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Home arrow newsitems arrow UN SG Ban Ki Moon to EuroFora: Cyprus reUnification needs Long Vision +Human Rights = basis of Peace

UN SG Ban Ki Moon to EuroFora: Cyprus reUnification needs Long Vision +Human Rights = basis of Peace

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
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* By Angelo Marcopolo/Strasbourg/- After visiting both CoE/ECHR and EU Parliament, UNO's Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, replying to "EuroFora"'s questions, stressed that a desirable solution on Cyprus' issue needs "Long Vision", as he put it, shortly after underlying, earlier in Strasbourg, that, as a matter of General Principle, "Human Rights are at the foundation of Peace".

UNO's Head, was, precisely, replying to our Question if, after visiting here Europe's 2 best bodies on Human Rights, Democracy, and Foreign Pölicy : ECHR and EU Parliament (a meeting place also for EU Commission, EU Council, Ministers, Diplomats, etc), he hoped to facilitate Cyprus' Talks to progres towards a solution by Safeguarding Human Rights and Rule of Law, instead of letting anyone push them aside, so that the island may become in the Future succesfuly ReUnified.
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- "Our Partnership (EU - UNO) is delivering Results : We are working together to deliver Peace, Human Rights, Development" etc, which "are 3 Major Pillars of UN's Charter", Ban Ki Moon stressed from the outset at EU Parliament, as a matter of General Principle. - "I urge the Europeans not to give in the Sirenes of Suspicion (who) ...will only draw you off course of the Values that we, UN, hold as dear", he also appealed earlier, speaking in front of a large number of interested MEPs. 
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-  "EuroFora" observed that UNO's "Secretary General", visited "here in Strasbourg two most Important Institutions" of Europe : - "EU Parliament, on Economy, Foreign Policy and other issues, but also the CoE, concerning Human Rights, and ...spoke about both".

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- "Among your first activities in the forthcoming period of time, will be, inter alia, to also Help resolve some Conflicts. One of them is Cyprus", "EuroFora" pointed out, considering in particular a forthcoming UN SG's Report on that issue, expected on November.

- "Do you think that you can succeed, during the Talks that are going on now and in the (foreseable) Future, to find a way to contribute for Human Rights and EU - UNO's Principles (such as Rule of Law, etc) to be Safeguarded, instead of being pushed away, so that (Cyprus') Future ReUnification could work efficiently ?", (i.e. in a Stable mannner, without more differends, tensions, divisions, conflicts and/or breakdowns, contrary to the Past), we asked Ban Ki Moon.

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This was also an indirect but obvious reference to what he had just stressed, earlier this same day in Strasbourg, from the beginning of his speech at the CoE, on the celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the PanEuropean Convention on Human Rights, where he observed that, "as a matter of Principle", a "Cardinal Mission of the UN is to shine the Light of Human Rights everywhere, including the Darkest corners", because, "as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims : - "Recognition of the inherent Dignity .. and of the ... inalienable Rights of all ... Human(s) .. is the Foundation of Freedom, Justice and Peace".

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UNO's Secretary General was the Key Speaker of the exceptional PanEuropean Human Rights event at the CoE, which was also addressed by ECHR's President, professor Jean-Paul Costa, and CoE's SG, Thornbjorn Jagland, (President of the Oslo Committee for the Nobel Peavce Prize), in the presence of all EuroJudges, Ambassadors, etc. from more than 47 Countries, followed by a Song with Barbara Hendrix (a Gospel of former Slaves for Freedom) and a Debate on the Future of Human Rights in Europe animated by the Heads of all CoE's Monitoring bodies against Torture (CPT), Discrimination/Racism/Ethnic Cleansing (ECRI), etc.

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- "Thank you for your questions" :These "are very Important matters", reacted spontaneously UNO's Head,  choosing among two differend "EuroFora"s questions (See other Draft NewsReports, already sent to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors), to put "Cyprus, first of all" :

- "It has been now a little over 2 Years since" representatives of "both Communities have engaged in Direct Negotiations (Talks) at the Leaders' level", he reminded.

- The "UN ...have been working very hard to Facilitate this Process" 

- "This is done not only " through my Special Adviser, Alexander Downer, (former Liberal Foreign Minister of Australia, recently criticized in a Book currently discussed at Cyprus' Parliament, and whose precedessor was obliged to leave after Turkey made complaints), but also "through my own direct (personal) engagement", UNO's SG Ban Ki Moon ensured.

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 - UNO's work is made "in close Consultation not only with the two Leaders,  but also (with) Leaders of (other) Concerned Parties", (apparently Turkey, Greece, the UK, EU and/or USA, Russia,  etc), he added.


- "It has been Encouraging that the (Cyprus' communities') Leaders have been meeting more than 80  times in Direct Talks", (after many Years of merely Indirect contacts), trying to solve what is, "I think, one of the Longest-standing issues in Europe, at this time", Ban Ki Moon obseved.

