Thursday, 4 March 2010

Scandalous British duplicity over Cyprus

The headline for this story has been created out of a combination of the following quote from Britain's Europe Minister Chris Bryant MP, speaking about the Cyprus problem during the Keith Kyle Memorial lecture organised by the Association for Cypriot, Greek and Turkish Affairs on 25th February 2010 (video embedded above)

"Its a shock, its a scandal, its a tragedy that within the European Union we have a divided capital city, that we have a divided island."

... and the story in the Guardian on 3rd March 2010, "The scandalous history of Cyprus" by Robert Ellis, who is a regular commentator on Turkish affairs in Denmark and who had during 2005-2008 been a frequent contributor to the Turkish Daily News - in which he refers to the comments by Britain's Europe Minister as part of his introduction, and then provides a brief history of the Cyprus problem before reporting on what I have called 'duplicity' in the following section ...

"Three weeks ago the European parliament passed a resolution on Turkey, calling on Turkey to immediately start withdrawing its troops from Cyprus, address the issue of Turkish settlers on the island and enable the return of the sealed-off section of Famagusta to its lawful inhabitants. The Turkish response was predictable. Prime Minister Erdogan called the resolution 'baseless and unacceptable' and his chief EU negotiator, Egemen Bagis, said Turkey shouldn't take it seriously
"However, Britain sits on the horns of a dilemma. On the one hand, it is committed to support the US's strategic objective of Turkey's EU membership. But on the other hand, it cannot ignore the continued occupation of 37% of an EU member state.
"At the EU general affairs council meeting in Brussels in December, Britain tried to dodge the issue, supporting the Swedish proposal to reduce the Cyprus question to the level of the border dispute between Croatia and Slovenia. When this failed, it issued a counter declaration a fortnight later, stating that it was in the EU's strategic interest not to let 'bilateral issues' hold up the accession process."
Read more of Robert Ellis' Guardian story here.

Given that kind of duplicity it is not surprising that UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband rarely makes any public statements about Cyprus, preferring instead to delegate that horn of Britain's Cyprus dilemma, as well as replying to any Commons questions, to his subordinate Minister for Europe.

They are no doubt both also aware of the resolutions passed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe at its October 2008 debate about Cyprus.

After the Bryant talk there was chatter among some of the Cypriots - who had trekked to Portcullis House to hear the Europe Minister telling them about the need for Cypriots to take a lesson on 'how to let go' of their entrenched positions from his Indonesian monkey story about how those monkeys are trapped when they place their arms into a gourd containing nuts, and having clutched the hand tight around the nuts, can no longer withdraw their arm from the gourd and are therefore trapped - about how Chris Bryant had said that Britain would not stand in the way if the Cypriot leaders agreed on abolition of Turkey's and Britain's guarantor status over that sovereign nation's affairs.

His audience waited with baited breath to see whether the British MP would make any reference to the European Parliament's resolution requiring Turkey to begin now (February 2010) to withdraw its troops and settlers from the island as a sign of its good faith towards the negotiations, and give up control over the city of Famagusta as required by UN resolutions, but of course he didn't. His audience almost blushed for him when he talked instead about the one and only confidence building measure which has to all intents and purposes already been agreed and is already funded - the opening of the Limnitis checkpoint!

The videos embedded above provide a glimpse into how 30 minutes can be filled with being ever-so-balanced, in not being anti-Turk or anti-Greek but being 'pro-solution'. Having the gift of the gab is, after all an important requirement in the man's job.

Chris Bryant MP could also not have read the analysis "EU, Turkey on collision course" also by Robert Ellis, because that also did not appear until days after Bryant's talk - but one is certain he will be familiar with its content and that he will also be familiar with the famous quote with which Ellis closes his article in

"At the Geneva Conference in 1974, British Foreign Secretary James Callaghan warned: 'Today the Republic of Cyprus is the prisoner of the Turkish army: Tomorrow the Turkish army will find itself the prisoner of the Republic of Cyprus.' With the benefit of hindsight, Jim was right."

As Turkey goes through a period of as near civil-war as one might expect without the outbreak of actual hostilities in the fight between Erdogan's AKP government and the Generals of the Deep State - one is hardly ever reminded by the Turkish press, or British Ministers, that the beginnings of the Ergenekon and Sledgehammer gangs can be traced to Turkish-occupied Cyprus and the military's reactions to Erdogan's being prepared to consider a Cyprus settlement during the Kofi Anan period.

We will never know whether, had the Greek Cypriots voted in favour of that very British-inspired 'International Relations Debacle: The UN Secretary-General's Mission of Good Offices in Cyprus 1999-2004' - whether if the Greek Cypriots had actually voted yes ... if the Erdogan government would have survived.

As pointed out in "Commentary - on the EUs Andrew Duff about Turkeys Ergenekon investigation" on this weblog in October 2009, the answer is clear to those British insiders who do know what is actually going on.

1 comment:


Perhaps the UK Government time would be better investigating howcoime there has been in excess of £55 million stolen from UK Persons under the noses and the assistance of the TRN Government. Perhaps they shpiuld Investigate the bank frauds and why 3 British housewives are turning to the USA to file a lawsuit against Turkey and the TRNC

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