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Cablegate: Tfgg01: Portugal Not Planning to Support Strong Nac Statement

VZCZCXRO8045
OO RUEHFL RUEHLA RUEHMRE RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHLI #1999 2241808
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 111808Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY LISBON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6984
INFO RUEHXP/ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNOSC/ORG FOR SECURITY CO OP IN EUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 0517
RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI PRIORITY 0048

C O N F I D E N T I A L LISBON 001999

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/11/2018
TAGS: NATO PARM KCFE PO RU GG
SUBJECT: TFGG01: PORTUGAL NOT PLANNING TO SUPPORT STRONG NAC STATEMENT REF: STATE 85678

Classified By: Dana M. Brown, Pol-Econ Officer, Embassy Lisbon Reason 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) Portugal is concerned about the crisis in Georgia but is not ready to make a statement against Russian actions at this time, according to MFA Director for European Affairs Liliana Mascarenhas Neto. She told us that Portugal would wait to hear the French report at the special GAERC meeting on August 12 and then decide how to proceed in agreement with other EU partners. To that end, MFA Acting Director for Security and Disarmament Affairs Pedro Sousa Abreu reported that Portugal would not support a strong NAC statement tomorrow because it would preempt the French efforts and would be based on incomplete information.

2. (C) According to Neto, Portuguese FM Amado will return from vacation to attend the August 12 GAERC because he wants to hear the French analysis personally. (Note: Portugal does not have an embassy in Georgia and covers the issue only from Moscow.) She said the GOP was not excusing either side, but rather attempting to be objective. At the same time, she declared revealingly, "Georgia must play a better game" and commented, "This is why we didn't think Georgia was ready for NATO."

3. (C) Comment: Neto and Abreu both made it clear that the GOP would prefer not to support statements condemning either side, perhaps even after hearing from the French presidency. They also criticized the public statements made by the Baltic States and Poland earlier today against Russia's actions, stating that the EU could not seem impartial if member states made announcements individually. End comment.
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