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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Spokesman Holtgen to EF on French President Macron Talks with SG Jagland: Russia + ECHR Issues ?

CoE Spokesman Holtgen to EF on French President Macron Talks with SG Jagland: Russia + ECHR Issues ?

Written by ACM
Monday, 30 October 2017

 

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/-  Among the most Topical Questions that the PanEuropean Organisation's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, former Prime Minister of Norway and NOBEL Peace Prize Oslo Committee's Chair, and New French President, Emmanuel Macron, (who is due to Chair the CoE on 2019) are due to Discuss, Tomorrow, about Noon, at CoE's "European Palace", in Strasbourg, for about 2O or 30 Minutes, might also be the Russian Issue, confirmed to "Eurofora", CoE's Communications' Director, and Press Spokesman, David Holtgen.   

   
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    - "I Think (that) it's quite Possible, because they Spoke about Russia also the Last Time, in Paris, at the End of August" 2017, where it was "Part of the Discussion", he reminded, in Reply to our relevant Question.


    Controversial moves in CoE's Assembly had striped Russian MEPs from their Voting and key Participation Rights, back on 2014 and 2015, on Pretext of the Conflict between a Kiev's new Government and pro-Autonomy Donetsk/Luhansk Regions, as well as Crimea's ReUnification with mainland Russia, following a Violent Change of Regime, partly Provoked by some Strange Deadly "Snipers" curiously Killing Both Demonstrators and Policemen, (as former Estonian Foreign Minister, and currently MEP, Paet had noted), so that a written Agreement between former President Yanukovich and the Dissidents, brokered with the Help of French, German and Polish Foreign Ministers, for Amnesty, a National Unity Government, and New Elections before the End of the Year, was Droped, Dividing the Country.


    Moscow reacted to PACE's Sanctions by Withdrawing its MEPs, and Recently Started to Stop Paying its Financial Contribution to CoE's Budget (+10% of the Total), until respect for its MEPs' Rights would be Guaranteed. For Next Year, the Last Opportunity to find a Compromise is on January 2018.


    + Meanwhile, CoE is just Starting to Prepare an Exceptional New Summit of Heads of State/Government from All its 47 Member States (including Russia), and that Divisive Issue was Recently Discussed Both by its Committee of Ministers and its Parliamentary Assembly, as a Problem to Solve asap.


    - So, "I think, yes, I'd Expect that they Will Speak (also) about Russia Tomorrow", Holtgen clearly reiterated.


    - Meanwhile, as far as it concerns Jagland's recent Visit to Moscow, CoE's Spokesman has already observed that "he had Constructive Meetings, with 3 or 4 Partners there", including "the Foreign Minister Mr (Sergei) Lavrov, with the President of the Federation Councli, (Valentina) Matvienko, with the (New) Speaker of the Duma, (Vyacheslav) Volontin, and with the Human Rights' (New) OmbudsWoman", (Tatiana Moskalkova), as he reminded.


    - "All Together, it was a Constructive Visit, and, Yes, We (CoE) Hope that a Solution can be found", the Press Spokesman concluded, apparently implying that much needs yet to be done.


     - So, "I think that this will be Also a Topic when Jagland meets Macron, Tomorrow", Holtgen confirmed.


     - In Fact, it is Expected that "this would be more about the (PanEuropean) Convention (on Human Rights), the Council of Europe (itself, which notoriously eyes a New Heads of State/Government Summit to prepare for 2019, while France is due to undertake its Rotating Chairmanship), and the (Russian) Membership to the Council", he Highlighted.


     - "I will be there, at that Meeting", between COE's Secretary General and the new French President, "But we shall Wait (before saying anything in Public), at least "until the conclusion of his Speech" at the ECHR, he warned.


    - Because, Tomorrow, "All Eyes will be on Macron !", who is "Expected", inter alia, f.ex., "to Announce", eventually, "the End of the State of Emergency" in France, after having been Hardly hit by Deadly Islamist Terrorism, nowadays in The course of being Defeated in Syria and Iraq, (as Macron had previously Estimated), "and put that against the Background of the (PanEuropean) Court", he speculated.


