This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
1. (U) EconPolCouns met with Foriegn Ministry EU Affaris
director Werner Almhofer on January 21 to present reftel
points. Almhofer made the following substantive replies:
2. (SBU) Tsunami: Almhofer expressed some frustration with
the European public's dissatisfaction with the response of
their governments, while acknowledging that this was a
natural reaction of individuals whom crises have struck.
Almhofer agreed that the effort to provide physical and
economic reconstruction and support to the survivors was key.
3. (SBU) Transatlantic Relations: Almhofer welcomed the
President's trip. He said it would be important to organize
the President's meetings in Brussels to make best use of
them. It is hard, he said, to meet with 25 counterparts if
each covers their own uncoordinated agenda. He thought the
EU side should "choreograph" their presentations in order to
make the meeting as useful as possible for the President.
3. (C) Hizbollah as a Terrorist Organization: There was a
long "theological" discussion in the EU on the question of
how to treat organizations like Hizbollah. Some EU members
point to Hizbollah's "civilian" activities as fulfilling a
useful role, while others point out that this makes it
impossible for legitimate authorities to assume their
rightful responsibilities. There was therefore considerable
discussion under way of how to substitute for Hizbollah's
activites in this area, but there were as yet no movement
toward makin this a reality.
4. (C) Iraq: Almhofer said the EU position was that the EU
would engage "immediately after" the January 30 election to
train administrators and police, and provide other assistance
to Iraq. Almhofer agreed on the importance of out of country
voting (OCV), especially in Iran. We urged Almhofer to
support an active EU role in OCV in Iran.
5. (C) Cuba: The EU felt it was necessary not to step back
entirely from the measures it had imposed on Cuba, Almhofer
said. There was an effort to draft guidelines for dealings
with Cuba, and the maintenance of contacts with dissidents
was "high on the agenda."
6. (C) China: On the arms embargo, Almhofer noted that
there had been some talk of sending a team from Washington to
provide a more detailed analysis of the sort of exports to
China which would cause the most difficulty for the U.S. He
asked whether such a team would be coming to Europe. We said
we continued to oppose lifting the embargo generally.
7. (C) Action Request: We would appreciate any information
to respond to Almhofer's question about whether Washington
intends to send a team for briefings related to the China