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Cablegate: Overview of the 44th Munich Conference On Security Policy

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DE RUEHMZ #0052/01 0430631
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 120631Z FEB 08
FM AMCONSUL MUNICH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4268
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RHMFIUU/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE
RHMFISS/CDRUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE
RHMFIUU/HQ USAFE RAMSTEIN AB GE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRL/USDAO BERLIN GE

UNCLAS MUNICH 000052

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SENSITIVE
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STATE FOR EUR EUR/AGS, SECDEF FOR OSD - RICHARD DOTSON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PARM MARR NATO GM
SUBJECT: OVERVIEW OF THE 44TH MUNICH CONFERENCE ON SECURITY POLICY

REF: MUNICH 17

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION.

1. (U) The 44th annual Munich Conference on Security Policy, under
the theme "The World in Disarray - Shifting Powers - Lack of
Strategies?" took place February 8-10, 2008 at the Bayerischer Hof
hotel in Munich, Germany. Invited guests included more than 200
heads of state, foreign ministers, defense ministers, parliamentary
delegations and journalists from around the world, including Serbian
President Tadic, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, U.S. Defense
Secretary Gates, and Russian Deputy PM Ivanov. Afghanistan and the

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need for greater Allied solidarity in meeting the demands of the
ISAF mission was the main topic of discussion (septel), but other
highlights included Russian Deputy PM Sergei Ivanov's relatively
positive speech about Russia's plans to develop its economy and its
desire for greater cooperation with the West. The speech stood in
stark contrast to President Putin's hostile remarks at last year's
conference, in which he accused the U.S. of trying to start an arms
race by deploying a missile defense system in Europe.

Afghanistan gets top billing
----------------------------

2. (SBU) In his prepared remarks at the conference, "The Future
Development of Afghanistan," Secretary Gates set down a marker that
NATO could not "become a two-tiered Alliance of those who are
willing to fight and those who are not." Gates, who had come to
Munich straight after the February 7-8 informal NATO defense
ministerial meeting in Vilnius, said that "such a development, with
all its implications for collective security, would effectively
destroy the Alliance." Along the same lines, Gates also warned
against a division of labor where some allies would opt "only for
stability and civilian operations, forcing other Allies to bear a
disproportionate share of the fighting and dying." While German
interventions continued to demonstrate defensiveness and
insecurities regarding their efforts in Afghanistan, Secretary Gates
noted that he was not singling out particular countries, but rather
underscoring the need of the Alliance as a whole to do more to
ensure success.

Opening dinner speech by Tadic
------------------------------

3. (SBU) The opening dinner on February 8 included a speech by
Serbian President Boris Tadic, who urged attendees to continue
pushing for additional dialogue on the Kosovo question while
outlining Serbia's EU aspirations. "We cannot accept the
dismembering of our country," he said, adding that the optimal
solution "is for Serbia -- including Kosovo -- to become a member of
the European Union." The speech was described by some attendees as
"what's expected at this stage" and "flat."

Opening conference speech by Erdogan
------------------------------------

4. (SBU) Turkish PM Erdogan opened the conference with a speech
entitled "Turkey's Foreign Policy and Security Interests, which
focused on Turkey's EU aspirations and rejected the idea of
privileged partnership ("after four decades of efforts and promises
one cannot change the rules of the game"). Erdogan also reviewed
Turkish policy and initiatives in Central Asia, the Middle East, and
Iran. Questions focused on the Armenian genocide issue, Cyprus, and
concern about Turkish integration into the EU. Regarding the
Armenian genocide question, Erdogan was defensive, but noted that
establishment of a joint commission of experts to study the Ottoman
Empire archives may help resolve the issue. (Septel will report on
Erdogan's full visit to Germany.)

The conference panels
---------------------

5. (SBU) Panel Topic 1: "The Atlantic Alliance: Bucharest and
Beyond"
(German DefMin Franz Josef Jung, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop
Scheffer, French DefMin Herve Morin, Polish FM Radoslav Sikorski,
and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham). Speeches focused on Afghanistan,
Russia and missile defense, NATO expansion, and Iraq. German
parliamentarians urged more openness from the government to convince
the public of why continued efforts in Afghanistan are so important.
NATO SYG noted that he could not "intellectually understand Russian
concerns with twenty missiles in Poland" which elicited some
applause from the otherwise subdued crowd.

