Statement by Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representative of Turkey, in Response to the Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Ambassador Michael Scanlan, 1052nd Meeting of the Permanent Council

Tacan İldem 14.05.2015
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.

We join the previous speakers in warmly welcoming Ambassador Scanlan back to the Permanent Council and would like to express our thanks for his comprehensive report. We appreciate the devoted work of the Mission which is successfully carrying out an important mandate in the midst of the current challenges in the OSCE area.

Turkey enjoys excellent bilateral relations with Moldova. The visit of Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu to Moldova last month was the latest manifestation of our will to further strengthen our cooperation in different areas of bilateral relations as well as important regional and international issues. In his meetings during the visit Minister Çavuşoğlu emphasized Turkey’s support to Moldova’s European integration perspective and reform agenda.

Mr. Chairperson,

As we keep saying, the resolution of the protracted conflicts should remain at the core of our organization since they are the main factors to destabilize regional security. In this regard, Turkey supports the settlement of the Transdniestrian conflict through dialogue within the framework of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Moldova.

As stated in the Ministerial Statement adopted last year in Basel, it is important to increase the frequency of meetings between Chisinau and Tiraspol in 2015. Therefore we welcome that through regular meetings in 1+1 format and working groups the negotiation structure has been strengthened during the reporting period. We encourage the sides to intensify this direct dialogue. The 5+2 negotiations, which is the main venue for a political solution to the conflict, should, however, remain the bedrock of the process.

We had previously stressed 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 mandate. Thus we see it as a positive development that the talks regarding the Mission’s access to Transdniestria is now moving in the right direction, as stated in the report.

Mr. Chairperson,

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 was an important tool to discuss the long-standing disagreements over the implementation of the 1994 Law on the Special Legal Status of Gagauzia. It is encouraging that this working group is now being transformed into a permanent body within the Moldovan Parliament. Since the elections both for the Moldovan Parliament and for the Governorship of the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia are over, we hope to see some concrete positive deliverables emerge from the discussions in this parliamentary body after it becomes operational. Turkey remains 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, particularly the High Commissioner for National Minorities, to this end.

Last but not least, I would like to express our appreciation for the Mission’s successful regular activities in different areas such as human rights, rule of law, civil society support, gender equality and anti-trafficking.

In conclusion, I wish every success to Ambassador Scanlan and his able team in their future endeavors.

Thank you.