Cablegate: Irish Response to Pre-Gaerc Demarche

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

100852Z Jun 05

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DUBLIN 000715


E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/10/2015

REF: A. STATE 105235

D. STATE 106113

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Jonathan S. Benton, Reasons 1.4 (B) an
d (D).

1. (C) Summary: On June 8, Post delivered ref A talking
points to Gerard Keown, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)
EU correspondent. Keown said that the GOI might contribute
police personnel to the EU's planned Rule of Law training
program for the Iraqi Transitional Government, but would not
likely decide before the June 21-22 U.S.-EU conference on
Iraq. He also conveyed Ireland's hopes that EU-3 diplomacy
would yield a final deal with Iran, that the Balkan countries
would undertake reforms necessary for integration into the
European Union, and that the June 20 U.S.-EU Summit would
yield concrete results, including a positive economic
declaration. Regarding the EU Constitution, Keown commented
that the French and Dutch referenda had disappointed the GOI,
but did not pose a crisis for Europe. End summary.


2. (C) Ireland might make available police personnel to the
EU's planned Rule of Law training program for the Iraqi
Transitional Government (ITG), said Keown. The GOI, however,
would not likely decide on this possibility before the June
21-22 U.S.-EU conference on Iraq, as the GOI was not planning
to announce new forms of support for the ITG at the
conference (per ref B). Keown cited international
recognition for Ireland's policing tradition, as reflected in
UNSYG Annan's appointment of Ireland's Deputy Police
Commissioner, Peter Fitzgerald, to head the UN investigation
into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister
Rafik Hariri. The fact that Irish police conducted most of
their domestic duties unarmed posed a challenge, however, for
Ireland's participation in the EU Rule of Law program. Keown
explained that Irish police trainers might not be the best
fit for an Iraqi police force that will have to carry weapons.


3. (C) EU-3 diplomacy with Iran remained on track and would
hopefully yield a final deal satisfactory to all sides, said
Keown. He noted that Iran's statement in May about its
intention to resume uranium conversion work was a concern,
but should be viewed primarily in the context of Iran's June
17 presidential poll (with candidates reluctant to show
weakness in the face of international pressure). Keown
ventured that the Iranian Government approached the nuclear
issue as a matter of national pride and as a legal
entitlement under the NPT, which allowed for the civilian use
of nuclear energy. Iran also saw the issue as a strategic
opportunity to assert itself in a region undergoing
significant change, particularly with the ascendancy of the
Shia community in Iraq. Keown cited views expressed by
Ireland's representatives at the NPT Review Conference that
efforts by nuclear powers to reduce their weapons arsenals
would help to discourage non-nuclear states from developing
such weapons.

The Balkans

4. (C) Ireland agreed fully with ref A points on the Balkans
and welcomed Under Secretary Burns' June 7-9 visit to the
region, said Keown. He noted the GOI's view that the EU had
important contributions to make to the UN-led process of
resolving Kosovo's status. The 2003 Thessaloniki Agenda for
the Western Balkans had set forth political and economic
prescriptions for integration of the region's countries into
the European Union, and Ireland hoped that more progress
could be achieved on those fronts. The GOI also saw
Belgrade's attitude as central to the Kosovo status issue,
but was concerned that Montenegro's possible referendum in
2006 on independence from Serbia would influence Belgrade's
capacity and willingness to play a more constructive role
with Kosovo.


5. (C) There had been no changes in Ireland's position on
the EU arms embargo against China (which supports the
embargo's removal, per ref C), according to Keown. He
asserted that technical-level discussions on the Code of
Conduct were at an advanced stage, but had not yet been
finalized. Ireland did not expect EU movement, however, on
lifting the arms embargo "in the immediate future." Keown
observed that the GOI was pleased with the start of the
U.S.-EU strategic dialogue on East Asia and hoped that such
exchanges could be regularized and perhaps expanded at some
point to cover the overlap of security and economic issues.

U.S.-EU Summit

6. (C) Ireland anticipated a positive, concrete outcome to
the June 20 U.S.-EU Summit that would advance trans-Atlantic
cooperation and build on the joint declarations reached at
the 2004 Summit hosted by Ireland, said Keown. He confirmed
receiving from Emboff on June 7 a copy of ref D talking
points regarding the Summit's draft economic declaration,
which he had discussed with DFA's EU External Relations
Division (the office responsible within DFA for
trans-Atlantic economic issues). The Division had seen, and
supported, the response to the points provided by Department
of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment (DETE) Senior Trade
Negotiator, Tony Joyce, by e-mail to Emboff on June 8. (Per
ref E, Joyce said that Ireland hoped to see a strong,
positive economic statement at the Summit, and he expressed
confidence that the Commission shared that view.)

The EU Constitution

7. (C) Emboff took the occasion to seek GOI views regarding
the French and Dutch referenda on the EU Constitution,
particularly in the context of the GOI's June 6 statement
that Ireland would continue preparations for its own
referendum. Keown stated that the GOI would evaluate the
referendum question on the basis of discussions at the June
16-17 European Council meeting (a view expressed on June 2 by
Foreign Minister Ahern). Ireland, having shepherded the
Constitution through negotiations during its 2004 EU
presidency, continued to believe that the Constitution
protected its national interests, while providing a
simplified framework for the EU's future internal and
external relations. The French and Dutch rejection of the
Constitution, mostly for domestic political reasons, was thus
a disappointment for the GOI. Keown emphasized, however,
that the French and Dutch results did not pose a crisis for
the EU and should be considered politically tantamount to the
2003 California recall election. He added that, contrary to
European and U.S. reporting about the "end of the European
enterprise," the enlargement process would continue, and the
EU would continue to function "just fine" under the Nice

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