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06THEHAGUE2431 2006-11-09 21:46:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy The Hague
Cable title:  

NETHERLANDS/GAERC: DUTCH POSITIONS AHEAD OF THE

Tags:   PREL KPAL MARR PGOV PHUM EUN UN BK CG CU IR 
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1. (C) Summary: The Dutch expect the GAERC to focus largely
on Turkey and enlargement, with limited discussion on a range
of other issues. They do not expect the Turks to fulfill
their Ankara protocol commitments, but seem unlikely to press
for wholesale suspension of negotiations. The Dutch expect
Sudan to be a subject of conversation among Ministers of
Defense, and believe that the route forward now is to beef up
AMIS with UN elements and to find alternate sources of
financing. On the Balkans, the Middle East, and Russia, the
Dutch offered few surprises. The GONL supports ESDP for
Afghanistan. End summary.



2. (C) Poloff delivered ref A demarche November 7 to Deputy
European Political Correspondent Jeroen Boender. On November
9, Boender and Head of the EU Enlargement Division Alle
Dorhout briefed foreign diplomats on Dutch views going into
the GAERC. Poloff dropped the revised Cuba points (ref B)
with Boender at that time.

Turkish accession will muddle on, maybe


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





3. (C) The GONL is happy with the European Commission's
report on enlargement and thinks it contains all the elements
necessary to spur a productive debate on enlargement. The
Dutch believe the Council should endorse the report in
December. Dorhout noted positively ongoing efforts by the
Turkish parliament to address political reform. On
implementation of the Ankara protocol, however, he said that
the Turks have a mere few weeks to meet their obligations.
Failing full implementation of the protocol, a suspension of
negotiations on a number of chapters of the aquis would be
unavoidable. He would not say how many, but indicated he
would advise for more than the minimum three suggested by
some member states. In the meantime, said Dorhout, the GONL
would continue to fully support Finnish Presidency efforts to
reach a solution.



4. (C) Dorhout underlined the role the upcoming November 22
Dutch national elections play in this debate. While the GONL
is in favor of Turkish accession and would like to find a
solution, much of the public opposes accession. Echoing
Foreign Minister Bot, he distanced the government from the
remarks of Mark Rutte, leader of the Liberal Party (VVD), a
junior partner in the governing coalition. Following the
release of the Commission's report, Rutte called for a two
year deadline for full Turkish compliance.

Darfur: Beefing up AMIS is the only option


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





5. (C) Boender said that the GONL now believes that the only
practical way forward in Darfur is to beef up AMIS with UN
elements - "turn it into a UN force, without calling it
that," he explained. Dutch Development Minister van Ardenne,
who works closely with FM Bot and takes the lead on Sudan,
travelled to Khartoum last week. She came away frustrated,
particularly by Sudanese intransigence on UN Special
Representative Jan Pronk, himself a former Dutch Development
Minister. The Dutch understand that financing a strengthened
AMIS will be difficult, and they intend to lobby other EU
member states to contribute heavily. They are hoping for
strong UK support in the lobbying effort. Boender pointed
out that the Dutch and Brits have taken the lead,
financially, within the EU, on Darfur. (The Netherlands has
contributed well over $400 million US.)

Dutch support ESDP mission for Afghanistan


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





6. (C) Boender expected FM Bot to call for a larger EU
presence in Afghanistan, but he did not expect much
discussion on this. The Dutch strongly support a European
Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) mission to Afghanistan,
along the lines described in ref E, and hope it can be on the
ground in early 2007. The EU, Boender added, has particular
expertise in civil-military affairs and law enforcement.

Balkans: Follow Ahtisaari's lead on Kosovo


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





7. (C) On Kosovo, the Dutch feel that EU unity is critical,
and Bot may call for this at the GAERC. The GONL agrees with

THE HAGUE 00002431 002 OF 002


us that Ahtisaari should provide the tactical lead on timing.
They are not, however, willing right now to set time limits.
On Serbia, they "feel that no compromise is possible on
conditionalities." Boender acknowledged, however, that some
member states would like more flexibility and that The
Netherlands may not get its way entirely.

Middle East - It's been a bad week


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





8. (C) Boender reiterated Dutch demands that Palestinians
meet the Quartet's conditions. He also voiced support for
the Siniora government in Lebanon, saying that it was under
pressure and that Siniora's continuing in office was
important. On Solana's visit to the region, he was
non-committal, saying only that Dutch hopes that the
Palestininas might come around have been dashed badly this
past week.

Other business


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





9. (C) On Iran, the DRC, and Russia, there were no surprises.
The UN remains the primary forum for Iran. The GONL has
watched recent developments - missile tests, reports of a
second cascade and the "poor progress" in New York and is
"not in an optimistic mood." On the DRC, they share our
assessment and hope that, if all goes well, the EU election
monitoring force can be home by Christmas. On Russia,
Boender repeated the Dutch position that Russia and the EU
are interdependent but that the EU can still confront Russia
on their "international legal obligations". Cuba was not
mentioned. Uzbekistan was discussed privately and reported
in reftels C and D.
SOLBERG