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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE: Turkey didN't Find any Responsible for Cyprus' Missing People Nor indemnified Victims' Families

CoE: Turkey didN't Find any Responsible for Cyprus' Missing People Nor indemnified Victims' Families

Written by ACM
Friday, 04 September 2020

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- After the Latest CoE's Committee of Ministers' Session on ECHR Judgements' Implementation, this week in Strasbourg (1-3/9/2020), it became Clear that Turkey not only did Not Find, neither Punished Anyone for the Enforced Disappearances of Many People in Cyprus, Despite Many Years since ECHR Condemned Ankara's Government for that, But, Moveover, it Still Refuses to even Indemnify the Victims' Families at all, Contrary to Euro-Judges' verdict.

-  The move comes Shortly After CoE's PanEuropean Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, (an Experienced former OSCE's Representative for Free Speech : comp. her relevant Statements to "Eurofora", f.ex. at ... + ... + ..., etc), Strongly Denounced "the Lack of Truth and Justice for thousands of Missing Persons" as  "a Serious Human Rights Issue" that still "remains in Europe", and "Call(ed)" on all CoE's Member States "concerned by this Problem", as a matter of Principle, to "Search for Missing persons with more Resolve, Investigate What Happened to them, Punish those Responsible, Acknowledge the Suffering of Relatives of victims of enforced disappearances and of missing persons, and Cater to their Needs".

Cyprus faces the Oldest such CoE's Problem attested by the ECHR, Since the 1974 Turkey's Foreign Military Invasion and Occupation, still on-going at the Northern Territories of the Island, (so that Ankara could Not ever pretend that it might not have had Enough Time to Investigate that Issue, as it should, according to the ECHR's Treaty, which had entered into force already since 1953), when 1.619 Greek Cypriots were proven to have gone "Missing". Since then, it's just a Few Dozens among them, for whom ...Only some parts of their Bones are estimated to have been Found by a Controversial RedCross-sponsored grouplet, (Sometimes with Tragic "Errors", as proved several Scandalous Cases of Bones, in fact, belonging to Other Persons !), while still Remain More than + 1.510 (Others speak of 1.532) Missing People for whom their real Fate stays UnKnown, even until Nowadays (2020)...

 cmp_funding_for_20062020_program_on_cyprus_missing_cmp__eurofora_sxreenshot_400

=> So that, mutatis-mutandis, the main Developments on this Pioneer Cyprus' "Missing" People Issue, inevitably Affect, in one way or another, Also Various Similar Cases of Other Missing persons accross an Important Number of more CoE's Member States, which faced Different kinds of such Problems (Even withOut Foreign Military Invasion/Occupation) Later-on, "including in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina", Serbia "and Other Countries in the Balkans, ... Georgia, Northern Ireland in the UK, the Russian Federation, Spain, Turkey and Ukraine", etc., as the PanEuropean Human Rights' Commissioner Mijatović noted in Strasbourg just a few Days ago, (Comp. Supra).

+ Moreover, this naturaly interacts, at least on certain Key-points concerning some Basic Principles, compared with UNO's and/or other, more or less Similar Cases of "Missing" People accross the World, (Even if withOut Foreign Military Invasion/Occupation, as in Cyprus by Turkey's Army), and Particularly in Latin America, where, in Addition to the Nearby Geneva-Based UNO's Human Rights' Committee (strengthened by a 2005 UN Reform : Comp., f.ex., "Eurofora" co-Founder's NewsReports from UNO's New York Headquarters during an Exceptional Heads of State/Government World Summit, published then at "Cyprus Weekly", etc.), and Mainly according to Landmark Case-Law developments, in this area, by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, as well as Inside certain Latin-American Countries, (as, f.ex., Chile, Argentina, etc), where, Notoriously, several among those Responsible for similar Crimes related to "Enforced Disappearances", (Since the Middle of the 1970ies, as in Cyprus), had recently Started to be Found and Punished.

