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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07PARIS2198 2007-05-25 17:12:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Paris
Cable title:  

DARFUR: FRANCE SEEKING BROADER ENGAGEMENT

Tags:   PREL KPKO PHUM SU FR 
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DE RUEHFR #2198/01 1451712
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FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7659
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO IMMEDIATE 2501
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 PARIS 002198 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/25/2017
TAGS: PREL KPKO PHUM SU FR
SUBJECT: DARFUR: FRANCE SEEKING BROADER ENGAGEMENT

REF: A. STEINFELD-KANEDA E-MAILS


B. STATE 65750

C. PARIS 2005

PARIS 00002198 001.2 OF 003


Classified By: Political Minister-Counselor Josiah Rosenblatt, 1.4 (b/d
).



1. (C) SUMMARY: MFA AF DAS-equivalent Helene Le Gal on May
25 said that Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner was likely to
phone Secretary Rice later on May 25 to discuss Darfur.
Kouchner may raise with the Secretary the possibility of
France hosting a minister-level meeting of Darfur Contact
Group members in Paris on June 25, when Secretary Rice is
tentatively scheduled to be in Paris. The GOF hopes to have
its Darfur policy review completed by June 25 and to share
its thinking with Contact Group ministers at such a meeting.
President Sarkozy is likely to raise Darfur at the upcoming
G-8 meeting, including during any bilateral meeting he may
hold with President Bush. Le Gal said that France wanted to
strengthen cooperation with the U.S. on Darfur and that these
high-level contacts were part of that effort. Le Gal
described French efforts to seek a more active role in
Darfur, in both the EU and national contexts, with respect to
humanitarian, security, and political issues. New forms of
French engagement could include increased contributions to
humanitarian efforts, use of French military forces in Chad
to support humanitarian workers, and possible French military
participation in an eventual hybrid AU-UN Darfur PKO. The
French are also considering mounting an operation in Chad,
perhaps with EU participation, if a UN PKO for Chad does not
materialize soon. Le Gal said that the recent UN report on
Darfur appeared to have resolved questions about command and
control over the hybrid AU-UN force. She reported that UN
envoy Jan Eliasson would meet with faction leader Abdulwahid
in Paris on May 27, in order to try to convince him to
re-engage in the political dialogue process. Le Gal said
that Abdulwahid remained very critical of the process and was
making unrealistic "maximalist" demands. END SUMMARY.



2. (C) MFA DAS-equivalent for East and Central Africa
Helene Le Gal on May 25 provided an update on French thinking
on Darfur, a subject of strong interest since Bernard
Kouchner became Foreign Minister last week. Le Gal said that
all concerned GOF elements had been meeting and drafting
options papers non-stop in order to respond to Kouchner's
call for increased French activism in Darfur.

KOUCHNER TO PHONE SECRETARY RICE,
WANTS TO INCREASE COOPERATION WITH U.S.



3. (C) Le Gal said that Kouchner was planning to phone
Secretary Rice later on May 25 to discuss Darfur. Le Gal

SIPDIS
said that Kouchner would likely raise the possibility of
France's hosting a ministerial-level meeting of Darfur
Contact Group members during the Secretary's planned June 25
visit to Paris. She said that Kouchner wanted to use the
Secretary's visit as an opportunity to energize the

SIPDIS
international community's efforts in Darfur. The meeting
need not be a long one --
"perhaps one hour," Le Gal said. The French hope to finalize
their policy review (see below) by June 25 and would present
their ideas at the ministerial meeting.



4. (C) Le Gal said that President Sarkozy was planning to
raise Darfur during the upcoming June 6-8 G-8 meeting, given
its focus on Africa. Le Gal said that Sarkozy would likely
also discuss Darfur in any bilateral meeting with President
Bush on the margins of the G-8 meeting.



5. (C) Regarding possible contact between Special Envoy
Natsios and Kouchner (ref A), Le Gal said that the GOF was
thinking of creating its own Sudan/Darfur Special Envoy, and
that this person, once named, would be SE Natsios's natural
counterpart. However, she said that Kouchner would likely be
amenable should SE Natsios seek to contact him directly. She
suggested that it might be better to make such an approach
after the G-8 meeting, when French planning would probably be
closer to final form.