- However, it's only "Recently" that "they have ... begun to Discuss ....(Refugees'/Displaced Persons') Property", which is "one of the most Complex Issues", UNO's Head realistically acknowledged.

-  "Now, (i.e. on October 2010) they have Both presented Concrete Proposals" on the Refugees/Displaced Persons' Family Homes and personal belongings issue, Ban Ki Moon officially revealed.

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Indeed, after various partial Leakages, these days, the Governing Coalition Party DHKO, joining others, accused Cyprus' President Christofiias to have made Excessive Concessions to the Turkish Cypriot side, that they did not accept, while  the main Governing Party, AKEL, prefered to denounce as "Intransigeant" and "Unacceptable" the demands made by the new leader of Turkish Cypriot Community living at the Territories of Cyprus Occupied by Ankara's Army, Mr. Eroglu, as "Intransigeant", "Unacceptable", "pushing at the Margins the (Human Rights) Principles" in order to obtain "Ethnically Clean" separate areas, contrary to the official aim of the UNO-sponsored Talks to reUnify Cyprus, (by asking to impose Absolute "Ceilings", Mass "Exchanges of properties",  Priority of illegal Occupiers on Refugees' Homes, Loss of Refugees' Homes "Modified" by anyone who might have Occupied them illegaly, Permanent Derogations to EU Law, Exclusion of ECHR, etc).

Since the start of ECHR's case-law on Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons (1996), the Turkish Government has, indeed, claimed that it would be materially "Impossible" for Ankara to pay "more than 22 Billions €" for Financial Compensation of Refugees, (reportedly based on the famous "Loizidou" ECHR judgements' calculation for 1 person), obviously implying that Turkey would Never accept (despite ECHR's case-law, and Contrary to what is going on even in the Western Balkans, where Croatia a.o. claim to be Open to Serbian a.o. Refugees' return) that many Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons ever find anew their Homes... This seems due to Ankara's eagerness to continue Military Occupation and/or other ways to keep a Total Control over Cyprus' Northern Coasts, perhaps because Turkey either has excessive fears for its own "Security" ..in front of Tiny Cyprus, or because some Lobbies might seek to secretly usurpate Cyprus' hidden Natural Resources, (such as rare Minerals, Oil/Gas, etc).

This has notoriously been a major Stumpling Block also in previous attempts to reUnify Cyprus. Not only because it affects a Large Number of People, (more than 20% of Greek Cypriots being Refugees/IDPs, something that inevitably counts in any Democratic Election and/or Vote). But also because an Excessive, Mass-Obstruction of Refugees/IDPs' Human Rights to return and/or find Restoration of their Family Homes and/or personal belongings, would inevitably provoke an "AppartHeid"-like Separation between 2 "Ethnically Cleaned" Areas, artificially composed and keeping most Greek Cypriots away from Turkish Cypriots, contrary to the aim of Cyprus' ReUnification : Obviously, by imposing for ever such an Ethnic Separation, even to the detriment of Refugees/IDP's Human Rights, a Risk is provoked to keep constantly Cyprus de facto Divided, Hindering the creation of Common Interests, so that Differends, Tensions and Conflicts may anew arise between the 2 Separated Parts, giving to some Foreign Powers a too "Easy" Prey for eventual cynical Destablization, so that Peace could be Undermined almost at any moment, and the island Condemned to chronic Instability,  against Europe's interests and UNO's official aims.

What complicates things is that the Leadership of Greek Cypriots had, nevertheless, been obliged, shortly after the Turkish Miiltary Invasion and Occupation, to formally accept to seek only a "Bi-Communal and Bi-Zonal Federal State" as a Political Solution, and this is, sometimes, abused by some Turkish argumentators as a Pretext for Excessive Restrictions of Refugees' Human Rights. But, in fact, the differend question of the Constitutional Structure and the Power-sharing in a New ReUnified State between Political Leadership, do not necessarily impose so Disproportional and too "Heavy" Derogations from Human Rights of Individual Citizens, while, also, other New,  Creative Solutions seem Intellectually possible to Imagine and propose at an Honest Negotiation Table, if all are really consciously animated by a sincere wish to reUnify and pacify the island in a Stable manner.

Normally, Cyprus should be an .. Easier problem to solve on Refugees' return, since Greek and Turkish Cypriots, fortunately, had Never engaged in quasi-generalized Bloody Conflicts spreading even among Civil Population, as it occurred in the ex-Yugoslavia's area at the Western Balkans, where, nevertheless, despite that, unlike Turkey's 35 Years long Refusal, on the contrary, Croatia and other involved Countries now clearly affirm their Willingness to help Refugees' Return, (including many ethnic Serbians) with Restitution of their Homes whenever possible, etc, which, indeed, advances, even if slowly, reportedly because of Economic hardships to overcome (See relevant earlier statements by Croatian Leaders to "EuroFora").

