SIMFEROPOL (QHA) - EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule has called on the Ukrainian authorities and the Crimean Tatars to find a common ground in resolving issues that concern living arrangements for deported persons, reads a statement posted on the official Web site of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, reports Interfax-Ukraine.
Fule said this in Simferopol on Thursday at a meeting with members of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the leadership of the Crimean Council of Ministers and representatives of the Crimean Tatar people dedicated to the problems of the adaptation of repatriates.
“The European Union has regular contacts with the Ukrainian authorities and with representatives of the Crimean Tatar Community on the issues that affect Crimean Tatars. However, we find that there is a substantially diverging assessment of the situation on the ground concerning the obstacles in our way and the steps that need to be taken. Without a discussion based on facts, and clarity about facts and figures, we cannot expect any tangible outcome,” - the commissioner said.
In his speech, Fule addressed the key issues that need reflection, in particular, the legal aspects of return, the issue of land, housing and property, political participation, the socio-economic aspects of return and integration, the issue of language, culture and religion, and the issue of education.
While addressing Ukrainian and Crimean government representatives, Fule stressed that during the past twenty years, the Ukrainian authorities, including the Crimean Council of Ministers, had shown political willingness to address and solve the legal and economic challenges that derive from this process.
“I want to explicitly commend this commitment by Ukraine, and encourage further steps to address remaining issues,” the commissioner said.
Fule also stressed the need to consider the Mejlis’s initiative to hold an international forum on restoring the rights of the Crimean Tatar people in their homeland, ensuring their safety and guarantees of development in Ukraine.
“The proposal made by the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars to hold an international forum in 2014 under the aegis of the OSCE High Commissioner, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the deportation, is an option that can and should be discussed and I also hope agreed,” he claimed.
As reported, the meeting on the problems of adaptation of repatriates took place in the building of the Crimean Council of Ministers in Simferopol without the participation of journalists on September 19.