Search

 

Cablegate: Scenesetter for U.S.-Eu Troika Meeting On Africa

VZCZCXRO5751
RR RUEHAG RUEHBZ RUEHDF RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHIK RUEHJO RUEHLZ RUEHMA
RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHPOD RUEHRN RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHBS #3524/01 3531504
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 191504Z DEC 07
FM USEU BRUSSELS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
RUCNMEU/EU INTEREST COLLECTIVE
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BRUSSELS 003524

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

FOR AF/FO THOMAS-GREENFIELD AND SWAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL AF EU EUN
SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR U.S.-EU TROIKA MEETING ON AFRICA

1. (SBU) Summary: As you meet with EU officials for the
biannual Africa troika Dec. 20, you will find the EU feeling
very positive about its relations with Africa in the wake of
its recent EU-Africa Summit in Lisbon. A shadow, however, is
cast by the troubled EUFOR Mission to Chad/CAR, whose
deployment has been delayed, perhaps indefinitely, by member
states' failure to commit key resources. The Council
Secretariat is in the midst of a leadership change with the

SIPDIS
recent appointment of its Africa Task Force head Koen
Vervaeke to lead the new EU Delegation to the African Union
(AU). On policy issues, the EU and U.S. are largely on the
same page, with the exception of Ethiopia and Eritrea where
the EU believes we are too supportive of Ethiopia and too
hard on Eritrea. End Summary.

EU-Africa Summit
----------------
2. (U) The EU, and the Portuguese Presidency in particular,
are extremely pleased with the Dec. 8-9 EU-Africa Summit that
brought together some 100 heads of state and ministers from
Africa and Europe. The DRC's Kabila was one of the only
prominent African leaders who didn't attend. Despite all the
fuss about Mugabe's participation, the EU is happy with the
way it handled and addressed his presence. Chancellor Merkel
criticized Zimbabwe's economic management as well as its
human rights and governance record on Dec. 8, the opening day
of the Summit. Mugabe did not respond until the following
morning, starting out reasonably enough but soon digressing
into anti-Western rhetoric, according to those present. As
determined by the EU prior to the Summit, High Representative
Javier Solana responded on behalf of the EU, noting the
paradox of Zimbabwe's economic ruin in the midst of a
prosperous Southern African region. During the plenary
session, when each country was allowed to speak on topics of
its choosing, the Netherlands and Sweden mentioned Zimbabwe,
but no other EU states did.

3. (U) One issue that was not resolved prior to the Summit,
despite the best efforts of the EU, was the conclusion of
Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with each African
state. Many African countries have refused to sign new
agreements because they will lose preferential trade benefits
as a result of a WTO ruling. The old agreements expire Dec.
31, and the EU will likely have to negotiate interim
agreements with many countries until new agreements can be
negotiated.

4. (U) The Summit approved a Joint EU-Africa Strategy and
ambitious multi-year action plan for implementation.
Scratching below the surface, however, the Joint Strategy
differs little from the EU Africa Strategy (minus the
"joint") adopted by the EU in 2005. The new strategy calls
for the EU to negotiate with Africa as a whole, through the
AU, instead of bilaterally with each country. In reality,
many question the capacity and authority of the AU to
negotiate for all its member states. Koen Vervaeke, current
head of the Africa Task Force at the Council Secretariat, was
recently named to head the EU's new office in Addis to
conduct relations with the AU. Vervaeke, in one of the first
manifestations of the new EU Reform Treaty, will carry out a
hybrid Commission-Council role as both the EU Special
Representative to the AU, reporting to Solana, and the Head
of Delegation, reporting to Commissioner Louis Michel.

EU Mission to Chad/CAR in doubt
-------------------------------

5. (U) The EUFOR mission to Chad/CAR, which was set to deploy
before Christmas, has been delayed because member states have
not committed key resources, such as helicopters. France,
which proposed and promoted the idea, is willing to put forth
at least half the 3,000-4,000 troops, but does not want it to
be solely a French mission. A few EU member states have
committed small numbers of troops, but the two big powers -
U.K. and Germany - have not, and that is proving to be an
unresolved political obstacle at the moment.

