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Accueil arrow newsitems arrow EUParliament USA+Security Commitee Leader Ehrel to EF: STOP Turkey Invasion in Syrian Kurds' Afrin !

EUParliament USA+Security Commitee Leader Ehrel to EF: STOP Turkey Invasion in Syrian Kurds' Afrin !

Ecrit par ACM
Thursday, 15 March 2018
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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- The New President of EU Parliament's Delegation for the USA, as well as vice-President of its Defence/Security Committee, German MEP from Bayern, (Host of the World-Famous "International Security Conference" annually), a ChristianDemocrat/EPP of the Governing Coalition, Christian Ehrel, speaking to "Eurofora" the Same Day that the Plenary of EU Parliament's Weekly Session in Strasbour, after a Public Debate on Tuesday, was Voting an important New Resolution on Syria, including on the Turkish Military Invasion in the Syrian Kurdish Canton of Afrin, which has Now, notoriously reached a Crucial Point, as its Capital City, reportedly hosting some 600.000 People, including many Refugees, has been surrouned and attacked by Turkey's Army and its Islamist Extremist Jihadist Armed Gangs, clearly found that there is any Interest to "STOP" such a Bloody Turkey's Military Engagement, which also Risks to "Destabilize" the region.


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 - "Eurofora" had Questioned the EU Parliament's USA and and Defence/Security Committees' Leading MEP, about his feelings on such an exceptional and crucial "ConJunction of Human Rights, GeoPolitics, and Security issues", as the Turkish Military Invasion to Syria's Kurdish Afrin canton, which notoriously Affects Both Many Civilian People and the Best Local Ally of the US-led International Coalition against the Deadly Islamist Terrorists of ISIL's Coward Killers Targetting innocent Civilian People throughout Europe, including also Russia, but even in the USA, etc.


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 - Europe could, "Sure", be more Active on that Topical issue, President Ehrel agreed with "Eurofora" from the outset.


- "The Problem, right now, is that this is Linked with the (Wider) Syrian Conflict, which is, more or less, Influenced by Foreign Powers", told us, in Reply, the Top MEP of the Governing Coalition in Germany.


- In particular, Nowadays, "the Question arises : - "What is Turkey going to do ?", he pointed out.


- "And, I know that a Lot of People are, acturally, Worried", both in Europe, in the USA and elsewhere, , "about the Kurds, etc", (in an Area where more than 360.000 Displaced People also from Various Other Communities had found Refuge in Afrin's Canton, according to International Organisations' data, already Since 2016 : Arabs, Alevi, Yazidi,, Christians, etc).


 - "Alhough", YPG might be "a fairly Socialist, or Stalinist Party, we should overlook that, Because, in Fact, it's just the Ombrella Organisation of (all) the (National) Kurdish Interests", in general, he observed realistically.


 => Thus, "in terms of Containment, I think that there is any Interest to get the Turks to STOP that kind of (Military) Engagement", the Leading MEP of EU Parliament's USA and Defence/Security Committees stressed.


- "Because, First of all, it's very likely that it's going to be a Bloody Fight for the Turks", themshelves, he observed, (while London-based NGO "Syrian Observatory on Human Rights", and others, have already, repeatedly Noted Bigger Number of Casualties among Armed Fighters, on Turkey's side, than on the Syrian Kurdish, as far as strictly Military staff is concerned).


- Moreover, "it could DeStablize also Turkey (itself), in a way", "Specifically in the (Turkish) Kurdish Regions", he naturally Warned.


+ "Secondly, I think that, Still, for the Americans, the Problem is that if the Kurds withdraw (in the Fight against ISIL's Deadly Islamist Terrorists : Comp. Supra), the Next Time they (USA) will Have to Intervene themselves".


 - "Even for Europe, it's a problem, (also) Because, (inter alia), you have, f.ex., German Tanks from one side, and German Anti-Tank Rockets from the Other Side !", etc., he noted, at the tip of the iceberg...


>>> "So, the Question is if Erdogan is going to (further) engage in a (fully-fledged) War on the Ground, in a(en even) Longer Perspective", or not.


=> - In that case, "then, the Situation is going to Explode, from my point of view !", EU Parliament's USA + Security/Defence Committees' Leading MEP sternly Warned.


- "Or, if he (the Turkish President) Needs that Only Politically, (i.e.) in order to Show some <<Strength>>, Before the (forthcoming) Elections" of 2019 inside Turkey, he speculated.


- In this case, then, "I think that (from Turkey's point of view) Much will be Decided After the Elections" of 2019.


 - Also "Because Erdogan is really Worried that they are going in the Wrong Direction", the Exerienced European MEP from German felt.


- "They (Ankara's current Government) had (initially) perceived that it was going to be an Easy Win", he reminded.


>>> - "But, Now, all out of a Sudden, it does No longer seem like that...".


- Particularly, "as Coffins (of Killed Soldiers, Jihadists, etc) are Comming back from the Borders", (Comp. Facts evoked Supra).

