|03THEHAGUE2597||2003-10-10 08:10:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy The Hague|
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 THE HAGUE 002597
1. (C) Dutch Prime Minister Jan Balkenende approached
Nigerian President Obasanjo on the margins of the UNGA in New
York. The GoNL strongly maintains that former Liberian
President Charles Taylor must face his indictment at the
Special Court for Sierra Leone, and Balkenende encouraged
Obasanjo to address this issue. MFA contacts reported to
PolOff that Obasanjo acknowledged that he agrees Taylor
should eventually face the Court. However, the Nigerian
President stated that action now to force Taylor to do so
could negatively impede the peace process in Liberia.
Obasanjo wants to wait to address this issue until the peace
process has a chance to get off the ground.
2. (C) Dutch MFA Deputy Head for West Africa Roel van der
Veen interpreted Obasanjo's comments as a positive. The GoNL
previously had concerns that Nigeria would oppose Taylor's
need to face his indictment due to his asylum deal, and were
pleased to hear otherwise. Appreciative of Obasanjo's
viewpoint, the Dutch plan to wait one to two months to
allow the peace process to develop. Following such a period,
Van der Veen expects that the GoNL will ask the EU to
approach Nigeria formally to request action.
3. (C) Note: The Dutch have brought up Taylor's court
indictment at several EU Africa working group meetings since
Taylor's departure from Liberia. The GoNL has been
disheartened by the lack of interest from fellow member
states. Van der Veen reports that the GoNL will not let
Taylor's indictment be forgotten. He does not expect any
other member state to broach this issue in the following
months; however, the GoNL will not block EU action in the
upcoming months if proposed by another member state. End