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Cablegate: Turkey Opposes Icao Plans to Transfer Sar

VZCZCXRO7904
PP RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #0279 0450858
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 140858Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5231
INFO RUEHMT/AMCONSUL MONTREAL PRIORITY 0057
RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 8683
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 3219
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6693
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 2695
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 3877

UNCLAS ANKARA 000279

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

MONTREAL PLEASE PASS TO U.S. REPRESENTATIVE TO ICAO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR PREL TU CY
SUBJECT: TURKEY OPPOSES ICAO PLANS TO TRANSFER SAR
RESPONSIBILITIES TO CYPRIOTS

This is an action request. Please see paragraph 5.

1. (SBU) Summary: Turkish MFA Civil Aviation officials
summoned PMA Counselor on February 12 to request U.S. support
at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Turkey has written an objection letter to ICAO leadership
opposing its plans to transfer "state" responsibility for
Search and Rescue (SAR) services around Cyprus from the UK to
the Cypriot Government. Turkey argues that doing so will
provide undue legitimacy to the "Greek Cypriot" government at
a time when the divided island faces the prospect of renewed
negotiations to achieve a political settlement. ICAO
counters, however, that this proposed change has no effect on
the current state responsibility, which they argue has always
been borne by the Cypriot government, and involves no more
than a change of name of the rescue coordination center. Post
requests guidance from the Department on how to respond to
the MFA's request for support. End summary.

2. (SBU) On February 12, PMA Counselor was summoned to the
MFA Civil Aviation Department where he was briefed on an
impending decision by ICAO to transfer "state" responsibility
for Search and Rescue (SAR) services around Cyprus from the
UK's Episkopi Rescue Coordination Center to the Cypriotm
government (Larnaca RCC). MFA DDG Basat Ozturk argued that
doing so would provide undue legitimacy to the "Greek
Cypriot" government at a time when the divided island faces
the prospect of renewed negotiations to achieve a political
settlement. He added that this has heretofore been a UK
government responsibility and the GOT sees this as more than
a name change. In a letter from ICAO Council President
Roberto Gonzalez to Turkey's ICAO Representative, Vakur
Gokdenizler, Gonzalez argues that this proposal has no effect
on the current state responsibility for SAR in the Cypriot
region, which he says has always been held by the Cypriot
government, and that it involves no more than a change of
name of the rescue coordination center.

3. (SBU) Ozturk told us that Turkey has written an objection
letter to ICAO regarding this issue and Gokdenizler will meet
to discuss it on February 15 with ICAO leadership. The MFA
also met with a UK embassy representative on February 12 to
formally voice Turkish opposition to this transfer of
responsibility. Our UK embassy contact told us that she too
has requested guidance from London about the UK's position on
this issue.

4. (SBU) Ozturk requested U.S. support for Turkey,s position
at ICAO. Turkey's argument depends on its assertion that
such transfers of responsibility involving Cyprus cannot be
legitimate until a political solution is achieved on the
island,s status. The Greek Cypriot government is not bona
fide and thus does not represent the full citizenry of
Cyprus, they argue. Ozturk said that Turkey will refuse to
recognize any ICAO decision that transfers SAR
responsibilities under such circumstances.

5. (SBU) Action Request: Post requests guidance from the
Department on how to respond to Turkey's request for
assistance and support.

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at
http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Turk ey

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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