Sudan/Darfur
------------
6. (SBU) The only formal meeting the EU held on the margins
of the Summit was an EU troika meeting (Solana, Barroso,
Socrates and Michel) with President Bashir. The EU pressed
Bashir to accept UNAMID forces, implement the Comprehensive
Peace Agreement (CPA), and work with rebel groups to find a
solution for Darfur, according to EU contacts. Bashir agreed
to consider the EU's requests, but made no commitments. EU
policy on Sudan is largelyin line with U.S. policy and
includes timely eployment of UNAMID, negotiations between

BRUSSELS 00003524 002 OF 002


rebel groups and the GOS, and full implementation of the CPA.
In other meetings on the Summit margins, Solana met with
Presidents Meles and Deby and AU Commissioner Konare.
President Sarkozy met with Presidents Kagame and Gbagbo, and
Commissioner Michel met "with everybody," according to
Vervaeke.

Horn of Africa
--------------
7. (SBU) On Somalia, the EU is encouraged by the appointment
of a new Prime Minister and hopes this will be a political
opening from which to move forward discussions about
elections and a new constitution. The EU often questions our
views of President Isaias, and continues to advocate
engagement of Eritrea as the best path to stability in the
Horn of Africa. On the Ethiopia/Eritrea border issue, the
EU, through Portugal, was prepared to issue a statement at
the very end of November urging the Boundary Commission to
continue, but backed down after we pointed out that Ethiopia
did not want the Commission to continue. There has been no
further action on a statement by either the EU or the
Witnesses.

Zimbabwe
--------
8. (U) The EU sent Jean-Christophe Belliard, political
advisor in the Council Secretariat's Africa Task Force, to
Addis and Southern Africa in late November as an ad hoc
emissary on Zimbabwe. He did not go to Zimbabwe, deciding
that would be counterproductive, but instead visited the AU
in Addis, as well as SADC officials in Botswana and Pretoria
to express the EU's willingness to support democratic
elections in Zimbabwe. Belliard was sent at the insistence
of the UK prior to the EU-Africa Summit, and it is unclear
whether he will continue in that role now that the summit has
concluded.

Participation
-------------
9. (SBU) Portugal expressed many times how much they wanted
this troika meeting to be chaired by A/S Frazer, but still
planned to send their Africa Director to the meeting. The
Council Secretariat will be represented by Andreas
Fischer-Barnicol, who until recently handled the Great Lakes.
He was slated to leave in November on a six-month TDY to
Chad as a POLAD to the EUFOR Commander, but his deployment
has been delayed along with EUFOR's deployment. The
Commission will be represented by its delegation in
Washington.
MURRAY
.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

COP24: Rapid Action Urged At Climate Change Conference

Following a year of devastating climate disasters around the globe, from California to Kerala, and Tonga to Japan, the annual UN Climate Change Conference opens with the goal of finalising the implementation guidelines for the Paris Climate Change Agreement. More>>

ALSO:

New Report: Refugees In PNG Being Pushed To The Brink

Refugee Council of Australia and Amnesty International paint a stark picture of a traumatised refugee population hit hard by Australia's recent healthcare and counselling service cuts, as well as continued threats to their safety. More>>

ALSO:

Jamal Khashoggi: UK, France, Germany Join Calls For Credible Investigation

Germany, the United Kingdom and France share the grave concern expressed by others including HRVP Mogherini and UNSG Guterres, and are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness. More>>

ALSO:

MSF Not Wanted: Nauru Government Shows Continued Callousness

The Nauruan Government’s decision to ask Doctors Without Borders to immediately leave shows continued callousness towards asylum seekers desperately seeking a safe place to call home, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman said today. More>>

ALSO: