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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Chair, Greek Minister Varvitsiotis: East-Med. Tension is due to Use of Military Force by Turkey

CoE Chair, Greek Minister Varvitsiotis: East-Med. Tension is due to Use of Military Force by Turkey

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 15 September 2020

 
amfa_coe_chair_varvitsiotis_pace_president_sg_etc__coe_videoconf__eurofora_screenshot_400 

*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- There is No Dialogue with a Gun on the Table and War Threats, and the Reason for which there is Tension in Eastern Mediterranean's Energy Resources' Hotspot Nowadays, is Turkey's abuse of Military Force, Instead of Peaceful Negotiations, clearly Denounced CoE's President-in-office and Greek Minister for European Affairs, Miltiades Varvitsiotis, who was invited as Keynote Speaker at the PanEuropean Organisation of Strasbourg Assembly's Standing Committee, (of Equivalent Status as its Plenary), in Reply to Critical Questions raised by Turkish MPs.

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 - At First, the rotating Chairman of CoE's Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law (for the Period of 7 to 11/2020), Observed the Fact that, as a matter of General Principle ,"CoE is Not Dealing with Eastern Mediterranean Tensions".

 + Moreover, "there are Other Fora where we can Discuss that": F.ex., "We Expressed Our Views", Together "With Turkish Foreign Minister Mr. Cavusoglou, at EU Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, Last Week" in Brussels, he noted, (pointing at a Meeting where Many MEPs appeared quite Critical vis a vis the Turkish MFA in this case).

- However, "Although" that's true, "I'd like to Reply to the Question (raised by a Turkish MP Today) on those Tensions", he Accepted.

>>> -In Fact, "the Tensions in Eastern Mediterranen are Not Provoked by Peaceful Events", Varvitsiotis observed. On the Contrary, "They are Provoked by the use of Military Force !"

turkish_warships__illegal_drilling_ship_tmd_eurofora_screenshot_400

  - "And", particularly, "the Presence of a Great part of Turkish Naval Fleet in the Eastern Mediterranean, Escorting an (Oil/Gas) Exploratory Vessel", (Often, Notoriously, inside EU Members Cyprus or Greece's EEZ) "is, definitively, Not a Sign of promoting Stability, Security and a Peaceful Way of Negotiating with Partners in Good Will...", he Criticized.

- On the Contrary, -"We have Urged (Ankara) to Refrain from Unilateral Acts, in Areas that are Contested", (as, f.ex., illegal Search and/or Drilliing for Gas/Oil in Non-Delimitated Zones, Revendicated by Other Countries, which is tantamount with Violating the International Law of the Sea), "and to Go Back to the Table of Dialogue", Varvitsiotis invited.

- "This will remain Greece's Position, throughout this whole Period, Because We Believe that, with Partners and Neighbours, we Have to Discuss, and Not to Go at outrage...

- So that, Turkey "CanNot come Back to the Table of Discussion by having ...a fully Loaded Gun on the Table, and a Premisse, from the Other Side, that Either You Agree with Me, Or we Go into War !"   

 - "This is Not the Kind of Dialogue that We Expect. We Expect a Dialogue that comes With a Refrain from using a Beligerant Tone, and, Definitively, From using Military Means, as a way To Push for the Outcome that the Other Partner Wants".

- "Therefore, we Welcome all the Initiatives, from the EU, from Member States like Germany, from the USA, (etc) that Search for DesEscalation, and Return on a Table of Discussions", he Concluded.

Turkey has Already Chassed, by Bullying Threats from its WarShips, an Italian Drilling Ship of ENI, which Peacefully acted in Agreement with Cyprus' Government, inside that EU Member's EEZ, located Between the Southern Coasts of the Island and Egypt, one of the Countries with which Cyprus has Signed relevant Sea Zones' Delimitation Treaties, (as, inter alia, Also an Explicit Video, Audio-Registrations, and Ships' Movements' capture by Satellites, Clearly Showed earlier, During an EU Heads of State/Government Summit in Brussels).

But, Ankara, on the Contrary, did Not Dare make Any such Military Bullying Attempt vis a vis ...USA's or France's Drilling Ships there, which Operated also in Agreement with the legitimate Government of Cyprus...

But it has, Many Times, attempted to Block and/or Threatend with "NAFTEX" for Turkish WarShips so-called "Military Exercises", various Parts of EU Member Cyprus' EEZ, (near which it has Already Started to Find Important Energy Resources, as well as Egypt and Israel, etc., With whom Nicosia has Signed relevant Delimitation Agreements).

In Addition, Turkey has Notoriously Send, Numerous Times, its own Drilling Ships provocatively Inside EU Members' Greece and Cyprus' EEZ, escorted by a Heavy presence of Turkish WarShips and Military Planes, Both at the Mediterranean and in the Aegean Sea.

Last, but not least, various Ankara Government's Top Officials have Often abused of Multiple Provocations, Beligerant Rhetorics, and Even Brutal War Threats, especially Against Greece, in this same regard, (one of the Latest being, f.ex., the Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar's reported Call for "Greece to Shut Up", or, "Otherwise, ...Become a <<Mezes>> (be Eaten as Meat) !"

