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Home arrow newsitems arrow UN Cyprus Talks' Setback: TextBook case against Abandoning Human Rights to Political bargaining.

UN Cyprus Talks' Setback: TextBook case against Abandoning Human Rights to Political bargaining.

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 22 November 2016

pilgrim_mountains_sunset__eurofora_400_03


*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/-
A sudden and strange Break-Down of UN sponsored Top Level InterCommunal Talks on the complex but Important, long overdue issue of Cyprus' ReUnification, still Pending since the 1974 Military Invasion and Occupation of a great part of the Strategically located Island, has not yet been clearly Explained, at least not at this Early moment.


Since Both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots had said that these Talks of  almost 10 Days at the superb Top of "Pilgrim Mountain"'s Swiss ressort had Earlier helped to make some Serious Progress,  (Despite several Remaining Disagreements to Bridge), in a quite Good overall Ambiance, as it was also attested by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon's Envoy for Cyprus, Espen B. Eide from Norway.

But, suddenly, an Official UN Anouncement reveals that, "Despite their best efforts, they have Not been able to achieve the Necessary further Convergences on criteria for Territorial adjustment, that would have paved the way for the Last Phase of talks". *
What does it Mean :  "Convergences on Criteria for Territorial Adjustment", and "Necessary ...for the Last Phase" ?


In Fact, the 1st Point concerned, Mainly (but not only) the Human Rights of about 200.000 Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons, (more than 23% of the Total Population of that small Country - almost as big as Luxembourg- at the moment of the Turkish Invasion of 1974), who had been notoriously Obliged to Flee the Foreign Military Invasion and Occupation of the Northern Part of the Country by Ankara's Troops since 1974, and are still Hindered to Return Back to their Familiy Homes, Private Properties and Ancestral Land, until Today (2016), Despite a series of ECHR Judgements clearly Condeming Turkey for such "Continuing" Violations, after relevant Both Individual and/or Inter-State Applications lodged by the Victims, already as early as since 1996 and 2001, etc., but also, more Recently, a landmark ECHR's Great Chamber's Decision,  of May 2014, (etc).


Indeed, as it had been already known, the Greek Cypriot Community had Agreed to Discuss "Territorial" issues on the Basis of "Criteria", which included, not only the Extension of Each Future Federated State's Land, as well as of its Coastline, (where f.ex. the Territories Occupied by Ankara's Military extend, since the 1974 Invasion up to More than 38% of Cyprus' Total Land, for Only 18% of its original Total Population, which, in Addition, has got since then, about 55% of the Island's Coastline), but Also the Number of Refugees/Displaced persons that would become able to Return Back Home, and their Family Homes/Private Properties, that they would recuperate, etc.  


This was the Only Way to try to Safeguard Refugees/Displaced Persons' Human Rights, who will play an Important Role also in the Popular Referendum for the Endorsement, or not, of any eventualy  Agreed Draft Plan for the Solution of Cyprus' Issue. At any case, it's also obvious that even the very Notion of "Territory" and its Equal Value, canNot Ignore the Fact that a given Piece of Land might, perhaps, be Only an Empty Wasteland, Lost somewhere at an insignificant point, or, on the Contrary, a well Populated and Fertile Area, located at a Strategic crossroads, etc.


=> That's why it had been clearly Agreed, between the two parties and the UN, that the Main Focus of the Talks on the "Pilgrim Mountain" would precisely be to Obrtain a Basic Agreement on the "Criteria" for Territory share, included at a Map, as a "Necessary" Condition, which would Open the Way to Advance, shortly Afterwards, to the Next, and probably Final Stage, of a Multilateral International Summit, due to Focus, on the Contrary, to the Differend, Security and Guarantees Issues.


But, at this, Crucial Point, various Converging, factual Indications started to emerge, which clearly showed that, somewhere at the Turkish Side, most Probably, there was a lot of Reluctance to Complete a Full Deal on Territory through InterCommunal Talks, before Starting to Deal with Security/Guarantees at a Final Multilateral International Summit, with the participation of the Turkish Government, Greece and the UK, (as well as, probably the EU, and UNO Security Council's Permanent Members, etc).


