Cablegate: Commission and Council Responses On Nov. 22 Gaerc
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 BRUSSELS 004944
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/19/2014
TAGS: PREL EAID MASS MARR IR CH BO EUN USEU BRUSSELS
SUBJECT: COMMISSION AND COUNCIL RESPONSES ON NOV. 22 GAERC
REF: A. STATE 244333
23064 11/19/2004 15:41 04BRUSSELS4944 C O N F I D E N T I A L BRUSSELS 004944 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/19/2014 TAGS: PREL EAID MASS MARR IR CH BO EUN USEU BRUSSELS
SUBJECT: COMMISSION AND COUNCIL RESPONSES ON NOV. 22 GAERC DEMARCHE REF: A. STATE 244333 B. USEU BRUSSELS 4936 Classified By: Rick Holtzapple, PolOff, Reasons 1.4 B/D
1. (U) PolOffs have delivered Ref A points to contacts in the Council Secretariat and the personal staff of new External Relations Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner (who will be attending her first GAERC as a Commissioner on Monday).
MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS ------------------------- 2. (C) XXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX of the Council Secretariat said the EU looked forward to continued engagement with the US on this, but there is a strengthening view of Member States in the Council that the US and EU should be talking more about the details of what a final status solution could look like. She noted that the Dutch Presidency had raised this point in the November 16 Middle East (COMEP) troika meeting, but had received a cool reaction from NEA DAS Liz Dibble (REF B). Dutch contacts have told us Conclusions are nearly agreed, after lengthy debates over the precise tone, and should call for immediate action in three main areas: support for presidential elections preparations; efforts to improve the security situation; and financial support for the Palestinian Administration. At the Commission, Ferrero-Waldner's staff only commented that they were not familiar with the IFC Facility.
CHINA ----- 3. (C) The Commission commented that the China agenda item (including preparations for the December 8 EU-China Summit) had been moved to the GAERC's restricted lunch discussion. Ferrero-Waldner's staff understood this was done because there is little chance the EU could reach agreement on November 26 to take a decision on the arms embargo issue. Dutch Presidency diplomats tell us they expect this discussion to "take the temperature" rather than achieve formal agreement.
BELARUS ------- 4. (C) Ferrero-Waldner's staffer said the Commissioner would support existing EU measures such as travel restrictions against Belarus, but that Ferrero-Waldner would make a strong push that any measures considered should be carefully targeted not to harm the general public, and in fact could be accompanied by measures to "send a message to the people that they are not forgotten." The Council's Belarus desk told us the GAERC Conclusions would include a reference to visa bans on two groups of people: human rights violators, and individuals engaged in electoral abuse. But the EU might not have agreement on specific names to add to the list.
ESDP ---- 5. (SBU) Lengthy Conclusions have been agreed (as is traditionally the case for the "jumbo" GAERC each Presidency that includes DefMins). From the Commission's point of view, the most notable aspect is that Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner plans to exercise a privilege they understand Patten never did, and attend the DefMins separate meeting for at least a short period of time to emphasize to DefMins that the Commission is also interested in ESDP developments. At the EU's Military Capabilities Commitment Conference on 22 November on the margins of the GAERC, member states are expected to announce their intended commitments to Battlegroups. USEU anticipates enough national offers for the EU to form at least nine national and multinational battlegroups.
IRAN AND OTHER ISSUES --------------------- 6. (SBU) Council sources have confirmed that Iran will be on the agenda, and the GAERC will likely issue Conclusions welcoming the EU-3 agreement, and calling on Iran to fulfill its obligations. They did not expect that either Cyprus or Turkey would see much discussion on November 26, and Balkans have been dropped from the agenda (although the side meeting of the EU-Western Balkans Forum will still take place).