Viewing cable 08REYKJAVIK173, TFGG01: ICELAND ON RUSSIAN ACTIVITIES IN GEORGIA
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|08REYKJAVIK173||2008-08-14 17:05||2011-01-13 05:05||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Reykjavik|
VZCZCXRO0934 PP RUEHAG RUEHROV DE RUEHRK #0173 2271722 ZNY CCCCC ZZH P 141722Z AUG 08 FM AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3764 INFO RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 0250 RUEHXP/ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L REYKJAVIK 000173 SIPDIS E.O. 12985: DECL: 08/14/2018 TAGS: MOPS PREL PHUM NATO UN GG RS IC SUBJECT: TFGG01: ICELAND ON RUSSIAN ACTIVITIES IN GEORGIA REF: State 87254 Classified by Ambassador Carol van Voorst for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). ¶1. (SBU) In discussion of the current situation in Georgia with Political Director Greta Gunnarsdottir, the highest available MFA official, the Ambassador urged August 14 that Iceland press Russia to take the necessary steps detailed in reftel. Gunnarsdottir will raise the message with the Foreign Minister asap. In response to the Ambassador's questions, Gunnarsdottir offered following observations: - Humanitarian aid: Iceland was specifically asked for and will provide "very quickly" an information officer to work for UNICEF in Georgia. The government is considering other humanitarian contributions, but has as yet reached no specific decisions. Ambassador detailed U.S. contributions and pressed for a speedy and positive decision to help meet the increasing humanitarian needs of the region. - NAC Meeting August 19 in Brussels: Foreign Minister Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir will attend, accompanied by Amb. Thorir Ibsen, MFA head of NATO affairs. - Icelandic-Russian contacts: Iceland has not approached Russia bilaterally on Georgia developments, preferring to deal with the subject in multilateral fora. Ambassador made the case for direct bilateral engagement, noting that Iceland does have an Embassy in Moscow and that the Russian ambassador in Reykjavik has made intemperate and misleading remarks to the press concerning Georgia's leadership and regional intentions. (Note: We understand that the MFA had considered but decided not to call in the Russian ambassador.) ¶2. (C) Ambassador has requested a meeting with Permanent Secretary Gretar Mar Sigurdsson, Gunnarsdottir's boss, on his return from leave next week to raise Iceland's uninspiring stance in the recent NAC meetings on Georgia. Although we suspect the GOI is trying to avoid irritating the Russians in advance of the October vote on Iceland's bid for a UNSC seat, we want to point out that stepping up in a necessary cause is the type of behavior the U.S. looks for in a UNSC member. van Voorst