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Cablegate: Eu Visit Gives Uribe Little

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

id: 14122
date: 2/20/2004 11:37
refid: 04BRUSSELS733
origin: Embassy Brussels
classification: CONFIDENTIAL
destination: 04BRUSSELS542|04ROME561|04STATE24530
header:
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

----------------- header ends ----------------

C O N F I D E N T I A L BRUSSELS 000733

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR P RICHARD MILES, WHA/AND SUSAN BELL, EUR/ERA TOM
LERSTEN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/20/2014
TAGS: PGOV PREL SNAR PHUM EAID ETRD CO EUN USEU BRUSSELS
SUBJECT: EU VISIT GIVES URIBE LITTLE

REF: A. A) ROME 561
B. B) BRUSSELS 542
C. C) STATE 24530

Classified By: USEU POLOFF TODD HUIZINGA, FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D)

1. (C) SUMMARY: Colombian President Alvaro Uribe's February
9-10 EU visit resulted in a cooperation and information
sharing agreement between Colombia and Europol. He got little
from the Commission on an EU/Andean trade pact, or a 10 year
GSP extension. EC officials said that they would have no new
aid for Colombia until 2006 but did not rule out a possible
pledging meeting before then. The EU did express misgivings
about Uribe's anti-terrorism statute and some members of the
European Parliament walked out when he addressed them. END
SUMMARY.

-------------
TRADE AND AID
-------------

2. (C) An EC interlocutor from the European Commission's
Directorate-General for External Relations told us that
Uribe's priorities were getting Commission agreement for a
donors' meeting in Brussels and improving trade. EC
President Prodi, Commissioners Lamy (trade) and Patten
(foreign relations) said that, while they want to help
Colombia where possible, they had not a euro to pledge until
2006. The Commissioners suggested that a donor meeting might
be possible if packaged as a follow-up to the July 2003
London Meeting on International Support for Colombia.

3. (C) On trade, Uribe pressed for progress toward an
EU-Andean Community Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and for a
ten-year extension of Colombia's Generalized System of
Preferences (GSP) trade benefits. The EC said that the
Andean Community needs to make more progress toward regional
integration by measures such as the introduction of a common
external tariff and reducing non-tariff trade barriers. The
Commission has extended the GSP trade benefits for one year,
until December 31, 2005. (They had been set to run out on
December 31, 2004.) Our source told us that he believed the
EU would find a way to extend the GSP benefits for a full ten
years, despite the Indian complaint at the WTO challenging
the legality of the benefits.

--------------------------------------------
SOLANA MEETING: EUROPOL-COLOMBIA COOPERATION
--------------------------------------------

4. (SBU) Uribe also met with EU HighRep Javier Solana, after
which a cooperation and information-sharing agreement between
Europol and Colombia was signed. Our Commission interlocutor
reported that Solana's primary message to Uribe was the same
as the Commissioners': political support for Uribe's efforts
to build democracy and fight terrorism.

-------------------------
EU PARLIAMENT A MIXED BAG
-------------------------

5. (U) In his address to the plenary and an additional
meeting with the Foreign Affairs Committee, Uribe defended
his anti-terrorism policies and responded ably to criticism,
as he reportedly had at a separate meeting with human rights
NGOs in Brussels. However, some Greens and Leftist members
of the European Parliament (MEPs) wearing scarves with the
inscription, "peace and democracy in Colombia" walked out
when he spoke.

SCHNABEL

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

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