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Cablegate: Icelandic President Grimsson Pitches Candidacy For

VZCZCXRO6780
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHTRO RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUCNDT #0176 0562210
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 252210Z FEB 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3800
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRK/AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK PRIORITY 0147

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000176

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL UNSC IC
SUBJECT: ICELANDIC PRESIDENT GRIMSSON PITCHES CANDIDACY FOR
SECURITY COUNCIL SEAT

1. (SBU) On February 22, Icelandic President Grimsson told
Ambassador Khalilzad that he had been "personally engaged"
since last year in Iceland's race against Austria and Turkey
for a seat on the Security Council in 2009-2010. Grimsson
said Iceland had been offering potential supporters
cooperation on clean energy and education, but "unlike our
competitors, not financial assistance." President Grimsson
also said he had heard complaints from small-to-medium-sized
states that non-permanent members of the Security Council do
not brief them on Council activity, so Iceland has been
promising these states improved dialogue if it wins a Council
seat.

2. (SBU) Grimsson asked whether the U.S. could support
Iceland's bid to which Khalilzad responded that the U.S. will
give weight to Iceland's status as a NATO partner. Khalilzad
agreed that we should aim for more openness and transparency
in the Security Council. In response to a question from
Khalilzad regarding how the vote count looks, Grimsson said
that Iceland has been "seeing momentum from the middle of
last year up to now." One of Grimsson's aides noted that
Iceland's development cooperation with twenty-six countries
in the Caribbean and South Pacific has been increasing as a
result of Iceland's outreach. Grimsson also stated that
Security Council membership would allow Iceland to bring its
traditionally strong relationship with the US and UK to a new
level of cooperation.

3. (SBU) Ambassador Khalilzad asked Grimsson if Iceland had a
main agenda it wanted to bring to the Security Council. He
responded that it did not have an agenda as such, but is
interested in focusing on human rights, refugees, women's
issues and climate change. Grimsson discussed his views on
climate change at length. (Note: Grimsson gave a climate
change briefing at the UN's Dag Hammarskjold Library on
February 21. End note.)

KHALILZAD

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