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Cablegate: Finnish Response - Supporting Aspirations of The

VZCZCXRO3935
RR RUEHAG RUEHROV
DE RUEHHE #0003 0031240
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 031240Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3979
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS 0063

C O N F I D E N T I A L HELSINKI 000003

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR NEA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/03/2018
TAGS: PREL KMPI NSC SY FI
SUBJECT: FINNISH RESPONSE - SUPPORTING ASPIRATIONS OF THE
SYRIAN NATIONAL COUNCIL

REF: SECSTATE 171106

Classified By: POLCHIEF GREG THOME FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) & (D)

(C) PolChief delivered subject demarche to MFA Office
Director for the Middle East Eija Rotinen January 3. Rotinen
welcomed the information we had to share regarding the
Damascus Declaration National Council. Very few groups have
had success in promoting peaceful democratic reforms in
Syria, she said, and any dissidents brave enough to press for
such change should be applauded and encouraged. Finland
continues to support EU efforts to urge the Government of
Syria to respect human rights and to release political
prisoners. The GOF has also made these positions clear in
past bilateral meetings, Rotinen noted. She could not
commit, at this point, to a unilateral GOF statement in
support and predicted that if Finland made a public statement
of support it would be in the EU context. However, she said
she would recommend some statement of support, noting that it
"should be in our common interest" to support such a group.
HYATT

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