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Home arrow newsitems arrow Russian Duma Foreign Affairs Committee President Slutsky to EF: +CoE Exchanges for Peace in Syria

Russian Duma Foreign Affairs Committee President Slutsky to EF: +CoE Exchanges for Peace in Syria

Автор ACM
Thursday, 26 April 2018
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- For the 1st Time after Years, CoE had a Chance for Discussions with Top Political Russian Politicians on the "Hot" and Topical Issue of Syria, Today in Strasbourg, as revealed in Reply to an "Eurofora" Question the experienced President of Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee, Leonid Slutsky, of the Liberal Democratic Party, a Long-Time former Key Member of CoE's PanEuropean Parliamentary Assembly (PACE).


 - "Eurofora" had Observed the Unusual Fact that PACE's Plenary was just Starting an Exceptional Debate on "Europe's Role in PeaceMaking Initiatives on Syria", Added at the Last Minute to its Official Agenda, as a "Current Affairs" Debate, by a Striking Coincidence, ... the Same Day, and even exactly at the Same Moment that a Rare High-Level Meeting between Top Russian Politicians and PACE's Leadership, had been Scheduled to Conclude here, at the CoE, in Strasbourg...


 - "It's Necessary, may be, to Wait some Hours", Carefully Replied Leonid Slutsky to "Eurofora"s Question whether Russian representatgives might Discuss possible developments in Syria with their collegues of CoE's PanEuropean Organisation, (which has 47 Member States, including Russia).


- "Now, that Debate (on Syria, in PACE's Plenary) has just Started", he accurately observed.


=> - So, indeed, "I'll go for an Exchange of Views, in a few Hours"' Time, the President of Russian Dumas' Foreign Affairs Committee announced to "Eurofora", (who had already noted, inter alia, also the Fact that, Exceptionaly, even the Office of the Russian Deleghation to PACE had been set and prepared for Collective Meetings, since Yesterday Evening).


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


President Slutsky had just spoken at a "Press-Point" with Journalists, including "Eurofora", at the Conclusion of a special High-Level PACE's Committee on this PanEuropean Assembly's Mission, set up Recently, from the End of Last Year (2017), in order to Deal with the "Burning" Issue of Russian MEPs' possible Return, after their Departure, in Controversial Circumstances, since the Ukranian Conflict suddenly emerged after the Winter 2014 provoked Clashes in Kiev droped a Compromise Agreement signed then by former President Yanukovich and the Maidan Demonstrators' Opposition, in the presence of the French, German and Polish Foreign Ministers, (See, f.ex.: ....., etc).


Various Other Key Members of CoE's Political Leadership had just indicated to "Eurofora" that the Confidential Talks inside that "Ad Hoc" Top Committee were, this Time, "Interesting", as they stressed, pointing, for the rest, at the immediate Foreseeable Future for more Concrete Developments.

 

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- To "Eurofora"'s Question "what was the most Interesting point" in those Talks, President Slutsky, teasing, Replied that - "the Most Interesting for me, is that, by coming here (at the CoE), I can Meet People like you", as he Friendly Joked, with a Smile, (after having, already Saluted, from the Start, with a Friendly : "Bonjour Collègue. Hereux de vous voir !", in pure French)... 

                                                                                                                                                                                          - Indeed, Slutsky's overall mood appeared to correspod, grosso modo, to what he Earlier, soberly but positively named as "Constructive" Atmosphere, when it came to HighLight his overall impression from the Talks inside that High-Level "Ad Hoc" Top Committee.


- Despite Past strong Criticism against him Personally from some quarters, (which Persisted, with UnPrecedented Long Personal verbal Attacks by 1 Opposed MEP, both at the Corridors and during a Different Debate in CoE's Plenary, until the Chairman-in-office Cut the Sound), nevertheless, the Experienced President of the EuroLeft Group, Dutch Senator Tiny Cox, told "Eurofora" that his attitude, Today, was "Intelligent", and that he played well at that Special Meeting.


+ As for PACE's President himself, Italian Professor Michele Nicoletti, questioned also by "Eurofora", at first simply denied that he might have "Succeeded" to mark a Political "Breakthrough" for now : - "Success, is a Big Word". In Fact, it was "Quite Constructive", and, at any case, "there will be a Continuation at a Next Meeting", so that "I hope that we are going to have progres", Nicoletti Positively told us, smiling enigmatically.


- From Other, but Well-Informed CoE's Top Sources, "Eurofora" heard that this Next Meeting of that High-Level "Ad Hoc" Committee on PACE's "Mission", is Scheduled for the Beginning of June, "at Zagreb", in Croatia, (InComing Next CoE's President in office, for the Period of Mid-May - November 2018), side by side with CoE Assembly's "Standing" Committee, (which, in principle, has the Same Powers as also its Plenary).


+ Meanwhile, according to Various, Other Sources, both the new French President, Emmanuel Macron, and the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, were due to Visit Russia asap. in order to Meet, mainly, with President Vladimir Putin.


Prime Minister Tsipras' Invitation by the Russian President to visit Moscow had already been Anounced, just after a reportedly "Balanced" stance that he kept at the Latest EU Summit in Brussels, at the End of March 2018, (Comp. various "Eurofora"s NewsReports from the spot), almost as also Austria (the Next EU President in office for the Period of July - December 2018), etc. And, by a Coincidence, it's 1st the Head of the Greek Delegation at PACE, MEP Ioanna Kavvadia, who Walked out of Today's High-Level Russia-PACE Meeting, looking particularly Busy, Phoning somewhere Urgently, etc., right in front of "Eurofora", followed, shortly afterwards, by Cyprus' Head of Delegation, and former CoE Assembly's President Stella Kyriakides from Cyprus, with a Calm but Mysterious smile, closely followed by various Other Top MEPs...


But it was from well-informer Russian sources, here in Strasbourg (France), that "Eurofora" was duly Informed about the prospect also for new French President Macron, (Comp. various Recent, April 2018 Macron's Statements to "Eurofora", f.ex. at:  ..., etc), to Visit on May 2018 Moscow, (i.e. shortly after another important Visit, Earlier this Week, in the USA, to meet President Don Trump).

Given also the Fact that France will take over CoE's rotating Presidency on 2019, when a New PanEuropean Summit of 47 Heads of State/Government (including Russia, as Member, while even USA is a Permanent Observer here) is expected, manifold Important relevant Developments may naturally be expected.

=> Including, eventual real Progress on the Issue of the Conditions of Russian MEPs' re-integration of CoE's Assembly, perhaps at that Next Meeting of the competent PACE's High-Level Committee at the Beginning of June in Zagreb (Comp. Supra), considering also the Fact that (as other CoE's Officials told Strasbourg Journalists, including "Eurofora", recently), the Question of Russia's "Big Payer" Financial Contribution to the CoE, (that Moscow felt necessary to Suspend, after 3 Years withOut a normal Participation Ensured for the Russian MEPs in PACE, since a Controversial Measure taken on pretext of the Ukranian Conflict's ill-elucidated outbreak, Back on 2014), has to be normaly Settled before the End of June, for Practical and Legal reasons.

At Zagreb the participants will have More Time available, if necessary, than the 1,5 Hour that was available Today in Strasbourg, ("Not Enough", according to some Insiders, particularly when MEPs had also to Deal with Other Topical Issues, as "Monitoring", etc, as they told us), before PACE Plenary's Topical Debate on Europe's role in Peacemaking Initiatives in Syria, (Comp. Supra)...

 

(../..)


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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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