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STATEMENT by Iurie LEANCĂ at the 17th OSCE Ministerial Council

by Mr. Iurie LEANCĂ, Deputy Prime Minister,
Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova,
at the 17th OSCE Ministerial Council
(Athens, 1-2 December 2009)

Dear colleagues,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to join the previous speakers in expressing our sincere appreciation to the Hellenic Chairmanship for its work over the past year and for its excellent organization of this Ministerial Council.

Mr. Chairman,

We highly value the merits of the OSCE in promoting a climate of security and cooperation in the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian area. It is our strong belief that the OSCE's role as a vital actor in the European security landscape should be further strengthened. In this regard, we praise the efforts of the Greek Chairmanship and its role in initiating and managing the Corfu Process. We believe that the Corfu Process should address real security issues. It could provide a platform for a comprehensive but focused debate on the current framework of European Security and the relevant OSCE mechanisms to better address traditional and new challenges.

Mr. Chairman,
As you may recall, the April Parliamentary elections in Moldova fell short of international standards and norms. Then, the anti-democratic behavior of the communist government questioned the very foundations of democratic institutions in the Republic of Moldova.

At the same time, the April events were a milestone for Moldova's democratic forces and its civil society. They triggered a far-reaching movement for societal and political change, which brought to power, as a result of early elections in July, democratic and reform-minded parties that created a governing Coalition called Alliance for European Integration. We are grateful to the international community and most of all to the OSCE for closely monitoring the situation and enabling democratic transfer of power and change in leadership after 8 years of Communist rule.

The new Government has put forward an ambitious, but pragmatic agenda. We have a vision for Moldova and are determined to make that vision a reality. We want Moldova to be a democratic, prosperous, reunited and European state, at peace with itself and its neighbors. We want to turn Moldova into a state where economic opportunities are available to all and not only to the selected few.

For this government, therefore, the priority objective is domestic reforms and modernization. Our task is to create an enabling framework in which Moldova's society can make that breakthrough. On top of our to-do list is opening up the economic environment, ensuring the independence of the judiciary, the rule of law, respect for human rights and freedom of the media, with a special focus on the independence of public broadcasters.

Mr. Chairman,
Allow me to turn to another key challenge - the Transnistrian conflict. We are well aware that the policy on this file will be an important litmus test for the new Goverment. Being determined to give a new impetus to the settlement process, the new Government increased the status of the coordinator of this file to the level of the Deputy Prime Minister.
Advancing on the path of European Integration and far-reaching domestic reforms is key for transforming the internal context of the settlement and facilitating the reintegration of Moldova. Apart from this, we are committed to promote various confidence and security builinding measures between the two banks. We also plan to intesify dialogue and contacts with various actors in the Transnistrian region, revitilise the joint Working groups and continuously support the population and companies from the region. We will continue to insist on the removal of existing obstacles in the way of the free movement of people and goods between the two banks.
At the same time, we call for prompt resumption without preconditions of negotiations in the 5+2 format, the only recognized international mechanism aimed at identifying a comprehensive, lasting and viable solution to this problem, by ensuring a special status for the Transnistrian region based on the respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova. We duly appreciate the efforts of the Greek OSCE Chairmanship in organizing the two informal meetings in the 5+2 format on 6 and 9 November. We also highly value the work of the EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine.
At the same time, we reiterate our deep concern with the continuing foreign military presence on the territory of the Republic of Moldova. We are confident, that the complete withdrawal of the remaining Russian Federation's troops and munitions, in accordance with the relevant 1999 Istanbul Summit Decisions, will facilitate resolving the crisis around the CFE Treaty and will constitute a major confidence and security building measure facilitating the conflict resolution. Cognizant of the contribution that was made by the current peacekeeping arrangement in securing stability in the region, we consider that now it is high time to start negotiations on its transformation by a multinational mission of civilian observers under international mandate.

Mr. Chairman,

We remain fully committed to work constructively with all participating States to reach a substantive outcome of this Ministerial Council, to help restore the needed trust and confidence.

We welcome the initiative of the incoming Kazakh Chairmanship to hold an OSCE Summit next year. We believe that such a high level reunion, for the first time in more than 10 years, might contribute to the revitalization of our Organization and advancing the dialogue on topical European security issues.

Finally, I would like to wish success to the future Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE, our Kazakh colleague, Minister Kanat SAUDABAEV, assuring him of our sentiments of solidarity and full support in carrying its mandate.

Thank you for your attention.


tags: Leanca | OSCE

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