OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Dačić calls for furthering political process to resolve the crisis in and around Ukraine at meeting with high OSCE officials in Belgrade
BELGRADE, 2 September 2015 – The ceasefire in eastern Ukraine is one of the key conditions for furthering the political process, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić said today, after a briefing with his Special Representative in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) Ambassador Martin Sajdik and the Chief Monitor of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan. OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier also attended the meeting.
“A complete ceasefire and verifiable withdrawal of heavy weapons are essential prerequisites for ending hostilities, preventing further civilian casualties and returning to normal life, particularly for those most affected along the contact line”, Dačić said, condemning the latest breach of ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. He called on the sides to urgently conclude the agreement on withdrawal of tanks and certain weapons below the 100mm calibre and on the necessary monitoring and verification modalities.
Dačić commended the efforts of Special Representative Sajdik, the TCG and Ambassador Apakan, as Co-oordinator of the Working Group on Security, to achieve a comprehensive and lasting ceasefire along the entire contact line for the start of the school year.
He underlined the urgent need to intensify efforts aimed at reaching a political solution to the crisis in line with the Minsk Agreements. “The only viable peaceful solution is through a political process, which should not be jeopardized by violence”, Dačić said.
He stressed the importance of moving forward with the work of the TCG and its four working groups, in order to speed up the implementation of all security, political, humanitarian and economic issues. Extending his full support to the activities of the SMM, the Chairperson-in-Office further stated that security and freedom of movement is crucial for the SMM to fulfill its mandate. He reminded that this requires a joint effort and urged all sides to ensure safe, unhindered and effective monitoring and verification of the ceasefire regime by the SMM.
CiO Dačić encouraged all sides to also take steps aimed at increasing the level of trust, including through the exchange of hostages and illegally held persons, based on the principle “all for all”. In this context, he emphasized that human rights obligations and fair treatment of detainees need to be observed by all.