Statement by Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representative of Turkey, in Response to the Report by Ambassador Jonathan Moore, Head of Mission to BiH, 1055th Permanent Council

Tacan İldem 28.05.2015
Thank you Mr. Chairperson.

I warmly welcome Ambassador Moore to the Permanent Council and congratulate him for his assignment as the new Head of Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina. I also would like to express our thanks for his comprehensive presentation.

Turkey enjoys exemplary relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina based on the close ties between our peoples. President Erdoğan’s visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina last week and our Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu’s visit in April were excellent opportunities to review our extensive bilateral relations as well as regional developments. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, as well as a good functioning state structure within its internationally recognized borders are of utmost importance for Turkey.

We follow with great interest the socio-economic changes which Bosnia and Herzegovina is undergoing and share our views with the relevant authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina through regular official visits.

The disastrous flooding and landslides have had a serious impact on Bosnia-Herzegovina’s economy and infrastructure. Turkey donated close to 10 million Euros for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the country. Our support to Bosnia-Herzegovina in this direction continues. We appreciate the Mission’s efforts aiming better coordination and cooperation in response to the natural disasters.

Despite the current challenges, we share the Office’s assessment that the general course in which the country is evolving is promising and there are many reasons to be optimistic about the country’s future. Within this ambit, there is one certainty: Bosnia and Herzegovina’s future lies in integration with European and Euro-Atlantic institutions. We believe that the EU’s decision to activate the Stability and Association Agreement is a positive development. The Presidency’s commitment to EU principles and the political parties’ and parliament’s confirmation to undertake the necessary reforms is an unmistakable indication of political will and resolve. We support Bosnia-Herzegovina in its willingness to take EU process forward.

Mr. Chairperson,

The OSCE Mission continues to be a key international actor in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with an outreach infrastructure covering the entire country. We are pleased to learn that the Mission’s relations with key stakeholders have been further strengthened at all levels and to see the Mission active in numerous areas significant for the country’s future. In this regard, we deem particularly important the Mission’s efforts towards an inclusive and non-discriminative education system, the sustainable return of displaced persons, as well as those towards addressing hate crimes and discrimination and partnership with ICTY.

We encourage the Mission to play a more active role in disaster risk reduction, radicalization and terrorism, as these currently pose serious threats not only for the country, but also for stability in the region and beyond.

In the area of arms control, we took note with satisfaction that the extra-budgetary “Project for Security Infrastructure Upgrade of Bosnia and Herzegovina Ammunition and Storage Sites”, to which Turkey has been lending financial support, has improved significantly.

I would like to take this opportunity to emphasize once again that Turkey is willing and prepared to support Bosnia and Herzegovina in all fields, in line with our general aspiration to assist the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina build themselves a better and more prosperous and dignified future.

In concluding my remarks, I would like to wish Ambassador Moore and his team every success in their endeavours.

Thank you.