Statement by Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representative of Turkey, on the Situation in Ukraine, 1036th Special Meeting of the Permanent Council

Tacan İldem 26.01.2015
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson,

I would like to begin by expressing our appreciation to you for convening this Special Meeting of the Permanent Council in the aftermath of Saturday’s horrific attack in Mariupol, which was the latest tragic manifestation of the deteriorating security situation in parts of eastern Ukraine. I would also like to thank Ambassador Apakan and Ambassador Tagliavini for their timely comprehensive updates on the situation on the ground and the ongoing efforts to resolve the crisis.

We had already expressed our grave concern about the recently intensified clashes and the mounting loss of civilian lives in eastern Ukraine. Following the two attacks in the last ten days which resulted in the death of twenty-six civilians, Turkey is now deeply saddened by the death of over thirty people and the injury of many others in rocket attacks targeting civilian residential areas in Mariupol on January 24th. We strongly condemn these indiscriminate and reckless attacks. Our heartfelt condolences and deep sympathy go out to the people of Ukraine in their hour of renewed loss and mourning, and we wish speedy recovery for the wounded.

Mr. Chairperson,

These rocket attacks which targeted civilians in Mariupol demonstrate very clearly that the calls made by all of us for strict compliance with the provisions of the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum are, unfortunately, being disregarded. We therefore reiterate our call on all sides to exercise utmost restraint, to enter in good faith into a constructive dialogue within the framework of the Minsk agreements and to take the necessary steps towards de-escalating the conflict. Those with influence over the combatants should now exercise it in order to ensure a sustainable ceasefire. It is time for this bloodshed to stop. It is time for the innocent men, women and children of eastern Ukraine to stop paying the heavy toll of armed conflict and enjoy the safety and security of peace.

We continue to firmly believe that the ceasefire can be successfully consolidated through the full implementation by all sides of the Minsk agreements, including through the systematic withdrawal of heavy weapons. We encourage the ongoing efforts of Ambassador Tagliavini and the Trilateral Contact Group to bring together all signatories of the Minsk agreements as soon as possible in order to make tangible progress in this regard. It remains our sincere hope that these efforts will quickly lead to a complete cessation of the ongoing hostilities and the sustainable de-escalation of the crisis in and around Ukraine. Furthermore, as I have also stressed in my statements last week, we welcome the readiness of the Special Monitoring Mission to facilitate dialogue in order to further reduce the level of tension. We continue to expect all sides to facilitate the Mission’s monitoring activities through all the means at their disposal. In this context we wish to once again voice our hope that the SMM will be able to begin its planned border monitoring activities as soon as possible.

Mr. Chairperson,

In conclusion, I would like to make use of this opportunity to reemphasize once again our firm conviction that the crisis in and around Ukraine needs to be settled through peaceful diplomatic means within the framework of respect towards Ukraine’s territorial integrity including Crimea, independence, sovereignty and political unity, in line with our shared OSCE commitments and international law.

Thank you.