and thank him for his informative presentation.
Turkey enjoys excellent bilateral relations with Moldova. The Free Trade Agreement that was signed last month in Chisinau between the Economy Ministers of Turkey and Moldova is a most recent concrete example of our determination and will to further strengthen our cooperation.
Current security challenges in the OSCE region underscored once again our common interest in the maintenance of Moldova’s stability and prosperity. We anticipate the parliamentary elections which will be held in Moldova next month to serve precisely this purpose.
As we keep saying, the resolution of the protracted conflicts should remain at the core of our organization since they are the most notable factors to destabilize regional security. I also assume everyone would agree that a success story would boost morale, raise the OSCE’s profile, and lift hopes again for the region after the crisis in and around Ukraine. Therefore it is to everyone’s interest resolving the Transnistrian conflict by maintaining the dialogue between Chisinau and Tiraspol with the constant support of the other sides of the 5+2 negotiations, which is the main venue for a political solution to the conflict. However, as Ambassador Scanlan mentioned in his report, there are certain challenges before the settlement, particularly caused by the unilateral actions of Tiraspol. We hope this trend is reversed in the upcoming round of the negotiations and a sustainable solution will be found within the framework of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova.
We believe that unlimited access for all members of the Mission to all regions is a most important prerequisite for the proper discharge of the Mission’s monitoring, observation and reporting role which is an integral part of its mandate. Turkey calls once again on all stakeholders to adopt a constructive, cooperative and conciliatory approach in order to progress towards a positive outcome in this issue.
Turkey considers the Gagauzian community as a natural bridge which further adds to the fabric of our bilateral relations with Moldova. The joint working group established between the Moldovan Parliament and the Gagauzian People’s Assembly is an important tool to discuss the long-standing disagreements over the implementation of the 1994 Law on the Special Legal Status of Gagauzia. We hope to see concrete positive deliverables emerge from the working group once the elections are over. Turkey is ready to actively support the works of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, which has a facilitating role to play in these efforts, also other relevant OSCE institutions, to this end.
Last but not least, I want to express our appreciation for the Mission’s successful regular activities in different areas such as the human rights, rule of law, democratization, civil society issues, freedom of media, anti-trafficking and gender mainstreaming.
In conclusion, I wish every success to Ambassador Scanlan and Mr. Bastagli and their able teams in their future endeavors.