While, almost at the Same Time, just Last Week-End, Turkish President Tayip Erdogan "Warned" the French President Emmanuel Macron, "Not to Search Quarell with Turkey" (sic !), Accusing France for alleged "Massacres", and Even Approaching Dangerously ISIL's Deadly Terrorists' Propaganda accross Africa's Sahel, by Slandering a French and EU Anti-Islamist Terrorism presence at "Mali", since 2013...

They were Both Reacting Against a Call, by a joint Declaration of "MED-7" Summit's Heads of State/Governments (all EU Member States, linked to the Mediterranean), these Days at Corsica, (See : ..., etc), to "Reply to Turkey's Aggressions in the Mediterranean with All adequate Means of the EU", Unless it Really Commits to a Peaceful Dialogue and Legal ways to settle such Issues.

That "MED-7" Move came at the Eve of EU's Forthcoming Exceptional 27 Heads of State/Governmet Summit on September 24-25 in Brussels, mainly due to deal with Turkey's Behavior in Eastern Mediterranean, Aegan Sea and elsewhere vis a vis European interests, on the Occasion of which, Ankara has been Repeatedly Warned of Sanctions, unless it Sincerely Engages in a really Peaceful Dialogue for Solutions according also to International Law, (See:http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/med7summitincorsica.html).

- Meanwhile, in Parallel, the President of EU Parliament's Biggest Group, that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Manfred Weber from Germany, stressed Today, that "We Stand with Greece and Cyprus ! Europe should stay United and keep the Pressure on Erdogan in the EasternMediterranean. We will Not be Blackmailed at the the Border, we will Not be Provoked at Sea. We doN't want Conflict, But We will Not Back Away".

 

(../..)

("Draft-News")

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 sarko_merkel_mieux

The official presentation of a "Program" respecting People's choices voted in the June 7, 2009 EU Elections, to be debated in EU Council and EU Parliament during its 1st Session on July in Strasbourg, is the No 1 Priority, according to Democratic principles, for the Franco-German axis, said the main winners at the ballot box, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel.

They stressed  that the New EU Commission's President must have a "Program" in favor of an EU which "protects" its Citizens, regulates financial markets and aims at a "Political" Europe" : a wording they have used as incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid.

They also declared ready for a "political" endorsment of "Mr. Barroso's candidacy" in June's EU Council, considering that an official decision would have to be made after EU Parliament's debates and votes, possibly from next month (July), with the legally necessary final acceptance shortly after Lisbon Treaty's entry into force, hoped for September or October.


- "A Program, and Mr. Barroso" : This resumes, in substance, the anouncements made by Sarkozy and Merkel, on the question of current EU Commission's President, Barroso's declared wish to succeed to himself for a second mandate, to be extended during the following 5 years.

 In their 1st meeting after EU Elections, they observed that "the Franco-German axis counted in European Elections' campaign... But, we both keep a realistic view : We saw the number of those who abstained, and we must absolutely give them an answer. We also see the disilusionment of an important number of Europeans vis a vis Europe, and we are aware of the responsibilities we have".

sarko

 - The "Duty" of the new EU Commission's President, after June 7, 2009 EU Elections' result, "is to act for a Europe which protects the Europeans, to commit himself into working for a better Regulation of Financial transactions, ... and to have a Political will for Europe", underlined Sarkozy.

Therefore, "we have asked M. Barroso... to clarify, to officialy present the intentions he has", he anounced.

- "We want to speak also about the Programme", explained Merkel.

- "It's important that for the next EU Parliament's mandate (2009-2014) we take the right Decisions for Europe.  Obviously on Persons, but mainly Decisions on Issues", she stressed.

- "It's not simply a question of a Person, it's also a question of a Programme". We are "really asking Mr. Barroso to commit himself on a Program, and on Principles, on Values", Sarkozy added.

EU President-in-office, Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer, accepted the Franco-German stance :

- "Barroso must present his Programme. The Czech Presidency agrees with that", Fischer reportedly said later, after meeting Sarkozy.

But Press reports from Brussels claimed that Barroso had preferred to be officially appointed by EU Council since June, (i.e. next week), "because this was implied by the current Treaty of Nice, according to him", and considered any delay until the possible ratification of the new, Lisbon Treaty on September/October, as "undemocratic".

- "At any case, independently of what Germany and France ask, it's also EU Parliament's wish". "We shall propose Mr Barroso's candidacy... But even in the framework of Nice Treaty, EU Parliament has to be associated in this Decision", the French President observed.

If this is correctly done, then "we support Mr. Barroso's candidature", and "if the (EU) Parliament agrees, we might ratify this decision since July", (i.e. next month), they both said.

smerkem_400

- "France and Germany support Baroso's candidacy, But we want to speak also on the Program. We believe that this Program should be established in close cooperation with EU Parliament, and that's why we have followed an appropriate way", said Merkel.  - If EU Parliament wants, this election can take place on July,  but this must be done in full agreement.

