Viewing cable 09STOCKHOLM428, GAERC JULY 26-7 AGENDA: SWEDEN'S PRELIMINARY ITEMS
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|09STOCKHOLM428||2009-07-14 14:02||2011-01-13 05:05||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Stockholm|
VZCZCXRO6973 PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR DE RUEHSM #0428/01 1951423 ZNY CCCCC ZZH P 141423Z JUL 09 FM AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4510 INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI PRIORITY 0158 RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON PRIORITY 0140 RUEHRK/AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK PRIORITY 0095 RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI PRIORITY 0148
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 STOCKHOLM 000428 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/14/2018 TAGS: PREL PARM IC NK BM SO IR KE GG UN EU SW SUBJECT: GAERC JULY 26-7 AGENDA: SWEDEN'S PRELIMINARY ITEMS Classified By: Pol Couns Marc Koehler for reasons 1.4 (B) & (D). ¶1. (C) Summary: On July 14, Poloffs met with MFA Deputy EU Correspondent Jonas Wendel to discuss the July 27-8 GAERC agenda. He said that, as the Swedes intended, the agenda is short to focus discussion on the most important international issues. Currently, there are three B items: conclusions on formulating a political strategy for Somalia; extending the mandates of EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) and EU Special Representative (EUSR) Pierre Morel in Georgia; and the way forward with Iran (at lunch). The possible A items are: support for the Kofi Annan reconciliation process in Kenya (at the request of the Dutch); Iceland's membership application (if submitted on time); widening sanctions on Burma; and UNSCR 1874 on extending sanctions on North Korea. End Summary. Somalia: EU's Political Strategy -------------------------------- ¶2. (C) Wendel said the EU intends to give conclusions on the comprehensive political strategy that HiRep Solana began in June. The draft strategy, written by the Commission and Council Secretariat, is currently under review by EU members. Wendel said Somalia is nearing a breaking point, and Sweden wants to sharpen the strategy to include a set of concrete contingencies should a crisis emerge. Wendel thinks the strategy will be ready by the September GAERC. In the discussion of Somalia, Wendel said that EU members are aware that Eritrea is "meddling" with Somalia, but it is too early to look at sanctions against Asmara. Georgia: Extending Mandates --------------------------- ¶3. (C) Extending the EUMM and EUSR's Morel's mandates are both up for discussion, said Wendel. FM Bildt wants to focus on the technical aspects of extending the mandates, and avoid opening up the discussion to broader, political items, including the South Caucasus. Nonetheless, a political rational is needed to prolong the mandates. Sweden wants the conclusions to clearly state that Russia has not fulfilled all of its commitments since last August, and that South Ossetia and Abkhazia are part of Georgia. Other Member States want weaker language that does not name Russia. Wendel said FM Carl Bildt will not "throw out" national interests and "will hold out as long as possible" to get stern language in the conclusions, although the "usual members" do not support the specific mention of the two regions. ¶4. (C) FM Bildt is traveling to the Caucasus on 16 July for a week as part of a Troika visit. There are sensitivities to meeting with President Saakashvili, Wendel said, and Sweden does not support including him in the EUMM mandate discussions. Bildt is hesitant about what can really be accomplished. Iran: Contingencies ------------------- ¶5. (C) The discussion topics for this lunch item are still being determined, as the EU is waiting to see if the last local British Embassy employee is released. Bildt has been in frequent contact with FM Mottaki, who, according to Wendel, is playing the "good guy." However, failed attempts over the weekend to set up a call between Bildt and Mottaki have raised concern in Sweden. If the British employee is not released by Thursday, the PSC meeting on Friday will be consumed with discussing the way ahead with Iran. One option includes "complicating" the issuance of visas for Iranian diplomats and officials, and a public announcement of such. But visa restrictions would have "shaky legal grounds" because a handful of EU members do not require Iranian diplomats to have visas to travel. The Swedes hope that the threat would be enough to push the Iranians to release the employee, but the Iranians are "experts at finding legal loopholes", according to Wendel. The British might not be content with only complicating visa issuance, he added, noting that London still advocates pulling all EU Heads of Mission out of Iran. Sweden opposes this, as do other Member States. ¶6. (C) If the employee is not released by July 26, then the Swedes anticipate the discussion to focus on withdrawing EU diplomats from Iran, even if temporarily. The Swedes do not support this because "there might not be other cards to play" and they, along with other EU members, are concerned that their local employees in Tehran could be targeted in STOCKHOLM 00000428 002 OF 002 retaliation. Solidarity among EU members is strong, and if the discussion is emotionally charged, then the ministers might agree to a withdrawal. Wendel added that the British are pleased with how Sweden has handled the situation. ¶7. (C) If the British Embassy hostage situation is resolved, then ministers will discuss the nuclear &crisis." Wendel said that Sweden was happy with the G8 statement on Iran, especially because Russia and China supported it. The UK wants a list of sanctions against Iranian entities to be prepared now, Wendel said, but Sweden would prefer to keep discussion at a general level because if the Iranians (or the Russians or the Chinese) became aware of the EU doing "specific" and "legal" work on additional sanctions, then they would complain that the EU was never serious about giving Iran time to respond to the P5 1 offer. We realize, Wendel continued, that we have used this argument for two years now and "for our own credibility" Sweden might now have to go along with the consensus view of Member States. ¶8. (C) Wendel noted that Sweden assesses Iranian leaders have "not really made up their minds about where they want the process to end." Will they settle for a break-out capability, or do they want to demonstrate their possession of a nuclear deterrent like North Korea has done? Because Sweden thinks the Iranians are still trying to decide this, Wendel said that the "crunch time" will not come during their Presidency but rather during the follow-on Spanish Presidency. Wendel added that Bildt has looked at the "assessments of many different countries" relating to the pace of Iranian enrichment activity and has concluded that it will be "three or four years" before Tehran will have a nuclear capability. A Items: Kenya, Iceland, Burma and North Korea ------------------------------ -- (U) Kenya: At Dutch request, there will be conclusions in support of the Kofi Annan reconciliation process surrounding post-2008 elections. -- (U) Iceland: Applicant EU members are required to submit applications 14 days in advance of a GAERC, which was July 13 in Iceland's case, said Wendel. The Icelandic Parliament is "unsettled" on the issue, so the application might be delayed until September. In addition, Iceland has not consulted beforehand with member countries, as is customary. EU members have warned Sweden not to give preferential treatment to Iceland because it is a "Nordic brother." Sweden, and Bildt, would very much like Iceland's membership to be one of the accomplishments of its EU Presidency, but Iceland's glacial movement on its application is dampening expectations. -- (U) Burma: The verdict in the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi might be known on July 24. In this case, the EU will need to respond. In the event of a guilty verdict, then the only response all EU members unanimously support, according to Wendel, is to blacklist the four trial judges. Other ideas being floated, but lacking consensus, are to expand the list of banned luxury items and to limit sectoral investments by EU businesses. If there is no verdict, then the EU will issue a statement. -- (U) North Korea: The GAERC will produce a paper regarding the new set of sanctions under UNSCR 1874. Normally, a UN Security Council resolution should be adopted by the EU within 45 days, said Wendel. There already is some agreement on the core set of new sanctions under UNSCR 1874, but the Council must agree whenever a common position is changed. Wendel noted that Sweden opposes France's proposed expansion of the list of luxury goods banned for export to the DPRK, but discussion on that topic is ongoing. SILVERMAN