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Cablegate: Eu Gaerc: Czech Comments in Advance of the March

VZCZCXRO8612
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHPG #0162 0671444
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 071444Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0155
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS PRAGUE 000162

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

EUR/ERA JGIAUQUE, EUR/NCE FOR ATRATENSEK

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EUN EZ EG PGOV PREL AF SY ZI SR
SUBJECT: EU GAERC: CZECH COMMENTS IN ADVANCE OF THE MARCH
10 MEETING

REF: STATE 22352

1. (SBU) Summary: Emboff met with Anna Sykova, Deputy
Director of the Czech MFA Department of Common Foreign and
Security Policy prior to the March 10-11 EU General Affairs
and External Relations Council (GAERC). Of note were her
comments on Kosovo, Afghanistan, Syria and Zimbabwe. While
Sykova anticipates that Iran will be a key topic of
discussion, she does not expect any EU statement since no
work is being done currently to prepare GAERC conclusions on
Iran.

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Western Balkans
----------
2, (SBU) Sykova anticipates that, like last month, the EU
Foreign Ministers are likely to spend much of their time
discussing Kosovo. Given that the Czech Republic is a member
of the International Steering Group, we inquired about the
timing of the GOCR's formal recognition of Kosovo. Sykova
referenced Prime Minister Topolanek's current travel schedule
(March 8-11 he will be in Jordan and Israel) and the upcoming
cabinet meeting on March 17 as the earliest and most likely
date for the GOCR to initiate formal action, which is in
keeping with PM Topolanek's comments to President Bush in
late February.


----------
Afghanistan
----------
3. (SBU) On Afghanistan, Synkova noted that there would be
GAERC conclusions on this topic which would express support
for the review by the Joint Coordination and Monitoring
Board, which met the week of February 1 in Tokyo, on the
implementation of the Afghan Compact. The EU will also
highlight the EU Police Mission, which will be operational by
the end of March and express readiness to consider further
enhancement of its broader engagement in Afghanistan.
Synkova also noted that March is an important month for the
Czechs because they will formally celebrate the establishment
of the newest PRT in Logar, Afghanistan. (Note: The Czechs
plan to formally take over command and control of PRT Logar
on March 20. End Note.)

----------
Lebanon - Engagement with Syria
----------
4. (SBU) Synkova thanked Emboff for our points on Lebanon and
Syria. She referenced the GOCR support for the varied EU
statements on the situation in both nations. On the topic of
visits by Western diplomats to Damascus, Synkova acknowledged
the visit last month to Syria by Czech opposition leader
Paroubek. While unfortunate, in her words, and not in line
with the position of the GOCR, she pointed out that Paroubek
traveled in his party capacity and he did not speak on behalf
of the government.


----------
Zimbabwe
----------
5. (SBU) According to the Czechs, the EU shares our concern
that there need to be election monitors in Zimbabwe. In its
GAERC conclusions, the EU will highlight its humanitarian and
economic concerns in Zimbabwe and note the EU role as the
most significant donor to the country. It will bluntly note
that the EU has not been invited to send a formal observer
mission to oversee these elections and it will state that the
EU's targeted sanctions are specifically aimed against the
regime leaders responsible for Zimbabwe's current crisis and
not the general public.

Graber

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