But, Experience shows, that, sometimes, even for some hidden reasons, Refugees' return issues might become, in fact, too nasty : F.ex. the unprecedented brutal Murder of UNO's Permanent Envoy at Iraq, the famous former UNO High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio de Mehlo, who had worked for Decades at the UNHC for Refugees, at nearby Geneva, helping numerous People to voluntarily return back Home after various conflicts all over the World, from Africa up to Latin America, the Balkans, Caucasus and Asia, etc., before being suddenly killed, together with his close collaborators, by a non-revendicated Bomb which exploded shortly after he reportedly anounced that he was preparing to help also many Kurdish Refugees to return at the Northern Area of Iraq, close to Kirkuk, where Turkey and others notoriously try to revendicate some rights or pretexts to intervene in the Oil/Gas-rich area, (2003).....  
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- Thus, despite aknowledging the obvious Difficulties of the Task, Ban Ki Moon energetically expressed in Strasbourg, in his long reply to "EuroFora"'s first Question on Cyprus, his "Hope that they (i.e. the political Leaders) will be able to  resolve this long-standing issue, .... towards a Mutually Satisfying Agreement".


-  "The recent Opening, of a Crossing between the two Communities, at Limnites, (a long-awaited, Positive development aimed to locally facilitate Civil and Religious Movements, Meetings and Exchanges of People accross the "Green Line" which practically Divides the Island in two parts since the 1974 Turkish Military Invasion and continuing Occupation), ... is also a co-sign of their Commitment. to move Ahead", UNO's Head optimistically observed.

- In this regard, "I have been Urging,  in my Meetings with the two Leaders, President Christophias of Cyprus, and also Mr Eroglu of (the) Turkish Cypriot Community,  that it is Now Time to make Decisions, to make an Agreement", Ban Ki Moon revealed.

Apparently trying to Stimulate Serious Progres, while, at the same time, avoiding to set Time Deadlines, which have been explicitly excluded when this New Round of Talks started, in order to avoid any risk for eventually hastily imposed "recipes" which might fail : A well known Risk, against which,  all those who really want Cyprus' Reunification have understood that they must protect the Talks, in order to keep their flame alive and have a chance to succeed).

- Because, "during the last 2 Years (2009-2010), they have opened all their Positions, all their Cards", as he noted, speaking, however, shortly after the recent, April 2010 Political Change of the Leader of the Turkish Cypriot Community living in the Territories of Cyprus Occupied by Ankara's Army, replacing Mr. Talat (allegedly more open to compromises) by Mr. Eroglu (traditionally presented as, comparatively, more "Hardliner").

However, even Eroglu had taken part, together with other leaders of Cyprus' Political Parties, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, at a landmark meeting organized by the CoE in Strasbourg back on 2003, and participated in a Symbolic event where they all jointly transplanted a unique young Tree, symbolizing Cyprus' Future ReUnification, at Orangerie's Parc in Strasbourg, (Comp. Eroglu's statements to "EuroFora"'s co-founder then)...

- "And now it's Time to Fold together whatever Cards can be Met Together", as UNO's SG characteristically put it, "and make Decisions", he suggested.

- This should be done, naturally, "on the Basis of Compromise and Flexibility", he advised.

- But, "most of all, a Long Vision, a Long Vision for their Future", UNO's Head stressed, apparently inciting all those directly involved to overcome any Short-Term, Short-sighted Expediences, but to search, instead, to build a real and succesful Common Future on Solid Basis, able to safeguard Essential Values and provide Stability.

 - At any case, "I'm' going to continue working together" with Europe for "this" purpose, Ban Ki Moon promissed.

 - "On this (Cyprus') case, "EU's role will be Crucially Important", UNO's SG admitted, (contrary to Turkey's traditional reluctance for a transparent, democratic and strong EU's involvement).

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 - That's why, "I have been Discussing this matter with the European Leaders", Ban Ki Moon revealed during his 3 Days-long stay in Strasbourg, ( where he came from New York via Morocco and Paris, from Monday Evening up to Wednesday :  18-20 October , as "EuroFora" learned from other UNO's sources).

 - Indeed, "EU, which is the biggest Donor in the Word, (while also spending a lot of Taxpayers' Money for Turkey each year since the 1999-2000 controversial attribution of a "Candidate" status),  we (EU) don't want only to be a Payer, we want also to be a Player", stressed earlier EU Parliament's President Jerzy Buzek, underlying a general trend, which obviously includes also EU Member States as Cyprus, where EU traditionally had a permanent EU Council's Representative, as early as since the 1997 Irish EU Chairmanship, (See f.ex. published Statements to "EuroFora"'s Co-Founder by EU Council's 1st Representative to Cyprus' Top level Talks under UN Secretary General's auspices, already on 1997 at Montreux/Glyon - Switzerland)

