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Cablegate: Us-Eu July 20 Task Force Meeting

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BRUSSELS 002802

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD PHUM PREL UK EUN USEU BRUSSELS
SUBJECT: US-EU JULY 20 TASK FORCE MEETING


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: At the July 20 US-EU Task Force meeting,
both sides emphasized their commitment to implementing Summit
declarations. An additional Task Force meeting was proposed
to follow-up on the US EU Summit economic initiatives and
other issues. EU officials reported progress on their
planned Moldovan-Ukrainian border monitoring operation,
expressed EU intent to increase civil society assistance in
Belarus and sought an update on US policy towards Uzbekistan.
EU Officials announced a possible observation mission for
Egypt,s November parliamentary elections and encouraged more
US-EU dialogue on Israel-PA issues and BMENA contributions.
Participants discussed next steps for Syria/Lebanon and Iraq.
The EU requested US support for UN electoral assistance in
DRC. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) US-EU Task Force participants included EUR/ERA
Director Peter Chase and USEU Political Counselor Kyle Scott,
who met with UK Foreign Office Deputy Political Director Tim
Barrow, Stuart Gill of the UK Presidency, Council Director
for Transatlantic Relations Riina Kionka, and Gunnar Wiegand,
Head of Unit for US relations, DG RELEX.

-------------------------------------
ECONOMIC INITIATIVES AND TRADE ISSUES
-------------------------------------

3. (SBU) Chase said that the White House is keen to follow-up
the economic initiative declarations and that there will be
strong interest from Cabinet-level officials. Wiegand said
that the EU would provide a list of points of contact for
each of the different economic initiatives by the end of July
and asked for a similar list from the US. The EU wants to
see full implementation of all elements of the declaration
rather than focusing on just a few; the EU proposed an
additional Task Force meeting at the end of September to
review the economic initiative work programs. On trade
issues, the Commission noted a desire to see USTR participate
in Task Force meetings. Regarding the upcoming WTO decisions
on biotech and FSC, the Council noted that the January
deadline for any subsequent sanctions decisions has a 60-day
window for flexibility. The Commission asked to be part of
US decision-making on APIS-60 (the Advance Passenger
Information System proposal that would compel airlines to
send passenger data 60 minutes before flight departure). The
EU remains unconvinced on need for the changes, given the
potential disruption to the air traffic system; EU hopes US
will consider alternative solutions.

----------------------------------------
MONITORING OF MOLDOVIAN-UKRAINIAN BORDER
----------------------------------------

4. (SBU) Barrow remarked that HR Javier Solana visited Kiev
on July 19 to discuss the EU mission for monitoring the
Moldovan-Ukrainian border,s Transdniestria section. Kionka
noted that Transdniestria has also expressed interest in
participating, but that will not be considered because the EU
does not recognize their sovereignty. The EU is sending a
fact-finding mission on August 25, after which the PSC will
start discussing concrete details of a mission. Barrow
promised to keep the US up to date on the &when8 and
&how8 of the proposed border monitoring mission.

--------------------------------
BELARUS AND UZBEKISTAN DISCUSSED
--------------------------------

5. (SBU) Barrow said that the EU is increasingly involved in
Belarus and Uzbekistan. On Belarus, the Commission suggested
coordinated demarches on donor assistance to civil society to
avoid duplication and ensure that the country does not slide
into further isolation. Barrow said that suspending
assistance to Belarus would not increase leverage in pursuing
targets for reform. Gill said that the EU and US must try to
influence the position of Russia, which considers Belarus to
be in its area of influence. Kionka suggested using the G-8
as an opportunity for conversation with Russia; Chase agreed.


6. (SBU) On Uzbekistan, Gill considered the EU &more forward
than the US8 on invoking the Moscow Mechanism and inquired
as to US movement, suggesting that &our people in Vienna8
intensify their communication. Chase noted that Uzbekistan
is a fast-moving issue and that guidance from Washington
needed to be updated. Scott noted that the new OSCE SecGen
was not in favor of invoking Moscow Mechanism; Chase
expressed US concern over the issue of Uzbek refugees in
Kyrgyzstan. Gill replied that the EU may &signal distaste
without taking action to change things.8

--------------------------------------------- --
EU MAY OBSERVE EGYPTIAN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS
--------------------------------------------- --

7. (SBU) Gill said that the EU will not send an electoral
observation mission for Egypt,s presidential elections, but
are waiting for an invitation to observe the parliamentary
elections in November. Gill said that the EU doubted the
electoral process would be competitive if Mubarak runs again.
Focusing on Egypt,s parliamentary elections, the EU hopes
that all candidates will be free to campaign and backs the 22
NGOs supported by the National Election Commission. If Egypt
invites international observers for the parliamentary
elections, the Commission will send an exploratory committee.

