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Cablegate: March 29 Meeting of the G-8 Global Partnership

VZCZCXYZ0006
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHRL #0791/01 1081804
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181804Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7971
INFO RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 8172
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 1766
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 1010
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 8700
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 0440
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 1434

UNCLAS BERLIN 000791

SIPDIS

STATE FOR ISN/CTR, EUR, WHA/CAN, AND EAP/J
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PARM PREL ETTC KNNP CBW TRGY GM JA RS CA
SUBJECT: MARCH 29 MEETING OF THE G-8 GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP
WORKING GROUP IN BERLIN

REF: A. BERLIN 535
B. BERLIN 244

1. (SBU) Summary: The third G-8 Global Partnership Working
Group (GPWG) meeting under the German G-8 Presidency took
place in Berlin March 29. The Chair opened with a discussion
of a draft document which reviewed the first five years of
the Global Partnership (GP). Some delegations complained
that they had insufficient time to review the draft properly,
and other delegations, including the U.S., noted the lack of
mention of the GP's future beyond 2012, even though the
delegations during the February 28 GPWG meeting had discussed
expanding the GP geographically and in scope. After some
discussion, the Chair agreed to redraft the review document
and re-circulate it. The GPWG also discussed the Northern
Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP), recent
developments in GP projects, and whether the GPWG would push
for a G-8 Leaders' Statement on nonproliferation, which would
include mention of the GP. Most delegations agreed that the
GP should draft a leaders' statement for this year's G-8
Summit in June. DAS Semmel informed the other delegates that
since the item was not on the agenda he would not table a
U.S. draft but noted that the issue would surface in the
Political Directors meeting the following week. He also
mentioned that a U.S. paper proposing an outline for GP
expansion would be distributed at the Political Director's
meeting. End Summary.

2. (SBU) German MFA Commissioner for Economic Affairs and
Sustainable Development Viktor Elbling chaired the morning
session of the March 29 GPWG meeting. He opened the meeting
with a discussion of a German-produced draft, "Global
Partnership Review," which had been circulated to GPWG
partners on March 26. The partners had agreed at the
previous GPWG meeting February 28 that Germany would produce
a draft consisting of three parts: I. Main Achievements, II.
Lessons Learned, and III. Future Priorities. Elbling
explained the Germans' intent was to produce a concise paper
versus a comprehensive document and asked for responses.
Most delegates expressed appreciation for the brevity of the
document, but some complained that it was distributed too
late for appropriate consideration or for domestic
inter-agency consultations. The British, U.S., and Canadian
delegates queried why Part III lacked any mention of the
future of GP beyond 2012, when delegations had expressed
general support for this at the February 28 meeting. DAS
Semmel said the GP needs to consider its priorities beyond
2012, because proliferation threats will not stop then nor
remain what they were in 2002, when the GP was created. He
outlined the future as: fulfilling existing GP commitments in
the next five years, expanding the GP beyond Russia and
former Soviet Union states, extending it beyond 2012,
determining the threats of the future, and making additional
financial commitments to GP projects after 2012. He informed
the group that the U.S. would table a paper outlining U.S.
thinking on this in the Political Directors' meeting on April
3, 2007.

3. (SBU) British Delegate Berenice Gare said the review
document, in addition to mentioning expansion, should prompt
G-8 leaders to re-state their commitment to GP. Without
renewed commitment from the leaders, the GP is liable to
diminish in importance after 2012, even though the world will
face new threats. To the Chair's comment that the draft
review document purposely excluded mentioning expansion
beyond 2012 because it is difficult to commit the G-8 leaders
to something that far in advance, Canadian Delegate Troy
Lulashnyk said even if the GPWG cannot bind governments to
such commitments, the nuclear-related threat will extend
beyond 2012. He suggested that the review document could
cover the scope beyond 2012 without shackling the leaders and
noted that the Kananaskis Accords of 2002 describe a much
wider mandate for the GP than it has exercised to date. He
said the Global Partnership was always intended to be global
and geographical expansion beyond Russia and the FSU should
not detract from the ongoing commitments to them. British
Delegate Gare noted the first GP document, released at the
2002 G-8 Summit in Kananaskis, Canada, bound the leaders to a
10-year commitment, so the precedent for long-range
commitments and foresight was already set. She said it would
be unfair to the G-8 leaders if the GPWG indicated that all
the nuclear threat issues will be solved by 2012. Italian
Delegate Antonio Catalano di Melilli agreed the GPWG should
look at new projects and expand the scope, noting that
because of the early focus on projects in Russia, several

worthy proposals for projects in other countries were
dismissed.

