|08STATE15648||2008-02-14 23:23:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Secretary of State|
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 07 STATE 015648
1. (U) Classified by William Lucas, Office Director,
EUR/ERA. Reason: 1.4(b) and (d).
2. (U) This is an action request. See paragraph 13.
3. (SBU) Summary: EU Foreign Ministers will hold their
next General Affairs and External Relations Council
(GAERC) meeting in Brussels on February 18-19. We
expect the agenda to include: Western Balkans (Kosovo),
Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Iran, Chad, and
Burma. Posts are requested to include the SIPDIS
caption on their response cables. A background section
covering some of these issues is provided prior to a
section containing talking points. Points are to be
delivered as soon as possible at the appropriate level
to EU members only. Other posts should not/not deliver
ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE PROCESS
4. (SBU) Our focus is on sustaining the momentum
generated at the November 27 Annapolis Conference, and
the December 17 Paris Donors' Conference. We continue
to encourage expanded budgetary support for the PA,
especially by Arab states. The next AHLC meeting on May
2 in the United Kingdom will provide a good opportunity
to push donors to meet and expand their budgetary
support to the PA. Secretary Rice has made clear, both
privately and publicly, that we must ensure continuous
progress in Israeli-Palestinians political negotiations
on core issues even in the face of unhelpful
developments (e.g., Dimona terrorist bombing, Gaza-Egypt
border situation) and that we cannot let this distract
from progress in talks between the parties. Our goals
remain Israeli-Palestinian Roadmap implementation,
Palestinian capacity building (the mission of Quartet
Representative Blair and LTG Keith Dayton's Security
Sector Reform), regional cooperation with Israel and
Arab support for this process, and progress on political
talks between Abbas and Olmert and their negotiating
5. (C) Iran's continued failure to suspend its
proliferations sensitive activities and to provide
complete and verifiable disclosure of its nuclear
activities through the IAEA Work Plan, as well as its
continued ballistic missile development, support for
terrorism, and willful violation of multiple UN Security
Council resolutions, underscores the need for increased
international pressure, both through the UNSC and by
urging states to implement additional sanctions
measures. The EU remains divided on adopting additional
sanctions on Iran. A significant number of EU Member
States prefer to wait for a third UNSC sanctions
resolution before adopting new EU sanctions, and it
appears possible that the EU will not adopt new
sanctions without a new UNSCR. However, as the UNSC
track moves forward, the French, British, and Germans
assure us that the EU will take autonomous steps.
6. (C) EU non-proliferation and regional experts met in
Brussels February 6 to discuss a new round of autonomous
EU designations of Iranian officials and entities
suspected of engaging in proliferation-related
activities. They considered new candidates for
designation under the EU's Common Policy on Restrictive
Measures Against Iran, the mechanism used to designate
entities from the annexes of UNSCRs 1737 and 1747.
STATE 00015648 002 OF 007
These new designations under existing mechanisms could
be approved by the EU-27 foreign ministers at the
February 18 GAERC, but the EU appears likely to wait
until after a third UNSCR has been approved. Also at
the February GAERC, the foreign ministers are expected
to receive briefings from High Representative Solana on
the nuclear dossier.
7. (C) The EU will resume internal deliberations of new
sanctions against Iran (other than designations)
immediately after a third UNSCR is tabled in New York,
with a view toward approval of new measures at the March
GAERC. We want to encourage the EU to implement new UN
sanctions, once adopted, as expeditiously as possible.
We want the EU to go beyond the specific lists of
individuals and entities designated in the new
resolution, as well as to make mandatory and expand the
scope of any provisions that are left as voluntary in
the resolution, as the EU has done in the past (e.g.,
with respect to outright bans on arms sales and the
transfer of items controlled by the Nuclear Suppliers
Group to Iran).
8. (C) The EU has temporarily suspended its military
deployment to Chad because of recent intense fighting in
Ndjamena. EU officials believe Sudan is heavily
supporting the Chadian rebels and that the timing of the
fighting was calculated to overthrow the Deby regime
prior to the deployment of EU forces. The EU has stated
repeatedly that it remains committed to deploying the
EUFOR peacekeeping mission to the Chad/Sudan border as
quickly as possible.
Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)
9. (U) The WTO waiver for the trade provisions of the
EU's Cotonou Agreement expired on December 31, 2007. In
order to replace the previous one-way preferences and to
ensure compliance with the WTO rules, the EU has been
trying for 5 years to negotiate Economic Partnership
Agreements (EPAs) with 77 countries of Africa, the
Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP), split into six regional
groups (West, South, Central and East Africa, Caribbean,
10. (U) EPAs are to be structured as comprehensive and
regional free trade agreements, covering trade
liberalization in goods, services, and investments,
enforcement of intellectual property rights, and also an
"aid for trade" assistance package. However, only one
region out of six, the Caribbean, signed an EPA before
December 31, 2007. Therefore, the European Commission
has initialed non-comprehensive "interim agreements",
covering only goods, with most of the ACP countries.
11. (U) The interim agreements, as well as the ultimate
EPAs themselves, will have implications for many
different aspects of US trade and development policy and
therefore raise a number of questions for different
agencies within the USG. We also recognize that, given
the many sensitive issues raised, any public USG
response will need to be carefully considered. Until the
USG has been able to assess those agreements, USTR
requests that agencies avoid commenting specifically on
the agreements. The only concern we can express so far
is that several "interim agreements" do not respect
regional institutional cohesion (for example, interim
agreements initialed bilaterally with Cote d'Ivoire and
Ghana, instead of ECOWAS-Economic Community of West
12. (SBU) The Burmese regime has made no progress toward
a dialogue with democratic and ethnic minority
representatives, as Aung San Suu Kyi's January 30
STATE 00015648 003 OF 007
statement acknowledged. It continues to delay the
return of UN Special Adviser Ibrahim Gambari and to
arrest and prosecute peaceful political activists. It
has not fulfilled the UNSC's call to stop harassing,
arresting and detaining members of the opposition and to
release all political prisoners. The junta announced
that it will hold a referendum on a new, junta-drafted
constitution in May, demonstrating its lack of
seriousness about an open and fair process for the
restoration of democracy. The drafting process for the
constitution has not incorporated the views of
opposition parties or all ethnic groups, nor does the
timeframe allow for adequate debate on the merits of the
constitution especially when large segments of the
opposition are imprisoned or in hiding. Given the lack
of progress, the EU should join the U.S. in increasing
the pressure on the regime by further tightening
targeted financial sanctions on the regime. The United
States does not see sanctions as an end, but as a means
to prompt the regime to release Aung San Suu Kyi and
other political prisoners, and begin a genuine dialogue.
Tighter sanctions complement our efforts to promote a
dialogue on a transition to democracy, support the goals
and objectives of the UN good offices mission and the UN
Security Council's focus on Burma, engages key
stakeholders in the region, and supports the Burmese
13. (SBU) Please deliver the following points to the
appropriate MFA official(s) as soon as possible (in
advance of January 28-29 GAERC).
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-- We congratulate President Tadic and his party on
their February 3 reelection victory. Following a
vigorous campaign, the second round of voting took place
in an orderly manner, and the extraordinarily high voter
turnout was remarkable.
-- President Tadic promised voters a European future for
Serbia. We will work with President Tadic and Serbia to
see that promise fulfilled, and we look forward to
continuing our efforts to build a productive
relationship on matters of common interest.
-- Of course, we also welcome the EU's efforts to deepen
its relationship with Serbia and accelerate its progress
towards the EU, and we encourage your efforts to sign a
Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with
-- However, our policy on Kosovo has not changed. The
time for decision on Kosovo is upon us, and we must all
be ready to act.
-- We need as many EU Member States as possible to
recognize Kosovo within a day or two following a
declaration of independence. Any gap between the
declaration and recognitions will complicate UNSYG Ban's
effort to smooth the transition of the UN Mission in
-- We do not have the luxury to be flexible with timing.
The Kosovars have been patient, but there is
anticipation building for a declaration of independence.
Further delay of Kosovo's independence or delay of
recognition would create space for extremists on the
ground in Kosovo and the region to stir up trouble.
-- We welcome the adoption of the procedures authorizing
the ESDP Rule of Law mission ("EULEX Kosovo") earlier
this month, and we look forward to the formal launch of
the mission very soon. The United States is eager to
join with the EU in this very important effort, and our
experts are coordinating on the details of U.S.
