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Cablegate: Gos Acknowledges Us Concern About Iraq War Comments

VZCZCXRO4139
PP RUEHAG RUEHROV
DE RUEHMD #0546 0821713
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 231713Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2152
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA 2562

C O N F I D E N T I A L MADRID 000546

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/22/2017
TAGS: PREL PGOV SP
SUBJECT: GOS ACKNOWLEDGES US CONCERN ABOUT IRAQ WAR COMMENTS

REF: MADRID 520

Classified By: DCM Hugo Llorens for reaons 1.4 (b) & (d).

1. (C) The combination of the anniversary of the start of
Operation Iraqi Freedom with the fervor of the Spanish
campaign season led to a brief flurry of anti-US rhetoric
from public figures associated with the government. As
reported in reftel, magistrate Baltasar Garzon wrote an op-ed
on March 20 that proposed an investigation into "criminal
responsibility" for the war. Socialist Party (PSOE)
secretary Jose Blanco hopped on the bandwagon in a TV

SIPDIS
interview that evening. The Ambassador immediately contacted
National Security Adviser Casajuana to express concern.
Casajuana promised to take the message to President Zapatero.


2. (C) Casajuana called the Ambassador late on the night of
March 21 to follow up after speaking to Zapatero. He said
that Zapatero understands the USG's concerns and will try to
bring moderation to PSOE political operatives. Zapatero said
that he appreciated the USG's efforts to stay out of the
political arena and will work to enable the US to continue
staying out. In short, the message was that Zapatero "will
not add wood to the fire."

3. (C) DCM reiterated the USG's concerns on March 23 with MFA
DG for North America Jose Pons and asked that the GOS work to
keep the US out of the political crossfire. He told Pons
that the USG understands that the political climate in Spain
is highly polarized at the moment, but cautioned that
continued statements on this issue by senior Spanish figures
would be viewed negatively by the USG. Pons said that the
only official GOS statement on the issue had come from
Foreign Minister Moratinos, who said on March 20 that only
history will judge Iraq, thus emphasizing that the GOS would
stay far away from legal judgments on the war. Pons
emphasized that Blanco was speaking for the PSOE, not the
government, and that Garzon, an independent magistrate,
speaks only for himself. Pons said that he expects the issue
to die down now that the anniversary has passed.
Aguirre

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