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Cablegate: A/S Jones Visit to the Hague: Middle East And

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 001865

SIPDIS

OSD FOR DASD IAN BRZEZINSKI

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/14/2013
TAGS: ECON EFIN ETRD IZ NL PREL NATO
SUBJECT: A/S JONES VISIT TO THE HAGUE: MIDDLE EAST AND
TRANSATLANTIC IS...



9608

2003-07-23

03THEHAGUE1865

Embassy The Hague

CONFIDENTIAL


C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 001865

SIPDIS

OSD FOR DASD IAN BRZEZINSKI

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/14/2013
TAGS: ECON EFIN ETRD IZ NL PREL NATO
SUBJECT: A/S JONES VISIT TO THE HAGUE: MIDDLE EAST AND
TRANSATLANTIC ISSUES


Classified By: CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D'AFFAIRES DANNY R. RUSSEL FOR REAS
ONS 1.5 (B AND D)

(C) 1. In a visit to The Hague, July 15-16, A/S Jones met
with senior officials from MFA, MoD, and MoJ,
parliamentarians, the National Rapporteur for Trafficking,
and with Mission personnel. This cable reports her
discussions on foreign and economic policy. Trafficking in
people, counter-narcotics, OSCE, and French-German security
ideas are reported septels.

--------------------------------
Transatlantic Relations and Iraq
--------------------------------

(C) 2. MFA Deputy Political Director Schaper raised Iraq,
noting that the Dutch would need a political voice once its
troops were deployed. He referred to gaining a political
voice as a warranted return on their offer of blood and
treasure, and necessary domestically, particularly if
something were to happen to their troops. The disadvantage
of a coalition of the willing, compared to operations run by
NATO, include lack of a clear political structure for
contributors.

(C) 3. Schaper also noted the effect Iraq has had on the EU
CFSP. The Dutch Government supports CFSP Chief Solana's call
for increased European focus on terrorism and
nonproliferation, and also agrees that Europe is not doing
enough to modernize its defenses. While the Dutch government
favors the development of CFSP, it sees no basis for a
European foreign policy based on drawing distinctions between
Europe and the U.S. A/S Jones said the U.S. considered the
Iraq debate an intra-European rather than transatlantic
dispute. She noted that in crafting UNSCR 1483, the U.S.
sought to facilitate consensus on next steps in Iraq. She
said Washington was keenly aware that European participation
in stabilizing Iraq was essential. Schaper noted the
Netherlands will be the fourth largest troop contributor to
the stabilization force in Iraq and that as such, the Dutch
Government is nervous about its involvement in the wider
debate over the political process in Iraq. For the Dutch
part, Schaper said Iraq illustrates the continuing relevance
of multilateral institutions. The Netherlands favored NATO's
new out-of-area role. Another example of this is that
Foreign Minister de Hoop Scheffer supports a NATO role in an
eventual Middle East peacekeeping effort. A/S Jones said
the U.S. strongly supported NATO's new out-of-area role and
that she would share with Washington colleagues the Dutch
desire for enhanced consultations among troop contributing
countries.

(C)4. In separate meetings with parliamentarians from
Democrats-66 (D-66) and the Labor party (PvdA), A/S Jones
refuted the notion that the U.S. is trying to divide Europe.
On the contrary, she said, the U.S. wants to maximize
cooperation with the EU, including in Iraq, the Middle East,
Africa and in combating terrorism and HIV. She cited recent
achievements, including the U.S.-EU summit and the ESDP
agreement that paved the way for the EU to lead the Macedonia
mission. D-66 parliamentarian Bert Bakker, who chaired
parliament's investigation into Srebrenica, said the
deployment to Iraq is the first real test of procedures the
Dutch put into place to avoid the sort of debacle that
occured in Srebrenica. He also commended UNSCR 1483, saying
the U.S. had done a great job and that for most in
parliament, including those opposed to the attack, the
resolution turned the page.