STATE 00015648 004 OF 007
ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN PEACE PROCESS
-- Appreciate the EU's support for the Annapolis process
and the strong EU financial assistance for the
Palestinians announced at the Paris Donors' Conference
($650 million for 2008).
-- We welcome the EU's transition from the Temporary
International Mechanism to PEGASE, a mechanism to
provide direct European assistance to the Palestinian
Authority, and to focus assistance on development and
reform priorities identified by PM Fayyad ahead of the
Paris Conference. We also look forward to the next Ad-
Hoc Liaison Committee in May in the United Kingdom.
-- We must sustain the momentum generated at Annapolis
and Paris. President Bush's travel to the region aimed
to do just that, and reflects his personal commitment to
achieve real progress towards a two state solution. The
President has said that he will return to the region,
possibly as soon as May.
-- We believe it is particularly important at this time
to achieve meaningful progress on the ground to build
confidence between the parties. Tony Blair's team has
identified a number of excellent projects. We need to
identify and address any obstacles to get these projects
-- As agreed with the parties at Annapolis, the U.S.
will take on the role of monitoring and judging Roadmap
implementation. LTG William Fraser will head this
effort. He traveled to the region at the end of January
and will return on a regular basis for discussions with
-- It is our hope that by providing a mechanism to deal
with Roadmap issues, we can also help protect the
negotiations from being distracted or derailed by any
unhelpful developments on the ground.
-- As you know, Secretary Rice has appointed retired
General Jim Jones, former Marine Corps Commandant and
NATO Supreme Allied Commander, to serve as her Special
Envoy for Middle East Security.
-- General Jones will be advising the Secretary on
security needs for a two-state solution, both in terms
of the parties' needs, international engagement, and the
-- On Gaza, we were deeply concerned by the events of
January 23, when Hamas breached the border with Egypt
and Gazans flooded into the Sinai. Egypt has gradually
restored order and we have encouraged Israel, Egypt, and
the Palestinians to work together to find a solution for
the Gaza-Egypt border.
-- We have also stressed the importance of continued
humanitarian aid to Gaza. We must work with the parties
to find a solution for Gaza that maintains pressure on
Hamas, but ensures the needs of innocent Gazans are
-- We are also deeply concerned by the daily rocket fire
from Gaza into southern Israel, injuring and killing
numerous Israeli civilians. This is unacceptable and
must be stopped, and we continue to call on all parties
to do their part to put an end to these terrorist
-- In that same vein, we condemned the terrorist attack
in Dimona on February 4 and have urged the PA, which
also condemned the attack, to do everything within its
power to dismantle the infrastructure of terror and
prevent such attacks in the future.
STATE 00015648 005 OF 007
-- We will continue to consult closely with our European
partners and with the Quartet over the coming months.
-- Iran has failed to meet even the limited obligations
it agreed to under the August 2007 IAEA Work Plan and is
continuing its enrichment activities in direct violation
of its legally binding UNSC suspension obligation.
-- Iran failed to meet the December 2007 deadline set
by IAEA DG ElBaradei for Work Plan completion, and
continues to block the IAEA by extending the deadline.
-- New information revealing Iran's past attempts to
create a weapon combined with their ongoing enrichment
of uranium make it imperative that Iran fully disclose
its past activities and provide the IAEA verification
that these activities have stopped.
-- DG ElBaradei has repeatedly requested a full
"confession" of Iran's past and present activities. The
international community can have no confidence in the
peaceful nature of Iran's current nuclear activities
until Iran admits to its past weapons-related activities
and complies with its international nuclear
-- As the NIE notes, Iran's decision to suspend weapons
related work in 2003 was in response to international
pressure. We should redouble our efforts to pressure
Iran and insist it come completely clean with its
-- Iran also continues to provide lethal support to
terrorists throughout the Middle East in violation of
multiple UNSC resolutions. EU troop-contributing
nations in Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq should be
especially concerned with Iran's lethal support to
terrorists in these countries.
