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Home arrow newsitems arrow UN Resolution on Syria CeaseFire Violated by Turkish Invasion killing Damascus Forces+Kurds at Afrin

UN Resolution on Syria CeaseFire Violated by Turkish Invasion killing Damascus Forces+Kurds at Afrin

Written by ACM
sabato, 03 marzo 2018
uno_unanimous_resolution_on_ceasefire_in_syria_400

*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- Shortly before Important CoE's PanEuropean Political Meetings in Paris, where Syria, including the Turkish Military Invasion at its Kurdish Region of Afrin, is due to be discussed, (See: ....), UN Security Council's Unanimous recent Resolution for a Cease-Fire in that Country is Repeatedly Violated by Turkey's Military Invasion, which is more and more Violently Aggressing, Occupying, Bombing, Selling and Killing both pro-Syrian Government Forces and Kurds at the Region of Afrin, despite several Top Political Calls (including by France and the UN) to Respect International Law, (See Infra).


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- The Unanimously Adopted UN SC Resolution, of 24 February 2018, "reaffirms" a "Strong Commitment to the Sovereignity, Independence, Unity and Territorial Integrity of Syria", "recalls the Legal Obligations ... to Cease all Attacks against Civilians", and clearly "Demands that All parties Cease Hostilities, withOut Delay", "for at least 30 consecutive Days, Throughout Syria" (1st Article).


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+ UN SC Resolution also asks for "Negotiations" between the "Parties" involved in the Syrian Conflicts, and this Includes practically Anyone with the Sole Exception of ISIL, Al-Queda and other Terrorist Organisations officially Declared by the UNO as such.


I.e. something which Excludes an important Part of Eastern Ghouta's various (even Foreign) Jihadists, but, on the Contrary, should, normaly, Include Syrian Kurds of YPD/SDF, as those who Face Turkish Attacks in Afrin's area, and notoriously are the Best Allies of the USA-led International Coalition against ISIL's Deadly Islamist Terrorists cowardly Targetting Civilian People.       

                                                                                                                                             But Turkey still persists to Refuse any Peaceful Negotiation with the Syrian Kurds, who did Not Attack Turkey, but, on the Contrary, Helped to Fight against ISIS' Horrible Terrorism. And Now, Ankara also Refused, de facto, any Negotiation even with the Syrian Government on Afrin, Despite crystal-clear Condemnations, by Damascus, of the Turkish Military Invasion still going on inside Syria, blatantly Violating its Sovereignity, Territorial Integrity, and International Law.


On the Contrary, the Turkish Military has even Started to Target pro-Syrian Goverment Forces, as reveals also the latest WarPlane Bombings of a former Russian Base in Afrin, where it has just Killed about 40 Persons after more than 5 Hours of Deadly Aerial Attacks, (See Infra).


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UN SC CEASE-FIRE VIOLATIONS

BY TURKEY's SYRIA INVADING TROOPS, GO CRESCENDO...
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- Already while UNO's Top Political Body was discussing Cease Fire in Syria at New York, during February 24, the Turkish Military Invades and Occupies 2 Syrian Kurdish Villages at Afrin Region : Hecilere and Abu Kab, adding even Deadly Air Strikes which killed Syrian Pro-Government Fighters in Raju's area.


=> And, Scandalously, the only thing that Turkey did, just 1 Day AFTER that important UN SC Resolution (on 25 February) was, on the Contrary, to ... Attack, Invade and Occupy Seven (7 !) Villages in the Syria's Kurdish Region of Afrin : "Samalik, Sheykh Muhhamadli, Welikli, Dudah, Kavanda, Maydan Ikbis" and, later, even "Umranli" !....


Such an Exceptionaly Big Push for Violent Army Attacks and extended Military Invasion and Occupation of 7 More Villages in just 2 Days, as that of Turkish Military inside the Syrian Kurdish Region of Afrin; was Not Observed at Any Other Area of Syria, by Anybody Else then, as, f.ex., a relevant, Chronological MAP of the Syrian Conflict clearly revealed, (See, f.ex., relevant Screenshot of the "SyrianCivilWarMap"'s Data, taken by "Eurofora" then).


