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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Assembly decides Debate + Vote on Aleppo at its November Session in Cyprus

CoE Assembly decides Debate + Vote on Aleppo at its November Session in Cyprus

Written by ACM
Friday, 14 October 2016
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- The PanEuropean, 47-Member Countries strong CoE's Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) has just Decided, this Friday Morning/Noon in Strasbourg, to Hold a Topical public Debate on the currently very "Hot" issueof the "the situation in Aleppo" (Syria),  (nowadays discussed at UNO's HQ in New York, and between Paris - Moscow - Berlin, etc, as well as Tomorrow, Saturday, at nearby Lausanne, in Switzerland, etc),at its immediately forthcoming Session, on November 25, exceptionaly hosted in Cyprus, i.e. Near Syria's SeaCoasts.


EU and CoE Member Cyprus is the Incoming New President in office of the CoE's Highest Political body, that of its Committee of Ministers, for the period of November 2016 - May 2017. (The previous rotating CoE Chairmanship by Cyprus had taken place a long time ago, between 1994 and 1995, (Comp. relevant "Eurofora" co-Founders' NewsReports etc., already from the preparation of that event, published then at PIO, CNA, etc).


According to well informed Sources from the incoming Cyprus' CoE Presidency, at least the Initial Intention for that November 2O16 PACE event, was to Focus, in general, on "International Law and Human Rights".


Given that the Next full Plenary Session of the PACE concenes No Earlier than on January 2017 in Strasbourg, it will be its "Standing Committee" which is due to hold that public Debate and Vote on Aleppo at its much Earlier Meeting on November 2016 in Cyprus.


PACE's Standing Committee has, in Legal terms, Similar Powers as also PACE's full Plenary Sessions, and all its Leadership takes part, in principle, (even if the Number of participating simple MEPs is not necessarily the same).


But its Political Importance, in real Practice, can get a more or less Big Potential, according to the overall Context and relevant Developments, as well as Last Minute Decisions :


- F.ex., already, Back on 1999, Strasbourg's Journalists regularly covering the CoE (including "Eurofora"s co-Founder) had been Invited to a landmark PACE Standing Committee Session in Rome (Italy), initialy for a main Issue officialy pointing, then, at Ocalan's controversial kidnaping at Nairobi, in Africa, by a Turkish commando, and subsequent Detention Conditions at Imranli, in Turkey. But, just After arriving in Rome, suddenly, a radical Change appeared on PACE Standing Committee's Main Issue, which Now Focused, on the Contrary, to nearby Ex-Yugoslavia and the Kosovo crisis, resulting in an Exceptionaly "Hot" Debate and a very Disputed Vote of a Resolution which became, (after that matter had been practicaly Droped or comparatively Downplayed, earlier, both at the UNO and at EU Parliament, etc), the Only Official Document on which some Claimed to have Found some kind of (even if indirect)Legitimacy in order to Start Launching one of the Waves of Military Strikes in what became known as 1 among the 2 successive Ex-Yugoslavia Wars, (Comp. relevant "Eurofora" co-Founder's NewsReport from that Historic, even if Controversial, Event, Published then at MPA Press Agency, etc).


Today's Decision on Aleppo (Syria) was Exceptionaly taken "by the Bureau" of PACE, i.e. its Highest Political Body after the Plenary itself, (whose Meetings are held "In Camera" and, in principle, Confidential), and Not on the Public Initiative of a Group of MEPs presenting a Draft Motion for Resolution, (i.e. Contrary to the Usual Procedure, which is used much More Often, for Most of Other Issues, including Many other "Hot" and Urgent matters).


It was officialy  Refered to PACE's Political affairs Committee "for Report", and this, practicaly, means that, normaly, a Written Text (such as a Resolution/Recommendation, etc) is due to officialy Emerge on that Issue at the CoE, sooner or later, for Final public Debate and Vote at that November 2016 PACE Standing Committee's meeting on November 25 - 26 in Cyprus, (Comp. Supra), and Not Only a mere "Urgent" Oral Debate, Contrary, f.ex., to what has just occured, this week in Strasbourg, where PACE's full Plenary Session didn't Discuss the notorious Mass Waves of Oppression against Tens of Thousands of various Dissident People, on pretext of a Strange, 6 Hours-long, "Coup" Attempt last July 2016, (See, f.ex. : ...), but Only Oraly, withOut any Written Text (f.ex. Draft Resolution, etc) to Vote.


