Cablegate: Eu Summit: Foreign Policy Topics

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



E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/26/2014

Classified By: Rick Holtzapple, PolOff, Reasons 1.4. (B/D)


1. (SBU) The EU's March 25-26 Summit ran quickly through a
series of foreign policy issues during dinner on March 25,
followed up by a lunch discussion on Cyprus March 26 that
lasted less than one hour. The final Conclusions (available
on at news) consisted of language largely
repeating earlier positions on Iraq, the Middle East, Cyprus,
Kosovo, and Afghanistan. Two topics added to the agenda at
the last minute were Russia and Cote d'Ivoire, but even on
those the language essentially reiterated earlier positions.
On some topics, particularly Cyprus, however, the fact that
the Conclusions say nothing new does not mean they weren't
the subject of lengthy debate at the working level. END


2. (C) A British source told us the Conclusions on Iraq had
been drafted by the UK together with the Irish Presidency.
They were "carefully worded to be as helpful to the Coalition
as possible." The Conclusions harshly condemn the recent
terror attacks, particularly the targeting of civilians as a
method of attempting "to disrupt the process of restoring
sovereignty and stability to Iraq." The Conclusions make
repeated reference to the EU's desire for "a strong" or
"vital and growing" UN role in the political transition
process, but dances around the issue of any further UNSCR by
saying the EU looks forward to having the UN's role
"endorsed" by the UNSC. Asked during a press conference if
he felt a new UNSCR was necessary, French President Chirac
noted France's "consistent" position that the only way to
bring stability to Iraq was by putting in place a
representative government with full powers, but on a UNSCR
would only say that "France's position continues to be that
it would be useful." European Parliament President Pat Cox,
in a separate press conference, underlined the EU's interest
in a "core and central role" for the UN, but added, in what
appeared to be an indirect reference to Spain and others,
that if such a role could be secured in time, then the EU's
June 17-18 EU Summit "would have to deliver."


3. (C) The language here is largely a repetition of past
GAERC or EU Summit Conclusions. One sentence, highlighted in
press reports, makes a reference that we do not recall seeing
in earlier Conclusions, but which is consistent with standard
EU policy: "the EU will not recognize any change to the
pre-1967 borders other than those arrived at by agreement
between the parties." The Conclusions also repeat the March
22 GAERC's objections to the "extra-judicial killing of Hamas
leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin." But, asked by the press about
the EU's views on the vetoed UNSCR condemning the Israeli
attack, Irish FM Brian Cowen commented that the draft
Resolution failed because it was "unbalanced" and failed to
condemn suicide bombings as well. Asked in his press
conference about whether Yassin's death would torpedo the
U.S. Greater Middle East initiative, Chirac said that the
project had been "bouscule" (which can be loosely translated
as either "shoved" or "knocked over"). Still, in the Summit
Conclusions the EU leaders recalled "the readiness of the EU
to work with the US and other partners in cooperating with
the region." Irish PM Ahern noted that he and FM Cowen would
be traveling to the Arab League Summit next week, and meeting
with Egyptian President Mubarak on March 29.


4. (C) Our British contact stressed that the Conclusions say
"absolutely nothing that has not been said before." He noted
that drafters had argued all through the night of March
25-26, only concluding their negotiations at 6 a.m. this
morning. While the final version says the Summit "welcomes
the Commission's continued willingness to offer assistance
for a speedy solution within the framework of the acquis,"
our contact said the Greek delegation had argued "endlessly"
for tougher language that would stress that any settlement
must conform to the acquis, or that no EU citizen could be
treated differently than another. He said that after the
negotiations the Greeks were irritated by the British
insistence on sticking strictly to old texts, while the Turks
were annoyed the Conclusions included any reference at all to
the "acquis." "The Turks should be pleased there is nothing
new in the text, and that it is not worse," he added. We
also note that the Conclusions include a sentence saying the
Summit "welcomes the Commission's offer to organize a
high-level international conference in Brussels on 15 April
to prepare a donors conference."


5. (C) Reportedly, over the past of couple of weeks the EU
has gone back and forth about whether to include specific
reference to Russia in this Summit's Conclusions. In the end
the Summit took the opportunity to not only congratulate
President Putin on his re-election, but, more substantively,
to reiterate to Russia that the EU expects its Partnership
and Cooperation Agreement with Russia "to be applicable to
all Member States without pre-condition or distinction as
from May 1, 2004." A Russian colleague observing at the
Summit with us, acknowledged that Russia had been taken by
surprise by its inclusion in the Conclusions, and speculated
that it was Poland that most likely pushed for the language
on the PCA to be included.


6. (U) Presumably at French request, the Summit added a short
paragraph on March 26 to its Conclusions regretting the
recent violence and stressing that "full implementation of
the Marcoussis agreements is essential for returning peace in
the country."


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