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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
04THEHAGUE1721
2004-07-09 15:14:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy The Hague
Cable title:  

NETHERLANDS/SUDAN: DUTCH IN DRIVER'S SEAT IN

Tags:   PREL  PHUM  NL  SU  UNSC 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 001721 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/08/2014
TAGS: PREL PHUM NL SU UNSC
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS/SUDAN: DUTCH IN DRIVER'S SEAT IN
EUROPE

REF: A. (A) THE HAGUE 1717


B. (B) STATE 145183

C. (C) BRUSSELS 2897

Classified By: POL COUNSELOR ANDREW SCHOFER FOR REASONS (B) AND (D)

Summary
--------



1. (C) The Dutch see themselves as leading Europe to take
firmer action on Sudan. The highest levels of the Dutch
government, including the Prime Minister, are actively
engaged on this issue. Bilaterally, the Dutch have pressed
the Sudanese government to implement its commitments and have
pledged more than $25 million in direct assistance, as well
as an extra million in assistance for the EU Protection Force
along with 2 observers and 3 helicopters. The Dutch are
currently discussing a plan of action for Sudan with their
European colleagues, which would include a timeframe,
specific benchmarks, and sanctions. The Dutch also expressed
interest in strong international cooperation, including with
the U.S. and UN, on common expectations and sanctions if the
Sudanese government commitments are not implemented.

DUTCH ENGAGED FROM THE TOP


--------------------------





2. (C) As noted ref a, Ambassador Sobel raised the issue of
Sudan with Dutch Foreign Minister Bot on July 7. Although
Bot expressed some dissatisfaction that the EU was not
getting credit for its efforts in Sudan to date, he
reiterated that the Netherlands will continue to push for a
strengthened European effort to end the humanitarian disaster
there. Prime Minister Balkenende reportedly also has a
strong personal interest in the subject; a Dutch MFA source
told POLCOUNS on July 9 that the MFA was rebuked by
Balkenende when it recently left Sudan off the list of issues
to be discussed at the PM's regular Friday cabinet meeting.



3. (C) On July 7, S/WCI Pierre Prosper briefed Hugo Siblesz,
the Dutch MFA's Director General for Political Affairs, on
the catastrophic human rights situation in Sudan. Prosper
noted that the Netherlands, as current EU president, could
play a special role in mobilizing international pressure to
convince the Sudanese government to live up to its
commitments to Secretary Powell and UNSYG Annan. Siblesz
responded that the GONL was deeply concerned about the
situation in Sudan and had placed the issue on the agenda for
the EU's GAERC ministerial July 12-13. The Netherlands would
be supportive of a UNSC resolution, he added, and would work
to develop consensus within the EU as well. The EU, he said,
could exert influence both through political pressure and
through the judicious use of humanitarian development
assistance; these efforts should operate in parallel.

WILLING TO GET TOUGH...


--------------------------





4. (C) On July 8, Poloff delivered ref b points on Darfur to
Arjan Schuthof, head of MFA African Horn section of the Dutch
MFA. Schuthof praised U.S. efforts in the region, and

explained that the Dutch have both bilateral and multilateral
efforts underway in Sudan. In her recent visit to Sudan,
Dutch Minister for Development Van Ardenne publically and
privately pressed the Sudanese government to comply with
commitments. The Dutch, however, have serious doubts about
the GOS' intention to implement its promises. Schuthof noted
the importance of multilateral pressure to achieve further
progress, and said that the Dutch would contribute 2
observers to the EU Protection Force.



5. (C) Schuthof placed particular emphasis on the necessity
of resuming peace talks immediately, but worried that finding
a location acceptable to both sides would be difficult.
Asked about the draft UNSC resolution, Schuthof said it "did
not go far enough," noting that sanctions should be imposed
on both the Jingaweit and the Khartoum government. Schuthof
suggested that the circulation of additional information by
the U.S. to help the international community classify the
conflict as "ethnic cleansing" or "genocide" could also help
put the conflict into an appropriate international context.

...BUT EU STILL LAGGING BEHIND


--------------------------





6. (C) According to Schuthof, the EU "has lagged behind"
regarding Sudan despite Dutch efforts to call for stronger
political signals and more active contributions. Schuthof
helped author a Dutch plan of action that sets specific
benchmarks for the Sudanese Government to meet within a
definite timeframe, and calls for specific EU sanctions (i.e.
economic sanctions, asset freezing, and travel restrictions)
if they are not met. This plan is currently under discussion
at the EU Africa Working Group meeting in Brussels.



7. (C) Schuthof commented some EU colleagues want to weaken
statements and actions, citing as an example "except for the
Germans, many EU colleagues want to replace the word
'sanctions' with the word 'measures' which is much weaker."
Schuthof again commented that Minister Van Ardenne and others
are playing an extremely active role behind the scenes
pushing for stronger language. Although the issue would be
raised at the July GAERC, Schuthof expected specific EU
actions would only be discussed at the September GAERC.
Schuthof expressed interest in collaborating with the U.S.
and UN on joint expectations of the Sudanese Government and
joint consequences to force the Sudanese into compliance.

RECENT ASSISTANCE


--------------------------





8. (C) Schuthof turned over a memo detailing Dutch
contributions on Darfur to date. Just this week the
Netherlands committed another 10 million euros (USD 12.4
million) for Darfur relief, and announced they would pay the
cost of three MI-8 helicopters (including maintenance and
fuel) to help the Africa Union deliver assistance to Darfur.
In total the Netherlands has committed 27.5 million euros
(USD 34.07 million) to alleviate the Darfur crisis.



9. Schuthof also stated that the Dutch are actively
encouraging their EU colleagues to make contributions. He
said the EU is circulating an "inventory" to be discussed at
the July GAERC which would provide the basis for further
collective action.
SOBEL