PP RUEHAG RUEHROV
DE RUEHMD #1081 2841602
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 101602Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5431
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA 3601
C O N F I D E N T I A L MADRID 001081
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/10/2018 TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM SP USEU SUBJECT: SPANISH VIEWS ON OCTOBER GAERC
REF: STATE 108064
Classified By: ADCM James Dudley for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1. (C) Poloff delivered reftel demarche to Spanish MFA Deputy European Correspondent Maria Luisa Benitez Donoso on October
10. Donoso said that Georgia will dominate the GAERC agenda, with some discussion on Belarus, Zimbabwe, Uzbekistan and Moldova.
2. (C) Donoso said that Spain is pleased with the deployment of EU civilian monitors, noting that Spain has 10 monitors heading the naval mission in Poti. She said that "Spain is also pleased with Russia's compliance and withdrawal thus far" and that the GOS believes that continued, fluid communication with Russia is important. According to Donoso, Spain would not support the imposition of travel restrictions on high-ranking Abkhaz and South Ossetian officials. Donoso said that Spain will continue to contribute to aid in the region, but no set amount has yet been allocated for Spain's pledge at the October 22 Donors' Conference.
3. (C) Donoso said that Spain is pleased with the release of the political prisoners in Belrus, but like the United States, disappointed with the lack of transparency in the September 28 elections. "Belarus has a long way to go," she said, but indicated that Spain will support lifting sanctions in Belarus in-so-far as such action stimulates democracy and transparency. Spain will also encourage re-engagement with local Belarus authorities, according to Donoso. She said that it is important that engagement with Belarus occur not only within the EU framework, but also through the Council of Europe and the OSCE.
4. (C) According to Donoso, Spain does not support continued sanctions against Zimbabwe, although Spain too is disappointed in the implementation thus far of the September 15 power-sharing agreement. Spain believes that Mbeki will be an effective mediator, Donoso said, and is most interested in assuring that humanitarian aid reaches those needing it and is not inappropriately funneled through government authorities.
5. (C) Donoso agreed that Uzbekistan is not where it should be with respect to human rights protections, but stated that Spain is interested in showing support for the progress made. She said that the EU has not yet decided whether or not to lift the visa restrictions, indicating that the Dutch are holding up the decision to do so as they do not think Uzbekistan has made sufficient progress with reforms.
6. (C) Donoso said that Spain would like to see Moldova have a closer relationship with the EU, but that the EU will be looking for significant change in the 2009 elections and further discussion is needed. AGUIRRE