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Accueil arrow newsitems arrow PACE Talks on Russian MEPs and CoE's Future Started + Continue on March 2018 in Paris

PACE Talks on Russian MEPs and CoE's Future Started + Continue on March 2018 in Paris

Ecrit par ACM
mardi, 23 janvier 2018
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Will Spring 2018 bring a Thaw in the Controversy on CoE Assembly and Russian MEPs, "Frozen" since 2014, when a Minority droped an Initial Deal and put Heavier Sanctions on pretext of the Conflict provoked in Ukraine, pushing all Moscow's Elected Parliamentarians to quit the PanEuropean body, for the 1st Time in CoE's Post-Cold War History, until Moscow Government anounced on 2017 its intention to Suspend all its Annual Financial Contribution from February 2018, unless all MEPs' Equal Rights are Guaranteed ?

Not Sure at all, But Something has Started in Dialogue : That seems to be the Wider Impression left to various Participants in an Exceptional Meeting of a brand New "Ad Hoc" Committee on the Mission of COE's Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) and its Future, which was just Created by PACE's Bureau on December 2017, and brought Together, in a 1st Session, all National Delegations' Heads, Presidents of Political Groups of MEPs, and Chairmen of Commissions, with the participation of Russian Delegates as Duma's new vice-President Pyotr Tolstoy, experienced Senate's Foreign Affairs' Committee President Kostantin Kosacev, etc, after an Exceptionally Long Absence from Strasbourg, (where, on the Contrary, the Inter-Governemental cooperation continues, with the Russian Ambassador/Permanent Representative, Ivan Soltanovsky in CoE's Committee of Ministers and various other Sectorial bodies).
 
 
coes_room_9_where_first_talks_on_russian_meps__pace_future_started_to_be_held_in_strasbourg_eurofora_400 

Held behind Closed Doors, at CoE's "Room 9", at the Eve of the Year 2019 during which the PanEuropean Organisation notoriously Hopes to Organize a New Summit of Heads of State/Government bringing Together All its 47 Member Countries, to Mark the "Unity" of all Europe and its role for "Democratic Security", this Exceptional Meeting of CoE' Assembly's "Role and Mission" New Committee (Comp. Supra), concluded this Evening withOut any official Public Anouncement.
 

- However, "Eurofora" learned, after briefly meeting Ambassador Ivan Soltanovsky with Duma's new vice-President Pyotr Tolstoy and other Diplomats on their way out of CoE's main Building, that, at least, a 2nd, Follow-up Meeting of that brand New "Ad Hoc", High-Level PACE Committee was due "on March 2018, in Paris".

+ This was Confirmed, shortly Afterwards, also by the New President of PACE's Biggest Political Group, that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Cezar Florin Preda, from Romania :
 
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 - Indeed, "We (PACE) Need some Time, in order to seriously Exemine the overall Situation, instead of Taking any Hasty Decisions on such a Serious matter". And "I spoke about that with the New President of the PACE, Michele Nicoletti", Preda told "Eurofora".

 - From an Ukranian source, "Eurofora" heard that the Chair of the Country's National Delegation, President of PACE's Committee on Culture, Volodymyr Ariev, "made a Statement" during Today's Meeting, as well as "2 or 3 Presidents of Political Groups", and they agreed to Postpone their work for Later-on.

- Another Experienced Collegue Journalist, from a 3rd European Country, told "Eurofora" that he met Briefly, by chance, with the President of the Russian Senate's Foreign Affairs Committee, Konstantin Kosacev, who would have qualified the Meeting as "Constructive", and "a Beginning", but without revealing now any concrete point.

- Previously, a CoE's Experienced Officer had confirmed to "Eurofora" that, in Practical Terms, the most Crucial Time Deadline for an eventual Deal which might, perhaps, incite Russia to pay, as usual, its full Annual Financial Contribution to CoE's Budget, (recenly "Freezed" because of the +3 Years-Long provoked Non-Participation of Russian MEPs in CoE's Parliamentarry Assembly, would be "towards the End of February" 2018.

=> I.e., very Close to the March 2018 Date, reportedly Chose for the Next Meeting of PACE's "Role and Mission", High-Level "Ad Hoc" Committee (Comp. Supra), which stands Also almost at the Eve of the Next Plenary Session for the Spring 2018, scheduled on April...

>>> Obviously, this Fact might, eventually, also Facilitate a possible Agreement for an adequate Change in PACE's Rules of Procedure, (as Russia notoriously asks, and EPP's Chairman, Preda, Confirmed Today : Comp. Supra), perhaps at the Next PACE's Plenary Session, (almost as "Eurofora had recently suggested... Comp.: + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coereformtoeaserussiasolution.html).

+ Meanwhile, the New President of CoE's Assembly, Italian MEP Michele Nicoletti, in his Official Inauguration Speech, Yesterday (Monday, January 22, 2018), Symbolically stressed that the CoE "Must Not Cease openly Denouncing any Violation of Human Rights, committed in Any Part of our Continent". "However, this Defense of Human Rights will be even Stronger if we (CoE) are able to Combine it with an ever Increasing Unity, between our Peoples : .. No Wall has been Able to Divide European Humanism, which canNot Thrive withOut All its .. Different Strands", he concluded, right after citting Both "Dante", "Shakespeare", "Beethoven", and "Dostoyevsky" as well as "Tolstoy".
 
