US Sends 2 Messages to EU: Prevent Support to PKK, Do not Make Cyprus an Issue
US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew J. Bryza sent critical messages regarding the terrorist organization, Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), and the Cyprus issue to the European Union (EU).
During the hours US Federal Investigation Bureau (FBI) director Robert Mueller was discussing the measures against the terrorist organization PKK with Turkish authorities in Ankara last Friday, Bryza was holding contacts in the same frame in Brussels. Bryza asked EU and Brussels authorities to conduct a more effective fight against PKK and discussed the issues such as arresting and sending militants in Europe to court and collapsing the base of support for the terrorist organization.
Bryza' realizing his contacts after US's new Ambassador to Ankara Ross Wilson's statement, "We have new plans for PKK," attracted notice. Bryza spoke to the European Commission's enlargement department one day after the financial support was postponed upon the Greek Cypriots' objection and gave a clear message on the issue of Cyprus. Bryza noted Turkey's membership process must not be slowed down because of Cyprus.
The US Deputy evaluated his Brussels contacts to Zaman Daily and said they are speaking with Denmark about Roj TV and added closing down this channel will be "a logical conclusion". He emphasized the EU must act in a sensible way on the Cyprus issue and offer "attractive" proposals to Ankara for Turkey to open its ports, adding that the opening of all the ports in Cyprus and those in Turkey simultaneously may be a noteworthy proposal.
Iraqi government addressee for PKK
Byrza believes it would be wrong to criticize the United States (US) for not having taken action against the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK).
It is not true that the US did not launch a military operation against the PKK 1
The European Union must conduct a more effective fight against PKK; militants in Europe must be arrested and sent to court. PKK's base of support must be collapsed.
Turkey's EU process must not be slowed down because of Cyprus. The EU must produce sensible formulas for Turkey to open its courts. The ports can be opened jointly.
in the Mountain of Kandil, said Byrza, pointing out to three different areas in which the US is working in co-operation with Turkey to fight against the terrorist organization. "As the US President, George W. Bush, said to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, neither the security conditions nor the timing is appropriate for beginning such an operation. North Iraq is the most stable and imperturbable part of the country. Turkey and the US are sharing a profoundly strategic interest in Iraq. The two countries attach great importance to the retention of the North as an integral part of the country as well as to the preservation of the national totality. All the parties should be delighted that the North has so far remained stabilized," said Byrza, pointing out the Iraqi government as the actual responsible for the PKK. The US and Turkey ought to be in direct collaboration with the Iraqi government to settle the PKK problem, noted Byrza. "Turkey and Iraq should resolve the matter with the support of the US. But, the US should not be the actual responsible to deal with it. This is not because the US administration does not want to fight against the PKK. But, If we want to have a united Iraq, the Iraqi government should be sovereign and Turkey should be accepted as the country to work with directly. If we want the US to be the country to undertake responsibility, then we will no longer think of the Iraqi government as sovereign. This kind of attitude poses a threat to the integrity of Iraq. Nevertheless, Washington works in harmony with the Turkish government to provide security at borders,” asserted Bryza, adding the US officials are working on some projects that are intended to stop the PKK members from infiltrating into Turkey;however, Bryza avoided giving further details about the projects. Apart from the fighting in Iraq and the security at borders, the US administration has been in co-operation with some European countries, said Bryza: "Today I talked to the officials of the European Union (EU) as well of Belgium. Our conversation was about how to deal with the PKK activists and prevent the support provided to the PKK. That is to say, we are negotiating about the way we can fight against the PKK on three fronts." The US officials agree with the EU as well as with Belgium officials that the PKK is a terrorist organization that needs to be fought.
The US is not an EU member country, Bryza continuously emphasized as most American officials do, and he also said the question of Cyprus should not be a hindrance to the journey of Turkey into the EU. The Greek Cyprus leader, Tasos Papadopoulos, should clearly notify the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, over his complaints about the Annan Plan, said Bryza, highlighting the need to lift the isolation imposed on Turks in order to end the disintegration of Cyprus.
Ports in Cyprus should be opened mutually
Bryza, suggesting the Union to produce alternative solutions in Cyprus, said the EU could present a "smart and attractive" formula for Turkey to open the ports. One of the reasonable formulas is the opening of ports simultaneously by both parties according to the American diplomat. Such an alternate solution might ease the concerns about whether Turkey will open the ports or not, Bryza reckons adding that he is not concerned with the policies of the next EU term president, Austria, regarding Turkey. They are no implications that the EU leaders might break their promises about the country's accession. As long as Turkey fulfills the criteria, we have no concerns, Bryza said. The important matter, according to him, is for the EU to play the game in accordance with the rules. The European Union is an organization for reconciliation and new German Chancellor Angela Merkel will not derail Turkey's membership process, Bryza noted, when asked if tension would rise due to Merkel's distant stance towards Turkish full accession.
It would be very natural for Denmark to shut down Roj TV
When asked if he told Denmark to shut down Roj TV, Bryza responded that he did not openly tell the authorities to close down Roj TV. Roj TV supports PKK and encourages terror, they told Danish officials. The US conveyed its belief that this particular television channel supports terrorism and reached the decision that the PKK is a terrorist organization and Danish posts also perceive them in the same way. Thus, the final and most reasonable step to be taken is to close down this station, Byrza added.
Foreign News Desk