-----------
The Balkans
-----------

(C) 5. Schaper observed that the process that had led to the
EU's takeover of peacekeeping in Macedonia had gone well. He
raised U.S. concerns about a possible transition of SFOR from
NATO to the EU and asked if there were any link to the debate
over Iraq. A/S Jones expressed U.S. satisfaction with the
negotiations leading to the EU takeover in Macedonia. She
stressed that U.S. reticence about an EU takeover of SFOR in
Bosnia was not related to differences of opinion on Iraq;
rather, it is too early for such a step. The U.S. has noted
High Rep Ashdown's view that continuing law enforcement
concerns, such as combating terrorism and organized crime,
are being handled well by SFOR, and that until the EU police
force is capable of managing these issues NATO should remain.
MFA Security Policy Director agreed that a proper transition
in Bosnia was important and asked what the future of the U.S.
presence in Kosovo would look like. A/S Jones said the U.S.
position remains in together out, together, and noted that
force levels in the Balkans were a NATO decision.

----
MEPP
----

(C) 6. Michiel den Hond, MFA Director General for North
Africa and the Middle East, said the Dutch Government
appreciates recent progress on the peace process, thanks to
President Bush's involvement. Schaper said that within the
EU the Netherlands is seen as the most pro-Israel and, along
with the UK and Germany, argues for a balanced approach
within EU councils. A/S Jones stressed the importance of
support for Abu Mazen -- if he is more credible, then Sharon
can take more steps, and the EU must lend its support to him
rather than Arafat. Curbing Hamas and Hezballah's ability to
disrupt the peace process is also important. Den Hond said
the biggest help to Abu Mazen would be positive steps by PM
Sharon.

----
Iran
----

(C) 7. Labor party defense spokesperson Timmermans described
a recent trip to Iran with members of the Dutch parliament's
foreign relations committee. He said Iran is especially
interested in enhancing cooperation with the Dutch parliament
because the Netherlands is the most critical of Iran within
the EU. In reviewing his trip, Timmermans said the human
rights situation is depressing. Parliamentarians commited to
reform are powerless and expect the situation to get worse.
Despite support in Tehran and among elites for reform, rural
people tend to support the religious leaders. Timmermans saw
a glimmer of hope in Iranian comments on the peace process.
While the Iranians were not persuaded by the Dutch to
actively support the peace process, they claimed that if
(the road map) is what the Palestinians want, then we will
not stop it. On terrorism, Iranian officials expressed
interest in working with the U.S. on al-Qaeda but said other
terrorist movements they support are actually liberation
movements. They claimed willingness to address proliferation
problems, as well. A/S Jones cited El Baradei's
disappointing visit to Iran. Timmermans responded that the
only way ahead is for Iran to build relations with the U.S.
The EU can facilitate a dialogue with the U.S. but only a
U.S.-Iranian relationship would lead to reform.

--------------
Trade Disputes
--------------

(U) 8. A discussion of trade disputes and their effect on
relations revealed a divergence of views at the lunch hosted
by MFA deputy Political Director Herman Schaper. The Dutch
voiced their concern over the cases filed at the WTO. They
said they don't want trade disputes to hurt relations, but
the reality is that we are on a downward spiral. The EU is
increasingly willing to retaliate. The EU has on hand a
pre-approved list of U.S. products to target in response to
any future trade row. To illustrate his point, Schaper asked
his U.S. counterparts to Imagine what would happen if the EU
placed sanctions on Florida oranges in an election year.

(U) 9. A/S Jones voiced confidence in dispute resolution
mechanisms, and said she sees fewer problems than in the
past. A/S Jones noted good U.S.-EU collaboration at the Doha
Round and in preparations for Cancun, and highlighted the
White House's commitment to making sure developing countries
are not forgotten. The Dutch said they had high hopes
for Cancun and agreed that this is a good potential area for
U.S.-EU cooperation. In a separate meeting, Labor party MP
Frans Timmermans expressed the urgency of a successful Doha
round and of ensuring that developing countries get
something out of it, too.

------------
Other Issues
------------

(SBU) 10. Schaper stressed the importance that the
Netherlands attaches to multilateral institutions, though
this will prove hollow if they do not produce results. He
noted a renewed Dutch emphasis on bilateral relations,
especially with new EU members, and with the the U.S. A/S
Jones observed that the U.S. had sought to bring all issues
of importance to multilateral institutions such as the UNSC,
NATO, the OSCE and the WTO.


(U) 11. A/S Jones cleared this cable.
RUSSEL

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