 
(../..)


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Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, speaking  to "EuroFora", denied rumors on Turkey's attempts to avoid an EU check of its obligations on Cyprus on December 2009 by blackmailing Nicosia to either accept any deal with intransigeant Turkish claims contrary to EU values on the island's political issue, or face threats against the territorial integriy of the EU island, semi-occupied by Ankara's army.

On the contrary, the incoming EU President-in-office, speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", promissed that he will act for EU Council's decisions on December 2009 assessment of Turkey's commitments on Cyprus to be kept.


    Bildt was asked to react to Cyprus' President Christofias' denunciation, earlier this week, that some want to exert "pressure" on Cyprus in order for Turkey to escape from its obligations.

    Avoiding to mention any precise Deadline, Bildt, however, warned about "Consequences" in case of "failure" to reunite Cyprus, but without saying whose responsibility an eventual deadlock might be.  

 Asked by "EuroFora" if there is a risk for "Turkey's commitments to "be forgotten or downgraded", "despite crystal-clear EU Council decisions and EU Parliament's latest Resolution on the assessment to make at the end of this year on Turkey's obligations", according to rumours that, instead of pressing Turkey, on the contrary, there might be "pressure on Cyprus", even "blackmail", as Media reported and President Christofias denounced this week, Bildt denied :

- "No ! ", he clearly replied.


- On the contrary, invited by "EuroFora", to "reassure that the Swedish EU Presidency (7-12/2009) will keep a fair stance, based on principles",  Bildt promised that "we (Swedish EU Presidency) will be very clear on all of the decisions taken by the (EU) Council".

He added, however, that "we have very numerous decisions that have been taken" by EU Council, as if he warned, also, on something else.

- "'I am not aware of any sort of statements coming out today''", Bildt started to say, on our reference to Cyprus' President Christofias" denunciation of Turkish lobby's manoeuvers this week, replying earlier to 'another"EuroFora"'s question during a Press Conference at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.


 - '"I know the issues that you' are concerned with'", he added, remembering  the statements he gave us when Sweden was chairing the PanEuropean CoE on 2008.

- "But, obviously, .. I think that Cyprus' Peace negotiations are extremenly important".

- And "'I think that we are at a unique moment in History, in the sens that both (Cyprus') President Christofias and Mr. Talat (the Turkish Cypriot leader), are personally convinced of the need to overcome the division".

 - "It's 20 Years since the fall of Berlin Wal, but we still have a Capital in Europe (Nicosia) that's divided". ,

- 'I don't that we should loose any time in overcoming that"..

 - ''We should be aware of the fact that success will bring great benefits, but failure, will also have major consequences. There will not be Status Quo' " It's a question of seeking a solution, or entering another situation, which is somewhat difficult to see exactly how that could evolve", he warned.

- "That being said, this is a negotiation for Cyprus itself", Bildt admitted.

 - ''We (EU) can support, the (EU) Commission primarily, be technically helpful, and then, of course, there is a specific role for the UN, when it comes to the Cyprus' situation".  

- "At least so far. It might not be for ever'. Certainly not for ever, but for this period of time", Bildt added, skiping now any reference to concrete threats on UNO's Peace keeping force in face of more than 40.000 Ankara's soldiers, contrary to some Press claims, (See previous NewsReports).


     Replying to another "EuroFora"'s Question,  if anyone might attempt to "impose a Deadline for the conclusion" of Cyprus' Talks on December 2009, Bildt avoided to speak of any precise Time-frame, and indirectly evoked the fact that  35 Years of Turkish Invasion/Occupation obviously durated too long :

'- "If I was from Cyprus, I would say that the Deadline was Yesterday ! '",
Bildt concluded.

Cyprus' Government Spokesman, Stephanou, reportedly pointed out that "a settlement is possible on December if Turkey changes its stance", accepting a solution for the reunification of the island based on UNO resolutiona and EU principles.

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Earlier, EU Chair, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld, highlighted an "historic opportunity" to "re-Unite" Cyprus according to EU's "basic Values"' (i.e. Human Rights) and 'Rules'", in a last-minute change of his draft speech to EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    The initial Draft spoke only about "healing" the island.

    Significantly, Reinfeldt linked Cyprus' reunification with Turkey's obligations to respect EU's "Values" and "follow" EU's "common Rules" :

    - What is "called Membership Negotiations" should lead, "at- the end of the day", into "sharing a set of common Basic Values (i.e. Human Rights, Democracy, etc), and following common Rules", stressed Reinfeld from the outset.
    
    - "This is something that those on the Outside (of the EU), are now  contemplating", up "to Ankara", for "a solution" on "Cyprus", observed the EU Chairman, immediately afterwards..  

    - "Both sides of Cyprus have been granted a historic opportunity to together reach an agreement on a solution to re-Unite the island, that has been divided for far too long", said Reinfeldt, modifying his draft text.


-  "The Swedish Presidency will act ...in accordance with Commitments EU has made, on the basis of Criteria that apply", "as a Honest Broker", he promised.    

- "To those on the inside (of the EU), allowing the membership process to become an opportunity to solve protracted disputes, can be tempting", he added.


    "In such cases, we must find solutions that can benefit both sides, and open up a way forward. Otherwise, it would jeopardize the progress we have made towards EU integration", Reinfeldt said.

***

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