Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09BRUSSELS232
2009-02-19 12:11:00
CONFIDENTIAL
USEU Brussels
Cable title:  

DEMARCHE RESPONSE: EU WEIGHING MAURITANIA

Tags:  PGOV PHUM PREL MR ETTC CVIS EUN 
pdf how-to read a cable
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PP RUEHAG RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHBS #0232 0501211
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 191211Z FEB 09 ZFF4
FM USEU BRUSSELS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA PRIORITY
RUEHNK/AMEMBASSY NOUAKCHOTT PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L BRUSSELS 000232 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/19/2019
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL MR ETTC CVIS EUN
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE RESPONSE: EU WEIGHING MAURITANIA
SANCTIONS PATH

REF: STATE 13962

Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Chris Davis for reasons 1.4
(b,d).

C O N F I D E N T I A L BRUSSELS 000232

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/19/2019
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL MR ETTC CVIS EUN
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE RESPONSE: EU WEIGHING MAURITANIA
SANCTIONS PATH

REF: STATE 13962

Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Chris Davis for reasons 1.4
(b,d).


1. (C) Poloff discussed reftel points with Guido Carrara,
European Commission Mauritania desk officer, and Ambassador
Petr Kopriva, Africa director at the Czech PermRep to the
European Union, both of whom were cautiously optimistic the
EU will consider targeted sanctions against key junta leaders
and their colleagues in the coming months. February 20 marks
both the end of the 120-day consultative period under Article
96 of the Cotonou Agreement and the Paris meeting of the
consultative group on Mauritania composed of the EU, AU, UN,
Arab League, Francophonie, and Islamic Conference. Kopriva
described the Paris meeting as important and said he expected
each participating organization to give its assessment of the
current political situation in Mauritania and its
expectations for future actions against the military junta.
The end of the 120-day consultative period will likely result
in the European Commission formally ending development
assistance, which has been suspended since September, and a
"strong" EU statement describing the lack of progress during
the consultative period, Carrara said.


2. (C) Meanwhile, the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy
(CFSP) sanctions process will proceed along a separate track.
Decision on further EU action against Mauritania would thenmove to the European Council. Carrara said the Commission is
still finalizing its proposal to the Council, but he expects
that it will include a recommendation that the member states
consider targeted sanctions to include asset freezes and visa
bans against key officials. The Council's Africa Working
Group and ACP Working Group already have begun discussing
such options informally, Kopriva said. Most EU member states
favor sanctions, but Germany, Spain and Portugal remain
somewhat skeptical. Kopriva and Carrara noted, however, that
the EU has remained united thus far in opposing the
Mauritanian coup, a position they believed would be
strengthened by the recent AU decision to implement
sanctions. Econoff confirmed with a Council Secretariat
sanctions staffer that discussions on targeted sanctions are
still at a preliminary phase at the regional working group
level.


3. (C) COMMENT: EU Heads of Mission in Nouakchott would
likely play a central role in identifying and proposing names
for targeted sanctions designation. The USG could influence
this process at an early stage by sharing thoughts (formally
or informally) on the ground with EU missions. Procedurally,
after the EU regional working groups achieve consensus on
proposed sanctions targets in coordinating positions
negotiated between EU capitals, Nouakchott and Brussels, the
Council Secretariat would draft a proposed Common Position
for successive approval by the External Relations Counselor
Working Group, Permanent Representatives to the EU, and
finally Ministers. For effective complementarity with any
new U.S. sanctions measures, we should continue to engage the
EU informally at the early stage of its process. Informally
updating EU Member States and institutions on the status of
U.S. decision-making could also strengthen the EU's public
outreach, which it will sometimes employ well in advance to
indicate it is considering additional formal measures. END
COMMENT.

MURRAY
.