|06DUBLIN706||2006-06-19 13:46:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Dublin|
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C O N F I D E N T I A L DUBLIN 000706
1. (SBU) The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office
announced on June 9 the appointment of UK Ambassador to
Ireland Stewart Eldon to succeed Sir Peter Ricketts as the UK
Permanent Representative on the North Atlantic Council.
Eldon will leave to take up his new appointment in late
August 2006. Eldon,s successor in Dublin has not yet been
ELDON'S TENURE IN DUBLIN
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2. (C) Stewart Eldon is one of the hardest working
ambassadors in Dublin. He knows everyone who matters in
government, politics, business, and society; makes it his
business to thoroughly learn every issue in his brief; and
attends and hosts a huge variety of functions as a way of
exercising influence, gaining information, and countering
lingering Irish resentment of the UK. The U.S. embassy has
worked most closely with him on the Northern Irish peace
process and domestic Irish politics. On both topics, he
demonstrates his up to the minute knowledge. He is
particularly good at assessing personalities, and
understanding how internal processes either help or hinder
progress. We have seen this on issues as diverse as the
peace process; how the U.S. might persuade the Irish to be
helpful on an issue at the EU; and Irish crisis management
capacity. If he has a fault, it might be that because he is
so often the most knowledgeable person in the room, his staff
can be reluctant to disagree with him. On the peace process,
we have always found him insightful and knowledgeable, but
not always the best predictor of where things are going.
3. (C) As for his stand on political/military issues, the
Irish are so extremely sensitive about their neutrality, that
Eldon would not have made much mention of NATO here. His
official biography indicates that he was political counselor
at NATO in 1994, and deputy crisis manager in the FCO,s
Middle East office during the first Gulf War. He served at
the UN in New York three times. He spent an academic year at
Harvard and was a visiting fellow at Yale. Our assessment
is that he will bring to NATO the same high level of
activity, and will want to be known as one of its hardest
working ambassadors. He will know everyone, know the issues
backwards and forwards, master the processes, and, given his
scientific background, grasp even the more arcane subjects
NATO deals with. What we wish we knew more about were his
attitudes toward NATO,s future roles. We do know that he
made a point of hosting officials from the Irish Department
of Defense frequently. The Irish DoD is under funded, and
its political leadership is often overly cautious. By
hosting them regularly, Eldon sought to bolster those who
favor an Irish role in EU battle groups, and Irish
contributions to peace keeping forces.
4. (SBU) Bio provided by the British Embassy Dublin. (Begin
Born in Accra in 1953, Stewart Eldon was educated at
Pocklington School in Yorkshire and Christ's College,
Cambridge, where he gained a starred First in Electrical
Sciences in 1974. He spent two further years at Cambridge
engaged in research on semiconductor lasers, for which he was
awarded an MSc in 1976.
On joining the Diplomatic Service in 1976, Mr Eldon was
posted to the United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations.
Further periods of work on UN matters followed in London and
New York before he was posted to the Political Section of the
Embassy in Bonn in 1978.
After returning to London in 1982 on promotion to First
Secretary, Mr Eldon spent 18 months working on Irish affairs
in Republic of Ireland Department of the FCO. He then served
for nearly three years as Private Secretary to Baroness
Young, who was at that time Minister of State in the FCO and
Deputy to Sir Geoffrey Howe. Mr Eldon was posted back to the
UK Mission to the UN in 1986, where he covered African and
Asian affairs in the UN Security Council and General Assembly
and acted as Deputy Head of Chancery.
In August 1990 Mr Eldon returned to the FCO as Assistant Head
of Middle Eastern Department. He served as Deputy Crisis
Manager during the Gulf War and was awarded an OBE in the
Gulf Honours List in 1991. In December 1991, on promotion to
Counsellor, he was seconded to the European Secretariat of
the Cabinet Office and involved in both the aftermath of the
negotiations on the Maastricht Treaty and the UK EU
Presidency in 1992.
Mr Eldon spent the academic year 1993/94 as a Fellow of the
Centre for International Affairs of Harvard University. His
research paper on the impact of new information systems on
Foreign Ministries was published by the Royal Institute of
International Affairs in London.
From October 1994 Mr Eldon served as Counsellor and Head of
the Political Section of the UK Delegations to NATO and the
Western European Union in Brussels, where he worked on
European Defence issues, the enlargement of NATO, and the
Alliance's outreach to the East. In September 1997 he
returned to the FCO on promotion as Director (Conferences),
with responsibility for coordinating the arrangements for the
four major Summit Conferences held in the UK between October
1997 and June 1998.
In September 1998 Mr Eldon was appointed Deputy Permanent
Representative to the United Nations in New York, with the
personal rank of Ambassador. He was made a CMG in the 1999
New Year's Honours List.
After leaving the UK Mission in September 2002, Mr Eldon
spent three months as a Visiting Fellow at Yale University.
His work there on East Timor (on which he was personally
involved during his time at the UN) will form part of a book
on the UN Security Council to be published by the
International Peace Academy in New York in early 2004.
Mr Eldon was appointed British Ambassador to Ireland in April
Mr Eldon married Christine Mason in January 1978. They have
two children: a daughter (1982) and a son (1985).
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