Cablegate: Eu Fms Send Lots of Signals, but Make Few

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





E.O. 12958: N/A


(U) This cable contains information that is SENSITIVE BUT
UNCLASSIFIED and should be protected accordingly. Not for

Internet distribution.


1. (SBU) The September 13 General Affairs and External
Relations Council (GAERC) meeting of EU Foreign Ministers
refined EU positions spelled out over previous months and
recently discussed at the Sept. 3 Gymnich (ref B). On Sudan,
the EU noted some progress, but insisted the GoS has not
complied sufficiently with its obligations to the UNSC. The
EU continues to hold out the possibility of applying
sanctions, but has taken no decision yet. It also supports a
UN inquiry into whether genocide has occurred. On Iraq, the
EU reaffirmed a series of steps to politically engage with
the Interim Iraqi Government (IIG) and agreed to continue
examining what kinds of additional assistance it can provide,
including by Member States, to the UN Protection Force. On
Iran, the EU's attention remains focused on Vienna, not New
York. The GAERC reaffirmed the EU's intention to impose
further measures against Burma, if there is no improvement
there prior to the Asia-EU Meeting (ASEM) in Hanoi on October
8. And the EU expressed "well-grounded doubts" about the
planned Belarusian referendum and stressed that a bad
referendum would have negative consequences on Belarus'
relations with the EU. The Italians also appear to have
renewed their effort to loosen the EU arms embargo on Libya.


2. (U) Ministers agreed on conclusions formalizing the
outcome of discussions at Gymnich. Dutch FM Bot told the
press "it is clear GoS has not complied sufficiently" with
the UNSC's conditions, although the GAERC Conclusions note
some areas of improvement. But they also conclude that
"there is no indication the GoS has taken real and verifiable
steps to disarm and neutralize these militia and the
janjaweed." Bot added that if there were no further
progress, the EU is prepared to envision further measures,
including sanctions. The Conclusions also note that the EU
"would welcome steps by the UNSG to establish as soon as
possible an international commission of inquiry in order to
immediately investigate all violations of human rights and
humanitarian law, and to determine whether acts of genocide
have occurred." A Council official explained to us that this
addition was meant to put the language more in line with the
U.N. process. Asked by the press about the Secretary's
comments on genocide, Bot replied "you have to read carefully
what he said." (A Council source told us the EUFMs engaged
in some detailed textual analysis of the Secretary's Senate
testimony during the GAERC. Our source added that the
general feeling in the EU was that it was up to the UN to
decide if genocide had occurred; it would be governments' job
to decide what they were going to do about it.) UK FM Straw
in a separate press conference also noted GoS progress on
humanitarian access. Asked about genocide, Straw said
judgments are being made in NY about GoS cooperation, and the
international community clearly looks for better cooperation
on law and order, and safety. Straw said he had pushed for
the enhancement of GAERC Conclusions to include the request
for a UN investigation into genocide.


3. (U) The GAERC Conclusions reaffirmed a series of steps for
the EU's political engagement with Iraq: EU Troika meetings
with the IIG in NY; an invitation to PM Allawi to come to EU
Summit on Nov. 5; and an EU civilian crisis management
fact-finding mission (to look at police, rule of law and
public administration). The EU also underlined that
"preparation of elections in close coordination with the UN
is the overriding priority for EU support." Finally, the
GAERC "decided that a positive response should be given to
the request of the UNSG for EU support to the UN Protection
Force in Iraq. The Council is now examining how substantial
contribution can be made." A Council source told us that
pledges to help fund this were "a bit more concrete than at
the Gymnich", and some Member States (she could not remember
precisely which ones) had said they would put up some new


4. (U) The GAERC Conclusions make only brief reference to
Iran, reiterating the EU's request for "full compliance by
Iran with suspension commitments". FM Bot said the most
important thing is that cooperation with IAEA should be
intensified. The EU expects Iran to agree with a full
suspension of its enrichment activities. Once that is
entirely complied with, the EU would be prepared to envisage
further cooperation with Iran. Bot also announced the EU
would co-sponsor a Canadian resolution on human rights in
Iran, because the EU is "convinced the human rights situation
has deteriorated." French FM Barnier told the press
separately that "we can take it to the UNSC, but we would
prefer to have it solved in Vienna."


5. (U) The GAERC Conclusions made minor changes to the
Gymnich text on Burma, to clarify the process of tightening
the EU measures against Burma if the Burmese authorities have
not fulfilled the EU's conditions by the time of the Hanoi
Summit (October 8). The text now commits the EU to taking
action at its subsequent GAERC meeting on October 11. FM Bot
disputed a reporter's assertion that the list of Burmese
companies that would be covered by sanctions has not been
discussed. Bot said the EU FMS have clearly discussed the
kind of companies that would be covered. But External
Relations Commissioner Patten noted that the EU still needed
to discuss the precise distinction between private and state
enterprises, presumably in order to come up with the list of
"named state-owned enterprises" referred to in the


6. (U) GAERC Conclusions say the Council "has serious and
well-grounded doubts as to whether the necessary conditions
for holding a free and fair referendum in Belarus are
fulfilled." They go on to note that a badly done referendum
"cannot remain without its consequences for the relations"
with the EU. On Bosnia, EU FMs approved without discussion
the Concept of Operations (CONOPS) for Operation ALTHEA,
which will follow on NATO's SFOR mission in B-H. Hungarian
FM Kovac also raised concerns about the treatment of ethnic
Hungarians in the Serbian province of Vojvodina. The GAERC
simply asked that EU missions in Belgrade prepare a report on
the issue.

7. (U) In an unanticipated move, the last sentence of the
GAERC Conclusions notes that "the Italian delegation asked
for the question of possible derogation to the arms embargo
against Libya, to allow for cooperation in the field of fight
illegal immigration (sic), to be taken up rapidly in the
Council bodies."


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