Statement by Turkey in response to the Report by Ambassador Jonathan Moore, Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH, 1099. PC

AGİT DT 05.05.2016
Thank you Mr. Chairperson.

I warmly welcome Ambassador Moore to the Permanent Council and express our thanks for his comprehensive presentation.

Turkey enjoys exemplary relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina solidly based on the close ties between our peoples. Chairman of the Council of Ministers Zvizdić’s visit to Turkey last month and our Prime Minister Davutoğlu’s visit in July 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.

The importance of political stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the reform process to continue is self-evident. We expect the coalition partners to act in a manner conducive for continued success in the reform process. The peaceful realization of the local elections is also of importance in this regard. Despite certain turbulences affecting domestic politics, we share the Office’s positive assessment on the general course in which the country is evolving and we have more than many reasons to look toward the future with friendly confidence.

We also attribute significance to initiatives to bolster regional ownership and cooperation, which contribute not only to the individual countries they comprise, but also to the region as a whole. The Trilateral Mechanisms (BiH-Serbia-Turkey and BiH-Croatia-Turkey) initiated by Turkey help strengthen peace, stability and tolerance, encourage economic and commercial cooperation with particular emphasis on infrastructure projects.

Within this overall picture, there is one certainty: Bosnia and Herzegovina’s future lies in integration with European and Euro-Atlantic institutions. The Presidency’s commitment to EU principles, and the political parties’ and parliament’s confirmation to undertake the necessary reforms are an unmistakable indication of their political will and resolve in this direction. We support Bosnia-Herzegovina in its willingness to take its EU process forward and its application for EU membership. Bosnia-Herzegovina’s NATO Membership Action Plan also has our backing.

Mr. Chairperson,

We are pleased to see the OSCE Mission continues as a key international actor in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with an outreach infrastructure covering the entire country. We are pleased to see the Mission’s relations with key stakeholders 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 in which people have right to name their own languages, the sustainable return of displaced persons, as well as those towards addressing hate crimes and discrimination and cooperation with the ICTY.

We believe that the ICTY’s Radovan Karadzic ruling is important. While we sympathize with the victims’ relatives who do not feel consoled, we nevertheless wish the ruling to ultimately contribute to the social peace and stability within the country, and to its relations with neighboring countries.

We are pleased to see the Mission becoming increasingly active in the area of preventing radicalization and terrorism, as these issues pose a serious threat 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, continues fruitfully.

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 will and desire to assist the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina in their quest to build themselves a better and more prosperous future.

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

Thank you.