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 PARIS 002110
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/29/2015 TAGS: PREL EAID ECON KJUS KAWC SU FR SUBJECT: FRENCH RESPONSE TO DEMARCHE ON OSLO DONORS' CONFERENCE
REF: STATE 57624
Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Josiah Rosenblatt for reasons 1.4 (b and d).
1. (C) SUMMARY: MFA AF Assistant Secretary Joubert on March 29 said that Xavier Darcos (Minister-Delegate for Cooperation, Development, and Francophonie) would likely lead the GOF delegation to the April 11-12 Oslo Donors' Conference on Sudan (reftel), although no final decision had been made. Joubert said that the EU would pledge about 400 million Euros, of which France would contribute about 25 percent. He said that France would also make a smaller bilateral contribution. On ICC/Darfur issues, Joubert said that his office was working to avoid a France-U.S. confrontation this week at the UN but he said that the issue involved high theology on both sides and, while he saw some room for maneuver, he could not predict that the issue would be resolved to the satisfaction of all interested parties. END SUMMARY.
2. (C) Africa watcher met with MFA AF Assistant Secretary Bruno Joubert and DAS-equivalent Jean-Christophe Belliard on March 29 to carry out reftel demarche. Joubert indicated that France was supportive of the conference. He said that Xavier Darcos (Minister-Delegate for Cooperation, Development, and Francophonie) would likely lead the French delegation. Joubert noted that he would not attend the conference, as he planned to be in the United States at the time, with meetings already arranged at the UN (e.g., at DPKO) and, he hoped, in Washington as well. He noted that FM Barnier's Africa advisor, Nathalie Delapalme, would attend the Oslo conference. Joubert said that France was well aware of high-level interest in the conference, noting that the Norwegians had informed him that UN Secretary-General Annan would attend.
3. (C) On funding for Sudan, Joubert said the EU would pledge 400 million Euros, of which France would contribute about a quarter. He said that the GOF had searched carefully for additional funds and would make a bilateral pledge that he said might seem "modest" to others but that, when taken with the 100 million Euros France would contribute through the EU, constituted a significant sum.
4. (C) Joubert said that the MFA's AF bureau and he personally were quite aware of the problems posed by the ICC/Darfur issue at the UN, where a resolution might be voted later this week. He said that he remained hopeful that a bridging of U.S. and French differences could be accomplished. He noted recent phone conversations between Secretary Rice and FM Barnier and the UK's desire to see
SIPDIS this matter resolved. He commented also on the need to convince the U.S. Department of Defense. Joubert also referred to Sudanese criticism of the process, and noted that the French military had its own concerns about French soldiers and the ICC. Joubert said that the recent Sudanese decision to arrest 15 Sudanese military showed that the fear of international prosecution was real and that the threat of referral to the ICC was serving a useful function in that sense.
5. (C) Nonetheless, Joubert acknowledged that U.S. and French "theological" differences over the ICC remained very strong and that the ICC remained a matter of high principle to France. Although he thought that both sides had some room to maneuver and should seek ways to overcome their differences, he refrained from expressing optimism that that would happen within the next few days. He confided that the views of his bureau suggesting that a confrontation between the U.S. and France be avoided were among many views senior GOF leaders were hearing, and he could not say that his bureau's views on the matter were acc