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But, curiously, Ban Ki Moon, (who had faced an exceptionally Intensive Day of astonishingly Numerous Meetings at many and various places in Strasbourg : from his CoE's Speech and Press point, to his EU Parliament's Plenary Speech and Press Conference, followed by a special event with the European Movement against Poverty, a visit to Strasbourg's Mayor, long debates at EUP's Foreign Affairs Committee, etc., including several Bilateral contacts, etc), apparently missed or implicitly put aside (without denying, but keeping, perhaps, for another moment), unless simply evoked only implicitly and indirectly (Comp. Supra), a concrete and explicit Reply to "EuroFora"'s main point about the need to sufficiently "Safeguard Human Rights and other EU/CoE Principes" (f.ex. Rule of Law, etc), so that Cyprus could experience a successful future ReUnification (See supra)

+ Earlier at the CoE, he had, nevertheless, stressed, as a matter of General Principle, the crucial importance of Human Rights for UNO's main Missions (See supra), and references to "Common Values" were omni-present also in Ban Ki Moon's statements to EU Parliament on EU - UNO cooperation....

-  However, meanwhile, EU Parliament's Legal affairs Committee, decided, by a coincidence, shortly after UNO's SG arrived to Strasbourg : on Monday Evening, by a Large Majority Vote of 18 MEPs against only 5, that there is No real Legal Basis in a highly Controversial, old Draft Regulation claiming to open "Direct Trade" to the Territories of Cyprus still under Military Occupation by Ankara's Army, which surprisingly treated the Northern Part of an Internationaly Recognized EU Member's Land as if it was ... a Foreign, "3rd Country", despite UNO Security Council's own Resolutions clearly asking to abstain from doing anything which might be exploited by an illegal, Separatist breakaway regime set up in those Occupied Territories, where almost all Greek Cypriots a.o. were obliged to flee, becoming Refugees/Displaced persons, and are still hindered to return to their Family Homes and Anvcestral Land, despite ECHR's case-law,  which repeatedly condemned Turkey for obstructing Refugees/IDP's return and usurpating their Homes and private properties, (from 1996 up to 2010, one of the recent ECHR's judgements having been published just on September).  

Confirming the findings of Experts of EU Council's and EU Parliament's Legal Services on this point, MEPs' Large Majority at the competent Legal affairs Committee, voted, on the contrary, in favor of a comparatively Lesss controversial possible Legal Basis, (that of EU - Cyprus' Treaty of Accession), which clearly recognizes Cyprus in its entirety, but observes the fact that, because of the persisting Foreign Military Occupation, EU Acquis' normal application is forcibly suspended in the Occupied Territories, until a solution is found. Something which, naturally, cannot nullify the existing Legal Obligation of all to respect and apply Judgements condeming anyone who might usurpate Refugees' Family Homes and/or private properties, (as EU's Court of Justice notoriously found recently at the "Orams" case), nor affect Refugees/DP's Human Rights to return to their Family Homes and/or to restoration of (and in case of impossibility : just indemnisation for)  their personal belongings, (according to ECHR's 1995-2010 well established case law).    

A main Differnce is that, in this case, obviously the Decision-making process requires the Agreement of the concerned Government at EU Council, (while, with the 3 times rejected, other version, vainly pushed by a Turkish lobby, an eventually opposed, even thin majority of other States could oblige an EU Member State to swallow anything that might be decided by others in a part of its own Country, without any possibility to have a Say, even on Crucial Issues, thereby threatening its Sovereignity (and, in Cyprus' case, even its existence, given the persisting Foreign Military Occupation by Ankara's Army), as a MEP from another EU Country critically observed before Monday's Vote.

The controversial Draft had been initially presented, a long time ago, by a former "Green" EU Commissioner, and kept on the Table by former EU Enlrgement Commissioner Verheugen, a Socialist from Germany, famous not only by his incredible Public Statement that : - "Torture in Turkey is not systematic" (sic !), and  by the fact that, immediately after quitting his job at EU Commission, he was... hired and paid by Turkey's Foreign Trade Board (!) as a "consultant" for Ankara's Commercial Interests, provoking MEP's Criticism and an 2010 EU Enquiry on possible Incompatibilities and Conflicts with his former EU Responsibilities...

Calls to definitively drop such a controversial measure as a "Direct Trade" claim vis a vis a Country's Territory Occupied by a Foreign Army, started now to multiply, but EU Parliament has yet to decide whether it would send the file right back to EU Council immediately, or not yet.

In fact, Turkish lobby has been curiously insisting on controversial "Direct Trade" claims for the Occupied Territories as early as since tha beginning of 2000, (as "EuroFora"'s co-founder observed for the 1st time while returning from a UNO-sponsored round of Cyprus' Top Talks at nearby Geneva).

However, during recent years, until now, it had started to claim that this should be a kind of Gift to give to the Turkish side because it would have started to keep a better attitude on Cyprus than in the Past...         

