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08MADRID1081 2008-10-10 16:02:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Madrid
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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


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


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.