 ----------------------


>>> So that French President, Emmanuel Macron, was obliged, on February 26, to call Turkish President Tayip Erdogan by Phone, in order to "underline that UNO's Security Council decided, as a matter of Absolute Necessity, to Cease Fire", and that this "must be, Immediately and Fully, Respected, in order to put a Stop to Indiscriminate Bombing", as an Official Press Communiqué of Elysée Palace, stressed that Day.


+ Macron also "stressed", speaking to Erdogan, that "the Humanitarian Truce applied throughout All the Territory of Syria, INCLUDING AFRIN" Kurdish region, as the French Presidential Palace made it Clear.  


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


=> But the Only "Reply" is, in Fact, Later that Same Day : February 26, for Ankara's Troops to Attack and Add  +2 More Syrian Kurdish Villages of Afrin Region under Turkish Military Occupation : Anqalah and Sinnarch... While, on February 28, the Turkish Army launches an Attack against Badinli Village, which is, reportedly, "repelled" by the Syrian Kurds at the last minute.


+ Moreover, in Parallel, Turkish-Backed Islamist Armed Gangs, such as "Jabhat Tahrir Souriya (Ahrar al-Sham and Nour al-Din al-Zinki)", apparently coming from Nearby Idlib Region, (the Notorious "Snake-Pit" of Islamist Extremists and Al-Queda-like Terrorists, over-Concentrated near Turkey's Borders, since the Beginning of the Syrian Conflict, and even More After ISIL's Brutal Jihadists were Recently Defeated almost Everywhere Else throughout Syria), reportedly "Captured" the Kurdish Villages of Qah and Darat, (which had Already been Occupied, Earlier, by the Turkish Army, all along the Borderline between Idlib and Afrin Regions)...


Ankara's Military which currently Invades and Occupies the Syrian Region of Afrin, is, indeed, notoriously escorted by various Islamist Armed Gangs, (that Turkey and its Cronies call "Rebels"), while Turkish President Erdogan has, reportedly, already Declared his Intention to, in Fact, Replace the original, Ancestral Kurdish Inhabitants of such Regions, around the Syrian-Turkish Borders, by anOther, Different kind of Population, chosen by Turkey, (i.e. a kind of "War Crime", f.ex. according to the Statute of the International Criminal Court).


=> Indeed, as it was earlier Denounced by the Top-Selling, Mainstream French Newspaper "Figaro" : - At this "Bataille of Akrin", in Fact, "Erdogan is Setting up (Islamist) Jihadist Sanctuaries, accross his doorsteps" :


- "The beginning of the End for (ISIL Terrorists' Chief) El Bagdadi's Troops, ... Reveals, to the World, the Hypocritical Game of the Turkish Army:" Indeed, "Since the (ISIL's) Caliphate collapsed", Turkey has again returned Back to its Worse Policies : After having Occupied Jarabulus and Al Bab (at the adjacent Kurdish Regions of Syria, near the Turkish Borders), it's, Now, for the Kurdish area of Afrin to Suffer by a kind of (Military) Siege: The Turks attack the Syrian Kurds with the Help of Jihadists Katibas, sometimes Called "Moderate Rebels" (sic !) or "Free Syrian Army"... I.e., "as if Erdogan wanted to become a Caliphe, at the place of (other) Caliphes"...


- Because, "these Milicias reveal the profoundly Destablizing role of the Turkish Diplomacy in that Area, particularly at (Nearby) Idlib" : "Under the Disguise (Pretext) of ensuring a Borderline Free of Any Kurdish presence", in fact, "Ankara has Set up Jihadist Sanctuaries at its own Doorsteps", Top French Newspaper "Figaro" Denounced meanwhile.


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


UNO's CeaseFire seems to be Respected in All Other Areas of Syria, except from the Kurdish Region of Afrin and (at a lesser degree) Eastern Ghouta, a Part of Damascus' Capital City, (where Russians observe Regularly a Curfew during at least 5 Hours Each Day, and establish Humanitarian Corridors - Rejected and even Attacked by Islamist Jihadists).