--------------------------------------
ISREAL/PA AND BMENA STILL ON EU AGENDA
--------------------------------------

8. (SBU) On Israel/Palestinian Authority, Gill said that the
EU will need to reflect on what happens after withdrawal and
encouraged more US-EU discussion on the Israeli barrier and
settlements; he stressed that conditions need to be in place
to sustain economic recovery and remove restrictions on
movement in the West Bank. Gill said that EU monetary
assistance for the process would be equal to that set up by
the Commission trust fund.

9. (SBU) On BMENA, Chase asked if the EU would contribute
more funds at the November forum. Gill replied that the
Forum of the Future is seen as an additional contribution to
the current Euro-Mediterranean pledge of 4.4 billion
Euros/year and said that the EU would see any other fund as
duplicative. Chase asked why the Euro-Med democracy facility
cannot be opened to state and private actors; Gill replied
that the EU wanted to maintain its own conditions and deepen
its relationship with Euro-Med partners. However, Gill
agreed with Chase that these alternative ideas should be
discussed in upcoming videoconferences.

----------------------
SYRIA/LEBANON AND IRAQ
----------------------

10. (SBU) On Syria/Lebanon, Gill noted that Lebanon had
finally agreed upon a new government and said, &Let,s hope
they can get a reform plan during the UK Presidency.8 Chase
asked if progress in the three areas highlighted by the EU
Foreign Ministers July 18 (supporting Lebanon,s new
government and allowing for smooth circulation of goods,
supporting the political process in Iraq, and ending support
for groups that oppose the Middle East Peace Process) had
become conditions for signing of the Syria Association
Agreement; none of the EU officials present had an answer,
but promised to &take a look at it.8

11. (SBU) On Iraq, Chase asked for a timeline on the
Commission,s planned opening of a Mission in Baghdad.
Barrow responded, &Preparations are underway.8 On the
International Reconstruction Fund facility, the EU wants the
Canadian Chair to be extended to 2006. Kionka said that the
EU was ¬ meeting its goals8 on police, management and
justice training; it is only training 40 rather than the
intended 80 people per month. On the drafting of the
constitution, the Commission has committed 20 million Euros
and said that European experts &can be mobilized quickly8
once the framework is set; they are being identified and
contracted.

--------------------------------------------- ----
IN YEAR OF AFRICA, UK PRESIDENCY FOCUSES ON CONGO
--------------------------------------------- ----

12. (SBU) On Africa, both sides agreed the US-EU dialogue on
assistance must be ongoing, since the issues are too broad to
cover sufficiently in the semi-annual COAFR Troikas. The EU
expressed regret at the &minor sums8 contributed by the US
on democratic transition in the Congo, noting that MONUC (UN
Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo)
is experiencing a deficit in operating expenditures for
logistics, which are necessary in moving the DRC electoral
process forward. The Commission asked if the US would
consider contributing more and supporting a potential UNSC
resolution to extend MONUC,s mandate to include logistics,
which would cost 85 million Euros / USD 103 million.

-----------------
Non-proliferation
-----------------

13. (SBU) Both sides agreed that the work program resulting
from Summit should be carried forward by the CONOPS Troika.
Chase noted that US is still awaiting a response to our
proposal for a meeting on verification and compliance; the EU
said it wanted more information on issues to be raised.
Chase noted the US desire for EU to police illicit movement
of nuclear materials within its borders and cited the DOE,s
recent complaints; Wiegand replied that EU,s role is to
ensure that agreements meet EURATOM obligations. The Council
said that the EU is supporting the &Melange8 program in
Ukraine aimed at decommissioning weaponry, which needed an
additional 25 million Euros, and asked Chase if NATO might be
interested in assisting; Chase urged the EU Council
Secretariat to approach NATO directly.

SIPDIS

---------------------
ORGANIZATIONAL ISSUES
---------------------

14. (SBU) The UK Presidency noted that they hoped to have a
good informal exchange at the expected US-EU ministerial in
NY; it was also suggested that there be an SLG meeting on the
margins of the UNGA. On the US-EU Summit, EU officials
considered it a success but suggested that only one document
be produced for the next summit, with reports by subordinate
groups on their accomplishments during the year and leaders
providing consolidated reports on economic and
political/security issues.

MCKINLEY
.

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