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Home arrow newsitems arrow UN Head Guterres: eventual new Geneva Conference on Cyprus must be Effective + Not Miss opportunity

UN Head Guterres: eventual new Geneva Conference on Cyprus must be Effective + Not Miss opportunity

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 17 May 2017
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- At an EU Parliament's Press Conference here, UNO's new Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, experienced former Prime Minister of Portugal and f. UN High Commissioner on Refugees at nearby Geneva, (Comp. various Guterres' Replies to "Eurofora" co-Founder's Questions earlier, including at the CoE in Strasbourg, at EU Parliament, etc, f.ex. at: ... + published at "TCWeekly", etc), appeared open for an eventual new International Conference on Cyprus' issue at nearby Geneva, but also Warned that it should, this time, be "Effective", and "Not Miss the opportunity" that may be given for a Peaceful ReUnification of the Strategic island, (which is also an UN, OSCE, CoE and EU Member State).

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- Asked by a Visiting Collegue from Cyprus, simply if he has "any Plans for the Next Steps", in general,

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UNO's Secretary General reminded that the International Organisation is "Working closely with the Parties", i.e. mainly "the two Cypriot Communities" in the island, which hold at their "hands" "the Leadership of the Process".


- "UN has a role of Support", for them "to be able to Come together (i.e. Meet to gold Talks between them), and to come together to an Agreement, allowing for the ReUnification", which "needs to be Endorsed by the Guarantor Powers", (Greece, Turkey and the UK, since the De-Colonisation process of the 1960ies), he highlighted.


- "So, ... as soon as the Parties Believe that there is a Scope of Re-Convening the Conference", (which had recently brought together in Geneva Both Cyprus and the Guarantors, in the presence of the EU and UN SC Permanent Members' diplomats, under UN auspices, last January 2017, resulting in a Posponement sine die, particularly after Disagreements surfaced mainly on Ankara's claims to Keep its Military troops on the island, and an Unilateral Right to Intervene, also After a Solution, in the Future, something that the Greek Cypriots and others find Unacceptable and Dangerous), "we (UNO) will do it", he ensured.


- This will be in order "to try to Find a Global Solution for the Outstanding Problems", in general, Guterres clarified, after Highlighting, earlier, a Distinction between "Security and Guarantees, that ...is the central Question in which relates to the Guarantor Powers", and "the Remaining problems to - I would say - more Internal Questions" of the Cyprus' issue, (i.e., f.ex. those of Greek Cypriot Refugees, Turkish mainland Settlers, Territorial adjustments between the Future Federated States, Governance of the future Federation of Cyprus, Economy, Taxes, and Foreign Trade, Natural Resources, Courts, EU Law, etc), for which, "my Special Envoy (Norwegian diplomat Espen Barth Eide, appointed by former UN SG Ban Ki Moon, some Years ago), "has been Working closely Togeher with the two Leaders of the two Communities" in Cyprus, "to see if" these matters "can be addressed".


- Concerning Both these two differend aspects, "We (UNO) are Ready to convene a New Conference, when the Parties Believe that we Can di it, in an Effective way", Guterres underlined, as the sole condition for a renewed attempt at nearby Geneva.  


- Because, we are "Very Much Hoping, that this (New) Opportunity ... will Not be Missed", UNO's Head stressed in Conclusion, (obviously wishing to be in a position to have a Better Result in Summer or Autumn, etc, that what it occured Back on Winter-time : Comp. Supra).


+ For that purpose, and given the fact that "Greece and Turkey have ... a very important role", among the "Guarantor Powers", (Comp. Supra), "I was this Week-End both with President Erdogan and Prime Minister Tsipras, and I Appealed for a flexible and Constructive approach of the two Countries, in order to be Able to address Effectively the problem of Security and guarantees that...is the Central question in what relates" to them, (the UK included), Guterres pointed out.


 - Naturaly, "I do not say that we (UNO) will only convene (a New Geneva Conference) When we are Sure about Success, because the obligation of the United Nations is not to only act when there is a perspective of success, but to act in all situations to promote peace and to promote understanding among peoples", he conceded.


- But, despite that, Guterres repeatedly referred to the current Need to be Able "to do it in an Effective Way", i.e. to "Have a Scope" for "a Global Solution for (all) the Outstanding Problems", and a real "Hope" that such a new "Opportunity ...will Not be Missed", (Comp. Supra).

 

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    He was speaking side by side with EU Parliament's President, Antonio Tajani, who had invited UNO's Head to address this Month's, May 2017 full weekly Plenary Session in Strasbourg, earlier Today in the Hemicycle with the MEPs, where Tajani repeatedly Stressed that the EU and UNO "Cooperation" was of "Central" importance particularly "in defence of Human Rights", as a matter of General Principle, which also has a notoriously Key role in the Cyprus' issue, (f.ex. on Refugees/IDPs and "Missing" or "Enclaved" Persons, etc).

 

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    Guteress also spoke to MEPs about the "Need to Mobilise a Broader Coalition for Human Rights" Nowadays, "all over the World", with "a Comprehensive view", but withOut "Double Standards". Reminding that he had served personaly, as a former MEP, at least "during three Years", "with your neighbours in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe", at an adjacent Building in Strasbourg, he observed that, Today "We are seeing a multiplication of new conflicts ....and old conflicts seem never to die". On the contrary, "– all these conflicts are becoming more and more interlinked", and risk to become, in one way or another, directly or indirectly, a "threat to our global security, wherever we live". So that "we need to strengthen Multilateral capacity to Address Conflicts", "and this is an area where the European cooperation with the UN is absolutely Crucial", in order "to Solve many of the Conflicts around the World", where "we also see Horrible Violations of international Humanitarian law and Human Rights Law", as he strongly denounced, making an Appeal also to the "Values of the Enlightenment" (18th Century AC), which "are the most important contribution that Europe has given to World Civilisation", as he stressed in Conclusion.

 

However, concerning Cyprus, some European expectations that the Turkish Government might, eventualy, adopt a more relaxed stance After the recent, April 2017 Referendum for a New Constitution, (v. f.ex. : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coechairmanandclraepresidentoncyprusandturkey.html), allowing, eventualy, to overcome the January 2017 Geneva Deadlock around Turkey's claims for Military presence and even Future Unilateral Interventions in EU Member Cyprus, were recently dashed.

 

(../..)
 


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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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