Cablegate: Finns Agree to Extension of Motapm Coordinator At

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




E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/16/2014

REF: A. STATE 241542

B. GENEVA 3123

Classified By: Ambassador Earle I. Mack for Reasons 1.4(B) and (D)

1. (U) Netherlands Ambassador Engels telephoned U.S.
Ambassador Mack on November 10 to report that he had received
instructions from The Hague to deliver a demarche on behalf
of the EU, requesting that the GoF extend the tenure of
Ambassador Markku Reimaa as coordinator for the Group of
Government Experts (GGE) on Mines Other Than Anti-Personnel
Mines (MOTAPM) in Geneva. Engels said he had just contacted
Political Director Markus Lyra to make the case for Reimaa
staying on. It is our understanding that a similar demarche
was made by the Germans to the Finnish embassy in Berlin, on
behalf of the Western Group.

2. (U) Upon receipt of Ref A November 12, POL Chief spoke
with Pilvi-Sisko Vierros-Villeneuve, who is currently head of
MFA's Arms Control, Disarmament, and Nonproliferation Unit,
and who will succeed Lyra as Political Director starting in
January. Vierros-Villeneuve said that the MFA had already
informed the Finnish delegation in Geneva that Ambassador
Reimaa may continue in his coordinator's role until September
1, 2005. "Finland is as interested in the outcome (of the
MOTAPM process) as you are," said Vierros-Villeneuve, "and is
not willing to do anything to harm this process." If
necessary, she said, Reimaa could continue in his position
until November 2005 -- but for the period September-November
he would have to cover the talks from Helsinki.

3. (U) Vierros-Villeneuve clarified the issue of resources
(Ref B), which she said is of real concern to the GoF.
Finland will hold the EU presidency in the second half of
2006. The EU's Constitution Treaty is scheduled to take
effect during that period, so Finland may be the last
president under the current system. The Finns are already
preparing for this, and want to have their presidency team --
including Reimaa's successor -- in place far enough in
advance of July 1, 2006 so that they will be fully
operational when the presidency begins. POL Chief said that
we certainly understand this, but (drawing on Ref B para 3)
noted the feeling of the Western Group that a negotiated
agreement on MOTAPM could be achievable within the next year
if we do not change the chair. Vierros-Villeneuve -- who has
been waiting to receive Reimaa's own assessment of where
matters stand -- said that "this is extremely useful
information," and "very good to hear." If there is a chance
of reaching a negotiated agreement in a year, the Finns
"really need to put our effort into it."

4. (C) Vierros-Villeneuve said that the GoF sees arms control
as one of the areas where they hope to make a contribution
during their presidency. MOTAPM is one example; another is
the BWC: "One of our major tasks" will be to work with the
U.S. toward a positive outcome of the BWC Review Conference,
she said. "We're very keen on this option -- we want to do
more than just be in charge of keeping the Protocol alive."
She said she would be happy to discuss this and other arms
control priorities with U.S. officials during her upcoming
visit to Washington.

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