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Cablegate: Czech Comments in Advance of the April Eu Gaerc

VZCZCXRO8226
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBW RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHPG #0257 1161552
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 251552Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0270
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE 0006
RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON 0083

UNCLAS PRAGUE 000257

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

EUR/ERA JGIAUQUE, EUR/NCE FOR ATRATENSEK

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EUN EZ EG PGOV PREL
SUBJECT: CZECH COMMENTS IN ADVANCE OF THE APRIL EU GAERC

REF: STATE 43742

1. (SBU) Summary: Emboff met with Katerina Sequensova, Deputy
Director of the Czech MFA Department of Common Foreign and
Security Policy prior to the April 29 EU General Affairs and
External Relations Council (GAERC). Of note were her
comments on the Balkans, Zimbabwe and Burma. Although Iran
has been a topic of discussion in many other EU channels, we
understand from the Czechs that no GAERC conclusions on Iran
have been drafted or circulated. End Summary.

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Western Balkans - Bosnia and Kosovo
----------
2, (SBU) Sequensova noted that the Czechs share our pleasure
with the progress made by Bosnia on police reform and
indicated that they would like to see a Stabilization and
Association Agreement signed as soon as possible. She did
flag, however, that the agreement needs to be translated into
all of the official EU languages and so far the Czechs (and
several other nations) have yet to see anything other than
unofficial texts. Thus, the Czechs are not optimistic that
this agreement will be ready for signing at Tuesday's GAERC.

3. (SBU) On Kosovo, Sequensova spoke first and foremost about
the outstanding question of recognition. The GOCR still
plans to recognize Kosovo next month, at a date to be
determined "very soon" after the May 11 elections in Serbia.
According to Sequensova and Czech MFA desk officer for
Kosovo, Josef Zrzavecky, the Czechs remain committed to
participating in the International Steering Group (ISG),
although they have taken a relatively low profile for the
moment, given the fact that they have not officially
recognized Kosovo yet. The Czech MFA noted that they have
allocated financial resources (approximately 200,000 euros)
to support the smooth functioning of the International
Civilian Office (ICO) and that they plan to attend and
participate in the next ISG meeting tentatively scheduled for
the second or third week of May. They also plan to attend
the upcoming Kosovo Donor's Conference this summer and they
are currently exploring what types of contributions (be it
financial or personnel with specific expertise) they may be
able to provide to the cause.

----------
Zimbabwe - Increasing Concern
----------
4. (SBU) The EU member states are united in their concern
about the lack of official election results in Zimbabwe and
they plan to emphasize this in the EU conclusions, according
to Sequensova. She noted that these conclusions have not
been fully drafted at the moment since the member states are
waiting to see if there are any developments over the weekend
which will need to be addressed. The Czechs have every
expectation that the EU will speak forcefully about the
gravity of its concerns.


----------
Burma - Considering Further Measures
----------
5. (SBU) On Burma, Embassy officials understand that there
will be a discussion of strengthening sanctions and that in
the conclusion the EU will indicated that they are "willing
to consider further restrictive measures," given the current
situation in Burma. Sequensova did not address exactly what
the EU is considering in terms of further measures, nor what
would trigger their implementation. We know from our
contacts in the Czech MFA Department of Human Rights and
Transition Policy that the Czechs have been actively engaged
within the EU over the last few weeks to press for more to be
done in the area of sanctions. The Czechs also have been
engaging other EU member states to outline Czech concerns
related to the upcoming Burmese constitutional referendum -
specifically intimidation by the Burmese regime, the regime's
lack of engagement with ethnic minority representatives and
the planned use of separate "yes or no" ballots, which could
scare voters into casting their ballots a certain way if
voters fear others would be able to easily determine how they
voted.

Graber

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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