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Cablegate: Danish Mfa "Still Working" On Funds for Lebanon

VZCZCXYZ0010
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHCP #0051 0381437
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 071437Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4046
INFO RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 0080
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS 0114

UNCLAS COPENHAGEN 000051

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/ELA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM DKEM EFIN LE SY DA
SUBJECT: DANISH MFA "STILL WORKING" ON FUNDS FOR LEBANON
TRIBUNAL

REF: STATE 10786

1. (SBU) The Danish government continues to wrestle with
internal bureaucratic questions of how to fund a contribution
for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (reftel). Danish MFA
acting Middle East head Steen Norlov and Lebanon desk officer
Jakob Rogild Jakobsen told us February 6 that the foreign
ministry supports a contribution, but has so far not been
able to overcome rules that prevent such contributions from
being officially counted as "development" assistance.
Securing funding outside the development budget presents an
even greater challenge, they said, and so the Danish MFA will
continue to work the issue, arguing that sustaining Tribunal
operations directly supports civil society. The Danes
welcomed Secretary Rice's note verbale, noting that it should
prove helpful in advancing their case within the government.

2. (SBU) More broadly, the Danish government indicated
support for the proposed steps outlined in our demarche and
shared our concerns about the need to shore up the Lebanese
government. Jakobsen, who had returned from a visit to
Lebanon days earlier to review the progress of Danish efforts
as part of the German-led border monitoring mission,
described an overwhelming sense of stalemate in Lebanon.
Jakobsen observed that the status quo favors Hezbollah and
Aoun, and concluded reluctantly that election of a president
could be blocked even beyond next year's parliamentary
elections.
CAIN

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