6. (SBU) Panel Topic 2: "From Cooperation to Confrontation? The
Future of Arms Control" (German FM Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Senator
Joseph Lieberman, IAEA DG Mohamed ElBaradei, and Kenneth Roth of
Human Rights Watch). While Steinmeier and ElBaradei pressed their
arms control agenda, Senator Lieberman noted that the unique threats
emanating from the Islamic Republic of Iran merited a "uniquely
powerful response." Interestingly, no questioners asked for a
greater explanation. Unfortunately, ElBaradei barely mentioned Iran
during his speech. See SEPTEL.

7. (SBU) Panel Topic 3: "A Challenge to European Stability"
(Macedonian President Branko Crvenkovski, Moldovan President
Vladimir Voronin, Georgian President Saakashvili, and Slovenian FM
Dimitrij Rupel). Described by many as the most interesting
give-and-take of the day, Crevenkovski went head-to-head with the
Greek representative over the Macedonian name issue and Saakashvili
battled it out over Abkhazia and Kosovo with several members of the
Russian Duma. Following the day's talks, dinner was hosted by
Bavarian Minister-President Guenther Beckstein at the Bavarian
Residence where conference chair Horst Teltschik was thanked for his
efforts over the past ten years on the occasion of his retirement as
conference chair.

8. (SBU) Panel Topic 4: "Where is Russia going? A New Attempt for
an
All-European Security Order" (Russian Deputy PM Sergey Ivanov, EU
Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier
Solana, Romanian FM Adrian Cioroianu). As last year, Ivanov again
painted a rosy picture of Russia's economic and political future and
mostly avoided any polemic issues. He agreed that corruption and
the lack of respect for the law are two problems Russia must deal
with as it continues its development. Solana, notably, stated his
"regret" that Russia has become less constructive on certain issues,
particularly on Kosovo. He also urged Russia to abide by its treaty
commitments such as CFE.

9. (U) Panel Topic 5: "Asia: Building International Stability"
(Japanese FM Masahiko Koumura, Indian NSA M.K. Narayanan, Singapore
DefMin Teo Chee Hean) was the final panel of the day and the
conference. The panel focused on abstract issues of cooperation in
Asia, mainly focusing on institutions such as ASEAN. During the
Q&A, MFA State Secretary Boomgarden, whose portfolio includes Asia,
described the panel as the most interesting one, and suggested that
a panel on Africa should be added to the conference next year.

Ischinger takes over from Teltschik
-----------------------------------

10. (U) Following the final panel, a concluding luncheon was held
and Teltschik's successor as chairman, German Ambassador Wolfgang
Ischinger, 61, was named. It was also announced that the conference
would remain in Munich next year, ending rumors that it might be
moved to Berlin following Teltschik's retirement. A career
diplomat, Ischinger served as ambassador to the United States from
2001 to 2006 and is currently ambassador to the UK. Most recently,
he won kudos on both sides of the Atlantic by serving as the EU's
representative to the Troika process, which sought a mutually
agreeable solution to the Kosovo status question.

Getting CODEL and Bundestag members together
--------------------------------------------

11. (U) Mission Germany prioritized efforts this year to bring the
Secretary of Defense and members of CoDel Lieberman (Senator Lindsey

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Graham and Representatives Chris Shays, Jane Harman, and Jim
Marshall) together with members of the German Parliament
(Bundestag). The SecDef hosted an event with the CoDel and a select
group of German Parliamentarians. We also organized a number of
opportunities to bring other members of the U.S. Delegation
(including EUR A/S Dan Fried, VCI A/S Paula DeSutter, and NATO
Ambassador Victoria Nuland) together with German Parliamentarians,
including a roundtable between the two Assistant Secretaries and
roughly ten members of the Bundestag to discuss security policy,
arms control and the transatlantic relationship. As opportunities
arose, Mission Germany assisted CoDel members throughout the
conference in meeting German Parliamentarians of interest.

12. (U) For more information on the 44th Conference and past
conferences, visit: "http://www.securityconference.de" and
"http://munich.usconsulate.gov."

13. (U) This report has been coordinated with Embassy Berlin.

14. (U) Previous reporting from Munich is available on our SIPRNET
website at www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/munich/.

NELSON

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