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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Local/Regional Democracy watchdog Chief Knape to EF: Contribution to Peace in Syria not excluded

CoE Local/Regional Democracy watchdog Chief Knape to EF: Contribution to Peace in Syria not excluded

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 29 October 2019

 

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- CoE's Local/Regional Democracy Watchdog's experienced President, Swedish ChristianDemocrat/EPP representative, (also in relevant EU's Bodies), Anders Knape, speaking to "Eurofora", did Not Exclude at all a possibility for the PanEuropean, 47-Member States' strong (including Russia, etc) Organisation HeadQuartered in Strasbourg, to eventualy provide a Key Contribution to Growing International Efforts for Peace in Syria.

- Indeed, Nowadays, "there is a Huge Interest", inside the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE), to Try to Help Solve this Terrible Situation at the Neighboorhoud of Europe", he Replied to a relevant "Eurofora"s Question,

while also Turkey's Military Invasion and Occupation of the Syrian Kurdish Region, Condemned by the EU Heads of State/Governments, the Arab League, China, etc., as well as strongly Denounced by Human Rights' Global Organisations, as Amnesty International, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, etc, which has, Already, reportedly provoked More than 300.000 Refugees/Displaced People, Grave illTreatments and Killings even of Hundreds of Civilian People, etc, has Also Brought Closer to each other the Syrian Kurdish Region and Damas' National Government, so that Classic Federation demands, seem to give way rather to adequate Regional DeCentralisation aspirations, in an eventual Peace Deal, (as that which was advocated also by "Future Syria" Party's SG Hevrin Khalef, notoriously Tortured and Killed by Ankara's Armed Islamic Gangs' proxies, right from the Start of the present Turkey's Invasion : Comp. ... +..., etc).

Given the Urgency, the current Deal between Syrian Kurds (the Biggest Regional Minority of the Country) and the National Government in Damas, is, mainly "Military", in order to Face immediately the Turkish Armed Invasion and Occupation, reportedly Leaving "Political" Questions, (as, f.ex., Federalisation or DeCentralisation, SDF Autonomous Part of the Syrian Army, etc.), for Later-on. Meanwhile, after the US, Russia is reportedly trying to Mediate, also in Real Practice, including by Patrols, between Turkey's Invading Forces and their Armed Gangs' Proxies, from one side, and the Defending Syrian kurds and National Government, from the other side, amidst a very Delicate and UnStable context on the spot.

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- "Nowadays, you have, f.ex., Tunisia, Morocco, and Various Other Non-European Countries, active as Observers inside the CLRAE, But also a Growing Number of Refugees/IDPs, Journalists Killed, Women Tortured and Murdered, etc., in Syria", "Eurofora" observed to President Knape, from the outset.

- It's not yet known If, and When, it might work, But, Recently, German Chancelor Merkel, UNO's SG Gutierrez, and Others, speak very much about a "Constitutional Commitee" Efforts, to start Soon at nearby Geneva, to Find a Political Solution for Syria, which will touch Everybody Around it, if it Works. But, AnOther Aspect, are Local Issues, particularly Regions, because many Kurds, currently don't speak, no more, about Federation, and Try to Focus, instead, on Regions, i.e. DeCentralisation. There may be Also Others, there. As you know, we have in the CoE the Venice Committee, mainly for Constitutional Issues. But, for Local/Regional Issues, it's Your Kingdom. => So, Do you think that there Might be any Hope for the Congress to Contribute, By Experts, Visits, Advise, etc., according to the PanEuropean Experience that you have in such Issues, to try to Propose a Series of Ideas, which Might Help Find some Solutions there for Peace ?", "Eurofora" asked.

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- "We are (already) Working with Citizens' Diplomacy, there, you know. We think that's one of the Tools", CLRAE's President modesty Revealed, at the Beginning.

- "But", for the rest, "it Depends on Concrete Actions", he observed, Thouthfully :

- F.ex., inter alia, "it has to be Discussed in the (CLRAE's) Bureau, the Governments, etc., about such activities".

+ Moreover, it needs  "to be Financed", he practicaly observed, (even if, among others, it's, also, particularly Germany, which seems very Motivated, judging by Chancelor Angie Merkel's Concluding remarks, at her Press Conference in the Latest EU Summit in Brussels, while Berlin takes soon over CoE's rotating Chairmanship).  

>>> But "there is a Huge Interest, of course, from the Members of the Congress, to try to Solve this Terrible Situation !", Anders Knape clearly stressed.

- Because, indeed, "there is a So UnStable Situation in the Neighbourhood of Europe. Absolutely !", he pointed out.

+ Which Affects us, (f.ex., among others, also via Mass Asylum Seekers, Islamist Terrorism Attacks against Civilians, etc). "It's True, Absolutely !", he confirmed.

- "At this Stage", however, "it's Difficult for me to be More Concrete", he Carefully noted.

- "However", at least, as a Perspective, "this Will Continue".

+ "And, I am Sure, that there will be More to Come !".

=> So that "I Hope that I could have a Better Answer to this Question after the (Next CLRAE) Session in March" 2020, in Strasbourg, President Knape foresaw.

- "Because, I think that there Will be some Steps Taken, Until then", on the Syrian Issue, until then, he Optimistically concluded, as things appear to evolve for the time being.

- Thus, "I Hope You come Back to me", on that. "Thank you very much", CLRAE's President Kindly gave the Next Rendez-Vous to "Eurofora", Saluting with a Smile, Together with his Charming Spouse, from whom he's, as always, inseparable.

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Earlier, already the previous, Long-Time CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, replying to a relevant Question by "Eurofora", had acknowledged the fact that, the "New Situation" in Syria, in view of USA's Withdrawal, left a Space for Europe, including CoE, at least on Migrants and even Constitutional Issues, (even if the situation had "not yet reached that point", then, while it has done so, Recently : Comp. Supra, +See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coesgjaglandgermanmfamaasrussia.html, etc). On that 2nd Point, Jagland's above-mentioned Reply to "Eurofora"s Question, Later proved to be Premonitory...

Recently, the New CoE's Secretary General, Marija Buric, speaking to Turkish Journalists, spoke also about Migrants, But, in Addition, about "Civilian People"'s need to be Protected, (even if Syria is not directly under CoE's remit), as she pointed out, (apparently pointing, indirectly but surely, at ECHR's "Loizidou" case-law, which recognizes the Responsibility of an EU Member State as also Turkey, whenever it "Controls" the situation at a precise Area and Period of Time).

However, Afterwards, curiously, someone and/or something, apparently incited Buric to Focus mainly on Migrants only, surprisingly Skipping now any Reference to the Need to Protect Civilian People, (at anOther Reply to a French Media's Questions), arguying that Turkey would have "Announced" the "End" (Not Simple precarious "CeaseFire" for a Few Days until Kurds get lost), of its "Military" Invasion/Occupation of the Syrian Kurdish Region ! But, on the Contrary, the Latest Developments on the spot, prove that, in fact, Turkey's Forces persist to Attack, Both Syrian Kurds and Damas' Government's National Army's positions, in addition to Invading Many More Syrian Kurdish Villages,... (Partly UpDated).

Thus, the Question on How to Articulate, if not in the Current, at least in a "Future Syria" (Comp. Supra), a closer Cooperation between Damas' National Government, and the Syrian Kurds, came at the Forefront. Even if, Nowadays, the Obvious Urgency is to Rapidly Find Practical Ways for a close and Efficient Synergy on the spot, Leaving any Complex Issue for Later-on in the Future.


(../..)


("DraftNews")


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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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