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Cablegate: Further Finnish Response to Unsc Resolution 1701

VZCZCXRO9744
PP RUEHAG RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK
DE RUEHHE #0800 2261321
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 141321Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2300
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0370
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0049

C O N F I D E N T I A L HELSINKI 000800

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/14/2013
TAGS: PREL PGOV MOPS EUN FI
SUBJECT: FURTHER FINNISH RESPONSE TO UNSC RESOLUTION 1701

REF: A. HELSINKI 798

B. STATE 132517

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

1. (U) As indicated Reftel A, the GOF welcomed UNSC
Resolution 1701; the text of the Finnish Foreign Ministry's
Statement on Behalf of the EU Presidency has been forwarded
to the Department. In a subsequent conversation with
PolChief July 14, Office Director for the Middle East Eija
Rotinen offered several additional comments.

2. (C) The GOF acknowledges the hard work that went into
crafting a resolution that has won the support of Lebanon,
Israel, Hizbollah and the Arab League. 1701 did what needed
immediate doing: it ended the violence, Rotinen said.
However, she continued, Finland shares US concerns that
winning wide support for 1701 required avoiding a hard
discussion within the resolution of exactly how 1559 is to be
implemented. The GOF understands that Hizbollah must be
disarmed if there is to be any long-term peace. However,
many potential troop-contributing nations might balk at the
idea of being called upon to forcefully disarm an unwilling
Hizbollah; "if the mandate for the international force is
too strong, it might prove hard to fulfill the commitment" of
15,000 troops, Rotinen said. She agreed that much hard work
remained, both in carefully crafting the terms of reference
for the international force and in convincing the
international community to fulfill this mission.

3. (C) For its part, the GOF will support a strong
disarmament mandate and intends to contribute troops.
President Tarja Halonen and Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja
have publicly called for a Finnish contribution of about 200
soldiers, and Rotinen confirmed that the GOF is preparing
legislation to request a supplemental budget authorization
from Parliament. She expressed some concern that the death
of a Finnish UNIFIL officer in early August may become an
issue during the Parliamentary debate. However, our early
soundings with key MPs indicate generally wide support for a
GOF contribution.
WARE

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