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Cablegate: Gof Concerned About Syria but Hesitant About

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

C O N F I D E N T I A L HELSINKI 000949

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/29/2015
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER SY FI
SUBJECT: GOF CONCERNED ABOUT SYRIA BUT HESITANT ABOUT
ISOLATING SARG

REF: STATE 159137

Classified By: PolChief Gregory Thome, Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C) DCM delivered subject demarche to MFA Undersecretary
for Political Affairs Markus Lyra. The GOF has not received
a request from Syria for a high level meeting at the UNGA,
but Lyra said he would communicate our request to Finland's
UNGA delegation. He fully agreed that Syria has failed to
take adequate steps to stop those using its territory to
support the insurgency in Iraq and that its human rights
record remains very poor. Lyra described Syria's withdrawal
from Palestine as one positive step, but lamented that Syrian
hard-liners continue to quash nearly all internal structural
reform efforts.

2. (C) That said, Lyra expressed concern about the potential
impact of further isolating Syria. The SARG clearly feels
isolated by the international community already, he said, and
this has prompted it to seek closer ties with Russia, China
and Ukraine -- all developments that Finland does not view as
being in its own interests. Lyra agreed that the
international community must stand firm in demanding that the
SARG change its behavior and implement structural reforms.
However, he stopped short of endorsing isolation as the means
of communicating those demands.
MACK

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