                                                                                                                                                                                This claim was indeed, vainly evoked before Monday's vote by a MEP of the Turkish lobby, who apparently ignored the fact that Turkey, and its representative as "T/C Leader" in the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, (then Rauf Denktash, who had already rejected in the Past several UNO moves over Cyprus), had even openly ....Refused to accept a UN Secretary General (then Koffi Annan)'s Official Invitation to come at New York, to UNO's Headquarters, on 2001, to start a New round of Talks aimed to solve Cyprus" issue !


The only cause for such a Bluntly Negative behavior and Unprecedented Contempt vis a vis UNO and the International Community in general, was merely the fact that UNO's Secretary General, (Koffi Annan then), had simply added in his Invitation Letter that the forthcoming Talks should be held "on the Basis" of UNO Security Council's Resolutions on Cyprus' issue, (i.e. something elementary, as various Letters and Public Anouncements usually reminded)...

> By a strange Coincidence,Turkey was practically "Saved", then, from otherwise unavoidable EU - Sanctions" for its bluntly stubborn stance, only by ...9/11's Deadly Terrorist Attacks, which killed some 3.000 Innocent People at New York's World Trade Center !

Indeed, the UNO-sponsored official Meetings on Cyprus' Talks  had been scheduled for the Date of September 12, 2001, but were suddenly and brutally hindered by the September 11 tragic Events.... :  Cyprus' President (then  Clerides) had just arrived elsewhere in Northern America, where he was suddenly Blocked by Orders to Stop all AirFlights, and obliged, later-on, to return back in Europe after even UNO's Headquarters were exceptionally closed down for more than a week. It's in the unprecedented context of so exceptional events as 9/11's Barbary that Turkey succeeded then to "Hide" its blatant Contempt vis a vis UNO on Cyprus on 2001 (See Supra).

When, later-on, Turkey obtained, in completely differend circumstances, an exceptional EU call to "end the (so-called) Isolation" of Turkish Cypriots living in the areas Occupied by Anikra's Armly, despite Turkish Lobby's erroneous attempts to  link that 2004 event with their "Direct Trade" older controversial claim (See Supra), as a MEP asked even now, on 2010 (!), in fact, this was already done with the 2005 EU Decision (in Agreement with Cyprus' Government) to earmark EU Funds for the Turkish Cypriots living the Occupied Territories, which should aim to advance the "Economic Integration" of Cyprus' as  reUnified Country, (and not stir Sepratism), as the EU Regulation clearly stresses, endorsing statement that EU Chairman in office, Dutch Foreign Minister, had then given to "EuroFora'"s co-Founder when this Measure was prepared.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       


Moreover, in addition to the already existing possibility for Turkish Cypriots to use the Seaports of the Free Areas of the Republic for their Foreign Trade, as well as the "Green Line" Regulation for inter-Communal Trade, Cyprus has repeatedly proposed also  to legally open Famagusta's Seaport for both Turkish and Greek Cypriots' Foreign Trade, in exchange of Refugees' return to their Homes and Properties located in the Deserted area of the fenced "Ghost" Town, according to UNO's relevant Resolutions, other MEPs reminded EU Parliament's Legal affairs Committee before Monday evening's Vote (See supra).

But the most important Political reason for EU Parliament's decision to reject the controversial Draft that a controversial previous EU Commissioner had tabled (See supra), seems to be the fact that any eventual "Direct Trade" with Foreign Countries by an illegal entity of a Breakaway regime explicitly condemned by UNO's SC Resolutions, in Territories Occupied by a Foreign Army and deserted by their Lawful and ancestral Inhabitants, obliged to be transformed into Refugees/Displaced persons and still hindered by Turkey to return to their Family Homes and properties, in a  persisting Massive Violation to ECHR's case-law, would obviously risk to put in serious Danger the efforts to reUnify Cyprus : By provoking Separatist Interests, such a highly controversial measure would, in fact, threaten to  provoke an "immediate Collapse of (interCommunal) Peace Talks in 10 minutes !", as the current Head of Cyprus' Delegation to EU Parliament, MEP Takis Hadjigeorgiou, from the Governing AKEL Party, characteristically warned.during Monday evenings' debates...

Indeed, already the Historic American Constitutionalist, Alexander Hamilton, in his famous "Federalist Papers", had clearly warned that, in order to prevent Tensions, Conflicts and repetitions of bloody Civil Wars in the USA and/or elsewhere, it's necessary to avoid measures risking to provoke Diverging Interests and/or to be abused and manipulated by Foreign Countries in order to stir Differends, such as, f.ex. Separate Foreign Trade policies between Federated States : Instead, in order to create a Coherent and Solid Federation, its entities must have a Unified Foreign Trade Policy, among a long series of similar Measures needed in order to create Converging Interests able to ciment an Harmonious, Peaceful and Stable, integrated Federation in the Future. Obviously, all this goes even more, a fortiori, in the case of a Country still semi-Occupied by a Foreign Army, as Cyprus' northern territories which are still illegally controlled by Ankara's Army... Here, a special attention naturally needs to be placed into searching to find key domains of activity where Greek and Turkish Cypriots could have vital Joint Interests to work together.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Ban Ki Moon : Strasbourg symbol ?


