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2004-11-10 15:18:00
Embassy Bratislava
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L  BRATISLAVA 001027 


E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/10/2014


Classified By: DCM Scott Thayer for reasons 1.4(b) and (d)

China/Libya Arms Embargos

1. (C) Representatives of the MFA and MOD told DCM and
emboffs October 19 that there was strong pressure from some
EU countries to lift the arms embargo on China and added that
Slovakia believed a strengthened EU Code of Conduct would
only allow responsible exports (Refs A and B). DCM stressed
that would send the wrong message on human rights and
expressed concern that lifting the China arms embargo could
result in European materiel being aimed at the U.S. military
in the Taiwan Straits.

2. (C) DCM expressed concern about the potential exports of
Lethal Military Equipment (LME) to state sponsors of
terrorism such as Libya. Such sales would hamper the Global
War on Terrorism and, consequently, Foreign Military
Financing (FMF) and International Military Education and
Training (IMET) funds could be withheld from countries that
sell LME to these states. MFA and MOD representatives
expressed disappointment, noting that many EU states that did
not receive FMF or IMET assistance could export LME to Libya
without reprisal.

HZDS and Smer Welcome High-Level Belarusian Delegation;
Encourage Slovak Engagement



3. (U) Stefan Stefanec (HZDS), head of the Trencin Regional
Government, met November 2-3 with Konstanstsin Piachko,
Deputy Governor of Brestska region, and Henadzi Prarouski,
General Director of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce.
According to press reports, Stefanec said they agreed to
avoid political discussions, since &this is not a concern of
regional politicians.8 Smer MP Pavol Paska said Slovakia
could find more suitable partners for cultural exchanges but
added that, &democratic structures exist in Belarus.8
Smer,s leader, Robert Fico, made an official visit to
Belarus last year saying he was opening doors for Slovak
business. HZDS MP Dusan Jarjabek acknowledged the lack of a
free press in Belarus, but &this should not preclude holding
talks on economic issues, for example.8

4. (SBU) Robert Kalinak, Chairman of the Parliamentary
Defense and Security Committee and SMER MP, told emboffs
October 27 that Slovakia should not isolate Belarus because
of Lukashenko. Slovakia should encourage business, promote
cultural exchanges, and attempt to engage the Belarusian
citizens. The international community isolated Slovakia
under communism as well and it ended up hurting the citizens
instead of the government. FM Eduard Kukan declared
Lukashenko,s manipulation of the election &very bad.8 The
MFA is providing assistance to Belarusian civil society
through a grant to the Pontis Foundation, a Slovak NGO.

Slovak Relations with Ukraine Not Dependent Upon Elections



5. (SBU) DCM and emboffs October 19 also raised the
Ukrainian democracy issue. MFA and MOD interlocutors
emphasized Slovakia,s strategic relationship with Ukraine
will not change drastically after the presidential elections.
They noted that whoever won the election would face the same
pressures from Moscow and it was unrealistic to expect an
instant change in Ukraine. They said carrots must accompany
the sticks for democracy and market development to take hold.

New Ambassador-at-Large for Terrorism


6. (SBU) Peter Zsoldos, former Slovak Ambassador to the
Persian Gulf states, described his newly created position as
Slovak Ambassador-at-Large for Terrorism. His exact
responsibilities are still unclear as the MFA continues to
reorganize. A rough S/CT equivalent, Zsoldos will report
directly to the Foreign Minister and direct all aspects of
MFA counterterrorism cooperation. Zsoldos has noted
repeatedly his interest in training opportunities in the U.S.
or elsewhere. Helping him clarify his role and best
practices in counter-terror operations would be useful.

Surprise Recall Attempt of KDH Cabinet Members Fails; KDH
Withdraws from Regional Cooperation with HZDS



7. (U) Near the end of the parliamentary session November 1,

Vladimir Meciar,s party, Movement for a Democratic Slovakia
(HZDS), changed its recent &cooperative mood.8 Katarina
Tothova (HZDS) proposed a vote of confidence in Education
Minister Martin Fronc (KDH). Coalition MPs were not present
in sufficient number to prevent this move, which may have
required fewer votes than a no-confidence vote. (Note: The
constitution distinguishes between votes of confidence and
votes of no confidence. Votes of confidence usually are used
to confirm new ministers, although the constitution does not
state this is the only time it can be used. Tothova sought a
negative vote of confidence on Minister Fronc. In theory,
this would require 76 MPs to support the minister for him to
keep his post. A No-Confidence vote would require 76 MPs
(parliamentary majority) to support the recall. Justice
Minister Daniel Lipsic referred the issue to the
Constitutional Court.) Speaker of Parliament Pavol Hrusovsky
(KDH) postponed the confidence vote until the next day on
disputable legal grounds. HZDS tried to recall Hrusovsky
November 2 in response, although both recall moves failed.

8. (U) KDH,s national board October 23 gave its regional
structures authority to form ethnic Slovak coalitions to
defeat regional governments currently dominated by the
Hungarian coalition (SMK), especially in the Nitra region
(septel). Hrusovsky announced KDH would not hold talks with
HZDS at any level, including regional and local levels. SDKU
and ANO will continue to cooperate with HZDS against SMK
regional governments.