F.ex., among others, Turkey's President Erdogan reportedly made some Ambiguous Statements including an apparent suggestion for Ankara to alleviate, if not even entirely Skip, its Controversial Insistance for the Turkish Military to always have a "Right" to Unilateraly Invade Cyprus, also at Any Other Time in the Future, on Pretext of any (eventually Provoked) so called "Security" Risk, imaginable for Turkish Cypriots, on the Condition that Greek Cypriots make certain Important Concessions on Territorial Issues. Almost at the Same Time, some Felt that, amidst Turkish Cypriots, somewhere Started to Emerge a more or less obvious Reluctance to really Conclude a Deal on Territory Before any susbequent Summit, so that they appeared, at some point, to either drag their feet, stop exchanging constructive ideas for possible compromise, and/or even somehow Back-pedal from certain Earlier positions, which had initialy appeared as quite promissing, (etc).


Astonishingly, while the Greek Cypriot side had notoriously Limited its own Demands to the Return, under G/C Administration, of Only about Less than the Half of G/C Refugees/Displaced Persons to their Family Homes, Properties and Ancestral Land, (i.e. around 90.000 out of a Total of some 200.000), and, later-on, would even have accepted to discuss also a much Lower Number, (80.000 ), on the Contrary, some, reportedly pushed through the Turkish Cypriot side to Request to Drop deeply Down, even Lower and Lower, for Tens or even -20.000 to -30.000 Refugees Less than that... One of the Consequences may be also to Exclude any notable City (f.ex. Morphou) from being Restituted to its Original; predominantly Greek Cypriot, Lawful Inhabuitants)...


To the point that one Turkish Cypriot participant would have even Betrayed a quite Horrible Intent, eventualy Hidden behind 42 Years of Time-Consuming Obstructions against Human Rights' respect, by daring Claim that, in fact, the Greek Cypriots would Not Realize that, Meanwhile, ...Many Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons would have ... "Died" (sic !!!), vainly Waiting for Justice to be done...


(Comp. Experienced, former ECHR President, Luzius Wildhaber's sincere "Excuses", transmitted via "Eurofora"s co-Founder, then Published at "TCWeekly", for the 1st Tragic Case of a Woman Refugee from Cyprus who had really Died, by Old Age, while Waiting for Strasbourg's EuroJudges, and the CoE in general, to, at last, do Justice to her Family's complaint to the Court against Turkey's Refusal to let her Return back to her Home and ancestral Land, in the Occupied Territiories of Cyprus controlled by Ankara's Military).

+ In Addition, suddenly at this Same Crucial Point, attempts to Hastily Push towards an Immediate Multilateral Final Summit, even withOut having yet Settled any comprehensive Agreement on Territory, (i.e. Contrary to the previously Agreed overall Method of proceeding : Comp. Supra), became more and more Obvious and Frequent than ever before...


=> In Other Words, to put it in a  Nutshell, Turkey appeared (either to Speculate on a possible Failure of such a Hasty and Unprepared Summit, or) to Push for an Exchange between Security and Territorial Issues, i.e., in Fact, between Foreign Military Intervention and Refugees' Human Rights, (Comp. Supra) !...


>>> To put it Harshly but Clearly, such a Slipery Slope could even lead in a situation where the Greek Cypriot People might be, in Fact, asked by Turkey to Either Abandon all or most Refugees/Displaced Persons' Human Rights, or Submit to even More Risks of Foreign Military Invasions and Occupations by Ankara's Army !...


I.e., in substance, a sort of "Blackmail" situation, Ordering to "Choose" EITHER Human Rights OR Peace, Between Freedom OR Life !...