But, while Eastern Ghouta's Jihadists (including Al Queda-like Gangs) are obviously enDangering the Capital City of Syria, near Damascus' Center, (See MAP), particularly with Shelling, as also these Last Days when at least 17 Civilian People were Hit, (in addition to Rockets against the Russian Embassy),


on the Contrary, Turkey has Failed to prove in what way Syria's most Peaceful Area, (as USA's Defence Secretary, Mattis, has Recently ReMinded) : that of the Borderline Kurdish Region of Afrin might, perhaps, endanger the Turkish Capital City, Ankara, which notoriously is located Far Away, at a big Distance of Hundreds of kms...


And, at any case, obviously, for any Country, Protecting its own Capital City, is Not at all the Same as Invading anOther, Foreign Country.


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


=> In Consequence, to French President MACRON's above-mentioned Call upon Turkish President Erdogan, on February 26, against extending even further Ankara's Military Invasion in Syria's Kurdish Region of Afrin, (Comp. Supra), is Added, soon Afterwards, on February 28, even UNO's Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey FELTMAN's (USA) Official Statements to the UN Securiy Council in New York, who Strongly Criticized the fact that even that "Brief Respite that (UNO's SC) Unanimously Demanded, only Days Ago, in Resolution 2401, has Not Materialized" everywhere in Syria, since, at least in certain areas, "The AirStrikes, shelling, and ground offensives continue" : "We (UNO) Need Implementation", But "that is Not Happening", as he Denounced.  


>>> In particular, concerning mainly the Syrian Kurdish Region of Asrin, Feltman stressed that "we (UN) canNot Forget that (UNSC's Unanimous) Resolution 2401 Demands a Cessation of hostilities Throughout (all) Syria".


=> But, Nevertheless, "Violence Continues in AFRIN", (that UNSG significantly Chose to Cite 1st), Idlib", etc, he Denounced. The First Area ("Afrin"), obviously concerns Directly Turkey's Military Attacks against Syrian Kurds and Pro-Government Syrian Forces, but Also the Second ("Idlib") involves, indirectly but surely, Turkey, since it concerns various Islamist Jihadists and outright Terrorists, who have been Concentrated and Piled up there, by Gathering the Remnants of Al-Quaida-like and/or ISIL's collapse, elsewhere in Syria, who have all been, in one way or another, notoriously tolerated and even Supported also by the Turkish Government...


- UNO's Political USG Denounced, for those Areas, (i.e. "Afrin" at First), "the Humanitarian challenges and Suffering of the People", and, even, went as far as to "Emphasize that Developments in these Areas will undoubtedly render the situation in Syria even more Complex", as he Warned.


=> Therefore, "there will be No sustainable Solution (in the Syrian Conflict) if the (UNO) Council’s Resolutions are Not Implemented", Feltman stressed, Urging "all" UN Security Council's "Member States, to Use their Influence" in order "to Ensure Implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities", and "Fulfill their Obligations to End the Fighting in Syria", as well as to make a "Serious Investment in a Political Solution". That's why, UNO's SC "Calls for a ReNewed Commitment, by ALL Concerned Member States to Seriously Work to Implement this Cessation of Hostilities", he pointed out, (as far as Also Turkey's Militarily Aggression in Afrin is concerned).


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What was Turkey's immediate reaction, at Afrin's Battlefield ?


- After the above-mentioned Turkish Army's "Attack on Badinli" Village, that Same Day of February 28, (reportedly "Repelled" by YPG Syrian Kurds),


+ "Turkish Air Strikes in Afrin", "Killed 13 Pro-(Syrian) Government Fighters" the Next Day, 1st of March, while "Heavy Clashes", with "Many Casualties on Both Sides", were also observed "in Balai Kuy" Village, "between YPG (Syrian Kurds) and the Turkish Army", which also "strongly Shelled ... with Artillery", again, the "Badinli" village, at the Same Time thay Ankara was "Sending New Military Convoys to the Afrin canton", (etc. : See also Infra)...


Such Facts were Reported by various Converging Sources, and particularly by Specialized Web-Media "SyrianCivilWarMap" (SCWM), a Team of Freelance Reporters systematically Publishing (in 3 Coordinated Internet Platforms) relevant Factual Informations, that they claim to gather directly from original sources on the spot, (and which has already been used by Mainstream Medias, including, f.ex., Germany's ARD TV, etc). Its Credibility has been, until now, proven several Times, to be quite Resilient, (as, f.ex., on the Recent "Breaking News" about Pro-Governemental Syrian Popular Forces coming to Join Syrian Kurds' Defensive Fight against the Foreign Military Invasion and Occupation by Turkey's Army, etc).


