Cablegate: Gambari Briefs Unsc: Council Silence Broken On

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1. (SBU) Summary: On August 29, following a briefing by
Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs Ibrahim
Gambari, Security Council members -- in a small, but welcome
step forward -- agreed to a press statement that broke the
Council's silence on the Cyprus issue for the first time
since the failure of the referenda on the island in April
2004. In the briefing preceding the statement, Gambari
reviewed for the Security Council his July 3-9 visit to
Turkey, Greece and Cyprus. The Under-Secretary General gave
a thorough review of the positions he had encountered in
Ankara and Athens, as well as from Papadopoulos and Talat on
the island. Gambari stated that he hoped the two communities
could soon begin implementing the agreement they had reached
when their leaders met with him on July 8 and start setting
up technical committees and working groups. Gambari said
that if there were significant progress, then "there might be
a chance to appoint another Special Advisor soon and resume
fully a Mission of Good Offices." Gambari added that it might
also be necessary to seek out volunteer donations as setting
up initial technical committees and working groups "could
cost as much as three to four million dollars in the first
six months." Gambari pointed to the Committee on Missing
Persons as one area where positive results were being
witnessed. Following Gambari's briefing, Council members
made national statements and then negotiated over the text of
the statement proposed by Gambari. Greece fought to add
politicized language, but at the end of the day there were no
significant changes to the press statement. End summary.

Gambari Reviews His Visit to Turkey, Greece and Cyprus

2. (SBU) On August 29, Under-Secretary General for Political
Affairs Ibrahim Gambari briefed the Security Council on his
July 3-9 visit to Turkey, Greece and Cyprus. Gambari noted
that in Greece and Turkey he had met with foreign ministers
and senior officials for comprehensive discussions of the
Cyprus problem. On the island, he had met with Presidents
Papadopoulos and Talat separately and then together in a
three-hour private meeting. In Ankara, Gambari said he was
told that "any settlement should be based on the parameters
of the Annan Plan" and even though SYG Annan had only a few
months left in office he should send a clear message to the
world about the importance of the Annan Plan. Gambari said
Ankara also expressed to him frustration that the EU had
failed to address the Turkish Cypriots' isolation. Gambari
reported Ankara had argued against "giving in to pressure to
move the Cyprus problem from the UN to the EU platform."
Additionally, Ankara had suggested to Gambari that its Action
Plan could be a transitional confidence building measure.

3. (SBU) In Athens, Gambari, said he was told that
"discussion of substantive issues should proceed along
simultaneously with discussion of technical ones." Any
negotiation, however, should be preceded by "careful
preparation and based on European values, such as non-use of
force." Greece had also told Gambari that it would support
to the utmost Turkey's EU membership, even though it thought
there would be rough sailing ahead.

4. (SBU) On the island, said Gambari, Talat and Papadopoulos
met three times the week of his visit: during the
installation of the third member of the Missing Persons
Committee, at a reception Gambari hosted and during a
three-hour meeting with Gambari. Papadopoulos had made it
clear he did not want partition, rather, a "viable state in
the form of a bi-zonal federation as envisaged in UNSC
resolutions." Papadopoulos stated that he preferred the
phrasing "the two communities" over to "the two sides" or
"the two parties" because it prevented giving the impression
that any possible agreement would be between two states.
Papadopoulos had said he supported Turkey's EU entry as in
Cyprus' "own best interest." Gambari also reported that
Papadopoulos told him he believed that the Annan Plan was
"null and void" yet had conceded that it "would not fade
away" and there were "certain core issues in it that needed
to be addressed in order to safeguard the interests of the
Greek Cypriots." Papadopoulos reportedly had continued that
he supported a "comprehensive, piecemeal approach, but Cyprus
should not be blamed for April 2004."

5. (SBU) Talat for his part, said Gambari, believed the
easing of isolation in the North, while "not a substitute for
a solution, might help the Greek Cypriots take a more
flexible approach to a solution." Talat also insisted that
the Turkish Cypriots should be referred to as "parties."
Talat further shared his deep concern about the deterioration
of the situation at the crossing points where the Turkish

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Cypriots had been harassed and detained by the police in the

Gambari: Chance of Resuming Good Offices Mission If All Goes

6. (SBU) Gambari, who had spoken twice in the last week with
Talat and once with Papadopoulos, said Talat now wanted him
to "return to the island right away to help move the process
forward." However, Gambari said that he told Talat that the
SYG would "only let him go if there were tangible progress."
Gambari noted that he hoped the two communities could agree
soon on how to make progress and start implementing the July
8 agreement and set up technical committees and working
groups. If they were to accomplish that, he said, then there
might be a chance to appoint another Special Advisor.
Gambari also said that if there were movement on the July 8
agreement then it might be necessary to seek out volunteer
donations as "setting up an initial group of ten or so
technical committees and five to nine working groups could
cost as much as three to four million dollars in the first
six months." Gambari also commented that the Committee on
Missing Persons was doing well and was one of the areas where
positive results were being witnessed. Gambari asked that
the Council make a brief press statement supporting 1) the
SYG's continued efforts, 2) the July 8 agreement and 3) full
implementation of that agreement without delving into
controversial political issues.

7. (SBU) Gambari also reviewed the latest positions of the
parties noting that the Turkish Cypriot's want a meeting of
leaders before committees and working groups are convened,
but the Greeks want the committees and working groups to meet
first and make progress before the leaders meet. Gambari
stated that "upon instruction Moller has maintained the
often-stated position of SYG that he wants to see genuine and
tangible progress before committing fully to full-fledged
negotiations, including the appointment of another Special

National Statements

8. (SBU) Greece stated that bicommunal discussions on
technical committees and working groups could be parallel and
it was important to lay the groundwork for a full resumption
of negotiations. Greece said the Turkish Cypriot side had
begun to question "fundamental elements of the July 8
agreement" but trusted that Gambari could be successful. The
UK praised Gambari for reaching the July 8 agreement and said
we should continue to support the UN and urge forward
progress. Russia argued that the resolution of the Cyprus
problem should not be to the advantage of either community
and also welcomed that the parties had exchanged lists. In
the US statement, Minister-Counselor Brencick welcomed
Gambari's accomplishments on Cyprus to date but noted concern
over some backsliding by both parties and also with the
continued isolation of the North, which he said hampered the
efforts of the Security Council to foster unity and bring the
problem to a resolution. France said that the technical
committees and working groups should meet right away and said
it regretted delays in implementation of existing agreements.

9. (SBU) Press Statement

Following statements by Council members, Gambari distributed
a draft statement that was approved by the members with one
minor revision. Greece had insisted on adding language at
the end of Gambari's statement saying that "the work of the
technical committees and working groups should be begin right
away" while the U.S. argued that that it would be preferable
to stay with Gambari's lean statement as originally drafted
and avoid taking sides on an issue being contended between
the parties. The Council finally agreed to add the
constructively ambiguous phrasing "urges that work begin
quickly" to the statement, though Gambari spoke up to say he
thought even that addition was unnecessary.

Begin text:

1. The members of the Security Council express support for
the Secretary-General's continued efforts aimed at reaching a
comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.

2. In this context, they welcome the Agreement that was
reached on 8 July during the mission of

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Under-Secretary-General Ibrahim Gambari to the region.

3. They call for full implementation of the 8 July agreement
without further delay and urges that work begin quickly.

End text.

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