-- We urge EU members to publicly call for quick
adoption of a third UNSC sanctions resolution. When it
adopts new UN sanctions, we encourage the EU to go
beyond the specific lists of individuals and entities
designated in the resolution, as well as to make
mandatory and expand the scope of any provisions that
are left as voluntary in the resolution, as the EU has
done in the past.
-- We also encourage the EU to adopt additional
autonomous sanctions. We support additional EU
designations under existing mechanisms being finalized
as soon as possible, and new sanctions being finalized
quickly once the third UNSCR is adopted.
-- For example, we urge the EU designation of Bank
Melli and Bank Saderat using the authorities provided in
UNSCRs 1737 and 1747. There is hard evidence linking
these banks to Iran's proliferation activities and
support for terrorism, respectively.
-- February 14 marks the third anniversary of the
assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq
Hariri, who was murdered alongside 21 other Lebanese.
The UN Special Tribunal, which will help the Lebanese to
hold the perpetrators of this and a number of other acts
of political violence accountable, is not yet fully
funded. We urge the EU to recognize appropriately the
anniversary of Prime Minister Hariri's assassination and
to provide funding to the Special Tribunal.
-- We are also concerned about Lebanon's continuing
political impasse. The opposition, backed by Syria and
Iran, continue to obstruct the election of a President.
STATE 00015648 006 OF 007
Political intimidation and interference in Lebanon's
sovereign political process cannot be tolerated. We
urge the EU to speak out against Syrian and Iranian
interference and intimidation in Lebanon.
-- Along these lines, we urge the EU to stop engaging
Syria. The repeated visits of Western diplomats to
Damascus have only served to embolden the Asad regime.
Since Syria's participation in Annapolis, it has
received multiple European ministers in Damascus, and
Syrian officials have been received in Europe. And yet,
Syrian interference in Lebanon and support for Hizballah
continues apace, while repression of Syrian democracy
activists at home has increased.
-- We have demarched Khartoum and other regional
governments to put pressure on Sudan to cease their
support for Chadian rebel groups.
-- We support the deployment of the EUFOR peacekeeping
mission as soon as possible. It is now all the more
critical in order to help stabilize the humanitarian and
Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)
-- The United States has not yet assessed the EPA
agreements recently signed by a number of ACP countries.
We understand that except for the Caribbean, these are
non-comprehensive "interim agreements", some of which
are still being finalized.
-- We support EPA's objective to foster regional
integration and strengthen regional organizations. We
hope that the signing of the "interim agreements" will
not hamper regional integration efforts, especially in
-- Highlight our concern that the regime has made
absolutely no progress on its obligations to the UNSC.
The regime continues to harass and imprison the
opposition; it has not released all political prisoners
as requested; it still has not made any progress toward
a dialogue on a transition to democracy; and it
continues to delay the visit of UN Special Adviser
-- This lack of progress coupled with the announcement
of a referendum in May 2008 on a new, junta-drafted
constitution, the regime has demonstrated its lack of
seriousness about an open and fair process for the
restoration of democracy.
-- Emphasize the need to press the regime not to begin a
genuine dialogue with democratic and ethnic minority
groups. This entails releasing political prisoners and
easing restrictions on ASSK and other key interlocutors.
Another step is full cooperation with and access for the
good offices mission of U.N. Special Adviser Gambari.
-- Urge the host government to advocate adopting EU
sanctions on Burma's three foreign trade banks as a
means to increase the pressure on the regime.
-- Note that tougher sanctions by like-minded countries
will focus international attention and pressure on
China, as the regime's key enabler, to positively
influence the regime.
-- Stress that sanctions on Burmese banks can be
tailored to allow personal remittances and transfers to
STATE 00015648 007 OF 007
NGOs to ensure that sanctions target the regime and not
the Burmese people.
-- Underscore that the regime has only responded to
pressure and that sanctions are having an impact -
Singaporean banks have canceled some Burmese accounts,
gem auction revenues are down, and the Burmese officials
and regime cronies have complained to us and Gambari
about sanctions, indicating that they feel the pinch.
-- Any offer of incentives for Burma including
humanitarian assistance before the regime has made
significant progress toward a transition would be
premature at best, and is likely to prolong the lifespan
of the regime and thus undercut the calls of the
international community and the UNSC for democratic
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