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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03THEHAGUE2310
2003-09-15 13:29:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy The Hague
Cable title:  

DUTCH MFA ON GYMNICH, MEPP, AND IRAQ

Tags:   EU  PREL  NL  UNHRC  OSCE 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 002310 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/09/2013
TAGS: EU PREL NL UNHRC OSCE
SUBJECT: DUTCH MFA ON GYMNICH, MEPP, AND IRAQ

REF: A. A. SECSTATE 250490

B. B. THE HAGUE 02227

Classified By: Classified by Political Counselor Mary E. Daly for reaso
ns 1.5 (b and d)

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 002310

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/09/2013
TAGS: EU PREL NL UNHRC OSCE
SUBJECT: DUTCH MFA ON GYMNICH, MEPP, AND IRAQ

REF: A. A. SECSTATE 250490

B. B. THE HAGUE 02227

Classified By: Classified by Political Counselor Mary E. Daly for reaso
ns 1.5 (b and d)


1. (C) Summary: PolCouns and PolOff met with MFA Director for
Political Affairs Jaap Werner and Deputy Director Joop
Wijnands on September 9 to discuss the results of the
September 5-6 EU Foreign Ministers Gymnich meeting. Werner
termed the September 2-3 visit of PM Balkenende and FM de
Hoop Scheffer to Washington very productive. Wijnands, who
attended the Gymnich meeting, confirmed that the main topics
discussed were the Middle East peace process (MEPP), Iraq,
and the InterGovernmental Conference (IGC). Discussion of the
European Security Strategy (ESS) was limited as there was
already broad consensus on the approach (Ref B). In asking
them about Gymnich, the Dutch took the opportunity to discuss
Middle East policy more broadly. Wijnands said "everyone is
worried" about the MEPP, and there is a high degree of EU
consensus on the issue. According to Wijnands, EU countries
see Arafat as both part of the problem, as well as part of
the solution. On Iraq, France and Germany restated their
previous positions. There was however a different atmosphere
from previous meetings, with Germany agreeing with the UK
that the transfer of authority should not be rushed.
Wijnands felt that in order to arrive at an EU consensus on
the Iraq resolution, there need only be small adjustments in
terminology and the role of the UN. While the Dutch
acknowledged the need for a unified command under the U.S.,
Werner offered the additional idea of a proportional,
sectoral approach to multinational and U.S. involvement.
Werner also noted a prospective visit of FM de Hoop Scheffer
to the region at the end of September. End Summary.

PM Balkenende and FM de Hoop Scheffer's Visit to Washington
-------------- --------------


2. (C) PolCouns and PolOff met with MFA Director for
Political Affairs Jaap Werner and Deputy Director Joop
Wijnands on September 9 to discuss the results of the
September 5-6 EU Foreign Ministers Gymnich meeting. Werner

described the September 2-3 visit of PM Balkenende and FM de
Hoop Scheffer to Washington as "very good, very productive."
Werner felt that the visit was very well-timed, referring to
the "opening up of Iraq" to UN and multinational involvement.
Both Werner and Wijnands lamented the cynical bias of the
Dutch press prior to the visit.

MEPP
--------------


3. (C) Wijnands, who attended the Gymnich meeting, said the
two main foreign policy topics were the Middle East peace
process (MEPP) and Iraq. Discussion of the European Security
Strategy (ESS) was limited as there was already broad
consensus on the EU approach (Ref B). Wijnands said
"everyone is worried" about the MEPP, and that the
resignation of Abbas, which took place during the meeting,
added to concerns. He said it was clear at Gymnich that EU
countries see Arafat as part of the problem, and also part of
the solution. The EU does not see sidelining Arafat as a
real option, and believe it important to keep Arafat involved
at some level. The feeling at Gymnich was that without the
blessing of Arafat, there will be no solution. That said,
there is no clear line on how the EU plans to deal with
Arafat. There is an understanding that Solana cannot go
around Arafat, but that EU member states should be "very
modest" in their contact. Werner mentioned that FM de Hoop
Scheffer plans to go to the Middle East at the end of
September, but that his itinerary is not set at this time.


4. (C) The Dutch believe the risk of Israel exiling Arafat is
"clearly there," and they are looking to the U.S. to help
prevent Arafat's exile. (Note: This discussion took place
prior to Israel's announced intention to remove Arafat.) He
said there is also the question of how much the U.S. will
invest in Qurei as the new Palestinian Authority Prime
Minister, if he is approved by the Palestinian Parliament,
particularly after investing so much in Abbas. Wijnands said
the upcoming Quartet meeting was an opportunity to reenergize
the commitment to the MEPP, and expressed concern that "not
enough on a daily basis" was being done for the MEPP in
general. Wijnands said there is no division within the EU on
the Middle East. The EU had delivered on the Hamas
designation, which Wijnands said was "not so hard" because
"everyone saw it as a necessary step." At the same time,
Europeans feel it is very important not to seem to be
condoning Israel's use of targeted assassinations against
Hamas.


5. (C) Wijnands said there was agreement among EU members
that viable alternatives need to be explored to jump start
the MEPP, such as considering earlier elections or a peace
conference. However, there are problems with both. Wijnands
said earlier elections would only favor Arafat and Hamas.
Similarly, he questioned whether a peace conference would
help "get everything on track" if held at an earlier date, as
the Road Map calls for the conference to be held only after
everything is moving forward. The Dutch are concerned that
decisions made at an earlier conference would be difficult to
implement if overall conditions had not improved.

Iraq
--------------


6. (C) On Iraq, France and Germany restated their position,
supporting the transfer of authority to the Iraqi people and
an increased UN role. There was however a different
atmosphere from previous meetings, with Germany agreeing with
the UK that the transfer of authority should not be rushed.
Wijnands believes there is increasing consensus among the EU
Foreign Ministers as they work toward an agreement on the new
resolution. He felt that in order to arrive at such an EU
consensus, there needs only to be small adjustments in
terminology and the role of the UN.


7. (C) According to Wijnands, the language in the resolution
should emphasize the current interim phase in Iraq,
specifically addressing the transfer of authority and the
expanded role of the UN. He said there was a realization
that the only way to proceed in Iraq is under a unified
command led by the U.S. Werner thought there should be a
study of the various sectors in Iraq, such as water and
sanitation to determine what needs to be done, what the U.S.
role needs to be, and if that role can be phased out. He
believes that the "mixture of control" is important. In some
sectors, Werner suggested the U.S. and UN maintain primary
control, whereas in others, a phasing in of other countries
to proportionally share the burden may be the best approach.


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