Statement by Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representative of Turkey, on the Situation in Ukraine, 1039th Meeting of the Permanent Council

Tacan İldem 12.02.2015
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson,

We are heartened with the news from Minsk that an agreement also encompassing a ceasefire has been reached. We welcome this development and hope to see the ceasefire, expected to enter into force at midnight on the 15th of February, finally put an end to the unacceptable loss of lives due to the sharp increase in tensions and violence in eastern Ukraine. We wish to express our deep appreciation to all those who made this agreement possible.

Turkey supports all diplomatic efforts to bring about a solution to the problem that is respectful towards Ukraine’s territorial integrity, independence, sovereignty and political unity, in keeping with our shared OSCE commitments and international law. In line with this understanding, we will support efforts to adapt and further reinforce the OSCE’s engagement, particularly through the activities and responsibilities of the Special Monitoring Mission, to this morning’s agreement. This expression of support naturally encompasses matters relating to the Trilateral Contact Group as well.

We had since the outset advocated the notion that peace in Ukraine could be achieved through the full implementation of the Minsk agreements of last September. We observe this principle retained in the recent document, as evidenced by its title, which reads “Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements”. We earnestly wish to see all parties exercise utmost restraint and implement all the provisions of this package of measures fully and in good faith.

Mr. Chairperson,

While anticipating peace to take hold in Donbas in the coming days, I would be amiss if I did not refer briefly to the plight of the Crimean Tatars resulting from the unacceptable illegal de facto situation in Crimea, which Turkey continues to regard as a key element within the overall conflict and part of Ukraine.

As a final note, let me also underline the fact that this agreement and the positive developments we hope to see it entail will have much wider-reaching positive repercussions than just ending the bloodshed caused by a severe escalation of hostilities in parts of eastern Ukraine. It is also bearing this important fact in mind that all parties should strive to build upon today’s agreement, with our full support and encouragement.

Thank you.