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Inicio arrow newsitems arrow Macron on EU role in Mediterranean Safety+Energy (S/E) with Cyprus Leader, eyes Defense faces Turkey

Macron on EU role in Mediterranean Safety+Energy (S/E) with Cyprus Leader, eyes Defense faces Turkey

Escrito por ACM
23.07.20
 
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/-  A "Sovereign and Géopolitical Europe" canNot Abandon to Foreign States the big "Security and Energy" Stakes in Mediterranean Sea, particularly at its South-Eastern Area, where EU Member States Cyprus and Greece must be Protected in front of Turkey's Bullying, which needs "Sanctions", stressed French President Emmanuel Macron, while receiving, at Elysée Palace in Paris, the President of Strategic Island Cyprus, Nicos Anastassiades, with whom he Wans to Boost Cooperation on Defense, before a crucial "MED-7" Summit, "at the End of August, or at the Beginning of September" 2020, as he announced Today, being partly but topically Echoed also from EU Parliament up to the USA etc., (See Infra).

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- Speaking shortly After an Exceptionaly Important EU Heads of State/Government Summit in Brussels, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euhardbutbigdealneedsmore.html, etc), where its Franco-German core succeeded to reach a 27 Member States' Agreement on a "Revival Plan and Budget", "Condition" for "a more Ambitious and Sovereign Europe", as he pointed out, Macron Focused, Now, on "the Great Importance, for All Europeans, of Our Borders (and) Our Sovereignity, particularly in (South) Eastern Mediterranean" :

 -  A "Vital" Area "for All Our (EU's) Countries, where Energy and Security Issues have Become Nowadays of Essential Importance, and are at the origin of Power Struggles, in particulalry of Turkey and Russia, which affirm themselves more and more, where the EU does Not Yet Count Enough", But "would commit a Grave Error IF it Left Our Security in the Mediterranean at the Hands of Other Actors" : "That's Not an Option for Europe, and, at any case, Not something that France might let it be", he Vowed.

=> - In this Context, Macron "Re-Confirm(ed), anew, France's Full Solidarity with Cyprus, as well as with Greece, in front of Violations of their Sovereignity by Turkey", as he Denounced. Indeed, "it's UnAcceptable for the Maritime Area of a State which is Member of Our (Europan) Union to be Violated or Threatened ! Those who do so, Must face Sanctions, and you can Count on France's Support on this matter", he promised. Because "Europe Must Protect its Sovereignity very, very Firmly".

    Turkey has, Notoriously, Harassed, (with WarShips) and Chassed Away an Italian "ENI" Energy Company's Ship due to Explore for more Oil/Gas Resources in EU Member Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone, repeatedly Threatened Many Others, Blocked off-shore Energy Explorations (including by France's "TOTAL", etc) with Arbitrary "Military Exercises" of the Turkish Navy, and Even, Provocatively, send, several Times, Its Own so-called "Exploration Ships", as "Barbaros" (sic !), etc. illegaly Inside Cyprus' EEZ. So that EU's Heads of State/Governments' Summits in Brussels have, Clearly and Repeatedly Condemned such Blatant Turkish Violations of the Interational Law of the Sea, even an EU Member's own Territorial Waters, (something that Ankara, nevertheless, Repeated, Afterwards, Also against Greece, in its EEZ at the Aegean Sea, Triggering Similar EU and USA Reactions). See relevant "Eurofora"s NewsReports from concerned EU Summits in Brussels, as, f.ex., at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/macronimportanteustatementoncyprusturkey.html, etc.

    *** In Fact, EU disposes a Big New Potential in Natural Energy Sources (particularly Climate-Friendly Gas, withOut C02, etc) around EU Member Cyprus' Southern Coasts, to which are Added Also important Neighbouring Israel and Egypt's (probably Lebanon's too) similar UnderSea Resources, at the South-Eastern Mediterranean Round Hub, (Between 3 Continents), which has, basically, a Similar Geology to that of Oil/Gas - Rich "Gulf of Mexico", Thanks to which, the USA reportedly Covered Recently More than +50% of their Huge Energy Needs, soon Becoming (in Addition, Also, with some Other New Findings on Land) ... Exporters of Energy, for the 1st Time in their History !  Other Energy Resources are believed (already since 1974) to be at Greece's EEZ in the Aegean Sea, and, more Recently, around Creta Island, at the large.

    Cyprus, Egypt, and Israel have already Agreed in Delimitating their respective EEZ's (with Similar Negotiations evolving Later for Lebanon too), and are closely Cooperating Together on Common Energy Issues there, (Including with several Plans to Transfer Energy products into the EU, particularly with Israel, inter alia, also via the EU-Sponsored "East-MED" Pipeline project, and/or by Transforming Gas into Electricity on the spot, and Transporting it by an UnderSea Cable, as well as by Modern, High-Tech Ships able to carry Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG, etc). With the expected Result for Europe to have, in the foreseable Future, Energy DIRECTLY Transported into EU's Industrial Core, i.e. Faster, Safer, and Cheaper than if it had, Otherwise, to Cross various Intermediaries...  

s.e._med._energy_hub_eurofora_patchwork_400_02   

    Macron has Already Spoken with "Eurofora" on that Issue, (which We are Following Since 2000/2001 : See Our relevant Publications, then, at "TCWeekly", etc), as Early as Since he was Economy Minister, Back on 2015 in Strasbourg (See: ..., etc), but also, Later-on, as President of the Republic, on 2017, during the "G20" Summit in Hamburg, Germany, (See: ..., etc). A Recent, New Possibility to, Eventualy, Help Resolve the Current Problem of EU's Need for "Own Resources" from 2021, was, also, Suggested by "Eurofora" on the occasion of the Latest EU Summit's Conclusions in Brussels on 21 July 2020, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euhardbutbigdealneedsmore.html, etc).

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    + "We (EU) Face, Also, the fact that Sovereignity is at Stake in Libya too", where "we canNot just Let some Foreign Powers, whoever they might be, Violate the Arms' Embargo", firmly stressed the French President, (shortly after even a Franch Ship, participating in a relevant EU Mission, was notoriously Bullied by Turkish Warships when it tried to Check a Cargo Suspected to Smuggle Prohibited Weapons towards the Tripoli Camp in Libya, against the Benghazi one - the Biggest). That's why "the (EU) Operation <<IRINI>> (Versus Arms' Trafficking towards Libya) is one  of the European Replies, But it still Needs to be Strengthened, in order to gain in Credibility. It's a Necessary Condition in order to obtain a Cease-Fire, and trigger a real Impetus towards a Political Solution of the Libyan Conflict".

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(The Latest MED-7 Summit was organized in Cyprus on 2019)

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    => + "More widely speaking, EU Must engage in a Profound Analysis on the Security Issues in Mediterranean. In this Perspective, and in order to evoke All European matters", President Macron Announced his intention to "Welcome anew in France our Mediterranean Partners, on the occasion of a Summit of EU's Southern Countries, called "MED 7", towards the End of August or the Beginning of September" 2020, "which is Nowadays even More Important than Yesterday", as he pointed out.

    - Last, but not least, concerning "the Bilateral Relation" between France and Cyprus, ("which is Excellent", but "may be even More Deepened, particularly on Phrancophony and Economic Cooperation"), "it's well the Strategic area which  Structures our Relationship", Macron stressed, "Thanking the Cypriots for the Excellent Welcome that they offer to our (French) Navy, with, Already, some 20 SeaPort Calls in 2020" !

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    - Cyprus' President Anastassiades, "noted with Satisfaction" the French President's "role, which is Not Limited to Initiatives inside Europe, (as at the Recent EU Summit, Together wih Germany : Comp. Supra), But Extends and promotes France as a Pivot Country for Stability and Security in the ...Mediterranean", whenever, Unfortunately, Europe is Absent", as he observed, while Also "Thanking France for its Interest and always Firm Stance regarding the Solution of Cyprus' Issue".

 

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    => "In particular", he "Thank(ed)" Macron "for the Initiatives undertaken so that, at last, the Mediterranean woN't be an Area Under Control by either Turkey, or Other Powers, But Not of Europe !"

    - Indeed, "Your Initiatives show which Should be Europe's Role, i.e. Not to beLimited into Declarations, But, through initiatives, to take over a Leading role, and Support (EU) Member States", Anastassiades stressed.

    - "What occurs during These Days, and, certainly, During the Previous Months", as, f.ex., inter alia, also "the Violation of the Republic of Cyprus' EEZ", (by Turkish Ships), "the Threat to Settle Famagusta", (a City Evacuated by its Greek Cypriot Inhabitants, obliged to Fleed Turkey's Military Invasion and Occupation since 1974, while UNO called to Preserve those Refugees' Homes, that Turkey is Now Threatening to Usurpate on 2020), "what is Going on, Or was Done, in Syria, Iraq", (i.e. even More Turkish Military Invasions and Occupations), "these Days and Hours in Greece", (i.e. a culmunation of Turkish Army's Threats, after Provocations, at Aegean Sea), "and in Libya", (where the Turkish Army is the Only Foreign Force which Intruded inside that Country, Ostensibly Importing Weapons, and Even Many Islamist Armed Gangs of various Extremists from Syria, who have Already coincided with Massive and Grave Human Rights Violations Recently Denounced by the UNO, near Tripoli, including, f.ex., Civilian People being Chassed Away, Family Homes Looted and/or Destroyed, Civilians ill-treated or Killed, etc), "show that there is a Vacuum from Europe's side !", he Deplored.

    - "But, Also, that, through Your (France's) Initiatives, a Ray of Hope Emerges, for European People, and, particularly, for the Countries Affected by the Role that Europe Must Play", Cyprus' President added, Optimistically.

    - Last, but Not Least, he said to be "Glad to Seek Together how to Deepen further our (France-Cyprus) Bilateral Relations, which are Excellent, Based on the Franco-Cypriot Strategic Agenda which was Signed on 2016, and, mainly, how to further deepen the Economic and Cultural relations, and Particularly the Cooperation on Defense", he stressed.

    >>> Indeed, on this Obviously Crucial point, President Anastassiades "ensure(d) that Cyprus will Always be the Most Welcoming Country concerning the French Navy, and Not Only" that, (Comp. Supra). In general, Cyprus "was always, and Continues to be, a Country of real Stability and Security in the Region", he Vowed. Inter alia, f.ex., in particular, he Reminded also the Fact that "we (Cyprus) Helped, in the Past, for the Evacuation of Chemicals from Syria", (to the point that one of them, Stored at the Island for Too Long, Exploded there on 2011..., See "Eurofora"s NewsReport from Elysée Palace, during a Summit there with former French President Sarkozy, at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/sarkozycounseloronhelptoinvestigatecyprusexplosion.html, and: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/cypruspeopleaskchristofiastoresign.html, etc), and "we Helped during many Crisis in the Middle East, as in the case of Lebanon, (i.e. on 2006, when former French President Chirac took a UNO Mandate to Lead an International Peace-Keeping Force, between the Lebanese and Israeli Borders, in order to Succesfully Stop a Deadly Rockets' Conflict Between the 2 Neighbouring Countries, with the Help, Also of an EU-led Naval Force Monitoring the Coasts, which was Hosted in Cyprus, under German Leadership, then Visited also by Chacellor Angie Merkel : See "Eurofora" co-Founder's NewsReport, with Replies to Our Questions from Elysée Palace's Press Spokesman, Published, then, at "The Cyprus Weekly", etc).

    +"And, Eventually, If Needed, We (Cyprus) Will ANew Contribute in This Direction", he Promised for the Future. "Thanks Also to our Bilateral Relations with all Neighbouring Countries", (i.e. Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordany, Greece, Malta, etc. with the Only Exception, until now, of Turkey, which, notoriously, still Occupies illegaly a Part of the Island, since a 1974 Turkish Military Invasion and Occupation, insisting to Refuse even to have Normal Diplomatic Relations with the EU, UNO and CoE Member State of the Republic of Cyprus...).

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    *** In the MeanTime, the Strategically Located Island (Unique in the World to be Located at the Crossroads of 3 Continents : Europe, Asia, and Africa, as well as, directly Facing the Inter-Continental "Suez" Channel, etc), had its Defense Minister, Charalambos Petrides, meet officially in Paris, Earlier Today, with his French Counterpart, Florence Parly, Armies' Minister, (who had Already Visited Cyprus previously).

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    + By a Timely Coincidence, Macron's and Anastassiades' above-mentioned Topical Concerns vis a vis Turkey's Bullying, were Also Echoed at EU Parliament, in Brussels :

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    Speaking just Before a Public MEPs' Debate, with EU Council and EU Commission's Leaders, Michel and Von der Leyen, on the Outcome of the Latest EU Summit, the experienced President of the Biggest Political Group of MEPs, that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Manfred Weber, from Germany, strongly Slamed Turkey's behavior on the "very Urgent Issue" of "the Situation in the Mediterranean Sea", as he stressed.

- "We saw the Military Actions from the Turkish side, (now against Greece, but also, earlier, vis-a-vis Cyprus), we Also saw the decisions on the Hagia Sophia, which is an example of religious Chauvinism that such a Symbol and as a Monument of Peace and reconciliation is now changed", (from a 1.110 Years Old Christian Church, into a Mosque), Weber Denounced from the outset.

- "This is Not only a Greek–Turkish issue, it is not only a Cyprus–Turkish issue, it is a European–Turkish issue !", he underlined.  

=> - "That's Why", "We (EU) have to give Clear Signals that we Stand on the Side of Our (European) Citizens in Greece and in Cyprus", Weber Urged, Stressing that this was said in "the presence of President Michel and President von der Leyen". At any case, "we should keep the Dialogue open (vis a vis Ankara), no doubt about this".

>>> "But, Now it is the Time to Act, probably also to consider Sanctions Against Turkey. We (EU) have to Act and we have to act Now !", he Urged.

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    ++ Moreover, it's Even USA's Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Philip Reeker, who, Speaking on Turkey, Later Today, he reportedly Stressed,  that - "We (USA) are Concerned about Actions that are Provocative and Raise Tensions".

    - "Indeed, "US is Deeply Concerned about Turkey’s stated plans to Survey for natural Resources in Areas over which Greece and Cyprus Assert Jurisdiction in the Eastern Mediterranean", he confirmed.

    => As a Consequence, USA is "Urging the Turkish Authorities to HOLD operations that Raise Tensions", USA's Key competent Foreign Policy Top Official reiterated, (while Also reportedly Confirming, inter alia, that the Greek Island of Kastelorizo, Near the Turkish Coasts, Between EU Members Greece and Cyprus,  has an UnderSea Shelf, according to the International Law of the Sea).

 

(../..)

 

("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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