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Cablegate: Turkey Likely to Support Cancellation of Annual

VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHAK #1747 2821558
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 081558Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7620
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS IMMEDIATE 9210
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA IMMEDIATE 6704
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 6741
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 3313

S E C R E T ANKARA 001747

SIPDIS

DEPT. FOR EUR/SE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/08/2028
TAGS: PREL PM CY TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY LIKELY TO SUPPORT CANCELLATION OF ANNUAL
MILITARY EXERCISES IN CYPRUS; BUT FORMAL DECISION PENDING

REF: STATE 106964

Classified By: POL Counselor Daniel O'Grady for reasons 1.4(b,d)

1. (S) Turkey is likely to support the call for cancellation
of the annual Turkey-Turkish Cypriot military exercise Toros,
according to MFA DDG for Northeast Mediterranean Kerim Uras,
though a formal decision has yet to be taken. Uras told us
the afternoon of October 8 that senior MFA colleagues were at
Turkish General Staff (TGS) headquarters at the same time
coordinating the decision on the issue. Pointing out that
Turkey had been a strong proponent of the mutual moratorium
on mil exercises on the island until the Greek Cypriots
unilaterally abrogated the agreement by carrying out
Nikiforos in 2005, Uras said he did not see any reason why
the GOT would not want to resume it. He cautioned, however,
that he could not authoritatively provide a positive response
to Christofias' call, in support of our call (reftel) and
that of HMG, until it was fully cleared throughout the GOT.
Uras also said that when a decision is made, the Turks will
want to make sure that it is Talat who makes the announcement.

2. (C) Uras said the GOT and the Turkish Cypriots are a bit
discouraged at the tactics adopted by Christofias and the
Greek Cypriots, which do not lend themselves to moving ahead
quickly toward a final settlement. He lamented what he
described as the constant "negativity" and "Turkey-bashing"
in which the Greek Cypriots have engaged in recent months,
citing negative G/C comments at UNGA, using negative
influence in Strasbourg on ECHR cases, and blocking the
inclusion of experts with any involvement in the Annan Plan
negotiations from participating in a newly comprised EU panel
of experts on Cyprus (e.g., Frank Hoffmeister). However,
Uras said Ankara's plan is to continue to give Talat the
space he needs to negotiate a deal, and to remain in a
supportive role. He described the G/C side as a "reluctant
seller," equating Nicosia to a carpet dealer who sets an
initial (high) price as a final, take-it or leave-it offer.
He described the Greek Cypriot approach to negotiations as
being "top-down," with a focus on trying to solve all the
major issues at once, making it difficult to achieve forward
momentum anywhere. Meanwhile, he claimed Talat is taking
more of a "bottom-up" approach in which much of the
underbrush can be quickly agreed to by the two sides,
creating a sense that a deal is achievable with sufficient
compromise from both sides. He asked that the U.S. urge
Christofias to take a more constructive approach so that
momentum can be maintained.

3. (S) Uras described UNSRG Downer as "pragmatic" and they
have no real complaints about his efforts to date. He noted
that Downer, like anyone new in such a position, is
constantly advocating "new approaches" and counseling against
"clinging to old formulae." However, Uras pointed out, it
seems clear that after 40 years of Cyprob discussions, the
superstructure of a settlement acceptable to all sides is
largely known to everyone. We just need to figure out a way
to put a facade on it that can gain public acceptance on both
sides. Uras expressed concern about recent statements by HMG
officials that have given Ankara the impression London no
longer supports the long-standing principle of political
equality between the two communities in Cyprus. He noted
several comments by senior British officials to Turkish
counterparts in recent weeks to the effect that the ROC is an
EU member state, has the upper hand, and is a reality with
which the Turks will have to deal; that Turkish Cypriots have
equality as citizens of a member state, etc. The effect has
been to raise GOT fears that the EU and others are willing to
allow Nicosia to play a delaying game with a view to
ratcheting up pressure on Turkey as 2009 progresses. Uras
expressed the hope that the USG still supports the concept of
political equality between the two communities, which we
assured him we do.

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

WILSON

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