The Next Meeting of PACE's Political affairs Committee has been Scheduled for Monday, November 7, in Paris, France, (as it happens quite often, but not necessarily always).


Its current President is Danish Socialist MEP Mogens Jensen, from the original "Christiansborg" Quarter of Copenhagen. But the Rapporteur had Not yet been officialy chosen.


Recently, after the BreakDown of an initial Americano-Russian Deal for a General Cease-Fire in Syria, the Out-going US President Barack Hussein Obama (Socialist/Liberal) notoriously Accused Moscow for Helping the Syrian Government to recuperate that BeSieged Part of Aleppo City which still remains Controlled by Armed Rebel Groups, and mainly Al-Nusra (an Al-Quaida offspring, classified as "Terrorist", ISIL, FSA, etc), and exchanged "Hot" Claims about alleged Blunders, reportedly with "Humanitarian" a.o. undue Casualties, in some Obscure and Controversial Circumstances, both there and elsewhere in Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly Replied by Denouncing an alleged Attempt by some of those who are accused to Secretly Arm and/or Fund various Terrorist Gangs in Syria to Hinder a Liberation of Alepo from "Al- Nusra" and other (often also Foreign) Terrorists, by the Government of the Country, under Fallacious Pretexts, letting "Al-Quaida" affiliates to abuse of Civilian People as "Hostages" serving as a "Human Shield".

 

 

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Out-going French President Hollande (Socialist), was suddenly pushed to take a Similar position to that of Obama, tabling an Alternative Motion for Resolution on Aleppo by UNO's Security Council, and Accusing for alleged "War Crimes" Russia, which had already presented a Different Motion for Resolution at the UNSC on a Wider CeaseFire in Syria. This resulted, inter alia, also to an exceptional Postponement of a Visit in Paris that Russian President Putin had initialy planned and agreed for Next Week, on Octobe 19, (See, f.ex.: ...)


But in subsequent Tripartite Encounter by Phone between Hollande, Putin and German Chancelor Angie Merkel, (who Might, eventualy, Host in Berlin a Top Diner, in "Normandy 4" format, together with Hollande, Putin and Poroshenko on the still Pending issue of Ukraine, for the Implementation of the "Minsk"Agreements' Peace process, perhaps, also on October 19, according to some sources), an official Press Communique issued by the German Government in Berlin, (and made immediatly Accessible to registered Journalists, including "Eurofora"), significantly Focuses on ensuring a CeaseFire asap at the Syrian conflict in general.


Concerning particularly Aleppo, Russia said that it Backs a UN Envoy offer for "Al Nusra" a.o. Islamic Armed Gangs (Comp. Supra),  to Leave out of the City, in a special Evacuation operation, placed under a guaranteed CeaseFire for that purpose.

 

But the Obvious Question raised, in relation with Today's PACE Bureau Decision, (Comp. Supra), is whether, and in what measue, the PanEuropean Organisation's Assembly could, or not, Legitimately Debate and Vote on such a "Hot" Topical issue as Aleppo, etc., Despite the Exceptional current Absence of All Russian MEPs, (See,f.ex.:...): A Fact which has already had, in practice, indirectly but naturaly, Dissuaded the CoE to Debate several other  "Hot" Issues on the Dramatic on-going Developments in Syria, a Neighbouring to Europe and strategicaly located Country, until now.

 

OSCE rotating Chairman in office for 2016, German Foreign Minister Steinmeier, had just stressed, Yesterday at the CoE in Strasbourg, that "Channels of Dialogue with Russia" should be maintained, despite Difficulties,in order to search much needed Compromises and/or Solutions for Peace, f.ex. in Ukraine and/or Syria, etc., "including (at a) Parliamentary" level, as he had Topicaly added, (See, f.ex.: ....).