Even the New, Landmark UNO's "International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance", a Legal Tool insisting on Finding All the Truth and Punishing those Responsible for relevant Crimes, (that Mijatovic has just found "Crucial" for more "CoE's Member States" to "Ratify it" on 2020), which had been Signed at a much Publicized Event in Paris, sponsored by Historic former French President Jacques Chirac, and actively Supported by Vatican-related, Experienced Diplomats, etc., Despite the Fact that, Officialy, it couldn't settle but Only "New" Cases, Nevertheless, as some Key UNO's Top Legal Experts told "Eurofora", in Real Practice, it Can and already Started to be Used, in an adequate way, Also in order to Monitor relevant Developments linked to Pre-existing "Missing" People Issues, (f.ex. in cases concerning Spain, etc).

- "So many Families of Missing persons ...have been Demanding to Know the Whereabouts of their Loved ones for Years, sometimes even Decades", the PanEuropean Commissioner for Human Rights obserbed.  At least, "Establishing the Truth, is a matter of Justice. States Must No Longer Procrastinate on this Legal and Moral Duty", she Urged Nowadays.

Many and Horrible Abuses against Several Basic Human Rights Can, notoriously, be Hidden Behind "Missing" Persons' Tragedies : F.ex., inter alia, Deprivation of Liberty, Slavery, Robery, Heavy Sanctions withOut Any Fair Trial at all, Muzzling, Violations of Private/Family life, Inhuman/Degrading Treatments and/or Torture, Brutal Killings, etc...

 __________________

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In the Cases of Greek-Cypriot "Missing" Persons, during Recent Years, Searches Found, f.ex., Prisoners of War, intact and apparently Healthy when they were Cought by Turkey's Foreign Invasion/Occupation Army, (according to Crystal-clear Photographs, Witnesses, etc), But whose ...Bones, were, Afterwards, Discovered thrown and Hidden Deep inside a Well (sic !), Kidnapped People Transfered to Mainland Turkey's Prisons But Never Returned Back to Cyprus, Or Even various Civilians, as a Bank's clerk, apparently Killed after an Armed Gang stole the Keys and/or the Code giving access to a Safe with Money, a Young Mother, a Child, (etc)... Moreover, probably in order to Hide any Trace of Horrible Crimes, more and more Cases were Found where Mass Graves had been "ReMoved" from one Location to anOther, Often with the Bones broken into Smaller Pieces, eventualy Mixed up and/or Dispersed around, so as to Hide the Identity of the Victims, and/or the Location, the Circumstances of What Really Happened to them, as the Government of Cyprus Denounced several Times at the CoE. (To the Point that Find an Entire Skeleton started to Become Rare, while some Victims' Families were given just a Bone to Burry, which, Later-on, proved to belong to anOther, Different Person, while the Fate of their Beloved one Remained still UnKnown !)...

cmps_20072020_method_on_cyprus_missing_cmp_video__eurofora_screenshot_400 

Inter alia, f.ex., the Latest Official News (of this Summer 2020) from the Inter-Communal Body, under IRC auspices, which has undertaken the Task to Search (Since a 1981 initial Compromise between the 2 Sides, Using All Kinds of Evidence, i.e. Photos, Notes, Archives, Witnesses, Enquiries, Remains, etc), and Also Unearth any Remains (Since a Controversial 2007 Plan, mainly Based on Genetic Bio-Tech.) from Cyprus' "Missing" People (CMP), says that its "Scientists ...are currently analyzing the remains of 162 individuals", among whom, almost the Half (50%), are  "remains of 74 individuals (that) have been assessed as Complex", Because "they are either InComplete or Fragmented". In Consequence, they "Necessitate more Advanced and Specialised Genetic Analyses", as "in some Cases, the Initial DNA Analysis does Not provide successful Results, and New Analysis is Necessary, that is Time Consuming", so that "the Identification of these Complex Cases may take Several Years" More,  as "Specialised DNA Tests" are "Only Possible When Progress in DNA Technology occurs", (sic !)...


