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Cablegate: Ambassador's Meeting with State Secretary Tiilikainen

VZCZCXRO2086
RR RUEHIK RUEHPOD RUEHYG
DE RUEHHE #0601/01 2180843
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 060843Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3640
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE 0035
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 4800
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0053
RUEHPS/USOFFICE PRISTINA 0035

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HELSINKI 000601

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR EUN NATO FI
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S MEETING WITH STATE SECRETARY TIILIKAINEN

REF: HELSINKI 530

1. (SBU) Summary: Ambassador Ware and PolChief met with Teija
Tiilikainen, State Secretary at the Finnish MFA, for a tour
d'horizon of multilateral and bilateral issues. Topics included
potential increases to Finland's NATO/ISAF commitments in
Afghanistan; Kosovo; Russia; and Finland's 2008 OSCE Presidency.
End Summary.

NATO/ISAF
---------
2. (SBU) Tiilikainen offered an update on internal government
deliberations regarding Finland's commitments to ISAF. At the
initiative of Foreign Minister Ilkka Kanerva and Defense Minister
Jyri Hakamies, the GOF is currently preparing a detailed report for
Prime Minister Vanhanen to present to Parliament examining all
aspects of Finland's activities in Afghanistan, including
peacekeeping, crisis management and reconstruction assistance (see
reftel). None of the report's details are yet available, but the FM
and the MOD tell us they are leaning toward recommending significant
increases in both troops and reconstruction assistance. Tiilikainen
noted, however, that convincing key Parliamentarians -- including
Center Party politicians from within the governing coalition -- that
increased commitments to ISAF are in Finland's interest will be a
major challenge. The "summer news drought" has attracted unhelpful
media attention to the issue, she said, and there are also public
opinion hurdles to be overcome in the wake of a Finnish soldier's
death in Meymenah last spring. Still, Tiilikainen noted that
winning over -- or at least satisfying -- skeptical MPs was an
integral "part of Finland's political culture" and she expressed
confidence that the forthcoming report would win the cabinet's
approval and ultimately allow Finland to take a greater role. The
Ambassador strongly reinforced the idea that doing more in
Afghanistan is in Finland's interest, noting the high priority
Secretary Rice placed on it during her June meeting with FM Kanerva.

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She also welcomed the GOF's forthcoming report and its effort to
win political and public opinion support for ISAF.

Kosovo and Russia
-----------------
3. (SBU) Turning to Kosovo, the Ambassador emphasized the importance
of the US and the EU presenting a united front in support of
Ahtisaari's recommendations regarding final status. Tiilikainen
noted that Finland is "among those EU countries" that remain fully
supportive of full independence for Kosovo. Although hesitant to
say at this point whether or not Finland would recognize a
unilateral Kosovar declaration of independence, she concurred with
the Ambassador's view that it would be crucial for us to act in
concert should the US and the EU ultimately face this eventuality.
Tiilikainen also said the EU must find a way to convince Serbia that
its interests lie in Europe, and that intransigence on Kosovo
damaged those prospects. The Ambassador lamented the fact that the
Serb leadership appears too weak to hear this message, but noted
that nonetheless the EU and US must continue to work together to
emphasize this point to Belgrade. Tiilikainen also agreed that the
US and the EU needed to find ways to send unified messages to Russia
on a range of issues -- including Kosovo, missile defense, WTO
membership and energy issues -- just as they did to good effect
during the Estonia Bronze Soldier crises. Regarding missile
defense, the Ambassador assured Tiilikainen that the US has had
substantial dialogue with Russia over the years.

Finland's OSCE Presidency
-------------------------
4. (U) Tiilikainen noted that Finland will face a range of
challenges during its 2008 OSCE Presidency, including relations with
Russia and human rights and democracy issues in the Caucuses. The
Ambassador also highlighted our shared interest in ensuring that the
OSCE maintain the high quality and integrity of its election
monitoring.

Biographic Notes
----------------
5. (SBU) Although Teija Tiilikainen, 43, is not formally affiliated
with any political party, FM Kanerva (Conservative Party) named her
in May to be the first-ever "politically appointed" State Secretary
at the Foreign Ministry. [The practice of naming "political" State
Secretaries is very new in Finland; a law permitting government

SIPDIS
ministers to exercise the option came into effect in 2004 during the
first Vanhanen Administration (2003-2007).] A career academic
specializing in European foreign and security policy as well as in
EU integration, she served since 2003 as the director of the network
for European studies at the University of Helsinki. In 2002 and
2003, she represented then-PM Paavo Lipponen (Social Democratic
Party) at the Convention on the Future of Europe, responsible for
drafting the EU constitutional treaty. Tiilikainen is a strong
advocate of EU-NATO security cooperation, and has publicly called
for close coordination between the two bodies, particularly in the

HELSINKI 00000601 002 OF 002


area of crisis management operations (CMO). In her academic
writings, she has argued for a common sense approach to the
capacities of the EU and NATO in CMO, recognizing that NATO has far
more resources while at the same time calling on the EU to continue
to develop its own capacities in coordination with NATO. She has
also been a strong advocate of improved civilian crisis management
within the EU, arguing that this would complement well NATO's
demonstrated military superiority.

6. (SBU) FM Kanerva appointed Tiilikainen largely because of her
expertise on EU issues. We understand that she will focus -- and
often act in Kanerva's stead -- on issues related to the EU's
formulation of common foreign policy and constitutional treaty
issues, as well as the democracy and human rights issues that should
become a focus of Finland's OSCE Presidency. Tiilikainen's proven
expertise and interest in these areas are expected to complement the
emphasis that Kanerva and other senior MFA officials will place on
NATO and European security initiatives.

WARE

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