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Αρχική arrow newsitems arrow New PACE President Kyriakides to "EF": Trust, Russia, New Summit + Fight v. Corruption = Priorities

New PACE President Kyriakides to "EF": Trust, Russia, New Summit + Fight v. Corruption = Priorities

Έχει γραφτεί από ACM
Παρασκευή, 13 Οκτώβριος 2017
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*Stasbourg/CoE/Angel Marcopolo/- Replying to "Eurofora"s Questions, CoE Parliamentary Assembly's New President, mainstream ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP from the Governing Party in Cyprus, Stella Kyriakides, until now Chair of the Social, Health and Sustainable Development (i.e. Environment), Highlighted the Main Priorities for the forthcoming Months (i.e. 11 October 2017 - 23 January 2018), stressing that regaining "Trust", inside and outside PACE, would be at the Forefront :


Of course the current issue of Russian MEPs Status (Comp., f.ex. : ...), and the Preparation for a New CoE's 47 Heads of State/Government's Summit, as well as the Transition from a Czech to a Danish CoE's Chairmanship, but, Most of all, for her, it's the Need to restore Trust, and Fight efficiently against Corruption, which would be the "1st Priority", as she told us.


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


 - "Eurofora", pointing at the foreseeable "Timing", observed that Kyriakides' mandate, in principle, includes up to the Opening of the January 2018 PACE Plenary, and that, meanwhile, she had just co-organized an Exceptional Joint Meeting with CoE's Committee of Ministers and Top MEPs, Yesterday, Thursday, 12 October 2017, for the First Time after Many Years, (mainly on Russia, COE's Budget and new Summit, etc), due to be Followed by various PACE Committees' meetings elsewhere, as well as from the Hand-over of the Chairmanship of CoE's Committee of Ministers, on November 15, in Strasbourg, closely followed by an Important PACE's "Standing Committee" (with Similar Powers as the Plenary) at Copenhagen, etc.


=> And we asked PACE President Kyrakides how she Plans to Deal, in that Context, wth the Most Interesting Issues that the PanEuropean Assembly has to face nowadays.


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

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 - "There is a lot of things on the Agenda of the (CoE Assembly's) Standing Committee in Copenhagen", she acknowledged, (considering an Agenda whose precise contents are due to be Published "Next Week", as other PACE's Officials told "Eurofora").


 + As well as "the Follow-up to the Report of Mr. Nicoletti (Chairman of the Socialist Group), is comming up", (on a CoE's New Summit, but also Dialogue between CoE's Parliamentary Assembly and CoE's Committee of Ministers, including on Russia, etc : See ...), observed the new PACE's President, speaking shortly after an important relevant Debate and Vote at CoE's Assembly, earlier this week.


- And, such moves include  "Contacts of (CoE's) Committee of Ministers with the (Parliamentary) Assembly", but also with "the Congress" (of Local/Regional Authorities, which holds its Autumn 2017 Plenary Next Week in Strasbourg), "also of comming Importance is the Court" (ECHR), "the Czechh Republic" (out-going CoE's Chairmanship during May - mid-November 2017), "Denmark" (In-comming CoE's Presidency for mid-November 2017 - May 2018), etc.


 - In particular, "for me, it's Important to Establish Trust and Cooperation, through (PACE's) Political Groups, in order to Solve Problems", (considering also the fact that, even if she's Member of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group, nevertheless, she had been endorsed and voted also by Key Members of the Liberal, Conservative, Socialist and Leftist Groups : See ...), but also the Current Need for a Wider PACE Majority, f.ex. as far as it concerns the issues of Russia, a New CoE's Summit, etc).

+ Also in order to strengthen, in any way, "Support for Investigations and for setting up a (relevant) Independent Body (recently scheduled) for the Fight against Corruption" (inside and outside the PACE, f.ex.by various alleged External Lobbies' Attempts to influence it by inappropriate means), she added.


- "I think that this is for me a Great Challenge", because "we (CoE's Assembly) Need to get out the Clear Message that we are Totally Opposed and Immune to that !".


- "That's why this is going to be the 1st Thing ahead", and, "as long as I have the Honour of sitting at this Seat (PACE's Presidency), I want to be even More Clear: This, for us (PACE), is a First Priority", she stressed.


 - "So, If that Moves Ahead, and Comes to an End, during my Term, I would be quite Satisfied", she concluded, in reply to "Eurofora"s Question.


+ The relevant "Time-Frame" for that purpose "was (initially) given up to the End of the Year. We will see. But I wouldn't be Surprized I they need some More Time, f.ex. another Month, or so", President Kyriakides added later-on.  


---------------------------
Short but Crucial
--------------------------------

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  Meanwhile, as far as it concerns the Russian Issue, speaking to Strasbourg's Journalists, including "Eurofora", PACE's New President did not deny its obvious Importance, even if she declined from considering it as a landmark for her Presidency, preferring, rather, the "message" that she stated above, in reply to "Eurofora"s question, (Comp. Supra).