6. (C) Le Gal said that these high-level contacts were part
of a GOF effort to increase cooperation with the U.S. on
Darfur, the need for which Kouchner had expressed on several
occasions since taking office. She referred also to the
phone conversation between MFA AF A/S-equivalent de
Gliniasty and his counterpart A/S Frazer on May 23.

POLICY REVIEW

PARIS 00002198 002.2 OF 003





7. (C) Le Gal described the policy review as taking place
on several fronts simultaneously. The French have been
working with the EU to develop an options paper on Darfur
humanitarian and security issues that the GOF hopes will be a
main subject of discussion at the June GAERC meeting.



8. (C) On the national level, Le Gal said that the GOF was
developing a broader set of options papers that she hoped
would be distilled into a concrete action plan for review by
senior leaders, including President Sarkozy. In addition to
humanitarian and security issues, the action plan would
include political subjects. The latter would include ways to
push for resumption of political negotiations, with France
approaching both the government and rebel sides to encourage
their participation. This would include rebel groups in
Chad, Le Gal noted.



9. (C) On the humanitarian side, Le Gal said the GOF would
consider ways to increase support to UN entities and NGOs
operating in Darfur. This might include increased provision
of material goods. The French were also considering using
their military assets in Chad -- French troops and the base
at Abeche -- to support humanitarian relief efforts. She
mentioned the possible use of French military aircraft to
transport humanitarian relief supplies.



10. (C) Concerning security questions, Le Gal said that the
GOF was considering increased support for AMIS, which might
include direct funding. The French would also "put pressure
on Khartoum and on DPKO" to accelerate progress on the Heavy
Support Package. Notably, Le Gal said that the French were
considering contributing troops to an eventual hybrid AU-UN
PKO.



11. (C) Le Gal stressed that the foregoing were at present
elements in the options package that the MFA and a range of
GOF agencies were studying. The package would have to be
refined, and "I can guarantee you it will be closely
scrutinized by the political leadership, at the highest
levels, before any of it becomes a reality," she observed.
She added that Kouchner was putting considerable weight into
this project and she predicted that he would be among those
favoring strong French action in Darfur. The policy review
was moving along very quickly, with interagency meetings
taking place daily, the goal being to present a finished
package to France's leadership by early-mid June.

CHAD



12. (C) In addition to including Chad in any thinking on
Darfur, Le Gal said that the French were thinking of specific
ways to support Chad itself. This included pressure
"wherever necessary" to make progress on establishing an
international PKO for Chad. She said that the French were
considering ways for France, with possible EU participation,
to put a mission of some sort (not further specified) into
Chad. should it appear that it would take too long for the UN
to deploy a its own mission to Chad.

COMMAND AND CONTROL OF HYBRID PKO



13. (C) We asked Le Gal whether the French continued to
have their own concerns about how the issue of command and
control of the hybrid AU-UN PKO would be settled (refs B and
C). Le Gal referred to the UN report issued on May 24. She
said that she had not studied the report closely,
but she understood that it contained language on the command
and control issue that was acceptable to both the UN and AU,
and that therefore the matter had perhaps been settled. She
indicated that, unless further review raised or renewed
French concerns, the French would likely support the
conclusions in the report.

ABDULWAHID



14. (C) Per ref A, we asked Le Gal about Abdulwahid and his
willingness to participate in political dialogue. She said
that he remained very negative about the dialogue process.
He was making maximalist demands that Le Gal said were very
unrealistic. However, she noted that UN Envoy
Jan Eliasson would meet with Abdulwahid in Paris on Sunday,
May 27. Le Gal said that the GOF would not be involved in
the meeting but had helped facilitate it.

COMMENT


PARIS 00002198 003.2 OF 003




15. (C) It is evident that Kouchner's strong interest in
Darfur has gotten many elements of the GOF into motion at an
elevated pace. Le Gal described an ambitious series of
options under consideration, but she was careful to note
several times that any options package would have to
survive close interministerial and presidential scrutiny
before implementation. Nonetheless, French activism of this
sort is welcome, even if the resulting package turns out to
be more modest than what Le Gal described. Le Gal, suffering
from a bad head cold, said that she and her staff were
pushing themselves quite hard to meet Kouchner's demands, but
she indicated that the effort was worth it. END COMMENT.



Please visit Paris' Classified Website at:
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