Cablegate: Finnish Views in Advance of November Gaerc

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



E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 198361


1. (SBU) PolChief delivered reftel demarche to EU
Correspondent Jarno Syrjala, who highlighted the Balkans,
ICTY cooperation, Syria, Iran and the Middle East Peace
Process (MEPP) among Finnish priorities for the November

2. (SBU) BALKANS: Syrjala anticipated (correctly) that former
Martti Ahtisaari would receive UNSYG Annan's nomination to
become UN Special Representative for Kosovo, and would
address the ministers in that capacity during the GAERC's
lunch meeting. Further discussion of Kosovo is likely, he
added, especially as regards options for supporting the
special envoy. (Given that Ahtisaari is a former Finnish
President, providing strong EU support is important for
Helsinki.) Syrjala opined that one method the ministers will
consider for securing adequate EU support both to Ahtisaari
and to the status determination process would be the
establishment of an EU Special Representative. On Macedonia,
Syrjala said the GOF agreed with reftel's points. On
Bosnia-Hertzegovina, he suggested the EU may begin
considering how best to widen its participation in
initiatives associated with the stabilization and association
agreement. Progress in this area had been delayed due to
problems in the police reform sector, but these have now been
remedied and the ministers may be considering ways forward,
Syrjala said.

3. (SBU) ICTY COOPERATION: Syrjala expressed the GOF's
lingering disappointment over the fact that, in October,
Austria succeeded in "linking" the opening of EU membership
talks with Turkey to the start of talks with Croatia. At the
time, he said, some member states who, like Finland, opposed
the "linking" tried to convince themselves that Carla del
Ponte's statements regarding Croatia's "full compliance" with
the ICTY might mean that "Gotovina would appear in the Hague
in a week or two." However, Finland was never this
optimistic, he lamented, and with each passing week that rosy
interpretation appears more hollow. The GOF still expects to
see Gotovina and others before the ICTY, and takes some small
consolation in the fact that Croatia's membership process
"can always slow" if they remain at large.

4. (SBU) Regarding the Middle East, Syrjala offered only a
few comments. He said the GOF will support the EU's making a
strong statement insisting on Syria's cooperation with the
Hariri murder investigation and its full compliance with
UNSCR 1559. However, regarding our talking point urging
strict non-engagement with Syria, Syrjala noted that
"isolation has its down sides," and may not win EU consensus
as a shared course of action. Regarding the MEPP, Syrjala
noted that while the Israeli government has made no concrete
decisions yet regarding Third Party Cooperation, the idea
might offer the EU a useful role to play in providing
training and possibly equipment. On Iran, he suggested that
the EU needed to come up with strong positions from which to
re-launch dialogues with Tehran on human rights and the
nuclear issue. The latter is particularly pressing, given
that the next round of IAEA discussions with Iran is
scheduled for November, he said.

© Scoop Media

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