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Cablegate: Spain Continues to Seek Eu Consensus For

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMD #0215 0571212
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 261212Z FEB 10 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2009
INFO RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0556

UNCLAS MADRID 000215

SIPDIS

COURTNEY MUSSER, IO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: IO PHUM UNGA SP
SUBJECT: SPAIN CONTINUES TO SEEK EU CONSENSUS FOR
ABSTENTION ON GOLDSTONE VOTE

REF: A. SECSTATE 15722
B. 2009 MADRID 1077

1. (SBU) PolOff conveyed reftel A points to Marcelino
Cabanas, the MFA's Subdirector General for United Nations and
Global Issues. Cabanas thanked Poloff for sharing what he
called a "traditional view" but he indicated that Spain,
during its rotating presidency of the Council of the European
Union, had no national position, per se, on the matter of the
Goldstone Report other than to seek consensus among all EU
members. He indicated Spain was still working as of February
25 on a consensus position on the Palestinian-drafted
resolution to follow up on the Goldstone Report.

2. (SBU) MFA's Human Rights Office Director Juan Duarte
clarified February 26 that EU members states had failed to
reach a common position at February 22 meetings in Brussels
and remained divided in three camps on the upcoming vote.
Spain shares in principle U.S. concerns re potential negative
fallout to the peace process (ref A), but is striving to
reach a common position on the Goldstone report among 27
member states, a task Duarte described as "not easy at all."
"As president of the EU," Duarte assured Poloff, Spain is
"trying for consensus for abstention." Duarte was unsure of
prospects for success, but ventured that a no vote from all
Europeans was unrealistic.

3. (SBU) Most EU members are leaning toward a yes vote,
reflecting their appreciation for improvements in the
Palestinian text, which most would see now as "quite
acceptable." The GOS views the resolution as "quite
procedural." Duarte observed Spain had objected to the
mention of a 5-month time period for follow-up, and that the
Palestinians had eliminated it. Spain continues to pulse
other EU members, but believes that the UK will vote yes and
that Germany is inclined to abstain. Some countries that
would not be able to vote yes will perhaps abstain. Duarte
conceded the distant possibility that the resolution could be
adopted without no vote at all, saying Spain "would love
that."

4. (SBU) Asked why Spain placed such emphasis on EU consensus
in a UN matter, especially one as admittedly challenging as
the situation in Gaza, Duarte reiterated the importance for
Spain and the EU of striving for a common position on
Goldstone or on any other less delicate issue, consensus
among the 27 being critical if the EU were to have any
influence (ref B).
SOLOMONT

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