- "We shall support Mr. Barroso's candidacy, without doubt", said Sarkozy. "But we have asked from Mr. Barroso, as I told him yesterday, to put into detail.. his intentions, at the eve of his 2nd mandate, if the situation avails itself.


    France and Germany "don't want to take an Official Legal Decision by writting" during "the next (EU) Council" (on June 18-19), declared Sarkozy.  Because they prefer, at this stage, only "a Political decision" on June, "so that we (EU Council) can work together with EU Parliament", which starts to meet only Next Month, since July in Srasbourg, "leaving a Legal decision by writting for later".

    - "If the Conditions are fuillfiled in EU Parliament, we (EU Council) are ready to give the agreement and make it offficial", said Merkel

    - "But, now we are working in the base of Nice Treaty. If tommorow we want to work in the spirit of Lisbon Treaty, we have to find a proper way", she added.

    - "Of course it's Legally complicated, because we are going to make a Political proposal to the forthcoming Council, for an EU Commission's President, on the basis of Nice Treaty : So, we (EU Council) will not appoint the Commissioners. Only the President.  If EU Parliament agrees, it could endorse this position on July", explained Sarkozy.

    But, on Autumn, "if Ireland ratifies Lisbon Treaty, there will be, at any case, a 2nd Decision, to appoint the Commission's President, this time on the basis of Lisbon treaty, and then, we, the EU Member States, would have to appoint (also) the EU Commissioners", he added.

    As for the precise Timing :  - "Everything is suspended until the Irish vote... Now, we must all make everything possible to help Ireland to say "Yes"" to Lisbon Treaty... The Irish Referendum, ..will take place either on September or on October. It's a Question which depends on the Irish. And,  then, we shall have the Choice of the Candidates for the permanent Institutions of Europe".

    However, "if Ireland says No, we, French and Germans, have to assume our responsibilities, and we'll do so", he concluded.

    But British and Swedish governments were reportedly eager to have a final EU Council decision on Barroso since this month, on June's European Council. While the other EU Member Countries are divided, several of them preferring to wait until EU Parliament pronounces itself, on July, and/or until Lisbon Treaty might be ratified by Ireland at the beginning of the Autumn. Barroso's current mandate ends on November.

    There are also various, contradictory and/or unpredictable reactions inside EU Parliament vis a vis Barroso's wish to continue a 2nd mandate, because many MEPs are openly or secretly opposed, reluctant, or hesitating.

    In the biggest EU Countries, as France and Germany, EU Citizens voted on June 2009 EU Elections for a renovated, non-technocratic but Political Europe which cares for its Citizens, with an Identity, Values and Borders, declared incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid, by mainstream, pro-European Governing Parties. Similar choices were also supported in several other small or medium EU Countries.

    On the contrary, whenever, in other Countries, Governing and other mainstream Parties didn't make these choices or eluded them, EU Citizens massively voted for euro-Sceptics whenever they were the only ones to to promise anti-bureacratic change and oppose Turkey's demand to enter into the EU, (f.ex. in the UK, Netherlands, etc).

    It's seems to be an Open Question whether Sarkozy and Merkel's conditions will be really accepted by Barroso, who was appointed on 2004 in a different political context, (with Socialist Prime Ministers in Germany, France, etc), had rejected in the Past the idea of EU becoming "equal to the USA" as "ridiculous", and pushed for Turkey's contoversial EU bid, trying to "soften" or contain the changes desired by the People who voted for Merkel and Sarkozy with another policy vis a vis Turkey on 2005 in Germany and on 2007 in France, as they did all over Europe on 2009.

    In addition to many EPP Governments, it's 3 remaining Socialist Prime Ministers : Gordon Brown in the UK, Zapatero in Spain, and Socrates in Prortugal, who support Barroso, as well as Liberal Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt. But their Parties lost the June 2009 EU Elections.

    Questioned whether there was still "Time" for "other" possible "Candidates", Sarkozy and Merkel did not deny, nor made any comment on that, but simply said that "it's not for us to make publicity for any candidates. We anounced our choice ("A Program, and Mr. Barroso"). But we respect any other candidate".

    Among various other names cited are former Belgian Prime Minister Verhofstadt, former UNO's Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson of Ireland, Italian former EU Commission's vice-President Monti, etc. Meanwhile, Luxembourg's PM Juncker, (who had been unanimously accepted by EU Council for EU Commission's Presidency on 2004, but refused), announced his intention to resign from "EuroGroup"'s Chair. Thus, he might be available for another Top EU job.

    As "EuroFora"'s "opinion" said (See publication dated 9/6/09) : - "If the current candidates (i.e. Barroso, etc) to the Top EU jobs promise and guarantee to respect People's democratic choices, then, it's OK".

"Otherwise, Europe must find new candidates, really motivated and able to implement these democratic choices of the People."

    Because, "in Democracy, the forthcoming choices for EU's Top Jobs,...should be made according to EU Citizens' Votes in June 7, 2009 European Elections, and main EU Governments' strategic policies".
        

***

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