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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
04BRUSSELS4624
2004-10-27 06:43:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Brussels
Cable title:  

EU-SYRIA: NEA A/S BURNS MEETINGS IN BRUSSELS

Tags:   PREL  PTER  ETRD  KNNP  SY  EUN  USEU  BRUSSELS 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L BRUSSELS 004624 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NEA/ARN AND EUR/ERA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/27/2009
TAGS: PREL PTER ETRD KNNP SY EUN USEU BRUSSELS
SUBJECT: EU-SYRIA: NEA A/S BURNS MEETINGS IN BRUSSELS


Classified By: USEU POL MINCOUNS KYLE SCOTT; REASON 1.4 (B,D)



1. (C) Commission officials told A/S Burns that the Trade and
Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with Syria will only go into
effect after signature and ratification in all 25 member
states. Commission argues that initialing the agreement
provides additional leverage over Syria, which must
demonstrate good behavior if it hopes to gain ratification.
A/S Burns replied that Syria is likely to misinterpret the
decision to initial the agreement, and that Damascus will try
to do the bare minimum to implement it.



2. (C) In consultations with A/S Burns on October 22,
Christian Leffler, Director for Middle Eastern Affairs at the
Commission outlined next steps following initialing of the
Trade and Cooperation Agreement with Syria. Commission will
now put the agreement forward to the European Council
recommending signature. Once signed, the agreement must be
ratified by parliaments in all 25 member states, plus the
European Parliament. This will be a time-consuming process,
Leffler noted, as the agreement can only be signed after it
has been translated into all official languages of the EU.
Comprising hundreds of pages, the process of translating this
into 22 languages will be lengthy. He suggested that
signature is unlikely before the first months of 2005.



3. (C) Leffler said the Commission considered initialing the
agreement to be the best way to maximize the EU's leverage
with Syria. By having an agreement "there for the taking,"
the EU can now argue to Syria that if it wants to gain the
advantages of the trade and aid package, it must do better in
its performance, or the agreement will never be signed and
ratified by the member states.



4. (C) A/S Burns thanked Leffler for this explanation, but
said the EU should not be surprised if the US is not
supportive of the decision to initial the agreement. He
suggested the Syrians are likely to misread the meaning of
the EU decision. The US urges the EU to continue to do
everything possible to maximize its leverage with Syria, and
to keep pressure on them to fully implement UNSC resolution


1559. He cautioned, however, that we would expect Damascus
to try to get away with the minimum possible in implementing
its obligations.



5. (U) This cable was cleared by NEA A/S Burns.

Schnabel