Indeed, Kyriakides' PACE Presidency, notoriously taking place in the contect of "an Exceptional situation", as she reminded earlier, os paradoxically, Both Short (See : ...) and Crucial, particularly on PanEuropean CoE's relations with its Biggest Member Country, Russia.
Inter alia, also for Practical reasons of Timing :


As it's well known, Moscow's Government has recently declared its intention to "Freeze" sine die the 2/3 of its Annual Financial Contribution to the CoE, (about 22 Millions €),  as long as there is No Guarantee for the Russian MEP's Rights to Vote and Participate in CoE's Assembly, (after some controversial 2014 - 2015+ PACE Resolutions which had "Freezed" most of them, on pretext of the Problems provoked inside Ukraine also by various Foreign interferences, etc, which had resulted into Threatening a new and dangerous Division of Europe).


But, that UnPrecedented Crisis, Now Extended even on CoE's Finances, threatens also to Affect about 10% of CoE's Budget, not only for the Present Year of 2017, but Even ...(in Addition) for the Next Year of 2018, for which the Budget is, normally, Decided around the "End of November" 2017, as Experienced PACE's Secretary General Sawicki confirmed to "Eurofora". Sawicki, personally, believes that the CoE could Find a Way to Handle even an eventually prolonged such Financial Problem, and this seems not far away from what CoE's Secretary General, Thornbhorn Jagland, also claimed, speaking at the PACE, earlier this week. But, obviously, it such an eventually Accumulated Loss of More than 10% + 10% of regular Revenues for the CoE would, obviously, be Not Easy to absorb, in real practice...


+ And, at the Same Moment with that Practical Financial Problem, there is also anOther, Different but also Topical, new Political Problem nowadays :


- I.e., how could the PanEuropean CoE prepare efficiently a New Heads of State/Govenrment Summit, expected for 2019, if its Biggest and a Geo-Politically, as well as Culturally Important Member Country, as Russia, stay partially or totally, more or less Excluded from having a say on such a Top Political Event, (which, Contrary to the EU, occurs Only at certain Exceptionally Important, Historic Junctures in CoE's History) ?...


=> That's why, the Fact that a Solution on that Problem affecting Russian MEPs has, according to PACE's Rules of Procedure, to be Found, at the latest, ...Before the Opening of its Next Plenary, "Winter" Session in Strasbourg, (23-27 January 2018), simply Because the Credentials of All MEPs are normally Decided at that Time, for All the Year round, (as also a Russian Diplomat confirmed to "Eurofora".

>>> In other words, in real Practice, it's, de facto, during the New PACE President, Stella Kyriakides' term of office, (11 October 2017 - 23 January 2018) that a Deal has to be brokered between Strasbourg and Moscow, in one way or another, if there is a Political Will from Both Sides to reall Solve this Problem, without wasting more precious Ressources and Time, particularly at the present Period, full of Great New Challenges in Europe and Worldwide.


In consequence, well informed PACE's Officers did Not Deny at all, Today, a possibility for the New President of CoE's Parliamentary Assembly to, eventually, Visit Moscow asap, withOut officially confirming yet, neither disclosing this or that precise Date, but promising to do so beforehand, if and when it may become possible.

During Yesterday's (Thursday, 12 November) Exceptional Joint Meeting between the CoE's Committee of Ministers and its Parliamentary Assembly's leaders, (the 1st after several Years of interruption !), well informed sources from the Inter-Governemental part, told "Eurofora" that, Despite the "Complex" Issues raised, there is a certain Mutual Wish for "Dialogue", both between Governments and MEPs, as well as between the CoE and Russia, on he Need to Try to Find an adequate Solution of the pending problems, in one way or another, for the Road Ahead.

May be even the New USA Presidency by Don Trump, could be, more or less Helpful, (particularly after also the recent, 1st Meeting between the American and Russian President, Trump and Putin, at July 2017's "G20" Summit in Hamburg, Welcomed by their Host, German Chancellor Angie Merkel : See ...). As well as Recent Developments in the Geo-Political views of New French President Emmanuel Macron, (particularly as far as it concerns the Need for a Joint Fight against Deadly Islamist Terrorism, cowardly Targetting innocent Civilian People, and to forge Peace in Syria, etc). Added, Soon, to a New German Government, headed by Experienced Chancellor Merkel, (who had practically Started her Top Diplomatic activities by a landmark Franco-Germano-Russian Summit, back on 2006, at the Historic Castle of Compiegne, near Paris, hosted by former long-time President Jacques Chirac, closely followed by a "G8" Summit with Putin and Sarkozy, etc, that she hosted in Germany on 2007 at Heiligendam, and anOther "G8" Summit, with the same, that Sarkozy hosted at Deauville on 2011 with then Russian President Medvedev, etc : Comp. "Eurofora" co-Founder's News Reports from those Compiegne, Heiligendam, and Deauville Summits, at : ... + ... + ...). Perhaps also, mutatis-mutandis, the Recent and/or Forthcoming Elections in Germany (9/2017) and Austria (10/2017), etc., as well as the Incoming Chairmanship of the EU by Bulgaria, from the 1st of January 2018, (See: ...), etc.

Meanwhile, among others, in a Different but Parallel move, informed sources from Cyprus, reportedly speculated that, by a (perhaps Helpful) coincidence, it's also the Country's President, Nicos Anastassiades, (an experienced ChristianDemocrat/EPP political leader), who might, eventually, Visit personally Russia, at some Date between Now and December 2017.

(../...)

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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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