 => Is there any, eventualy "Special Formula" to Find for that Important forthcoming PACE Gathering in Cyprus, on November 2016, (particularly following also a Recent Summit of CoE Member States' National Parliament Speakers, held last September in Strasbourg, with the Participation also of the Russian Senate's Experienced President Valentina Matvienko - a close ally to President Putin :Comp. f;ex. her previous Statements to "Eurofora" at :...), or something else which might, perhaps, serve, in one way or another, the cause of Peace and Human Rights ? 

 

(../..)

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 imag0972_400


    Scientific innovation joined to Faith for Human Rights, Eastern Partnership and fight against the Crisis, but above all, the need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" from EU Citizens, are the main priorities for new EU Parliament's President, Polish Jerzy Buzek, that a 555-votes-strong majority of MEPs on July 14,  Strasbourg made a living symbol of the fact that, 20 years after the fall of Berlin Wall (1989 - 2009) there is no more an Eastern or Western Europe, but only one Europe, as the head of the largest group of MEPs, ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Joseph Daul, stressed after the event.

    Speaking later to a group of Strasbourg's Journalists, including "EuroFora", the new EU Parliament's President clarified his stance on concrete topical issues, as f.ex. that of Turkey's controversial EU bid, which was one of the main issues of the June 2009 Electoral campain, clearly won by his party of ChristianDemocrats/EPP :  - "At present, Turkey does not fullfil none of EU conditions", he stressed, (See infra).

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    Buzek is well known in Strasbourg and to "EuroFora" as EU Rapporteur for the Framework Program of Scientific Research and Development of Technologies. A Natural Science Professor from the Historic and Religious landmark Polish City of Częstochowa, active in the famous Solidarnosk grass-roots social movement, he served 4 years as Prime Minister (1997-2001), before being elected as MEP in 2004 and 2009, after he brillantly won the latest EU Election at the head of his party (EPP) almost doubling the number of its MEPs from 15 to 28 !

    - "Innovation" and "Energy safety", as well as fight against the "Cimat change", but also "Eastern Partnership", the "Mediterranean", "Strategic partnerships" with Russia, the USA, etc, and the search for "solutions to the Economic Crisis" that EU Citizens "expect" from us, will be his "priorities", announced from the outset the new EU Parliament's President, reminding also that the quest for "Human and Civic Rights" played an important role in his experience with the Solidarnosc grass-roots social movement in Poland's History

    But, the most important of all, is the urgent need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" between EU Institutions and the People he stressed : - EU "Citizens often don't understand us", denounced Buzek, launcing a call to "do anything for EU Citizens to understand our work" in EU Parliament : "We (MEPs) need to make EU Citizens involved" in "what we are doing every week, in Strasbourg and Brussels", he proposed. Pointing f.ex. to the hot "Debates" with "strong arguments" exchanged between MEPs during the preparation of their Legislative Decisions, in Committees, delivering often hard struggles between initially opposed points of view, long before forging a majority at the final vote, sometimes more than a year..

    Therefore, EU Parliament will be "open to your criticism, for discussion and exchange of views", he promissed to Journalists in Strasbourg.

    In this way, Buzek, in fact, highlighted "EuroFora"s main idea, that we strongly advocate since 1997-2007, to systematicaly and actively involve EU Citizens in public debates during the decision-making process of important EU measures, which affect their lives and the society in which they live, (and not only just a few weeks each 4 or 5 Years at the eve of EU Elections)...
--------------------
    This is related also to the symbolic gift that Buzek chose to give to the out-going former EU Parliament's President, Hans Gert Poettering, (2007-2009), his collegue in the ChristianDemocrats/EPP, who brillantly won 2009 EU Elections in Germany : A genuine statute of sainte Barbara crafted in Silesia's black Coal by Polish Miners : Those simple but strong people who fought for social change against some technocrats and bureaucrats disguissed into so-called "real-socialists" of old times. (PHOTO).

