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Cablegate: Demarche Request: Nato Budget Ceilings

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

201631Z Jul 05

UNCLAS PARIS 005043

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AORC MARR NATO
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE REQUEST: NATO BUDGET CEILINGS

REF: SECSTATE 132389

1. (SBU) Reftel points were delivered to MFA DAS-equivalent
director for Strategic Affairs Francois Carrel-Billiard and
NATO budget and personnel desk officer Xavier Chatel and
separately to MOD deputy diplomatic advisor in the Minister's
Cabinet Camille Grand on the 18th and 19th of July
respectively.

2. (SBU) On July 19 poloff spoke with Chatel about them.
Chatel offered much background and few specifics as to
France's position on the NATO military budget, saying that a
lot of the budgetary decision-making that is currently taking
place is aimed at remedying the economic and budgetary
situation in individual EU countries. It is not intended to
lessen the significance of NATO, he said, but rather to
balance national and European budgets. Because of this, he
suggested, economic austerity is needed, adding that strong
pressure to contribute to a robust NATO budget will not serve
to remedy the deficits that several EU countries are forced
to deal with.

3. (SBU) Chatel affirmed that the French share President
Bush's belief that NATO is and should be a "performance based
organization" and as such he said that NATO must strive to
find ways to enhance its capabilities while cutting costs and
red-tape. Certain programs that the French absolutely
support, such as the NATO Reaction Force (NRF), need to be
developed, he said, and France will continue to support it.
He assured that the French recognize the importance of such
projects and will not allow them to fall through the cracks
because of budgetary shortfalls.
STAPLETON

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