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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06ATHENS1891
2006-07-20 12:31:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Athens
Cable title:  

GREEK DEP FM TELLS BRYZA: ON CYPRUS, NO

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  GR  CY  TU 
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VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTH #1891/01 2011231
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 201231Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY ATHENS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY 0000
INFO RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 4215
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA PRIORITY 2586
						C O N F I D E N T I A L ATHENS 001891 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FOR EUR/SE, EUR/ERA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/18/2018
TAGS: PGOV PREL GR CY TU
SUBJECT: GREEK DEP FM TELLS BRYZA: ON CYPRUS, NO
FAMAGUSTA WITHOUT VAROSHA

REF: ATHENS 01852

Classified By: Ambassador Charles P. Ries for Reasons
1.4 (b) and (d).

C O N F I D E N T I A L ATHENS 001891

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FOR EUR/SE, EUR/ERA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/18/2018
TAGS: PGOV PREL GR CY TU
SUBJECT: GREEK DEP FM TELLS BRYZA: ON CYPRUS, NO
FAMAGUSTA WITHOUT VAROSHA

REF: ATHENS 01852

Classified By: Ambassador Charles P. Ries for Reasons
1.4 (b) and (d).


1. (C) Summary: Ambassador Ries and EUR DAS Bryza met with
Deputy FM Valynakis on July 14 to discuss Cyprus. While all
praised progress on Cyprus settlement issues, discussion on
compromise proposals to avert a Turkey EU train wreck this
fall were less promising. Valynakis was steadfast in the
position that there would be no Famagusta opening without a
Varosha return. He claimed that Turkey must open its ports
per acquis criteria. Should Turkey require political cover
to comply with the acquis, Valynakis cited the 2004
Luxembourg proposal advanced by Papadopoulos as a balanced
compromise. Later that evening in a dinner at his home,
Valynakis expressed willingness to explore a broad deal
involving opening of Famagusta port under EU administration,
the return of Varosha properties, the opening of Ercan
airport, and a moratorium on the sale of properties owned by
Greek Cypriots in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots.
Valynakis also explained the GoG's intent to eliminate
"sides" from future Cyprus texts because it "implies
equality," and because the Cypriots are more confident as EU
members. He said there could be no quid-pro-quo linking
Halki and Thrace issues, but took on board Bryza's readout of
his conversation with the Ecumenical Patriarch in Istanbul
regarding simultaneous - but not explicitly linked - progress
on both issues. Valynakis also provided a readout on a July
14 Iranian FM Motaki-PM Karamanlis meeting (reftel). End
Summary.

--------------
Cyprus settlement
--------------

2. (C) EUR DAS Bryza and Ambassador Ries met with GoG Deputy
FM Yiannis Valynakis on July 14 to discuss Cyprus in advance
of Bryza's trip to Nicosia. At the outset of the meeting,
all praised Gambari's recent breakthrough ("unexpected," said
Valynakis). Valynakis highlighted increased Green Line
crossings and greater numbers of T/Cs receiving Cypriot

social security benefits as examples of confidence building
measures that signal positive trends. Bryza said he hoped to
build upon Gambari's positive momentum in his upcoming
"pulse-taking" trip to Cyprus. An optimal next step scenario
would involve concerned parties leveraging the Gambari
agreement to re-stimulate the settlement process, and build a
foundation of cooperation, trust, and understanding.
Valynakis said he was "optimistic but realistic." Both hoped
an exchange of lists of "substantive issues" would soon occur.

--------------
Turkey-EU accession
--------------

3. (C) Valynakis was initially less accommodating concerning
Turkey. He delivered a strong message that the Greek
Cypriots would not countenance an opening of Famagusta Port
without (the fenced portion of) Varosha. Both Bryza and
Valynakis agreed they were ultimately on the same page: the
U.S. and Greece both envision a Turkey integrated into the EU
as in our strategic long-term interest; both officials
reiterated that Turkey is obligated to implement the Ankara
Protocol without exception, as per acquis criteria agreed
upon in October 2005; and both also acknowledged that Turkey
would not find it politically feasible to comply without
sufficient political cover.

--------------
Famagusta/Varosha
--------------

4. (C) Valynakis derived his steadfast position on
Famagusta/Varosha from the argument that Turkey is obligated
to comply with the Ankara Protocol in order to meet EU
accession criteria. From a practical standpoint, he
recognized that Turkey will require some degree of political
cover to comply. Valynakis argued that a Famagusta
compromise proposal that excludes the fenced portion of
Varosha is unbalanced and unfair to the Greek Cypriots. He
repeatedly emphasized that the acquis is non-negotiable, the
Turks must be held accountable to their October 2005
Negotiating Framework commitments, and the GoG will not
permit Turkey to extract concessions through the
"bilateralization" of issues. The GoG continues to support
Turkey's full membership to the EU, Valynakis said, but this
support is contingent upon the Turks altering their behavior
to comply with EU norms and adopting reforms to conform to
the EU. Valynakis urged us not to send the message that each
time there is a negotiation, the Turks can "walk away with
another concession." The worst scenario, in Valynakis'
opinion, would be if the EU were to lower its standards to

the extent that Turkey could enter the EU on its own terms.