+ Thus, in Addition, from the 2nd of March 2018, the Turkish Army reportedly "re-Captured" the Villages of Adah Manli and Ali Bakki, "Captured", for the 1st Time, the Villages of Maskanli and Mamali, and "Reached" the important "Raju Town".


- And, this Saturday, 3 of March, the Turkish Military and its Cronies re-Captured Umranli Village, and reportedly Invaded and Occupied, for the 1st Time, the Syrian Kurdish Villages of Bafliyun, Jamelka, Ramadiyah and Shamanli.


- "SCWM"'s anouncement about also "Raju Town" being Occupied by the Turkish Army, was Not yet Totally Confirmed by Other Sources, until now : London-Based NGO the "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" ("SOHR") said that Turkish Military had Seized a Majority of that Key Town's Setltlements, but Not All, while Syrian Kurdish Forces-led "SFD" Alliance, (the main Ally of the USA-led International Coalition against ISIS), reportedly said that Turkish Army and its Cronies had "Infiltrated" Rajo Town, But "Clashes were (still) Continuing" between SDF and the Intruders.


+ The Worse and most Deadly Hit, was, however, that of Long and Heavy Air-Strikes by Turkish WarPlanes, during more than 5 Hours (from 05 up to 10 a.m.), against a Group of Pro-Syrian Government Forces, located at a former Russian Base in Afrin's Kafr Jina Village, which seems to have Massacrated more than 36 People, (withOut any Fight, since the Syrian Kurdish Region of Afrin is notoriously Deprived, not only of any real Tanks (Unlike ISIL's Islamist Terrorists, who had even Heavy "Abraham" Tanks), and mainly Airplanes, but also from any kind of Air Defence, resulting into a too Easy Pray  for Turkey's Military Invasion's WarPlanes.

At least as long as there is Not Yet any kind of Air Blockade, or "No - Fly Zone" protecting Afrin, Contrary to what France, the UK and USA had done in the Recent Past in Libya, (See, f.ex.: ... + ..., etc), as well as Russia, for 2 Days over Afrin, just After the Recent Downing even of a 3rd Russian Airplane and the Death of its Pilot while Crossing over Nearby Idlib Region, (notoriously Full of Armed Islamist Extremists and Terrorists, Gathered there, Near Turkey's Borders, particularly after the Failure of Al-Queda-like and ISIL's atrocious Terror regime, almost Everywhere else around Syria and Iraq, since the New US Administration of President Don Trump).


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


- Meanwhile, various alleged "War Crimes" were Reportedly and apparently Documented :  


Including, f.ex., (after an Earlier Atrocious Mutilation of a Syrian Kurdish Woman's Body, who had been Killed, and Afterwards Sullied in Public, and Video-Taped by a Band of Coawards Islamist Extremists, Cronies of the Turkish Army : See : ...+ ..., etc), Brutal Killings of Defenseless Prisoners of War (POWs), earlier Arrested and Investigated by Turkish Soldiers, as Revealed by several Videos, (Combined Together), published and debated also by "SCWM" and Others, (See: ... + ....), etc.


+Added to Deadly Humanitarian Law Breaches against Civilian People at Afrin's Syrian Kurdish Region, such as, those already Attested by "AMNESTY" International, "HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH", etc, as they've announced Recently :


- Including"Indiscriminate Shelling of Civilian People in Afrin", by the Turkish Military, (i.e. "use of Artillery in Civilian Areas", Prohibited by International Law), regarding which, AMNESTY "Verified Witness Testimony from ... Afrin, that "painted a Grim Picture", resulting from "15 People's Intervews", whose "accounts had been Corroborated by Video Analysis", revealing "Indiscriminate ShellFire", according to BBC, (published on February 28) :  


- F.ex., at Maabatli Village, a Shell hit a House Killing 5 of the 6 People inside : "The Attack Destroyed the House completely, Killing the Father, Mother and three Children younger than 15. A fourth child... is in Critical condition". But, "there are No Military headquarters next to the house… The closest frontline is 41 km Away, at the (Syrian-Turkish) Border", a Resident witnessed.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             - And, according to "Human Rights' Watch", "the Turkish Military .... Failed to ...Avoid Harming Civilians in 3 Attacks", earlier "in Afrin", which "Killed 26 Civilians, including 17 Children", (etc).