Both experienced CoE and UNO Experts had Warned "Eurofora"'s co-Founder, Already from the Start and in the Middle of such a Controversial Method of Searching, as that which was Imposed via the Also Controversial "CMP", mainly via the UnPopular former UK "New Labour" Prime Minister Tony Bliar since 2006/2007, (where Nothing can be done, not even said, if Turkey Disagrees, and which is Limited Only in the Identification and Fate of "Missing" People, i.e. Dead or Alive, But Excludes Seeking the Truth on What was Done to them, Neither Who was Responsible, and Even Less How to Bring Criminals to Justice, with Sanctions they deserve, as, on the Contrary, ECHR's case-law asks), Risked Also to "Destroy Evidence of Crimes", By Not Using a "Forensic Method" of Careful Research, which Seeks to Find the Historic Truth on the Circonstances in which People "Disappeared", and Not Only their ...Bones ! (F.ex., inter alia, in a Case inside Turkey, ECHR Found that a Dissident had been Murdered by a GunShot Fired at very Close Distance, and Not just Killed during a Fight by Opposite Armed Groups separated by a notable Distance, as Ankara's Security Forces Claimed, ...Simply by Tracing GunPowder chemical residues at his Shirt. But, if that Victim's Shirt had been Mishandled or Washed, etc., then, the Truth on a Deadly Crime would have been Lost for Ever...).

cmps_20072020_methods_on_cyprus_missing__buldozer_excavation_cmp_video__eurofora_screenshot_400

("Eurofora" Screenshots from a "CMP" Video on "Exhumations")...

cmps_20072020_methods_on_cyprus_missing__buldozer_excavation_2_cmp_video__eurofora_screenshot_400 


That Blair-sponsored 2006/2007+ Controversial Method, in addition to Focusing at the even More Controversial "CMP" with its Limits, (Comp. Supra), was Also Tightly Linked with "Genetic" Technology, Narrowing the Scopus of "Missing" Persons' Search, practicaly Down to ...Collecting Bones of Dead or Killed People, and Merely Identifying the Persons concerned via DNA Tests, (Ibid). On the Contrary, Both a Vatican-backed Priest with Large Experience in Finding even Hidden "Mass Graves" at Many Countries accross Europe and the World, as well as an Expert of the Wester Balkan Conflicts, added to a "HRW" International NGO Top Activist, participating in CoE's Conferences in Strasbourg, etc., have Clearly Confimed to "Eurofora" that "Forensic Methods" are Indispensable, right from the Start of any real Enquiry on "Missing" People, as well as, that They Used a Lot of Various Investigation Tools, Combined All Together, (and Not Only "Gene-Tech" Alone, which, for them, had just a Marginal role), in order to Identify the Victims of any Remains, and Find What had Happened to them, How, and Who was Responsible. Symbolicaly, this Evoked World-Famous and Nobel Prize Winner ...Gabrial Garcia Marquez's landmark Book "100 Years of Solitude", where, inter alia, he Pictures also the Story of a Whole Village with its Population Massively Killed, during a Socio-Economic Conflict, by Armed Gangs send by a Money-Thirsty Foreign Multinational Company, so that Nobody Believes the 1 and Only Surviving EyeWitness of such a Horrible Massacre, soon Hidden by an all-invading Jungle, to the point that the Tragic Historic Truth was Marked (and Potentialy Saved from Oblivion) just by an Unusual bunch of ...Yellow Butterflies who Surprisingly insisted to Fly Around that Hotspot even After it had its Surface entirely Covered by Huge Plants : An obviously "Magic Realism" Artistic Method, But which can Inspire, at least, a Credo that, Despite Everything, in Fact, an Historic Truth Important for the People, can Never be entirely "Burried" by petty Criminals...  

gabriel_garcia_marqyez__100_years_of_solitude__hommage_epressafpeurofora_screeshot_400_01 

garcia_marquez__100_years_of_solitude__book_1_eurofora_screenshot_400 

-------------------------


>>> When, nevertheless, clear Evidence of Serious Crimes has been Discovered, in one way or another, at certain Cases of Greek-Cypriot "Missing" People, did, at least, the Turkish Government fullfil, then, its Duty to Find and Punish the Criminals Responsible for that ?

 

When, nevertheless, clear Evidence of Serious Crimes has been Discovered in certain Cases of Greek-Cypriot "Missing" People, did, at least, the Turkish Government fullfil its Duty to Find and Punish the Criminals Responsible for that ?

ECHR has clearly Condemned Turkey for Not having done so, in general, with a landmark Judgement on the Inter-Governemental case "Cyprus v. Turkey", of May 2001, (Later Followed Also by Other such Judgements, on Individual Cases, after Applications by Victims' Families), and, Since then, More than 19 Years have passed (5/2001-9/2020)...