Precisely that kind of "Schyla or Charibdi" Tragic Dillema, that Greek Cypriots, in Agreemeent with the UNO, (and, at least Initialy, and officially, also with the Turkish Cypriot side), had desperatedly Tried to Prevent, by Clearly Distinguishing, in real Practice, betweein the Different Issues of "Territory" and those concerning "Security" and/or "Guarantees", etc, (Comp. Supra).


Otherwise, he above mentioned Tragic Dillemas could become, more of less Inevitable, and even  Dangerously Vicious...


An obviously Unacceptable Threat against Freedom and Peace, which, at any case, looks Absolutely Contrary to ECHR's well established Case-Law, (initialy Forged, precisely, though such Greek Cypriot Refugees/IDP cases :  Comp. Supra), which was, later-on, notoriously Endorsed also by the UNO's Human Rights Council at Nearby Geneva, from 1997-2005, 2007, etc, and even Officialy Systematized, compiled, Declared and Disseminated accross the whole World, at a landmark, Historic Set of "Principles", (the World Famous "Pinheiro Principles" : Comp. Professor Pinheiro's 1997 Drafted initial Report, which became  an International Reference UNO Booklet, later-on, and his own Statements to "Eurofora"s co-Founder, then Published at "TCWeekly"), issued by UNO's High Commissioners for Refugees, for Human Rights, and UN's Secretary General, in the recent Past,


=> calling for Real Refugees/Displaced People to have an elementary Right to voluntarily Return Back to their Family Homes, with their Belongings, at their Ancestral Land, in basic Conditions of Human Dignity, Freedom and Safety.


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


All this, and the Current sudden Standstill in the InterCommunal UN sponsored Talks for a Peaceful ReUnification of Cyprus, (despite some recently achieved Advances, at least in certain points), in Fact, clearly shows that, in Substance :


- Human Rights must Never be Abandoned to mere Political Bargaining !


>>> Political Deals may, eventualy, Facilitate the Implementation of ECHR Judgements, and/or Alleviate the various repercussions that this might, perhaps, have for some.


    But they should Never Replace an Objective, Competent, Impartial and Independent body's mission to simply Impose at least an elementary Respect of certain Basic Legal Principles concerning Serious, Massive and Persisting Violations of Human Rights !


=> Thus, among others, a Controversial Decision of the Past, pushed by some inside CoE's Committee of Ministers, (even Contrary to a Crystal-Clear Appeal by ECHR's Great Chamber, just a few years ago : since 2014, to practicaly Act, as a matter of Urgency, in order to put, at last, a Stop to Turkey's persisting illegal Confiscation and even Exploitation of Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced Persons' Homes and Properties), rather to ... "Postpone" any real Pressure on Ankara, on the Pretext that a Solution might be found through those "Inter-Communal" Talks, (in fact between what remains from a Free Cyprus' Republic, and an Area meanwhile Filled up with illegal Settlers from Turkey's Anatolia, and still Controlled by Abnkara's Foreign Invasion Military), has Now obviously Proved to be Dangerously Unsubstantiated.


Apparantly, the Time has come for EU and CoE's PanEuropean Organisation of Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, to Either Actively and Efficiently UpHold, at last, its own, Officialy Proclaimed Principles, in Real Practice,


or Openly Acknowledge that, in fact, it has Droped them Down, like a Fake "Castle" made only out of Cards or Sand, (instead of Rock-Solid Principles)...


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


Personaly, we Hardly Resisted, (with Luggage Ready to Move at any moment, among Many Rapidly Evolving Political Developments, from the USA to France, Berlin, etc., up at this Last Minute !), to a Strong Temptation to Get Back, (almost 20 Years After : 1997 - 2016...) to that Symbolic Location, at the Other Side of Geneva Lake, near Montreux's UNO-sponsored Top Level Talks on Cyprus, between f. President Glafkos Clerides and T/C Leader Rauf Denktash, hosted by f. UN SG Boutros-Ghali, now on the "Pilgrim Mountain"'s, present Cyprus' Talks, between new President Nicos Anastassiades and T/C Leader Mustafa Akintzi, hosted by UN SG Ban Ki Moon.


