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Cablegate: Finland and the November 2 Gaerc Meeting

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 HELSINKI 001407

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/ERA, EUR/NB, AND EUR/RPM

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/29/2014
TAGS: PREL XF IZ IR RS SU FI EUN
SUBJECT: FINLAND AND THE NOVEMBER 2 GAERC MEETING

REF: A. STATE 228399

B. STATE 230353
C. VOLKER/POL CHIEFS E-MAIL OF OCTOBER 26
D. HELSINKI 1221

Classified By: POL Chief John Hall, for reasons 1.4(B) and (D)

1. (C) We delivered the demarche points from Ref A-C messages
to Leena Alto, deputy European Correspondent in the Finnish
MFA, and to Jonna Partanen, Counselor in the Secretariat for
EU Affairs in the office of PM Vanhanen. Alto and Partanen
briefed us on the positions FM Tuomioja will be taking to the
GAERC meeting, as follows.

Iraq
----

2. (U) Alto said the GoF agrees that the January elections
are extremely important -- as is the political process that
precedes them. The Iraqi people deserve free and fair
elections, and Finland has contributed to the International
Reconstruction Fund Facility to help make that a reality.
Alto added that Finland offers its firm support -- both
nationally and through the EU -- to PM Allawi in the IIG's
efforts to establish the institutions of civil society in
Iraq.

3. (C) Insofar as assistance to the Iraqi police is
concerned, Finland (as Washington is aware) already
contributes ten instructors to the academy in Jordan. Alto
said the GoF is willing to consider a joint EU project -- but
anything the EU does in Iraq "must be carefully considered in
light of the serious security situation that now exists."

Sudan
-----

4. (C) Alto said, "We are on the same wavelength, very much
so." The GoF welcomes the resumption of the Abuja talks, and
agrees the international community should keep up the
pressure on both sides to reach an agreement. At the same
time, efforts must continue to find a solution to the
humanitarian crisis on the ground. The Finns "recognize the
African ownership of the process," she said, and support AU
efforts in Darfur. Alto nevertheless noted there has been
some talk of an EU police mission. The GoF feels there needs
to be more clarity regarding the modalities of such a
mission. If that needed clarity is supplied, she said, "we
would consider positively" the idea of participating in a
"well-planned police mission" in Darfur.

Russia
------

5. (C) Alto noted that the agenda for the upcoming EU-Russia
Summit includes further negotiation on the four common
spaces. It seems unlikely to the Finns that all four can be
completed at the Summit. Finland strongly believes that
nothing should be agreed until everything is agreed, even if
that means that the four spaces all must be held over for
further negotiation later. Alto said the Finns will resist
any suggestion that Russia and the European Union agree what
they can now and defer the rest for later: doing so would
allow the Russians to "pick and choose what they want" from
the document.

6. (C) She reiterated a complaint we have heard from the
Finns before (e.g., Ref D): that the EU has no real unity
regarding relations with Russia. When the going gets tough,
a few individual members break away to pursue their own
bilateral relationships with Russia for their own national
reasons. At every EU meeting Finland (which still has the
Union's longest border with Russia) stresses the need for
unity on this matter. "The EU is the main vehicle for
conduct of relations with Russia," said Alto, "and we want to
keep it that way."

Iran
----

7. (C) Alto said the Finns fully agree on the importance of
the November 25-26 IAEA Board of Governors meeting. They
support unified U.S./EU pressure on the Iranians to suspend
all enrichment-related activity.

Middle East Peace Process
-------------------------

8. (C) The GoF welcomes PM Sharon's plan for withdrawal from
Gaza, said Alto. She added that the Finns consider the
planned Palestinian elections a necessary test case for PA
willingness to engage in democratic reforms. Finland
understands it is likely the EU will offer its help in
organizing the elections, and the GoF supports such an offer.

MACK

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