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Cablegate: Belgium Seeking a Solution to the Unmee Dilemma

VZCZCXYZ0022
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBS #0832 1541556
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 021556Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7525
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 0254
RUEHAE/AMEMBASSY ASMARA 0035
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1734
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1542
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 2114
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0243

UNCLAS BRUSSELS 000832

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL UNSC KPKO PBTS ET ER BE
SUBJECT: BELGIUM SEEKING A SOLUTION TO THE UNMEE DILEMMA

REF: STATE 058446

1. (SBU) Poloff delivered reftel points June 2 to Wilm
Geurts and Rudi Brieven of the Belgian MFA UN Directorate,
Security Council, and also shared the points with the MFA
Eritrea and Ethiopia Desk Officer Isabelle Maduda-Lukebamoko.
Although they have no specific instructions yet, they said
Belgium would not obstruct UNMEE's termination if all on the
security council agree. They noted it will be difficult to
remove UNMEE without having something to put in its place and
then try to go back at a later date, so it is important to
address all UNSC member concerns before ending UNMEE.

2. (SBU) They said Belgium has the lead on Eritrea for the
UNSC and they fully understand the U.S. points. As the lead,
Belgium has the responsibility to find a credible solution
acceptable to all UNSC members, taking into account Russian
and French concerns about moving too fast and Italian and
South African concerns not to dismantle UNMEE without
something to replace it. The Belgians said they proposed a
two-prong solution to the UN, including an observer mission
to be stationed on the border on the Ethiopian side and UN
liaison offices in both capitals, and that a letter to this
effect should go out soon if all UNSC members, including the
U.S., are willing to send it.

FOX
.

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