    It's enough to have seen a popular open air mass, at Warsaw's center, with many thousands of people, old and young, simple workers and intellectuals mixed together, with references to Poland's history and struggles for survival and liberty, through various ages, (as fex. that organized at the eve of CoE's 2005 panEuropean Heads of State and Government for the beatification of late Pope John-Paul II), in order to understand what such symbols mean..

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    But, overcoming the "Crisis of Trust" with EU Citizens obviously implies also to rectify any errors done in the past, fex. on Turkey's controversial EU bid, with controversial decisions taken in 1999 and 2004 to give a "candidate" status and to start EU negotiations, provoking an unprecedented series of 3 "No" to EuroReferenda and 3 Majoriy Abstentions in EU Parliament Elections : 1999, 2005 and 2009, (even if the latest one succeeded to decelerate and almost stop the drop of participation rates, opening hopes for vote's revival after an electoral campaign clearly critical to Turkey's claims in several mainstream EU countries)
    
    Therefore, Buzek was faced with manifold critical Questions on EU Enlargement, most of them citting concrete examples of certain political problems  :  But his replies were almost always given as a matter of general principle :

    F.ex. Questioned on the suspension of EU - Croatia talks because of a Border conflict with EU Member Slovenia, Buzek prefered to speak about principles :

- "We know that during Enlargement, the process can be blocked by failure to resolve this kind of issues",  This concerns also other enlargments' cases", and "these rules are always in force" he warned.


But Buzek avoided to directly reply to a queston on "French and German EPP' calls to define the Borders of Europe", as a German journalist asked him by making a reference to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and German Chancellor Angie Merkel's, critical statements on Turkey at the June 2009 Electoral campain.    

- "Concerning Enlargement, there's always the same rules : There have to be Criteria, which have to be respected if a Country wants to join the EU", he started to simply reply.

- "For my country (Poland) it took us 15 Years to fullfil these Criteria", Buzek reminded, indicating, if proportions are kept, that Turkey, fex. would have to spend some 25 years before eventually joining the EU..

- "Countries wishing to join the EU need to Change their Systems", as we (Poland and other former Eastern European Countries) did, he stressed.

- "'For me, meeting the condition of Human Rights is one of the Key conditions for membership in the EU", preferring again to speak from the point of view of General Principles, on the occasion of an untimely question on Serbia (which is not even a candidate yet)...

- "Turkey" has, "first of all", to fullfil (EU) Copenhagen criteria". Bevause, currently, none of them is fullfiled by Turkey", New EU Parliament's President, denounced, speaking later to a group of Journalists, including "EuroFora".

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In particular, on Human Rights :  - "We (EU) can never forget Human Rights", because "this is at the very Foundations of the EU", Buzek added.

On the contrary, when he referred to EU Enlargment for the  "Western Balkans Countries ", Buzek appeared upbeat, finding "promising situations", despite "difficulties" in the Past, since "Countries are queuing to become EU members", and this "generated changes", as he said.

As for Russia, Buzek observed that it was a "very important" country, located "in the same Continent", Europe,  "close to our borders", and "we need eachother". "But Russia' has 'differend poblems : "They claim that their system is Democratic, but rules are differend", and we must be "aware of such differencies", fex. "on Human Rights", that we can't ignore, as he said;

Concerning China, where a journalist observed that the recipient of EU Parliament's latest "Sakharov prize" for freedom of thought is "still in prison", Buzek found that since the 1999 events in Tien Amin square, "we see differencies on Human Rights still today", and expressed his "support" for those who try to ameliorate the situation.

On the contrary, speaking recently to "EuroFora" he strongly supported the idea for an EU - Ukraine cooperation, fex. between Airbus and Antonov, in order to build a  less costly but more performant than the old and problematic A400M, new Military Transport Airplane : - "They (Ukranian Antonov Company) can certainly do it. I'm sure they can. It's a good Idea, and I'd be glad if it was done", he told us. (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/airbusantonov.html )


(../..)

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