Speaking later on Tuesday about Strasbourg city itself, Ban Ki Moon, who was visiting "for the 1st time" the area together with his Wife (present even at EU Parliament's Press Conference, right in front of "EuroFora"), didn't only observe that "UNESCO designated the entire City Centre a World Heritage Site", and expressed the "hope" to "taste some of the famous Traditional Food of the region" "Alsace", on which he "had a preview .. just recently at New York", when "Mrs Ban and I were very privileged", by meeting "a Chef from Alsace" (Gerichten), who "cooked for us in our kitchen when I invited President Sarkozy last year" (2009), as he reminded.


Going well beyond that, UNO's SG started by pointing at the Republic's Square famous Statute picturing a special Pieta : "A Mother grieving for her two fallen Sons – killed fighting on opposite sides", as he said, denouncing "a poignant reminder of the price we pay when we allow Division to undermine concord" : Something which fits, at least partly with Cyprus and other cases where an infamous "Divide and Rule" policy provokes and exploits Tragic Dramas of bloody Divisions, Apartheid and other Separatist Partitions.

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UNO itself "was born from the ashes of the Second World War, a war that destroyed Europe", he reminded. But, "Europe should be proud of what it has built since those Dark days : A society built on mutual acceptance. A community that is still reaching out and expanding", "at the Heart" of which "lies Strasbourg".


 - That's one more reason for which "Strasbourg"'s, CoE and EU Parliament's HQ, is "better" placed in order "to conduct" an "Orchestra" playing "Symphonies of sense", with "tunes of Tolerance", and "Swetter Sounds" than "the Ugly cries of Prejudice", in a "City" which "stands for Harmony, for Human Rights, Countries and Cultures working Together for a Common Goal", after having "always known strife" in a remote Past", before it "was chosen as CoE's seat, as a Symbol of reconciliation", and became "Europe's Legislative and Democratic Capital" .


Reminding also that, "more than half a Century ago Strasbourg was Home to Johannes Gutenberg", whose invention, the "printing Press helped spread Knowledge, Ideas, Values to a public far and Wide", so that "It changed History". But, also "Today Strasbourg – Home of the CoE and EU Parliament – still has a Power to Transform our World, for the Better", he optimistically (and/or with voluntarism)...

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If Strasbourg might have a  chance to efficiently contribute into convincing Turkey to really respect elementary Human Rights, as well as all or most of those parties, directly or indirectly but seriously involved on Cyprus' issue, (an Historic, Institutional and Values' Testbed of Europe's credibility, creativity, consciousness and political will, as well as of Global Community's capacity to regenerate its values), in succesfully starting to overcome the island's Tragic Divisions by developing a New Atmosphere made out of sincere rejection of Crimes or Errors of the Past,  replaced by fresh aspirations to build a much Better Future, with Converging Interests and common desire for a really Unified, stable, peaceful and properous Island, (the last point being rather easy for the Strategically located Cyprus, (in front of Suez Channel, at the Crossroads of 3 Continents), with active People, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, as well as Maronites, Armenians, Latinos, etc), then, UN SG Ban Ki Moon's symbolic litterature may become fertile in real fields opening new Horizons with larger scope.

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(UNO's SG Ban Ki Moon with CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland and Cyprus' Ambassador/Permanent Representative at the CoE, Euripides Evriviades : - "We studied together at the "Kennedy" School, in Harvard", he explained smiling to a surprised "EuroFora")...

 ***

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Hu Jia's prize brings SAKHAROV's wife to "EuroFora" on murders of Journalists Politkofskaya, Gongadze and Adali :

- Elena Bonner : "All Journalists' murders must be fully investigated", without Double Standards.                                                                                    

During a special Mega-Event to celebrate 20 Years of SAKHAROV Prize for "Freedom of Thought", attributed in 2008 by EU Parliament to jailed Chinese Cyber-Dissident Hu JIA, the move was reinforced by strongly criticizing the persisting impunity in three cases of Journalists' Murders, such as POLITKOVSKAYA in Russia, GONGADZE in Ukraine, and ADALI in Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus.

Any bureaucratic doubt about whether Cyber-dissidents like Hu JIA might have, or not, a right to be protected as all Journalists must be, particularly when they take risks to search, find and publish original and critical News on issues of general interest to the society, could not resist to the emotion provoked by the message of his Wife, Zeng JINYAN spectacularly transmitted at a big screen in EU Parliament's hemicycle :

- "The most important and most interesting thing he did was to ... say the Truth :.. to write about the phenomena he observed... He never stopped Publishing.. on websites, so that the Public could learn about the reality .. and understand it.  In my view, this has been his greatest contribution", stressed the young wife of the jailed man, eager to cite also the cases of other critical journalists who faced various kinds of "harassment".

