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Cablegate: (Corrected Copy) Swiss Foreign Minister

VZCZCXRO0211
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSW #1593 2411754
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 291754Z AUG 06 ZDS
FM AMEMBASSY BERN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2924
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 2587
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0095

76571 2006-08-29 17:54:00 06BERN1593 Embassy Bern CONFIDENTIAL VZCZCXRO0211\
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR\
DE RUEHSW #1593 2411754\
ZNY CCCCC ZZH\
O 291754Z AUG 06 ZDS\
FM AMEMBASSY BERN\
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2924\
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY\
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 2587\
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0095 C O N F I D E N T I A L BERN 001593 \
\
SIPDIS \
\
C O R R E C T E D C O P Y -- FORMATTING \
\
SIPDIS \
\
STATE FOR P, G, EUR, EUR/AGS/TRICK AND SAINT-ANDRE \
\
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/29/2016 \
TAGS: PREL PGOV ETRD SZ
SUBJECT: (CORRECTED COPY) SWISS FOREIGN MINISTER \
CALMY-REY EMPHASIZES IMPORTANCE OF U.S.-SWISS \
RELATIONS, REGRETS "MISUNDERSTANDING" CONCERNING HER \
RECENT REMARKS TO THE SWISS AMBASSADORS' CONFERENCE \
\
\
Classified By: CHARGE D'AFFAIRES A. I. CAROL URBAN, REASONS 1.4 B/D \
\
1. (C) Charge Urban met with Swiss Foreign Minister Calmy-Rey \
this afternoon at the FM's invitation. The FM wished to \
clarify remarks she made about the U.S. during her August 21 \
speech to the Swiss ambassadors conference in Bern. Asked to \
speak first, the Charge noted concerns in Washington over the \
FM's singling out of the United States for criticism in a \
public forum (press had been invited to cover the speech) \
without any mention of the positive aspects of the U.S.-Swiss \
relationship. She emphasized that it was difficult to \
reconcile the FM's remarks with the several U.S-Swiss \
cooperative efforts and successes of the past year. \
\
-------------------------- \
"Not Meant as a Criticism" \
-------------------------- \
\
2.(C) The 45 minute meeting, which included Swiss State \
Secretary (and Political Director) Ambuehl and POL/ECON \
\
SIPDIS \
Counselor, was extremely cordial, and Calmy-Rey took pains to \
express her concern over the "misunderstanding" that her \
remarks had created. She blamed this partially on the press, \
noting that her remarks about the United States had been \
taken out of context. She protested that her remarks were \
perhaps not "la formule la plus elegante" (not the most \
elegant formulation) but that they were simply "une \
constatation" (statement of fact) and not meant to be taken \
as a criticism or "singling out" of the United States. She \
was simply trying to lay out the parameters and limits of \
Swiss foreign policy "based on principles of international \
law" to her assembled ambassadors. Ambuehl added that \
Calmy-Rey had put great emphasis on the U.S.-Swiss \
relationship in previous speeches, and is planning another \
speech in the near future that will focus on the \
relationship, which he noted is based on common values. \
\
--------------------------- \
Importance of Political MOU \
--------------------------- \
\
3.(C) Calmy-Rey went on to state that Switzerland needs a \
"coherent foreign policy" with the United States, and \
repeated several times that she was proud of the recently \
signed MOU that provides for enhanced U.S.-Swiss political \
cooperation, and which she counted as one of her personal \
successes. She emphasized that the MOU framework must be \
"institutionalized as soon as possible" and that she was \
looking forward to an early meeting in Bern between A/S Fried \
and Ambuehl, hopefully at the end of September or in early \
October. She promised that important topics would be raised, \
and she hoped for positive press coverage to set the record \
straight. Ambuehl added that Calmy-Rey had already chaired \
two meetings to discuss possible topics for the discussions, \
and that they had developed a good list of substantive \
issues. He promised to share them with the Embassy soonest \
in order to speed preparation for the high-level meeting. \
\
4. (C) Comment: Calmy-Rey and Ambuehl obviously realized \
that her recent speech was unbalanced and were extremely \
polite and apologetic. They were eager to repair any damage \
done and were intent on establishing a positive tone for the \
upcoming talks under the political framework MOU. Embassy \
will follow up on their proposed "substantive agenda" and \
provide EUR with comments and suggestions. End comment. \
\
\
URBAN \

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