As delivered by Ambassador Ian Kelly
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
April 18, 2013
The United States warmly welcomes you to the Permanent Council, Ambassador Brush, and we thank you for your detailed report.
The United States strongly supports the OSCE Mission to Moldova. The Mission plays a vital role in efforts to broker a comprehensive settlement to the Transnistria conflict both by facilitating direct dialogue between the sides and official negotiations in the 5+2 format and by supporting confidence-building measures that address concerns in all three OSCE dimensions.
For 20 years the Mission to Moldova has promoted cooperation between the host country and the OSCE, which will be celebrated this month in a series of activities. The United States applauds the Mission for its achievements. We read your report with care, however, and take seriously your warning that the perpetuation of this conflict risks creating differences between the residents of the right and left banks of the Dniester that did not exist a decade ago.
We commend the Mission’s efforts to promote human rights awareness and dialogue with civil society. A strong civil society helps countries build strong democracies, and also supports other diplomatic efforts. In this respect, the Mission’s innovative efforts to reach a broad audience through social media are exemplary. I assure you that the Mission’s Facebook page has many American “friends,” here in Vienna including me, and in Washington. We encourage the Mission to Moldova, as we do all field operations, to continue its service as a good steward of the tasks and resources entrusted to it by the 57 participating States.
Ambassador Brush, the United States strongly supports your efforts to enhance outreach to both sides of the Dniestr/Nistru River and promote reintegration. While progress in the political-military dimension has been slower than hoped for, we support your ongoing efforts in this area. Our experts are ready to work creatively with your team and with key players in the region to find ways to further diminish the military element in this conflict.
The United States takes this opportunity to reaffirm its strong support for the 5+2 discussions and is pleased that the first such meeting under the Ukrainian Chairmanship took place in Lviv on 18 and 19 February. We remain committed to working with the other 5+2 partners to find a comprehensive settlement that respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Moldova and affords a special status for the Transnistria region.
In closing, allow me to thank you and your staff and reiterate my government’s support for the Mission’s excellent work. Allow me also to underscore my government’s commitment to working with Moldova as it continues its integration into European institutions. Respect for the rule of law, human rights, and fundamental freedoms—indeed, for the full range of OSCE and international commitments—will continue to be key elements in our relationship.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.