Cablegate: Demarche to Austria: Deliverables for the U.S.-Eu
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS VIENNA 001886
STATE FOR NEA/I AND EUR/AGS - VIKMANIS-KELLER
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV EAID EIND ECON IZ AU EUN
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE TO AUSTRIA: DELIVERABLES FOR THE U.S.-EU
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON IRAQ
REF: A. (A) STATE 103222
B. (B) VIENNA 1740
C. (C) STATE 93742
D. (D) VIENNA 1439
E. (E) VIENNA 810
1. Acting DCM delivered ref (a) points on June 6 to Ralph
Scheide, the Austrian Foreign Ministry's assistant
secretary-level Director for Middle East and African Affairs.
2. Scheide said the June 22 conference was "on the schedule"
of Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik. He said he had
convinced her to attend by arguing the importance of being
present among a wide collection of leaders -- "it's important
just to be there," he said, even if she did not have a
3. Scheide added that he would draft a "good statement" for
release in the context of Plassnik's travel to Brussels.
4. Regarding Austria's Madrid pledges, Scheide noted that
the humanitarian assistance that Austria had not yet
disbursed was for projects suspended due to the security
situation. Likewise, Austrian firms had not yet taken
advantage of the 10.2 million Euros in credit guarantees that
Austria had made available at Madrid because of an
unwillingness to go to Iraq at this juncture. (Post reported
details ref e.) We said it was time for Austrians to
re-assess the situation in light of the most recent
developments in Iraq.
5. Debt relief negotiations, Scheide said, are underway in
the context of the Paris Club. Austria had agreed to forgive
80 percent of Iraq's debt -- the question now was determining
the level of that debt. The Austrian and Iraqi Ministries of
Finance were discussing the issue. (Comment: The
discussions basically concern whether or not to include
interest in the overall debt figure. The final amount of the
debt will be between 800 million and 1.2 billion dollars.
This is roughly one percent of Austria's GDP, making the
write off a significant one, however the negotiations turn
out. End Comment.)
6. Regarding Austria's police training mission, Scheide
noted that the Austrian government was considering the U.S.
request to extend the duration of the police training
mission. He said, however, that it was unlikely that the
Austrians could expand the numbers of trainers. (Note: per
ref d, in a separate conversation, Brigadier Kurt Hager, the
Interior Ministry's action officer for international police
training, had told us he would work on our request for an
extension. On June 3, Hager gave us informal indications
that the Austrian government was likely to approve an
extension through 2006. End note.)
7. Scheide told us that he has offered other training to the
Iraqi Ambassador in Austria. For example, he had suggested
several times that Iraq send officials to Austria for
training on constitutional issues and federalism. This offer
remained on the table, Scheide said. Scheide noted that
earlier in the year, Austria had provided training at the
Austrian Diplomatic Academy ten Iraqi diplomats. Austria
funded all the travel and other logistical support for this
program, spending approximately 100,000 Euros.