4. (SBU) French Delegate Camille Grand advocated adding some
specific figures to Part II, such as citing how many Russian
nuclear submarines had been dismantled so far, to indicate GP
successes to date. Russian Delegate Ruzhkov argued against
including any figures in the review document and said, as it
was, Part II had too many technical details. He added the
review document should be a political document and not a
technical paper. All delegates agreed figures attract
controversy and delay, but also acknowledged the usefulness
of concrete references and examples.

5. (SBU) DAS Semmel and other delegates emphasized that the
review document should have a positive tone. The GP, despite
some difficulties in implementing some projects, has been a
success story and made the world safer with the dismantling
of decommissioned Russian nuclear submarines, securing
nuclear facilities in Russian and the FSU, and destroying
chemical weapon stockpiles in the U.S. and Russia. He noted
further that the GP has been successful despite the absence
of any permanent bureaucracy or institutional infrastructure.

6. (SBU) Elbling ended the discussion by offering to redraft
the review document and circulate it by April 5 with the
proviso that the delegates respond within 10 days. He agreed
that the next draft would reflect the positive character of
GP work and the outstanding achievements.

7. (SBU) Thomas Meister, Director of the German MFA's
International Energy and Nuclear Energy Policy and Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Division, then assumed the chair. He
opened discussion on the Northern Dimension Environmental
Partnership (NDEP). Because NDEP has an environmental
dimension, he raised the issue of whether it belonged under
GP auspices. After some discussion, most delegates agreed
that it fit within the GP's scope. The UK representatives
advised that the GP "keep a gentle eye" on NDEP, and the
Russian Delegation urged the NDEP's Coordinating Committee to
work more closely with the GP.

8. (SBU) The Chair then opened discussion on recent
developments in GP projects. The delegates gave updates on
various projects since the February 28 meeting. Canadian
Delegate Lulashnyk mentioned Canada was negotiating with
Russia to establish a bio-containment facility to house
biological warfare-related equipment coming from Central
Asian countries.

9. (SBU) DAS Semmel, under Other Business, raised the issue
of a Leaders' Statement. He advocated inserting a comment
about GP expansion in the G-8 Summit Declaration. (Note: In
sidebar discussions, the British and Canadian delegates
agreed with DAS Semmel on this issue. End note.) Semmel
noted the G-8 Political Directors would discuss such an
insertion at their April 3 meeting in Berlin. Meister said
he would raise the issue with his government but was
noncommittal.

10. (SBU) Comment: The meeting went well, considering the
perplexing, truncated draft five-year review document which
the German MFA had circulated with only three days' notice.
The draft had excluded much of the third portion of the
review document, i.e., the future of the GP, which had taken
up considerable discussion time and preparation in the
February 27-28 meetings. Dietrich Becker of the MFA said in
a sidebar meeting that the German draft was purposely
designed to cover only the consensus language and what was
excluded was to be discussed at the March 29 meeting. Given
that Japan will assume the G-8 Presidency in 2008, it should
be noted that the Japanese delegation during lunch expounded
on previous comments that domestic concerns make it difficult
for their government to sustain continued support for the GP
beyond its current commitments. The German delegates and
others echoed these concerns. They added that to the extent
that the GP is known, it is equated with supporting work in a
now oil-rich Russia. Conversations with these and other
delegates during recent meetings indicate that developing a
compelling rationale for GP expansion requires very careful
consideration of the individual motives, security concerns,
and priorities of each GP member. The support from most
members for expansion seems genuine but might lack internal
support in their governments, when compared to the US,
British, and Canadian positions. This means that a

compelling case must be made to skeptical domestic political
figures and audiences for expanding the partnership so that
the GP can adjust to new global realities and combat WMD
threats. Moving the U.S. proposal to extend and expand the
GP will be difficult and will need to be elevated to more
senior levels to gain greater traction. End Comment.

11. (SBU) This cable was coordinated with DAS Semmel
subsequent to the delegation's departure.
TIMKEN JR

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