    - On the Contrary, Despite recent Developments on Syria/Iraq, "I don't expect that to be an issue here" in Strasbourg, Now, Holtgen, perhaps too quickly droped a relevant "Eurofora"s question, Despite the Fact that Famous Yazidi Lady, Nadia Murad, former Prisoner of ISIS' Terrorists, who was Awarded Both CoE's prestigious "Vaklav Havel" Prize and EU Parliament's "Zacharov" Prize, has Notoriously Denounced the Scandalous Impunity of RingLeaders and Instigators of Horrible Crimes which have systematically Targetted innocent Civilian People. And she Met with French Foreign Minister Drian in Paris just before his Venue in Strasbourg last September 2017, where CoE's Parliamentary Assembly has, more Recently, Earlier this October 2017, debated and Adopted a Resolution Asking for Justice to be done and all those Responsible for Genocide attempts and Other such Heavy and Sadic Crimes to be Found, Judged and Punished, according to ECHR's case-law.


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    + Meanwhile, the recently Elected, New President of CoE's Parliamentary Assembly, Head of Cyprus' Delegation, Stella Kuyriakides, a ChristianDemocat/EPP MEP, former Chairwoman of PACE's Social, Health and Sustainable Development Committee, (See, f.ex., her Replies to "Eurofora" Questions on her Forthcoming Agenda, during the Short but Crucial for CoE - Russia relations, Period of October 2017 - 22 January 2018, at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/newpacepresidentkyriakidestoeurofora.html +Other Relevant NewsReports at ..., etc), might usefully Help on that pending and "Hot" matter, Holtgen estimated :


 - "I would say that, the New President of PACE, definitively Plays a Key Role in a possible Solution" of the Russian issue, CoE's Press Spokesman stressed positively.


   Kyriakides, who is also Expected to eventually Visit herself Moscow asap, recently Thanked Russia for the Liberation of 2 Turkish Tatar Dissidents in Crimea, (whose predominantly and Historically Russian-Speaking large Majority of Population, had Largely Voted a Referendum for the Peninsula's Return Back into the Russian Federation, in conditions which, however, were Not Recognized by Most Foreign Countries yet.


 - Even, "quite apart from the SG, (i.e. independently from an eventual "Coordination" between Jagland and Kyriakides, as "Eurofora" suggested), and regardless of the fact that, in the meantime, "there was (an) Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) meeting that she was not able to attend", "However, she said, on her policy towards Moscow, that she Hoped that there will be Possibilities to have a Dialogue with the Russian (MEPs') Delegation (to CoE's Assembly), at a Later Stage".


 - "I reckon and assume that it Will Happen, what she said. And that it will happen in a Timely manner", indeed, Holtgen commented, (while the Moment for Decisions on CoE's Annual Budget for 2018 approaches, with the imminent venue of November 2017, during which CoE's Committee of Ministers has to be Fixed on his overall Financial possibilities for the Year Ahead).


 - That's why, "I definitively think that she (PACE's New President) has a Key Role to Play, also", the PanEuropean Organisation's Press Spokesman concluded in his reply to "Eurofora".

 

+ Recently in Brussels, in a Parallel Move, EU Commission's President Jean-Claude Juncker, speaking to Journalists, including "Eurofora", in the Middle of EU Heads of State/Governments' exchanges for the 1st of the 2 Days-Long Summit there (19-20 October 2017), expressed his Regret for the Fact that it has Not Yet been Possible to give him an Official Mandate in order to Negotiate with Russia about the forerseeable Future and Partial or Total, progressive or fast, eventual Lift of Economic Sanctions, (which notoriously Affect also EU Coutries' Economy by Dividing the European Continent, as OECD's experienced Head, Angel Guria, has already Warned "Eurofora", previously at the CoE in Strasbourg: See http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/oecdheadaskssolutionforukraine.html, etc).


- It's mainly a current "Lack of Unanimity" (and Not of Majority) inside EU's Council, according to what he said, which extended such an Obstacle further. But Juncker apparently believes that EU Commission should get such a Mandate on Time, in view of possible such EU - Russia Talks, by a Timely Coincidence, also around the Beginning of 2018, (See  "Eurofora"s relevant NewsReport from Brussels at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/junckerforeurussia.html).  


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+ Meanwhile, it's also Cyprus' President, Nicos Anastassiades himself, who has just Visited Moscow and met Both with Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, and with President Vladimir Putin, that is due to eventually meet also with the French President Emmanuel Macron, possibly Next Week in Paris, (as Cyprus' Government Press Spokesman, Nicos Christodoulides, recently warned "Eurofora" during the latest EU Heads of State/Government Summit in Brussels: Comp. f.ex., also: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/merkeloneusummitandturkey.html, etc, from the spot).


Both Russia and France are also Permanent Members of UNO's Security Council, where Paris is currently holding the rotating Chairmanship.

 

(../..)


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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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