wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05HELSINKI207
2005-02-17 13:04:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Helsinki
Cable title:  

FEBRUARY 21 GAERC: FINLAND RESPONSE

Tags:  PREL UP MD SR BK SU HR FI EUN EU GAERC 
pdf how-to read a cable
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 HELSINKI 000207 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/ERA AND EUR/NB

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/17/2015
TAGS: PREL UP MD SR BK SU HR FI EUN EU GAERC
SUBJECT: FEBRUARY 21 GAERC: FINLAND RESPONSE

REF: A. STATE 25111

B. HELSINKI 186

Classified By: Ambassador Earle I. Mack for reasons 1.4(B) and (D)



1. (U) We delivered Ref A demarche to the Finnish MFA and the
Prime Minister's Office on February 11. In a February 16
follow-up conversation with Kimmo Lahdevirta, Finnish EU
Correspondent, Lahdevirta provided GoF views on the GAERC
agenda and a preview of the issues the Finns want to raise
during the President's visit to Brussels.

The February 22 Meetings


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





2. (C) Given the division of responsibilities in the Finnish
constitution -- President Tarja Halonen has authority for the
nation's foreign policy, while Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen
is responsible for EU affairs -- both Halonen and Vanhanen
plan to attend the February 22 meeting with President Bush.
They have agreed, however, that Halonen will speak for
Finland. Ref B reports the Ambassador's recent conversation
with President Halonen, in which Halonen said a theme for her
remarks in Brussels will be the need for close U.S./EU and
transatlantic cooperation on all the emerging challenges of
the 21st century, not just crisis management. Lahdevirta
said he also expects Halonen to touch on the situation in the
Western Balkans, and the need for the EU to maintain
conditionality. Halonen will note that the EU is taking on
more responsibility in the area, but will stress that
continued U.S. involvement is critically important. (Note:
President Halonen made the latter point in her conversation
with the Ambassador.)



3. (C) Lahdevirta said FM Tuomioja assumes that in their
parallel meeting with the Secretary, most of the Foreign
Ministers will focus their remarks on the Middle East.
Tuomioja, therefore, believes it would be useful for him to
concentrate on other issues, such as Afghanistan, the global
war on terrorism, and Darfur. Lahdevirta said he expects
Tuomioja to underline the need for the international
community to combat terrorism and the proliferation of WMD,
but to do so always in accordance with international law.
Tuomioja may also make the case for referring any
Darfur-related war crimes prosecutions to the ICC.
Lahdevirta said the GoF hopes the U.S. will abstain on this
matter, since none of the cases is likely to involve U.S.
citizens. We reiterated the U.S. view that the alternative
approach of a UNSC-created court, administered by the UN and
AU, is a good one on its merits and an efficient use of
existing resources. Lahdevirta said that in any case,
Tuomioja will not force a "head-to-head battle" over this
matter that would "spoil the mood" at Brussels.

Iraq


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





4. (SBU) According to Lahdevirta, the GoF understanding is
that the EU police training mission will be launched shortly,
with the first elements put into place in March and full
operation by July. Training will be carried out on the
territory of the EU nations offering courses, although there
will be a liaison office at the UK embassy in Baghdad. Many
or most EU nations will participate, although the details of
who will provide what courses remain to be worked out. The
Finns do not have the resources to host a course themselves,
but will contribute civilian rule-of-law experts and/or
police instructors to another nation's course. Lahdevirta
confirmed that the ten police instructors Finland now
provides on a national basis to the academy in Jordan will
remain there as well. (Note: In the conversation reported in
Ref B, President Halonen seemed to suggest that Finland might
agree to host some kind of police training on Finnish soil as
a "complementary" way of participating in Iraqi
reconstruction short of committing troops or trainers inside
Iraq.)

Western Balkans


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





5. (C) Returning to the issue of conditionality, Lahdevirta
argued that we must bear in mind that the Western Balkan
nations are at different stages. Although President Halonen
will not go into this level of detail in her Brussels
remarks, the GoF believes that all Western Balkan nations
must be treated in the same way: Serbia and Montenegro
"should not be treated more harshly than Croatia was at a
similar stage in years past." A Feasibility Study for
Croatia began even though war crimes indictees had not all
been surrendered. On the other hand, the closer a country
gets to the prospect of actual accession talks, he said, the
more strictly conditionality should be applied. Thus, the EU
now must insist on delivery of Gotovina to the Hague before
Croatia advances any further in the process.

European Neighborhood Policy


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




6. (C) Lahdevirta said the U.S. and EU cooperate well on
these issues. The GoF will make the point at the GAERC
meeting (if the point needs to be made) that the EU must deal
with Ukraine on its own -- not in the context of EU-Russian
relations.

Sudan/Darfur


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





7. (C) The Finns are worried, said Lahdevirta, by apparent AU
resistance to including European experts in the African Union
mission. He acknowledged the AU's need to retain ownership
of the effort, but it is equally important that the operation
achieve results. It does appear that the AU will accept the
need for EU contribution to a police component.
MACK