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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09STATE74418 2009-07-17 02:45:00 CONFIDENTIAL Secretary of State
Cable title:  

(U) Deputy Secretary Steinberg's June 19, 2009

Tags:   OVIP ECON PREL PGOV SCUL KNNP ASIR KN KS 
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1. Classified by EAP Acting Assistant Secretary Scot Marciel.
Reasons: 1.4 (b) and (d).



2. (U) June 19; 5:45 p.m.; Washington, DC.



3. (U) Participants:

U.S.
Deputy Secretary Steinberg
EAP Acting Assistant Secretary Scot Marciel
Pamela Park, D Staff
William Bellis, EAP/ANP (Notetaker)

AUSTRALIA
Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Ambassador Dennis Richardson
Lisa Paul, Secretary of Dept of Education Employment and
Workplace Relations
Tom Bentley, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the

Deputy Prime Minister
Michael Sadlier, First Secretary, Embassy of Australia



4. (C/Rel Aus) SUMMARY. In a 20-minute meeting on June
19, the Deputy Secretary and Deputy Prime Minster Julia
Gillard reaffirmed the valued and close relations between
the United States and Australia while discussing a
variety topics including the Middle East, Iran, Uighurs,
North Korea, the global economic crisis, and the
bilateral Work and Holiday Pilot Program. The Deputy
Secretary expressed how much we value our unique
relationship with Australia, and noted that we do not
take it for granted. The Deputy Secretary's two most
important requests for Government of Australia (GOA)
support were its re-consideration of taking some Uighur
detainees from Guantanamo and assistance in developing a
coordinated response from the international community to
enforce UNSCR 1874 regarding North Korean illicit cargo
shipments. Gillard said Australia would seriously look
again at the former and fully supported the United States
on the latter issue. END SUMMARY.



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


MIDDLE EAST STATE OF PLAY


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





5. (C/Rel Aus) Gillard said that her stop in Washington,
on the way to Israel, was primarily to introduce herself
and reinforce already-strong United States - Australian
relations. In particular she said she was interested in
getting the United States' perspective following the
President's Cairo speech, and on the situation in Iran
and the Asia-Pacific region. Deputy Secretary Steinberg
expressed how much we valued the unique relationship we
have with Australia. He also mentioned the close
personal relations between the President and Prime
Minister Rudd. However, he added that we do not take our
close relations with Australia for granted. The Deputy
Secretary said he was glad Gillard would be meeting with
the Israeli leaders. He said that there was a long-
standing opportunity to make progress with enormous pay-
offs, and it was a high priority for the President.
Ambassador George Mitchell would return to the region
with ideas on how to move forward, and these would
include assurances to the Israelis on security. However,
the US believed that a settlement freeze was essential to
progress and that time was not on the side of an
agreement.



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


IRAN


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





6. (C/Rel Aus) The Deputy Secretary observed that the
post-election situation made it more complicated for the
Iranians to engage in a dialogue, especially on the
nuclear issue, and that options for the U.S. and Israel
were very limited. He said that based on his experiences
in the 1979 hostage negotiations during the Carter
Administration, the internal political dynamics of Iran
were difficult to understand.



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


NORTH KOREA


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





7. (C/Rel Aus) The Deputy Secretary said it was necessary
to make clear to the DPRK that things must change and
that the international community will enforce UNSCR 1874.
The United States' focus, he emphasized, was to avoid
confrontation, and encourage all states to follow the
procedures laid out under UNSCR 1874 regarding the
inspection of suspect North Korean cargo shipments. He
added that he was confident Japan and South Korea would
do so, but was less sure about China and Russia and urged
Australia to weigh-in with its Asian partners such as
ASEAN. Gillard, citing Prime Minister Rudd's statements
on the issue, said the Australia was with the United
States on North Korea. It was a key policy focus for the
government, she added.



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

-
ASIA PACIFIC COOPERATION AND STUDENT EXCHANGES


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

-



8. (C/Rel Aus) Gillard made short pitches on two issues.
Touching on Prime Minister Rudd's Asia-Pacific
Cooperation (APC) initiative, she acknowledged that
Australia needed to continue to work on it in the form of
ongoing discussions with its regional partners. Gillard
strongly advocated for a continuation of the U.S.-
Australia Work and Holiday Pilot Program, saying that it
was a great people-to-people initiative. The Deputy
Secretary responded that he was familiar with these types
of programs in general and recognized their critical
importance.



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


UIGHER DETAINEES


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





9. (C/Rel Aus) The Deputy Secretary also raised the issue
of the Uigher detainees in Guantanamo, explaining how
important it was to the United States and how much we
appreciated Australian's willingness to reconsider
accepting some. He alluded to the domestic challenges
the Administration faces regarding the Congress in
dealing with the detainees. Gillard said she understood
how domestic politics can complicate these kinds of
issues and that Australia would take another look and get
back to us.



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


GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS


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





10. (C/Rel Aus) The meeting concluded with Gillard asking
when the Deputy Secretary might be traveling to the
region again. He joked that he would love to try and get
to Australia, "but we don't have enough problems with
you." Gillard added that Prime Minister Rudd looked
forward to seeing the President again at the upcoming G-
20 meeting in Pittsburgh. She said that Australia was
doing well in comparison to the rest of the world with a
positive .04% annual growth rate in the first quarter and
only 5.7% unemployment. "We'd take it", the Deputy
Secretary replied. He added that the irony was that
people are only now coming to understand the situation
and we are just now seeing signs of the relief measures
slowly beginning to work. We have to keep at it, he
concluded.


CLINTON