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Cablegate: Finland Response to Demarche On Syria

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ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 131358Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2470
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 0078
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SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/13/2016
TAGS: PREL PTER USUN LE SY EU FI
SUBJECT: FINLAND RESPONSE TO DEMARCHE ON SYRIA

REF: STATE 150032

Classified By: POLCHIEF GREGORY THOME FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D)

1. (C) Charge delivered subject demarche to Finnish MFA
Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Markus Lyra
September 13. She emphasized that the US and EU share
the goal of preventing new hostilities in Lebanon and
the rest of the region, but that our views on contacts
with Syria continue to differ. She outlined carefully
the four principles that underpin our Syria policy, and
reminded Lyra that EU contacts with Syria over the past
year have not yielded a positive change in the SARG's
behavior.

2. (C) Lyra responded by thanking Charge for sharing the
principles that guide our Syria policy and by calling our
points "totally valid;" the EU agrees that Syria's
behavior needs to change in all four areas. However, he
reminded, the EU has concluded it must reach out to all
parties who can have an impact on promoting peace in
Lebanon and the wider region. Syria is indeed a bad
actor, Lyra said, but it is "a relevant party" and
therefore one with whom the EU wants to have dialogue.
"The Union is united in our approach," he said, adding
that even France's objections to contacts with Syria have
been "overstated." In any case, Lyra said, the GOF and
the EU appreciate US concerns and views, and would seek
to reflect those views in any future conversations with
the SARG.
HYATT

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