28 September 2005
Pacta sunt servanda is a basic principle of international law and civil law. It is Latin and it means "pacts must be respected" by all sides. With reference to international agreements, "every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith" (Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 1969, art. 26, and the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations or between International Organizations, 1986, art. 26). All serious state and international organizations observe this fundamental and basic principle of international law. If a state does breach the agreements she had inked or promises she had given, no state will trust her in future. International politics is not only power politics and actors have to prove their good faith. It is unfortunate that the European Union (EU) and some of the EU states failed to keep their own words in Cyprus Issue:
First of all the EU promised to the Turkish Cypriots to lift the economic and political isolations if the Turkish Cypriots supported the UN Annan Peace Plan. The Plan’s ultimate aim was to reunite the island the Turks strongly supported the Plan in 2004 Referendum. The Turkish voters hoped that the EU would keep its promises and they also hoped that they will enter the EU with their Greek neighbors. However the EU disappointed the Muslim Cypriots by accepting the side who rejected the Peace Plan as full member to the EU. The economic, cultural, social and political isolations are still there. The Turkish Cypriots even cannot post a letter to the outside. Even the most moderate Turkish Cypriots have become ultra-nationalist and almost no-one believe in the EU. All they say that the EU is pro-Greek and it will never accept or the Turkish
Northern Cyprus as full-member. As a matter of fact that the Turkish Cypriots’ demand from the EU is very simple and easy to be realized: They just want be noticed. If the EU and the Greek side accept the existing of more than 200,000 Turkish on the island, all the problems would be solved for the Turks. Even
Ankara is ready to recognise the Greek Cyprus if the Greeks and the
Brussels recognise the existing of more than 200,000 Muslim Cypriots. However they have been resisting to see the Turks on the island though the Turks have been there for the centuries.
The 2004 promises is not the only case the EU failed to honor its own words. All EU leaders, including Greece’s, France’s and the Greek Cyprus leaders, declared on the December 17th Summit that Turkey did not need to recognise the Greek Cyprus as the only government of Cyprus. It means recognition of (Greek) was not a pre-condition for start of talks and for full membership. However first the French politicians argued that had to recognise (Greek) C
State. It was a domestic politics and the French politicians were abusing the issue for their personal and political interests. warned the for not playing political games. Then the other states insisted on recognition. Many EU leaders forgot their own words and put pressure on . Now the European Parliament urges to recognise the Greek side as the only legitimate government of the island. The EU leaders are so forgetful of its words and responsibilities.
No relationship could be based on such a ground. Pacta sunt servanda is the basic base of all kind of relations. If the EU seeks to establish a permanent relations with , it has to keep its own words.
Sedat LACINER: Director, International Strategic Research Organization
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29 September 2005
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