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Accueil 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

Ecrit par ACM
mercredi, 17 mai 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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    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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