+ In General, During all this Period of Time of 1,5 Month, since the Beginning of the Turkish Military Invasion at Afrin's Syrian Kurdish Area, there is Not yet any systematic Independent Observers' Access to all those Villages which were Attacked and are now Occupied by the Turkish Army and its Jihadist Armed Gangs.


Given Turkey's notoriously Bad Record in Dealing with Kurdish People, and Ankara Government's recent Threats to practically "Replace" the genuine Population of the Occupied Afrin's Syrian Kurdish area by some Other People, Chosen and Transfered there by the Invading Turkish Army, obviously, the Worst Abuses can be Expected, (particularly in the Absence of real External, Independent OverSight)...


In such a Context, Ankara's Prime Minister Yildirim's latest Boasting that the Invading Turkish Military would be, Now, "Surrounding" Afrin's Capital City, (that they seem to have Approached at a Distance of about 20 Kms), located right in the Middle of the synonumous Syrian Kurdish District, appears naturally Alarming, (and having Obviously ByPassed, Far Too Long, the Limits set up, Earlier, inter alia, also by French President Macron and others, between a so-called "Border Security" Operation (as Ankara Claims) and a Blatantly illegal Military Invasion and Occupation of an Independent Country, in gross Violation of International Law...


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


- Naturally, Syrian Kurdish People, and their Pro-Syrian Government Allies, also Fought Back, during these Clashes, strongly Resisting to Turkey's Military Invasion, and sometimes even ReGaining Ground :


F.ex., in Addition to Earlier Events, also on February 27, YPG reportedly Succeeded to Liberate the Syrian Kurdish Village of Umranli from the Turkish Army, and on February 28, they  managed to "Repel an Attack on Badinli" Village by the Turkish Military. While on the 1st of March, it was reported that YPG "shot down a Turkish Military Helicopter, near the (Syria - Turkey) Border", that, during Ankara's Military Invasion, 8 Turkish Soldiers were Killed in "Clashes" Facing Syrian Kurds and Pro-Syrian Government Forces, (who Lost, however, also 13 among them, that Same Day, "by Turkish AirStrikes" : Comp. Supra), as well as that Afrin's Defenders "Destroyed a Turkish Tank" when it Attacked "Raju District", (etc).


And it's More than a Month and a Half now, that Turkey's Army has proven Unable yet to Reach Afrin City, even so Near to the Turkish Borders and practically Surrounded by Idlib's numerous Armed Islamist Extremist Jihadists, Deprived of Regular Army to Defend it, withOut real Tanks, Neither Airplanes or Helicopters, Not even Air-Defense, and particularly Difficult to Communicate with Bigger Syrian Kurdish Regions, much Further at the East, as well as very Far Away from the main bulk of Syrian Government's Army...


On the Contrary, Turkey's Military has reportedly Lost at least 1 Military Airplane, 2 or 3 Army Helicopters, several Tanks and various Other Vehicles, a Growing Number of Killed or Wounded Soldiers, (and Much More among its Islamist Extremist Jihadists' cronies), during this Longer than expected Invasion and Occupation of Syria's most Peaceful Kurdish Region, (as USA's Defence Secretary Mattis has already observed, right from the Start).