- According to the Latest CoE's Official Data, made Public this Week (1-3/9/2020), citting, f.ex., Turkey's Documents of 2019, etc., in 4 Tragic Cases, where CoE's Highest Political Body, its Committee of Ministers, had explicitly Asked the Turkish Authorities to Investigate, Ankara merely Replied, Later-on, that "in the light of the Results (sic !) of the (so-called) Investigation..., ....the available Evidence was Not Sufficient (re-sic !!) to initiate a Prosecution", and it went on to ..."Close" that File !!!

=> Such obviously Scandalous Facts, among Many Others, showing Turkey's Blatant DisRegard of its elementary Obligation to Find and Punish those Responsible for Serious Crimes, particularly After ECHR Condemned Ankara in Cases of Greek-Cypriot "Missing" People, as on 2001, 2010, etc., and Following, Moreover, various, more Recent, concrete Findings in several Tragic Cases of "Missing" People in Cyprus, are due to be Examined, by CoE's Committee of Ministers at the Beginning of December 2020, (i.e. under Hungary's rotating Vice-Chairmanship for Human Rights issues, while Germany will hold the Main Political Chairmanship) in Strasbourg.

- Meanwhile, CoE's Committtee of Ministers has Repeatedly "Called on the Turkish Authorities to Ensure the Effectiveness of the ... Investigations", as well as "their Rapid Finalisation", as it reiterated at the End of 2019, ("including", inter alia, also by Access to "Information in Military Archives", etc).

+ Instead of "Rapidly" Finding and Punishing those Responsible for Serious Crimes on "Missing" People, Discovered Recently by a UN-sponsored Program of Exhumations throughout the Island, on the Contrary, Even those Exhumations, which had Helped Reveal several Crimes, have,  progressively, Diminished in Number, giving Less and Less Results during the Recent Years : F.ex., from "106 Individuals Exhumed on 2016", their Number Fell Down to Only "41 on 2017", and Even Lower on 2018 and 2019 (13 and 26).  However, More than 1.510 Cases of "Missing" Greek-Cypriots still aWait, Nowadays, to make Any Finding on their Fate...

------------

But, independently of that, Did, at least, Turkey pay all or part of the "just satisfaction" awarded by ECHR, since 2014,  to the Victims' Families ?

-- The Answer, here too, is Negative :  NO ! NOTHING ! As Turkey, apparently, doesN't Give a Damn for Finding and Punishing those Responsible for Serious Crimes in Many Cases of Greek-Cypriot "Missing" People, (Comp. Supra), it Also did Not Pay not even a Penny as part of Indemnisation for those Victims' Families, be it Widows or Orphelins, Old People or Children, etc...

- Indeed, Despite various Numerous, Repeated, Explicit "Calls" upon Ankara by CoE's Highest Body, that of its Committee of Ministers, "Since 2015", to Abide by ECHR's Judgements Condemning Turkey on the cases of "Missing" People in Cyprus, at least by paying a financial Compensation to the Victims' Families, nevertheless, the Turkish Authorities have peristently Refused to do so, blatantly Ignoring All such CoE's Decisions during more than 6 consecutive Years now (2014-2020), and this has just happened again this week (1-3/9/2020) anew !

=> - "To date, No information has been submitted (by Turkey)on the payment of the just satisfaction awarded in this case, despite the fact that in each of its decisions since June 2015 the Committee (of Ministers) has recalled that the obligation to pay the just satisfaction awarded by the Court is unconditional, and called upon the Turkish authorities to pay the sums awarded by the Court without further delay", soberly attests a relevant CoE's Note.

>>> So, once "Again", the PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights' Highest Political Body, its Committee of Ministers, officially "Recalled", this week in Strasboug, "that the just satisfaction Judgment of the Court in this case concerned non-pecuniary damage Suffered by the Relatives of Missing persons" in Cyprus, and clearly "Insisted ... Firmly on the UnConditional Obligation of Turkey to Pay the Just Satisfaction Awarded by the European Court in the Judgment Cyprus v. Turkey of 12 May 2014, withOut Further Delay".

