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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08LISBON1655 2008-07-11 13:51:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Lisbon
Cable title:  

PORTUGAL POLDIR: CONCERN ON IRAN, WAIT ON KOSOVO

Tags:   PREL KNNP PARM MNUC PGOV PO YI KV IR 
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VZCZCXRO4932
RR RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHLI #1655/01 1931351
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 111351Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY LISBON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6923
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 0258
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 0104
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 LISBON 001655 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/11/2018
TAGS: PREL KNNP PARM MNUC PGOV PO YI KV IR
SUBJECT: PORTUGAL POLDIR: CONCERN ON IRAN, WAIT ON KOSOVO

REF: A. STATE 69691

B. STATE 64530

Classified By: AMBASSADOR STEPHENSON, REASONS 1.4 (B,D)



1. (C/NF) Summary. While just absorbing his portfolios, new
MFA Political Director Nuno Brito relayed his optimism for a
negotiated suspension of Iranian uranium enrichment. Brito
also doubted Portugal would recognize Kosovo before
September, but would maintain its support for NATO and EU
missions there. End summary.



2. (U) Ambassador Stephenson called on Portuguese MFA
Political Director Ambassador Nuno Brito July 10 -- on
Brito's third day in office -- to discuss recent developments
with Iran and Kosovo.

Iran: Some hope only


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




3. (C/NF) Brito told us that he believed an "understanding"
on Iran's suspension of uranium enrichment was within reach,
although he noted that Iran had not yet formally responded to
the P5 1 offer.



4. (C/NF) Brito opined that Europe's primary concern
regarding Iran was an additional spike in oil prices that
would result from a potential Israeli intervention. Brito
recounted the statements of Iranian parliamentarian Allaeddin
Boroodjerdi who stated during a visit to the Portuguese
parliament this week that recent missile tests were a
specific message to Israel. Brito said that while it was
fine to keep Iran off-balance, Israel should temper its
actions.



5. (C/NF) Brito also said he was struck by Boroodjerdi's
citation of cooperation with the U.S. on counterterrorism in
Iraq as an example of Iran's willingness to cooperate with
the west.

Kosovo: Don't hold your breath


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




6. (C/NF) Portugal's failure to recognize Kosovo yet is not a
refusal to recognize Kosovo according to Brito, who suggested
that he does not now, however, expect any announcement before
September. Acknowledging that the many obstacles that
Portuguese representatives had previously cited -- Spanish,
Russian, and Serbian elections -- had all passed, Brito said
only that these steps had been necessary, but not sufficient
conditions. Brito denied that differing interpretations of
UNSC 1244 were the basis for Portugal's delay, noting that
Kosovo recognition was a political issue rather than a legal
issue.



7. (U) Brito continued that Portugal is active in bringing
Serbia closer to the European Union. Nonetheless, Portugal
maintains its commitment to both the NATO mission and the
nascent EULEX justice mission in Kosovo.

Bio notes


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




8. (U) Brito spent 11 years in the U.S., serving at
Portugal's missions in New York and Washington. He said he
visited 41 states during that time and professed a deep
admiration for our country. Professionally, Brito was
involved with the negotiations of the U.S.-Portugal Agreement
on Cooperation and Defense (ACD), signed in 1995. Brito
subsequently took the lead on the ACD's subordinate Labor
Agreement, which governs employment practices for the U.S.
Air Force's operations at Lajes Air Base in the Azores. As
Director General of European Affairs for the last two years,
Brito was directly responsible for policy coordination during
Portugal's recent EU presidency.

Comment


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




9. (C/NF) Brito cheerfully admitted that, in his few days in
office, he had not mastered many of his portfolios, including
the one on Iran. His comments on the subject were based
almost entirely on attending the parliamentary meeting where
Boroodjerdi spoke. Brito specifically asked that Ambassador
Stephenson be candid with him and Ambassador Stephenson
obliged, particularly on Kosovo. The Ambassador made it very
clear we were both perplexed and frustrated that Portugal,
having played an important role in focusing EU attention on
Kosovo during their EU presidency, was now one of only seven
members (five of whom have some similar internal ethnic
issues) not to have recognized. We expect a good
relationship with Brito, who is known for his
professionalism. Unlike what we frequently encountered with
Vasco Bramao Ramos, Brito's predecessor, there will be little
free-lancing on his watch.

LISBON 00001655 002 OF 002


STEPHENSON