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Cablegate: Dutch Parliament Reiterates Opposition to Lifting

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

UNCLAS THE HAGUE 003074

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV CU NL EUN
SUBJECT: DUTCH PARLIAMENT REITERATES OPPOSITION TO LIFTING
CHINA ARMS EMBARGO


1. (U) At a regular hearing in the Dutch parliament on
November 18 prior to the monthly EU foreign ministers'
meeting (GAERC), spokesmen for the main political parties
reiterated their opposition to the lifting of the EU's China
arms embargo. Encouraged by the recent vote in the European
Parliament and reports of Swedish and Danish opposition,
they urged the government to lobby in the EU for maintaining
the embargo. Parliament previously adopted a unanimous
resolution voicing the same request. Nevertheless, FM Bot
made clear at the time that the government would not block a
consensus to lift the embargo. After the November 18
hearing, State Secretary for European Affairs Atzo Nicolai
reportedly said that the government would take parliament's
views into account in dealing with this issue.

2. (SBU) Comment: Unlike in some other EU member states,
the Dutch parliament's unanimous opposition to lifting the
China Arms Embargo has little practical impact on the Dutch
government's ability to form and implement policy on this
issue. While opposition to lifting the Embargo is broad, it
is not particularly deep, and there is little enthusiasm for
forcing a rift in the EU on the issue. Most parliamentary
leaders have already indicated that they accept the
government's argument that, as EU president, the Netherlands
should act in accordance with EU consensus. End comment.

Sobel

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