Statement by the Turkish Delegation in response to the Report by the Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions, 1072nd Meeting of the Permanent Council

AGİT DT 22.10.2015
Thank you, Madame Chairperson.

We warmly welcome the Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions, Ambassador Gnaedinger, Ambassador Turunen and Ambassador Salber, back to the Permanent Council and thank them for their comprehensive reports.

The protracted conflicts in the OSCE area continue to destabilize regional security. We attach great importance to the full normalization of the South Caucasus and support finding a comprehensive and sustainable solution to the conflict in Georgia, based on its sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.

It is important to note that any attempt to challenge Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity will further disturb security and stability in the region, undermine the efforts for a peaceful resolution and aggravate the living conditions of the local population in the conflict affected areas. Hence we reiterate our call on all sides to refrain from taking unilateral actions that would harm the constructive spirit of the Discussions and to remain committed to the peaceful and pragmatic approach adopted within the process.

Madame Chairperson,

We see the Geneva International Discussions as the key format for addressing and resolving the challenges stemming from this conflict with the participation of all stakeholders and strongly support its effective use by the parties as the main channel of open dialogue on this issue. We also welcome increasing use of bilateral channels to discuss issues of mutual interest between the parties.

We welcome the relatively calm and stable security situation on the ground as reflected most recently in the statement issued by the Co-Chairs following the 33rd round of the Geneva International Discussions. We hope that concrete progress may be achieved in the next rounds of the Discussions on international security arrangements and non-use of force, as well as on humanitarian questions such as freedom of movement, missing persons, status of IDPs and refugees, education and cultural heritage.

Turkey considers the Ergneti IPRM as an important mechanism to review the security situation and humanitarian issues on the ground. As such, it is a valuable asset to improve the daily lives of the local population. We are pleased to see the constructive and result-oriented approach of the sides to discuss issues of mutual concern in this platform. We hope to see the resumption of the Gali IPRM, as well. We believe in the merits of allowing the international community to operate more widely in the conflict affected regions.

Finally, Turkey believes that increasing people-to-people contacts, especially among the youth, is essential for rebuilding trust. As expressed by Ambassador Gnaedinger, the Summer School project that was organized by the Conflict Prevention Centre last July in Vienna was a very good example in this sense. We remain ready to further support such activities of the CPC.

In concluding, I would like to thank the Co-chairs for their valuable work once again and wish them every success in their future endeavors.

Thank you.