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Cablegate: Finland Uncommitted On Imso Candidate

VZCZCXRO5906
PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ
DE RUEHHE #0960 2641335
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 211335Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2503
INFO RULSDMK/DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION WASHDC
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RULSJGA/COMDT COGARD WASHDC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0053

UNCLAS HELSINKI 000960

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AORC ECPS EU EWWT IMO INMARSAT KHLS FI
SUBJECT: FINLAND UNCOMMITTED ON IMSO CANDIDATE

REF A: STATE 140757 REF B: STATE 150486

1. (SBU) Econoff discussed the candidacy of Mr. Steven
Lett as Director of the International Mobile Satellite
Organization (IMSO) with Mr. Riku Ahola, Legal Advisor
for the Finnish Ministry of Transport and
Communications and the appointed Finnish voting
representative at the IMSO meeting in London. Ahola
was quite complimentary of Lett, who he had met on
previous occasions. Ahola said that Lett was well
qualified and, if elected, he would be a strong leader
who "understands important points" and is able to
"express himself clearly."

2. (SBU) Nonetheless, Ahola, who has full authority
regarding Finnish voting in London, has yet to decide
on which candidate to support. He intends to consult
with other Nordic representatives and his EU peers
before deciding. He was aware of the respective
candidates from Spain and the U.K., though he did not
have a set opinion on either of them at this time.

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3. (SBU) Ahola stated that Finland does not play a
large role in IMSO, so the specific leader is not as
important to them as it may be to other countries.

4. (SBU) Comment: While we believe Ahola is sincere when he
says that he views Lett as a strong candidate, Finnish
support for Lett will likely come down to who remains after
the early voting rounds. End comment.

WARE

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