Political sparring continues over Cyprus. As a political gambit to
force Cyprus to fulfill political promises made to Turkish Cypriots, Turkey has
closed it seaports and airports to traffic from the Greek half of Cyprus.
Finland has offered a plan that would help open the Turkish half of Cyprus to
new trading opportunities. The "Finnish plan" would open the Turkish Cypriot
port of Famagusta to international trade. In exchange, the Turkish military
would withdraw from the Cypriot town of Varosha. UN observers would replace the
Turkish troops. Varosha is currently a "ghost town." This is all part of the
slow end game of the war that followed the Greek Cypriot coup in 1974. Turkey
responded by sending troops to Cyprus and taking control of approximately half
of the island. The Greeks called the Turkish response an invasion, the Turks
said it was an intervention to protect Turkish Cypriots.
24, 2006: Bulgaria will expand its military contingent serving in Afghanistan.
Bulgaria currently has 151 troops in Afghanistan. It will send another company
of troops (approximately 120 soldiers).
22, 2006: The United Nations Mine Action Center (MAC) on Cyprus said that it
had destroyed the last land mines in the Nicosia, Cyprus area. Nicosia has been
declared "mine free." The UN group is still clearing other landmines on Cyprus.
Most of the mines were laid by Greek Cypriot and Turkish forces after Turkey's
1974 intervention in Cyprus.
20, 2006: The Montenegro says that Serbia has "inherited all" of former
Serbia and Montenegro's (ie rump Yugoslavia's) international military
obligations. Montenegro intends to avoid any civil suits that may arise from
the Bosnia war. A civil suit "for genocide" has been filed against Serbia and
19, 2006: The United Nations Mission in Kosova (UNMIK) will
probably leave Kosovo sometime in 2007. The UN intends to reach (or
force) a decision on Kosovo's ultimate status. Serbia vehemently rejects Kosovo
independence. The Kosovar government is demanding independence.
17, 2006: Kosovo has decided to court the Russians. The Russians have objected
to Kosovar independence from Serbia. Kosovo has decided to send a delegation to
Moscow. Analysts have suggested that Kosovo intends to assure the Russians that
Kosovo independence will not set a precedent for other independence movements
in Europe. However, various ethnic groups and independence movements throughout
Europe already point to Montenegro's final withdrawal from Yugoslavia as a
also intends to send diplomatic missions to Belgium (to the EU) and to the
16, 2006: Turkey suspended military ties with France. Turkey objects to French
legislation that "criminalizes denial" of the Armenian genocide during World
War I. Basically Turkey is telling France it will not buy French military
13, 2006: The European Union will postpone a decision to reduce the size
of its peacekeeping force in Bosnia. The EU had planned on reducing its force
of 6,500 to around 1,500 by next year. However, several nations in the region
are concerned that the tension between Serbia and Kosovo could escalate as a
decision on Kosovo's "final status" nears. Everyone feels reassured if EU
troops remain in Bosnia - and remain in significant numbers.
Cyprus, Bulgaria, and Romania agreed to form a multi-national military group.
The unit will be formed in July 2007. The 105-man unit will used for
humanitarian and evacuation missions undertaken by the European Union.
10, 2006: The UN said that any decision on Kosovo's final status will be made
after January 21, 2007, the date Serbia holds its general elections.