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Cablegate: Finnish Response - Condemning Arrest And

VZCZCXRO9744
RR RUEHAG RUEHROV
DE RUEHHE #0045 0361055
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 051055Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4044
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 0044
RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST 0563
RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN 4117
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS 0064
RUEHLJ/AMEMBASSY LJUBLJANA 0057
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0130
RUEHPG/AMEMBASSY PRAGUE 0988
RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA 4679

C O N F I D E N T I A L HELSINKI 000045

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/05/2018
TAGS: PREL KMPI SY FI
SUBJECT: FINNISH RESPONSE - CONDEMNING ARREST AND
ARRAIGNMENT OF SYRIAN DEMOCRACY ACTIVISTS

REF: SECSTATE 11025

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

1. (C) PolChief delivered subject demarche Feb. 5 to Deskoff
for Syria and Lebanon Keijo Karjalainen. Karjalainen thanked
us for the detailed information on the plight of Raid Seif
and the Damascus Delcaration National Council members. He
said that the GoF is now following these cases closely within
the EU. The resident EU Ambassadors met in Damascus and
agreed that the Syrians' handling of this issue was abusive
and disturbing. All EU capitals have received the French
draft demarche, and the GoF supports the "stronger" language
that it includes. However, Kajalainen reported, there is
division within the EU regarding the French proposal to use
equally strong language in a public statement. Several EU
members -- Finland included -- are concerned that a strong
public statement could jeopardize the safety of Damascus
group members. Finland has not reached a national position
on this aspect of the question, however, and is likely to
support EU consensus.

2. (C) Meanwhile, Karjalainen noted, Finland plans no
bilateral contacts with the SARG until Sept. or Oct., when a
Director-General level delegation will visit Syria and
Lebanon.
WARE

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