 - "Welcoming all those who have suffered for defending Human Rights", EU Parliament's President, German MEP Hans Gert POETTERING, who had invited to Strasbourg all former Sakharov prize-winners from various Countries throughout the World, said that "China needs Europe, and Europe needs China : A great nation" with which "we want to have a good relationship", "association and ..friendship". "But we are never going to stop our fight for Human Rights, and No Government can expect this from us".

    - "It's impossible  to achieve goals of Peace, if Human Rights are left out. In fact, Peace and Human Rights are intrinsequaly linked", added POETTERING.

    It's in this spirit that MEPs adopted, on Thursday, a Resolution denouncing that "the criminal
investigation and trial following the murder of (a) Journalist ...raises serious concerns with regard to transparency and respect for the rule of law", when a "brutal killing has not yet been fully investigated and solved in a satisfactory way".

    The text refered to dissident Journalist "Anna POLITOVSKAYA", a critic of Tchechen conflict, killed some years ago in Moscow, where Russian Authorities have found, arrested and are currently judging two executants, while also searching to arrest also a 3rd one, allegedly escaped in Belgium. But they have not yet found the instigators.

     Similar texts were adopted recently also on dissident Ukranian Journalist Georgiy GONGADZE's murder, for which Ukranian Authorities have at least found, arrested and condemned 2 executants to 12 and 13 Years of jail, but not yet the instigators. For that purpose, they recently accepted an International Experts team to participate to the investigations.     

But, it's only for the Murder of dissident Turkish Cypriot Journalist ADALI, in the occupied territories of Cyprus, that Turkey has NOT yet found ANYONE responsible, and even claimed recently inside CoE that it would be "impossible" to do so !    

These astonishing differences exist despite the fact that ECHR condemned alike Ukraine and Turkey with 2 Judgements on the same year : 2005, for the murders of  Journalists GONGADZE and ADALI, strong critics of Corruption in Ukraine, and of Ankara's policies on mass-influx of Turkish Settlers in the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, respectively.    

Regarless of that, CoE's Committee of Ministers, who is entrusted with the duty to supervise execution of ECHR's judgements, has just asked Ukraine's Government to reply to further questions on Gongadze's murder before March 2009, while Turkey, curiously, got a longer postponement for answering questions on Adali's murder, until June...   

A comparison of these cases, raises serious questions about Double Standards :

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

On TRANSPARENCY :
--------------------------
    On Gongadze's murder, CoE's body speaks even about the participation of
"an INTERNATIONAL group of Experts" in the Investigation, (f.ex. of "Tape Recordings"), accepted by Ukraine.
    On the contrary, on Adali's murder, CoE is obliged to repeatedly ask (for a 2nd
time) Turkey whether, at least, it informed the victims' Family, or not...
------------------------------
- On EFFICIENCY :
-----------------------
On Gongadze's murder, CoE formally "recalls that the Committee (of Ministers) ..URGED the Ukranian authorities.. to TAKE ALL NECESSARY INVESTIGATIVE STEPS TO ACHIEVE CONCRETE and VISIBLE RESULTS in the INVESTIGATION, aimed at the Identification of the INSTIGATORS and Organisers of the Murder", and "STRONGLY INVITED the Ukranian Authorities to provide information on the PROGRESS IN THE INVESTIGATION", before MARCH 2009.

But, on Adali's murder, on the contrary, CoE's body merely .. "took note" of the "arguments presented by" Cyprus, which denounce the absence of any proof of new "investigation" by Turkey. Following Turkey's own suggestion (!), it simply "noted" that there is "no limitation period" for "any new element" to "lead potentialy (sic !) to a Re-Opening of the Investigation". Without saying who might find any such "new" fact, since Turkey stoped searching... It also POSTPONED the issue until .. JUNE  !
-----------------------
 - On the PUNISHMENT OF THOSE RESPONSIBLE :
----------------------
 -  On Gongadze's murder case, Ukranian Authorities already arrested and condemned, at least 2 suspects, to 12 and 13 Years of jail. And on Politkovskaya's murder at least 2 suspects are judged, and a 3rd one "wanted".

On the contrary, on Adali's murder case, the Turkish authorities simply claim that "it had not been possible to obtain new .. information .. on the basis of which criminal charges could be brought against ANY person" !...

Moreover,  a LETTER sent by Turkey ...2 Years after CoE's 2006 call to re-investigate anew Adali's murder case, is totally EMPTY of Facts ! As Cypus' Delegation denounced earlier, Turkey's Letter ONLY CLAIMS that a "New Investigation" was made without any result, but does NOT even cite ANY FACT to prove it :

F.ex.,on the crucial issue of the "MOTIVATIONS" behind Adali's murder, noted by ECHR, Turkey MERELY CLAIMS that "all allegations  were investigated; without result", but OMITS ANY FACT TO PROVE IT !..(It doesn't even remind which were these "allegations").. .

+ On ECHR's astonishment that the Turkish Occupation regime didn't produce any "BALLISTIC REPORT" on the Shots which murdered Adali, Turkey again repeats, 12 years later, that, still, even until now, "it  was not possible to obtain the BalisticReport"...

- As for the astonishing absence of key-WITNESSES' Testimonies, denounced by ECHR, Turkey agains repeats various pretexts avoiding to reveal anything, (Fex. that a person "left" the Occupied Territories  "on 2002", or that another witness was heard, but without revealing nothing of what he said, etc).

Turkey obviously "FAILS TO MEET THE CRITICISM made BY THE COURT" for lack of any efficient Investigation in Adali's case, concluded Cyprus' Government.
---------------------------------------------
Replying to our Question which COMPARED these 3 outstanding cases of "JOURNALISTS MURDERS", Adali, Gongadze and Politkovskaya, in order to avoid "Double Standards" by asking from Ukraine and Russia more than what is asked EU candidate Turkey, many European personalities were critical /

They criticised Ankara's recent claim at the CoE to stop investigating, because it would be "impossible to find anyone" responsible for the 5 bullet shots which killed Kutlu ADALI in front of his Family Home, contrary to the other two Journalists' murders, where Ukraine and Russia at least arrested the executants, searching now for the instigators :
----------------------------------

imag0103_400

    - "Where was that ? In Turkish Occupied Cyprus ? WITHOUT ANY DOUBT : Any murder of Journalist should be investigated in full ! All these Murders must be investigated !", replied the famous SAKHAROV's wife, Elena BONNER to our question on Adali's case, compared to Gongadze and Politofskaya.

    Elena Bonner spoke us EXCLUSIVELY shortly after being honored by the President
of EU Parliament on the occasion of 20 Years of her husband's SAKHAROV Prize.

    A strong personality, Sakharov's wife even had to struggle against an anonymous EU staffer who, astonishingly, tried to stop her speaking when h heard our question on "Turkey" (!) : - "Please, let me translate, she continues
speaking, don't stop us !", had to cry Sakharov's daughter, (a Journalist
herself), who was translating her mothers' reply, (obliged to speak louder to
make her voice heard despite the harassment).. (= + Audio Proof !)

    Earlier, Elena Bonner also fustigated "Double Standards" at another case, on
Western countries' attitude vis a vis Kosovo and the Kurds : -F.ex. "You have
recognized a few 400.000 Kosovars as an "independent" country, but you still
deny that to 30 millions of Kurds in Turkey !", she denounced.
-----------------------------
    - "This (ADALI's murder) is an issue which should be pursued by the Committee
for Human Rights. That's why we have one, and it's its duty to examine cases of
Journalists' murders as the one you referred to. You should bring the case in
front of that Committee", suggested in reply to our question on Adali, EU
Parliament's President, German MEP Hans Gert POETTERING.

    - "It's impossible  to achieve goals of PEACE, if HUMAN RIGHTS are left out :
in fact, Peace and Human Rights are intrinsequaly linked", added POETTERING.
--------------------------------------
    + "For us (European/International Federation of Journalists) it's clear :
Whenever a Journalist is Murdered, the Investigation should continue until
those Responsible are found !", replied earlier to another question on ADALI
EFJ/IFJ's Secretary General, Aidan WHITE.

    Speaking as a matter of General Principle, White asked us for "concrete data"
on the execution of ECHR's judgement on Adali case, in order to "look at it in
depth" and "make a formal statement", in comparison with the other Murdered
Journalist case, also pending at CoE's  Ministers for completing its execution,
on Ukranian Gongadze.
----------------------------------------------------
     From EU Rapporteur on Human Rights, vice-President of EU Parliament Liberties' Committee, MEP Giusto CATANIA, we were told that, since there is an ECHR judgement in both Adali and Gongadge's cases, "Turkey must naturally execute the judgement and make a full and efficient investigation, until those responsible for the Journalist's murder are found and punished".

    Even if "we (Catania's "EuroLeft" Group) support Turkey's EU perspectives, this does not mean that Ankara should not behave properly. On the contrary, it means that they have to meet tough conditions, particularly on Human Rights", was added on the occasion of Adali's murder case.

    Moreover, "since you raise the issue of Mr. Adali's muder as a part of a Series of Journalist's murders, including fex. Gongadze, Politkovskaya, ao., tthen we (EU) could also act together with CoE's Commissioner on Human Rights, Thomas HAMMARBERG, it was suggested.

    - "We (EU) must step up efforts against the problem of IMPUNITY : Real Peace cannot exist without Justice",  stressed also this week at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, French Minister on Human Rights, Mrs Rama YADE.
------------------------
                     

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