- For that purpose, CoE "Decided" to "Resume Consideration of this Issue" at its Forthcoming "Meeting" on ECHR Judgements' Execution, of "1-3 December 2020", i.e. in 2,5 Months' Time, When its Committee of Ministers is due, Also, to Examine the Substantial Aspects of Cyprus' "Missing" People ECHR case-law, related to Turkey's Obligation to Find and Punish all those Responsible for such Enforced Disappearances and the Crimes committed in these Horrible affairs, (Comp. Supra). A Move which, Obviously, Facilitates an Overall View on Ankara's Blatant Disregard vis a vis ECHR's Judgements on particularly Serious Human Rights Violations, and, Hopefully, at last, some Long OverDue Sanctions... *

Otherwise, the Credibility of the PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights and Rule of Law, will Obviously be gravely Compromised, (See, inter alia, f.ex.: ..., etc), in front of its 47 Member States and All the World, - considering, particularly, the Wide-Spread Problems about "Missing" People, even Recently, f.ex. in Mexico, etc., and While "Enforced Disappearances are Still happening at This Moment on Our (European) Continent”, as Warned a few Days Ago, CoE's Commissioner Mijatović, precisely on the "International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances", (Comp. Supra).

+ Exceptionaly, this Week's CoE's Top Collective Meeting in Strasbourg on such and other Important ECHR Judgments' Execution (1-3/9/2020) took place While the New President of the PanEuropean Court of Human Rights, Judge Robert Spano, was making a 4 Days-Long Official Visit to ...Turkey, including several Top Political and Legal Encounters with the Current Leadership of that Notoriously Problematic Country, reportedly in order to Help Boost the cause for Human Rights. It closely Followed the Tragic Death of Woman Lawyer Emru Timtik after 238 Days of Huger Strike in Prison, asking for a New, Fair Trial, to overun her previous Condemnation under doubtful Accusations for so-called "Terrorism" Links, sending ShockWaves throughout CoE and EU Human Rights Top Officials, etc., while Also a 2nd Lawyer facing Similar Problems, was Following her Long and Tragic Hunger Strike path. But, Even when Human Rights' Activist and Businesman Osman Kavala repeatedly Won several Turkish Court's Judgements against Turkish Government's Accusations for alleged Complicity to the so-called 6-Hours Long "Coup" Attempt of 2016, Keeping him in Prison, then, Ankara's Authorities, again and again, Added More Accusations Prolonging his Detention, and Also Refused, until now, to Implement an ECHR Judgement favorable to his Liberation, so that CoE's Committee of Ministers was Obliged, this week, to Ask Turkey to let him Free...

=> Was this Spano's visit to Turkey, (Criticized by some Turkish and International Human Rights' Activists, mainly for alleged Lack of any meeting with Dissidents), made in Vain ?

+ And Will EU Authorities Persist to still Pay to Turkey several Billions € each Year, in Full Grants, from EU TaxPayers' Money, (including Even from Poor EU Citizens, who are the Only ones to be, in real practice, Taxed by VAT on All their Meager "Income"), since Ankara's blatant Blackmail of 2015/2016+, with that Sudden Big "Tsunami" of Mass Asylum Seekers and/or Irregular Migrants (Together with several Deadly Islamist Terrorists afterwards cowardly Targetting innocent Civilian People, in Paris' Bloody Attentats and others), Tresspassing inside Europe from Turkey's Sea-Coasts facing EU Member Greece, (Under Pretext to Fund the "Cost" mainly of some Horrible "Camps" where Turkish Authorities had Closed Refugees from Syria, hardly Hit by ISIL's and Other Islamist Deadly Terrorists Notoriously Backed by Ankara, While the Turkish Private Sector was, at the Same Time, Scandalously Over-Exploiting those Defenseless Refugees, Obliged to very Harsh "Jobs" often in Sub-Human Conditions, as, f.ex., among others, it was Revealed to the Brittish Press by the unfortunate Father of that Small Syrian-Kurdish Child, whose Corpse's Photo became World-Famous when it was Drown and Killed at the Aegean Sea, after a Turkish Smuggler opened a Hole into the makeshift, Plastic "Boat" which Transported Poor Refugees towards Greece, Rapidly Escaping Himself Away with a Fast-Moving Motor-Boat, as Most such Smugglers used to do, Killing Also that Child's Mother and Sister, who didN't know how to swim) ?...

Hard Facts which Obviously Show that in this kind of Turkey, When the Tragedy is Not about "Missing People", it's Always about "Missing Justice" !

But What has all this to do with Our Europe ?

 

(../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

    ***

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