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Cablegate: Finnish Comments On the May 26-27 Gaerc

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RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHHE #0226 1431325
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 221325Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4326
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0059
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 0100
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS 0067
RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI 0199

UNCLAS HELSINKI 000226

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM EUN FI LE IR GG SY
SUBJECT: FINNISH COMMENTS ON THE MAY 26-27 GAERC

REF: STATE 54639

1. (U) PolChief and PolOff delivered the Department's
GAERC talking points to Finnish European Correspondent
Leena-Kaisa Mikkola May 20.

2. (SBU) IRAN: Mikkola acknowledged that the EU has
still been unable to reach consensus on implementation
of UNSCR 1803. However, she noted that the EU did
agree to broaden the list of entities and individuals
covered by existing EU sanctions. For its, part, the
GoF supported a shared EU position on implementation
of UNSCR 1803, as well a strong package of new EU
measures to accompany it. However, Mikkola reported,
consensus was not reached either because certain
member states chose to follow the UN track more
closely (Sweden), while others may have business
interests at stake (Italy). Mikkola suggested that
more and more countries are leaning toward eventual
adoption of additional EU autonomous sanctions, and
the issue could be reopened next month when France
takes over the EU presidency.

3. (SBU) LEBANON: Mikkola expects no "passionate
difference of opinion" on Lebanon and therefore little
discussion. As an aside, she mentioned that serious
conversations took place at last month's informal
GYMNICH regarding how the EU should handle
communication with Syria. Some ministers argued in
favor of consolidating all contact via High Rep
Solana, while others wanted to maintain the option for
bilateral contacts. While the GYMNICH does not
produce formal conclusions, Mikkola reported that
there was general agreement around the idea that
contacts could proceed on both EU and bilateral
levels, provided the message to the Syrians remained
consistent.

4. (SBU) WESTERN BALKANS and GEORGIA: Mikkola does not
expect the Western Balkans to be a major agenda item.
However, should Solana's briefing indicate that the UN
and the EU have made better progress in their
negotiations regarding transition, that could lead to
some discussion. There will be conclusions on
Georgia, but they will depend heavily on the election
results.
BARRETT

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