- "And, so, in my view, the (overall) Setting (from Ankara's Side) is going to be Decided After the Turkish Elections" of 2019, "because then you can count what will be Ankara's position in all that", he reiterated.


+ "Russia, though it has no (particular) interest to stop that, But, Also, No interest at all to put Oil in there, in this situation", EU's Top MEP added, as far as GeoPolitic realities are concerned.


++ "And, the other thing, is what is the Perception of the New Alliance between the USA and the Saudis etc" Arabs, (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordany, etc.), he Topically added,


 - "It will have a Lot of Influence", particularly "in terms of the (Arab) Sunni Community", the Experienced, Top EU MEP estimated, in this regard.  (Timely speaking just after a Crystal-clear and interesting Reaction by UAE's Foreign MInister Gargash Against the Turkish Foreign Military Invasion of Syria's Kurdish Canton of Afrin : See ... ). "


- "But, is it going to Work (further enough) ?", he wondered, particularly after USA's "First Attempts to play there a more Active Role, well Beyond just signing the Pay-Check", (i.e. also Politically), as he noted, expressing EU's Interest to find out.

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+ In Addition, according to EU Parliament's USA Desk Officer Alexandros Karides, who works for the EU - USA Inter-Parliamentary Committee, (due to Meet in Full on June 2018, in Varna, Bulgaria : the current EU rotating chairholder), the "US Congress is very Upset about (what's going on in) Afrin", and "they (US Congress) put a lot of Pressure" on that Issue.


=> - So that, it seems that "the (USA) State Department and the Presidency (at Don Trump's White House) will Try to Mediate Something". (Inter alia, perhaps, also, f.ex., "in terms of American Troops standing in front of those Villages", so that, probably, "there is no way of going inside" for Turkey's Military and/or its Extremist Islamist Jihadi Armed Gangs' proxies, etc).                 

             
- "But, they (USA) have Not Yet gone into Action, because they want to give some Time to the Organizations to Deal with it. So, we (EU) don't know" yet how things might really evolve, from these points of view, those Other EUP Sources estimated. WithOut, however, making it clear whether they meant Both for Afrin and Manbij Cities, located accross the Syrian Kurdish Region, near the Syrian-Turkish Borders, or Only for Manbij, where Turkey has also, notoriously, Claimed to Intervene with its Army asap, particularly during the Latest Visit of USA State Secretary Rex Tillerson (See: ...). Neither saying whether they spoke on the basis of elements which existed Before Tillerson's Withdrawal, this Week, or After his replacement by Pompeo, (See Infra)...      

  
----------------------------

SoS TILLERSON - POMPEO CHANGE COINCIDES WITH CRUCIAL US - TURKEY TALKS ON SYRIAN KURDS' ROLE IN FIGHTING ISLAMIST TERRORISM

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


++ Meanwhile, the New USA State Department Secretary, after Tillerson's withdrawal, (Announced Earlier this week by US President Don Trump himself), Mike Pompeo, notoriously comes also from US Congress, where he had served for a Long Time in the Past.


- Today, EU Parliament's USA Delegation Chairman, MEP Christian Ehler, said to "Eurofora" that he "Knew Pompeo, from the NSA", i.e. the North American "National Security Agency", while Pompeo recently had been named by President Trump as CIA's Chief, (where he will be succeeded, Now, by Gina Haspel, an Experienced CIA veteran and, until now, its Deputy Director).


Pompeo, (who needs also an US Congress endorsement procedure, Before he fully assumes his New Task), is, reportedly, due to Visit Brussels, inter alia, for relevant NATO Meetings there. 


>>> By an Astonishing "Coincidence", Tillerson's replacement by Pompeo was Announced in Public by a Short and Sharp "Tweet" of US President Don Trump, on Tuesday, 13 of March :  I.e. After the Beginning of this Week's EU Parliament's Plenary Session for March in Strasbourg, when it was Officially Confirmed that it would hold a Public Debate and Vote on a New Resolution on Syria, which would Include Afrin, as it became obvious by its President, Antonio Tajani's Public Statements, at the Official Opening of EU Parliament's Session, and by the Draft Resolutions Tabled then by most Political Groups of MEPs, on Monday Afternoon, 12 of March here, Followed by a Public Debate, on Tuesday 13, where EU's High Representative for External Action, Frederica Mogherini, stressed that all this concerned, now, "Afrin FIRST" (See: ..).


- But, Despite Tillerson Spokesman's, Goldstein's Denial, Earlier this week, that the Out-Going USA State Secretary might have known about that Beforehand, nevertheless, according to White House sources, its Chief of Staff, Kelly, had Already Warned Tillerson by Phone that something was "Imminent", as Early as since Last Friday and Saturday, 9 and 10 March.


+ Thus, Tillerson suddenly Cancelled a previously Scheduled Meeting in one among the African States that he was Visiting in a Tour, last Saturday evening (10/3/2018), and, on Sunday, March 11, he "Cut Short" his African Tour, in order to Return immediately to Washington DC.