--------------
Bryza calls for compromise
--------------

5. (C) Bryza responded to Valynakis by saying that everyone
must give way to put together a deal on ports but that the
United States did not advocate loosening EU accession
criteria for Turkey. The United States supported Turkey's EU
accession as a way to stimulate deeper modernizing reform;
relaxing EU accession criteria would undermine this goal.
Bryza highlighted that the Turks feel waning support for EU
accession. Under increased domestic political duress, they
are unlikely to extend the Ankara Protocol to Cyprus. The
Famagusta/Varosha package advanced by Papadopoulos in 2004
was rejected. A new package must emerge, with the involved
parties willing to hone and adjust the details so that it can
be palatable to everyone. Bryza's suggestion of opening
Ercan was immediately rejected. Bryza also wondered whether
the G/C would entertain individual Varosha property returns,
versus a complete land parcel transfer, to which Valynakis
did not have a reply.


6. (C) At a dinner at Valynakis' home later that evening, the
Deputy FM was in more of a bargaining mood. He conceded the
need to find a way forward on the ports issue. Valynakis and
Bryza agreed to explore a package that might include:
--Opening Famagusta port to international trade under EU
administration, and with EU certificates of origin for goods
produced in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots;
--Returning all (or some) of the properties in the fenced
area of Varosha to the Greek Cypriot owners, with the
question of sovereignty of the neighborhood to be determined
later;
--Reopening Ercan Airport to direct flights; and
--Placing a moratorium on sales and development of properties
owned by Greek Cypriots in the area administered by Turkish
Cypriots.


7. (C) Ambassador Ries explained that EU accession
negotiations are not negotiations in the normal sense in that
the acquis is fixed, yet in every previous enlargement, the
negotiations had concerned timing and transition periods.
For example, the October 2005 Negotiating Framework did not
commit GoT to a timetable for port opening, only an annual
progress review. Although the fall 2006 review could
adversely impact Turkey's negotiations and chapter
openings/closings, suspension is not a foregone conclusion.
Past examples where EU candidate countries negotiated
"special deals" include, Poland (agriculture exception),
Hungary (agreed to an early pharmaceutical patent provision
after negotiating concessions for itself), and Sweden (where
transitional periods were arranged for the alcohol monopoly).
Ambassador Ries suggested that Turkey's desire to negotiate
additional time for acquis compliance is substantively no
different. As the Turks' perceive their EU accession
prospects to be receding, the EU must make it worth Turkey's
while to remain engaged. Valynakis responded with the
reflexive comment that you "can't compare Turkey to Hungary
or Estonia," and that Turkey cannot be permitted to conduct
EU negotiations as if "horse trading."

--------------
"Sides" versus "communities"
--------------

8. (C) DAS Bryza asked for an explanation concerning the
recent UNSC discussion of the Gambari pre-visit statement
whereby the Greek delegation refused to accept any text that
used the term "sides." Valynakis said the GoG position was
merely that "sides" incorrectly implies equality between the
communities. Bryza responded that "sides" and "parties" had
been used in UN statements for years, so to return to
hardline positions appears to imply an attempt to push Greece
and Turkey out of the UN's comprehensive settlement process
and undermine the 1960 Treaties of Guarantee. Valynakis
commented, "but the Cypriots are in the EU now, so are
feeling more confident."

--------------
Halki
--------------

9. (C) Bryza proposed a simultaneous strategy (not
quid-pro-quo) whereby the Turks could find a legal basis to
enable the re-opening of Halki, implemented in conjunction
with a simultaneous, coincidental "movement" in Thrace to
allow for elections of muftis without civil functions.
Valynakis rejected the idea, replying per similar logic
applied to Cyprus: Turkey must reopen Halki to be in
compliance with EU acquis on religious freedom, and the GoG
refuses to "bilateralize" these issues and set a precedent of
making concessions. At dinner that evening, Valynakis seemed
to take on board Bryza's account of his discussion two days
earlier with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul,
during which Bartholomew expressed support for pursuing
simultaneous progress on both issues, though without a
quid-pro-quo.


10. (U) DAS Bryza cleared this message.
RIES