United States Mission to the OSCE
Response to Kalman Mizsei,
EU Special Representative
for the Republic of Moldova
As delivered by Ambassador Ian Kelly
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
September 23, 2010
The United States warmly welcomes you to the Permanent Council, Mr. Mizsei. We have a robust bilateral relationship with Moldova and strongly support its further integration into European institutions, through the Eastern Partnership Initiative and other projects. We are committed to working with Moldova and our European partners to facilitate this process.
The Transnistria conflict deserves our continued attention, particularly as we prepare for a Summit where we hope to agree to intensify efforts to resolve the protracted conflicts in the OSCE region. While striving to build confidence and achieve concrete progress on the ground, we must continue to work in the 5+2 format to seek a comprehensive, negotiated settlement. We continue to urge the earliest possible resumption of formal negotiations, without preconditions. We seek a transparent settlement that defines Transnistria’s status within Moldova and its internationally recognized borders, preserves Moldova’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, facilitates the transformation of the current peacekeeping force into an unarmed, multinational civilian presence under an international mandate, and furthers the implementation of commitments related to the withdrawal of Russian forces and munitions from Moldova.
While we welcome recent international efforts in support of the settlement process, we encourage our partners to engage constructively within the 5+2 format, the only internationally accepted mechanism for reaching an agreed, long-term solution.
We regret recent incidents where entry of U.S. officials and others into Transnistria has been blocked by Transnistrian authorities. We trust that this problem will be rectified.
The OSCE Mission to Moldova remains key to our joint efforts, facilitating meetings in the 5+2 format, supporting dialogue between the sides’ chief negotiators, promoting progress in expert-level working groups, and implementing a variety of confidence-building activities. These efforts should remain the Mission’s top priorities.
Turning to other matters, we welcome the announcement of Moldova’s parliamentary elections and note the importance of taking steps to ensure that those elections fully meet OSCE and international election standards. The recommendations contained in recent OSCE/ODIHR reports can provide useful guidelines for further improving Moldova’s electoral system.
We note also that the arrest and detention of journalist Ernest Vardanean and other arrest and detentions in the Transnistria region remain a matter of deep concern. We continue to urge respect for human rights, due process, and the rule of law in all cases. We appreciate the OSCE Mission to Moldova’s monitoring of the situation and welcome its regular updates.
Finally, we welcome Moldova’s support for efforts to move forward on the CFE Treaty and to strengthen the implementation of arms control and confidence- and security-building measures.
We look forward to continued close cooperation with the EU on supporting Moldova. Thank you for joining us today, Mr. Mizsei.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://www.america.gov)