>>> The Point is that, All these Series of apparently Converging Moves, Started precisely, the Same Day that a  1st USA - Turkey Experts/Diplomats Meeting (of Thursday and Friday : March 8 and 9) had Concluded, in Washington DC, where it was supposed to Deal, inter alia, particularly about Ankara's Claims for Turkish Army and/or Proxies to "Replace" Syrian Kurds (Allies of USA-led International Coalition against ISIS' Deadly Islamist Terrorists) throughout all or most of the Syrian Kurdish Region, accross the Syrian - Turkish Borders, (Starting by Afrin and continuing, eventially, by Manbij, etc).


* On February, Tillerson had Faced Heavy Pressure by Turkey on that, very Controversial Issue, during his Latest Visit to Ankara, where he had met with Turkish President Erdogan, under Exceptionaly Strict Conditions of Secrecy : I.e. even withOut any American Interpreter, Nor Diplomat, but Only the Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglou serving also as .. Interpreter, Contrary to the Established US Practices, as Many had Noticed, then. This had been shortly Followed also by a quite "Hot" Press Conference, Next Morning, by Tillerson and Cavusoglou, where the American side was also Pressured in Public about alleged Past Promises (dating since the Barak Hussein Obama's era) to practically Drop the Kurds, After having Used them for the Fight against ISIS' Islamist Terrorists, (See ..).


Tillerson diplomatically had prefered, then, to Postpone any Public Statement on that Controversial Issue, Pointing, Instead, to a Series of USA - Turkey Experts' Meetings, which were due to Start, in Washington DC, later on March.


=> Then, the Conclusion of the 1st among those "Hot" Meetings behind Closed Doors between Turkish and American Experts/Diplomats, Last Week in Washington DC, on Friday, March 8, practically "Coincided", strangely, with the 1st Known Move by USA's White House which was reportedly Related also with Tillerson's replacement by Pompeo, officially Announced Later-on, (Comp. Supra)...


New US President Don Trump, has notoriously Based his Popular 1st "State of the Union" Speech, Earlier on January 30, in the US Congress, mainly on Economic progress and on the Defeat of ISIS' Deadly Islamist Terrorists, concerning Most Territory that they had previously invaded and occupied in Syria and Iraq.


>>> This Latest Achievement, against a particularly Deadly Islamist Terrorism by ISIS' Cowards, (who used to Target Defenseless Civilian People in several EU Member States, Russia, USA, and various Other Countries also in Africa, Asia, etc), was, notoriously, Obtained also with the Decisive Help of Syrian Kurdish People on the Ground, (and their allies, in the "Syrian Democratic Forces", that they had created and leaded).

 

Turkish sources were Now Sticking again in what they ambitiously Claimed to be "a Proposal", "Model" or "Road Map", "for the Issue of Manbij", during these Experts' Talks in Wash.DC, seeking to Extend Turkey's Army's role in, somehow, perhaps invading/occupying, mutatis-mutandis, also the Eastern Part of the Syrian Kurdish Region. However, they had already made a similar claim with Tillerson, Last February in Ankara, and he had replied, in public, that such issues would be simply "Discussed".

 

-  "But we doN’t know which path the New Staff will follow", Erdogan reportedly said on that now, (Calling "Staff" the New USA Secretary of State, former Congressman, Mike Pompeo, for whom New US President Don Trump has just said that he was "always on the Same Wavelength" with POTUS).


+  At any case, meanwhile, an important Visit that Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu was due to make to the USA on March 19, was, now,  "Postponed" sine die.

 

 ++ And, EU Parliament, by Adopting Later Today in Strasbourg a Last-Minute Amendment which "Expresses Deep Concern at Turkey's Intervention in Areas of Syria which are controlled by Kurdish forces",

gave a Crystal-clear and Strong Boost for USA to Resist to Ankara's pressure for UnEthical, UnJustified and Dangerous Concessions against the Best Local Allies on the Ground for the US-Led International Coalition to Fight ISIS' Deadly Islamist Terrorists cowardly Targetting Civilian People, which recently became Succesful, on 2017, notoriously thanks, particularly, to the Syrian Kurds-led "Syrian Democratic Forces" (SDF).

i.e. Not Only in Afrin, but Also Elsewhere, f.ex. at Manbij, where Ankara notoriously Pressures the USA to Drop the Syrian Kurds and Replace them by Turkey's Military and/or its "Proxies" Jihadists Armed Gangs... (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euonturkeyamdafrin.html).

 

A quite Succesful move of Euro-American Cooperation, on a Rare Topical Issue where, normally, all the Other relevant Global Partners (as Russia and China, even the directly concerned Syrian Government, added naturally to Syrian Kurds themselves) would not have any objection at all to support, (as well as all Freedom, Justice and Efficiency-Loving People in the World)... 

 

(../..)


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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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