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Cablegate: Czech Republic Remains in the Progressive Camp On

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

UNCLAS PRAGUE 001526

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ETRD EZ WTRO
SUBJECT: CZECH REPUBLIC REMAINS IN THE PROGRESSIVE CAMP ON
WTO AGRICULTURE PROPOSAL

REF: A. SECSTATE 190730

B. PRAGUE 1496

1. (SBU) In culmination of a multi-day campaign to urge the
Czech government and industry to push hard for a positive EU
response to the U.S. agriculture proposal, the DCM met
October 25 with Ladislava Votavova, Director of the
Department of EU Multilateral Trade Policy at the Ministry of
Trade, and asked for an assessment of a likely EU response on
agriculture. Following the October 21 conference call with
USTR Deputy Ambassador Allgeier, Ambassador Cabaniss had sent
letters to the Ministers of Trade and Foreign Affairs to push
for a strong Czech voice in putting together the forthcoming
EU proposal on agriculture, to put it in "the negotiating
zone." Econoffs also contacted the board members of the
Czech Association of Industry and the American Chamber of
Commerce to pass on a similar message.

2. (SBU) Votavova spoke frankly, noting that the mood at the
October 22 Luxembourg GAERC was "tense and difficult."
French officials were working hard to discredit the U.S.
offer and to prevent positive movement on a substantive
counter-response. She added that the French-led attempt to
rein in Mandelson and tie his hands on negotiation on behalf
of the EU struck a nerve with many of the "progressive" EU
member states. As a result, she said, there is discussion
among twenty countries in the progressive camp within the EU
to call for another GAERC emergency session to empower
Mandelson in preparation for the Hong Kong Ministerial and to
show that a united front of a strong majority of countries in
the EU support positive, balanced movement in the Doha round.
The Czech government is deeply concerned about the prospects
of "saving" the Doha round in the short period of time
remaining before the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference, but
noted that the Czechs will continue to push for positive
movement on a trade agreement. The Czech government does not
want to see the Doha round founder on the agriculture issue,
but also believes that the negotiation must involve positive
movement on NAMA and Services to satisfy Czech interests.
CABANISS

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