Foreign Observers, in Europe and elsewhere, found Now an Occasion to Remark the Fact that the Turkish Army, (Contrary to Most Other Countries in Europe and accross the World), has ..."Not Fought in Any real War", since the Foundation of the Turkish Republic, all the Way Long Between 1923 - 2018, i.e. almost during a Century ! Turkish Soldiers, indeed, have Only Bullied, from Times to Times, a Few very much Weaker and/or practically UnArmed Targets, (as, f.ex. Cyprus, etc), and/or Massively Oppressed Internal Political Dissidents, (as f.ex. the Turkish Kurds, and/or various Other Opponents in case of Military "Putsch", as Back in the 1980ies, etc), but they DidN't even Fought during the 2nd World War, nor at Any Other Real, fully-fledged Clash, Anywhere Else... And having, Now, to Face even Syrian Kurdish ... Women and Young Girls, notoriously Defending their Homeland, (as they have also just done, Earlier, quite Efficiently, even against ISIS' Brutal Islamist Terrorists, cowardsly Targetting Civilian People), could Not really make anyone feel really "Proud" at all...


To this Exceptional InExperience, was Recently Added also the UnPrecedented Incident of Massive "Cleansing" and "Witch-Hunt" even Inside the Turkish Military, which has notoriously Affected a Large Number of Top Officers and numerous Soldiers since that Strange, 6 Hours-Long, alleged "Coup" Attempt of July 2016, after which, even Experienced Top Army Leaders, as well as Thousands of Turkish Soldiers, have been Exceptionally Dismissed, Persecuted, Arrested and Jailed, (if not Brutally Lynched by Violent Mobs), often ill-treated in Inhuman/Degraded ways. So that Many Dozens of Turkish Army Officers have recently Asked for Political Asylum throughout Europe and elsewhere, (including, f.ex., a Dozen of Turkish Dissidents Refugees, together with their Families, who reportedly asked Asylum in Neigbouring Greece after arriving by Boat at Rhodes' Island, just a few Days ago, but also Earlier, around NATO's Headquarters in Mittel-Europa, f.ex. Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, etc). In Addition, the "Purges" inside the Turkish Army seem to Persist even Nowadays, as, f.ex., the Latest Dismissals and Arrests of another Group of 178 Officers and Soldiers in Turkey, have just Reminded.


Politically Worse : Ankara has, Unwillingly, provoked an UnPrecedented Alliance between Syrian Kurds and the National Syrian Government's Forces, who have Started, for the 1st Time, to Fight Together against the Turkish Military Attacks and UnProvoked Invasion inside an Independent Country, which has Loudly Denounced such a Brutal Violation of International Law.


In Addition, about a Thousand more of various Critics inside Turkey have been recently Prosecuted, Arrested and even Jailed, just for Calling for Peace and Criticizing the Military Invasion of Syria's Kurdish Region of Afrin, (including Academicians, the National Leadership of Medical Doctors,  simple Social Medias users, etc). This has Trggered several clear "Condamnations" of Ankara's Oppressive practices even there, included by EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, thanks to a Last-Minute Amendment supported and Voted by All Political Groups on February in Strasbourg, (See : ...).


Last, but not least, even Morally, the Horrible recent Spectacle of Turkey-backed Islamist Gangs, Cowardly Sully the Body of a Mutilated and Killed Syrian Kurdish Woman, (See Video, already Published at: ...), or Brutally Kill a Defenseless Prisoner earlier Arrested and Questioned by Turkish Soldiers, (as 2 Other, more Recent Videos apparently Reveal, taken Combined Together : Comp. Supra), and/or Shamelessly ... Take a Selfie on the Background of an Atrociously Burned Alive and Calcinated Corpse of a Killed Man, (as the Latest Photo surfaced on the Web, allegedly from Afrin, seems to reveal), etc., obviously will Not Fix the ambient Feeling of participating in a Dirty War...


But, probably Most of All : The very Idea that Europeans, including Russians, Americans and Other influential People accross the World, who could and should have ReActed Efficiently Earlier to Turkey's Deadly Military Invasion and Occupation of Syria's Kurdish Areas, with clearly UnProvoked but Destructive Turkish Army Attacks, against, precisely, those Brave Syrian Kurdish People who notoriously Dared and Succeeded to Help Efficiently Face the Worse Islamist Terrorist of ISIL's Coward Killers Targetting innocent Civilian People even throughout all Europe, the USA, and various Other Countries accross the World, might, perhaps, Totally Abandon them withOut any Real and Timely Help for Peace, obviously Risks to Hurt Europe, America and Every Honest Country much Worse, Deep inside its own Conscience, Values, History and Identity, than Anything Else...

 

(../..)


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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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