Statement by H.E. Ambassador Baki İlkin, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the UN, at the Security Council Meeting on Bosnia and Herzegovina

Baki İlkin 18.04.2006
Mr. President,

At the outset, I would like to welcome the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Adnan Terziç.

I would also like to thank Dr. Christian Schwarz-Schilling, the High Representative and EU Special Representative, for his briefing today and commend him and his colleagues for their tireless efforts.

Mr. President,

Turkey already aligned itself with the statement made by the distinguished representative of Austria, on behalf of the European Union. Therefore, I shall confine myself to making brief comments on a number of points.

Mr. President,

Turkey has close historical, cultural and human bonds with Bosnia and Herzegovina and our political relations have always been inspired and strengthened by these ties.

From the very day the civil war erupted in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey has been actively involved in the efforts for the diffusion of the crisis and has been contributing to the efforts to establish peace, stability and prosperity in this country. Within this framework and in this spirit Turkey contributes to both the EU Force Althea and the EU Police Mission operating in the region.

Mr. President,

We welcome the considerable progress Bosnia and Herzegovina has made in the last years, with regard to reforms in the field of taxation, customs, intelligence, security, defense and the judiciary. Turkey will continue to support these reforms aiming at ensuring an efficient state structure in Bosnia and Herzegovina that will eventually bring the country closer to the Euro-Atlantic institutions.

Mr. President,

Turkey attaches great importance to the coexistence in harmony of different cultures, religions and ethnic identities. The desire and success of the three peoples who founded the State of Bosnia-Herzegovina to live together in a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society will not only contribute to regional stability, but will also set a shining example for the countries and communities facing similar experiences.

Mr. President,

Turkey, as an active member of the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council, will continue to follow closely the developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Thank you Mr. President.