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09PRAGUE601 2009-10-09 15:24:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Prague
Cable title:  

PART II: CZECH COMMENTS ON FURTHERING U.S.-CZECH

Tags:   PARM PREL EZ EUN 
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1. (SBU) Summary: Czech MFA Political Director Ivo Sramek,
accompanied by MFA Security Policy Director Ivan Pocuch and
MOD Director of Strategic and Defense Planning Division Ivan
Dvorak provided emboffs on October 9 with two papers:
"Specific Ideas for Further Strategic Cooperation between the
Czech Republic and the United States" and a second paper from
MOD with the same title, but on "Defense Related Issues."
Sramek highlighted that the Czechs would like to discuss many
of these issues in the first paper with Vice President Biden
and at the Strategic Dialogue (once it is scheduled), while
they would like to cover the second paper at the High Level
Defense Group. End Summary.



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Papers Are Not Meant as an Exhaustive List


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




2. (SBU) Sramek noted that these papers are meant as
complements to the original paper the Czechs handed over on
September 25 ("Food for Thought") and September 17 ("The Way
Forward in Strategic Cooperation"). He noted that the
approach in the first of these two papers today was in
keeping with the Kohout-S dialogue in New York, where the
Secretary and Kohout agreed to "think broadly" about
cooperation, while the second paper was designed to layout
substantive details in the defense area that could be the
basis of discussions at the High Level Defense Group (HLDG).
Sramek also flagged for emboffs that the Czechs would like to
discuss the ideas outlined in the "Furthering Strategic
Cooperation" paper with Vice President Biden during his visit
later this month.



3. (SBU) PolDir Sramek highlighted that the Czechs do not see
this as an "exhaustive list," but rather as an opportunity
for dialogue on a range of subjects of interest to both of
our countries. Speaking of matters aside from the defense
cooperation, which he left to Dvorak to cover, Sramek
particularly noted Czech interest in discussing cooperation
in Afghanistan (maximizing the effectiveness of the PRTs as
well as common training of the ANSF), energy security
(perhaps formalizing cooperation between
Ambassadors-at-large), the Eastern Partnership and Balkans'
Euro-Atlantic integration.



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Defense Related Issues in Lead up to Biden Visit and HLDG


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




4. (C) Dvorak highlighted a number of aspects in the MoD
paper he provided emboffs, which the Czechs have classified
as restricted. He referenced the Czechs continued interest
in acquiring C-130s and noted that Minister of Defense Bartak
has written to Secretary Gates about this. With respect to
deployments in Afghanistan, Dvorak noted the continued
interest in US support through both lift and sustain efforts
and close cooperation in the ground. He went on to reiterate
Czech interest in progress on the proposed sale of L-159s to
the Afghan National Air Force. He also referenced CBRN
collaboration, particularly in the biological research and
defense area.



5. (C) An idea that Dvorak also flagged, new to post, is
Czech interest in developing ground based air defense and
mobile air defense radars. While Dvorak was clear that the
Czech Republic is committed to the NATO Alliance Ground
Surveillance (AGS) program, he noted that the Czechs just do
not have the funding to cover their portion of the program
currently. The Czechs seek to defer payments and requested
USG support at this time.



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Upcoming Strategic Dialogue


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




6. (SBU) Sramek noted that in addition to discussing some of
the issues in the "Furthering Strategic Cooperation" paper
with Vice President Biden, the Czechs would also like to use
this paper as a basis for discuss at the Strategic Dialogue.
The Czechs prefer to host this dialogue in Prague and
commented on the timing that "we don't need to rush," but
want to hold this before the end of the year.



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


NATO Strategic Concept



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




7. (SBU) Both MFA and MoD officials flagged Czech interest in
participation within the Group of Experts working on the new
NATO Strategic Concept. They also noted that while a number
of seminars have been planned already, the Czechs are willing
and interested in hosting a final seminar, perhaps in the
spring, that would be all encompassing - pulling together the
issues and ideas covered in the earlier sessions. Sramek
believes that Czech Ambassador to the U.S. Petr Kolar and
Ambassador to NATO Martin Povejsil have been engaging key
interlocutors, but expressed interest in USG comments as to
whether we think such a seminar would be viable.



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


Dvorak Raises Declaration of Intent and Bartak Interest in
Meeting Gates


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




8. (C) Ivan Dvorak brought up two specific issues that were
not covered in the papers. The first issue was the NATO HIP
helicopter "declaration of intent." Ivan Dvorak followed up
on a conversation DAO Colonel Wilson had with Milan Dvorak on
October 5, which was subsequently communicated by Wilson to
Mike Condray and others. The Czechs requested USG support on
the NATO HIP helo initiative and they would particularly like
Secretary Gates to sign the declaration of intent at the
October 22-23 NATO Ministerial in Bratislava. Dvorak
reiterated that the document is not legally binding and
created no resource obligations, but that U.S. support would
help the project.



9. (C) Second, Dvorak raised the issue of an invitation for
Secretary Gates to visit Prague on the margins of the
Bratislava Ministerial, and/or a bilat at the Ministerial
itself. This invite was buried in the thank you letter post
forwarded last week. A formal answer, one way or another,
would be most helpful.



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


Participants at Biden Meetings


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




10. (SBU) PolDir Ivo Sramek noted that at the meeting between
Prime Minister Fischer and Vice President Biden, the Czechs
are planning to involve Foreign Minister Kohout as well as
Minister of Education Matesova. PM Fischer has asked
Minister Matesova to join because the Czechs are particularly
interested in discussing cooperation with us in the areas of
research and training. Dvorak commented that it is unlikely
that Minister of Defense Bartak will join if the Vice
President is in Prague on October 23, as Bartak will be at
the NATO Defense Ministerial. The Czechs also inquired
whether there would be a senior DoD/Joint Staff
representative traveling with Vice President Biden on this
visit.
Thompson-Jones