But, from the most Tragic Human Rights' issue of Cyprus' "MISSING" People, set aside then, officialy far from crude Political Deals, (while, at the Same Time a Hope for an Emerging Strong Role of the EU had Started to Rise : Comp. EU Council's Representative at Montreux/Glyon Statements that he gave us then, on 1997, Published at "MPAgency"), and the Wide-spread and Multi-facet "Refugees/Displaced persons" Drama, still remaining, now, on 2016, even "Hotter" than ever, at least from the point of view of Principles, (applicable, mutatis-mutandis, unfortunately, also in too Many Other Areas of Europe and the World nowadays), what really Remains Today ?


>>> Perhaps only the Firm Belief, based on even More Solid Proof now, that serious Human Rights issues must Never be Totalu Abandoned to mere Political Bargaining !

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


20 Years After, as (by another Timely Coincidence), already the 1997 World Famous "PILGRIM" Song by Eric Clapton, had Warned :

 

pilgrim__eric_clapton_400

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOTFxF6dpR0


- "Where to Draw the Line, between Truth and ...Pain ?" in such Dramatic and massive Human Rights issues, which seriously Affect many Thousands of People's Lives ?


- "Where (could we) Get (the) Belief that Things Will be all-Right again ?", and "What Words (should we) Use to Try to Explain, to those who have Witnessed, (many in) Tears ?"

 
 - "What does it Mean to Know all these things",
"When... All these Years" "'have been Wasted" ?

- "It's like living in a Nightmare,
Like looking in the Blackest hole,
Like standing on the Edge of nothing",
.....
"Now, where have (we all -and mainly Europe) been All these Years ?
"And How come (they) just couldN't See?"
"Like a Blind man walking 'round, In Darkness"...

Whoever were "Standing in the Shadows",
"With (their) Heart right in (their) Hand",


as simple, naive "Pilgrim"(s) for (the) Love" of Human Rights, (and what Europe could and should have become),


=> Did they merely ... "Wasted all these (20) Years" ?

Or, Will, perhaps, Emerge, at last, in one way or another, at least Now, through a lot of Hard Political and other Struggles and Changes, in Europe and elsewhere in the World, a kind of "SPRING 2017" ???

+ By another more "Coincidence", meanwhile, Small (but notoriously Strategic) Cyprus will be Chairing Big PanEuropean CoE's powerful Committee of Ministers then, (Starting right from this very Morning whose Sun sould Arise from one Moment to anOther, Now in Strasbourg)...


Without illussions, could this, perhaps, Help, at least get some things positively Moving, a little bit ?



+ In Addition, Parallel, but Wider Developments in the EU Parliament, (convening this Week in Strasbourg to a Full Plenary Session, near the CoE), have just Anounced even mainstream, Big Political Groups' Intention, (just after that of Many Other, emerging MEPs' Trends from the Further Right side of the Political Spectrum, which had suprisingly Succeeded, however, to Attract even .. Leftist and/or Centrist mainstream MEPs from almost All Groups - See, f.ex. : ...), to, if not fully "Stop" (as the Latter wanted), at least "Suspend" Turkey's controversial and UnPopular EU bid, (with the natural subsequent Restrictions in EU Funds Wasted Each Year for Ankara)...


That -still Emerging- EU Move, (Exceptionaly Supported by almost All EU Parliament's Political Groups, at various degrees),  significantly comes just after a Growing Series of fresh, and more Massive than ever,  Human Rights Violations inside Turkey itself, added to Turkish Military Invasions/Occupations or Threats around almost All its Borders, inside Iraq and Syria, as in Cyprus, and now even Threatening Greece, particularly with Repeated Negative Claims against the Lausanne Peace Treaty, (withOut, However, Daring even Think at the Previous, "Sevres" Peace Treaty of 1919)...


***

 

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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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