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Cablegate: Finland: Das Bryza's Meeting with Fm Tuomioja And

VZCZCXRO6405
RR RUEHAG
DE RUEHHE #1003/01 2751125
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 021125Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2547
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 0922

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HELSINKI 001003

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/29/2016
TAGS: PGOV PREL EUN FI CY GR TU
SUBJECT: FINLAND: DAS BRYZA'S MEETING WITH FM TUOMIOJA AND
THE COMMISSION ON CYPRUS


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

1. (C) Summary: In Helsinki Sept. 27, DAS Bryza
encouraged the Finnish Presidency to implement its plan
for helping the EU and Turkey move forward on Cyprus,
and stressed that all US efforts on this issue aim to
support the Finnish EU Presidency's own initiative.
Finnish FM Tuomioja welcomed the US suggestion that
introducing incentives for both sides (such as Varosha
or Ecran airport) would increase the Finnish plan's long
term chances for success. In the short term, Bryza and
the GOF agreed that keeping "the package minimal for
now" is the best strategy for helping the EU and Turkey
avoid a train wreck on Nov. 8, when the Commission's
progress report is due. Bryza said the US role is to
step back and allow the Finns to carry out their plan,
but emphasized that we stand ready to weigh in as
requested to move the parties toward a Famagusta-Varosha
agreement. Tuomioja thanked the US for its support and
helpful input on the Finnish plan, and noted that the
Finns would likely come back to seek support as the
process proceeds. End Summary.

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2. (U) DAS Matthew Bryza held separate meetings
September 27 in Helsinki with Foreign Minister Erkki
Tuomioja, with MFA Director General for European Affairs
Kari Halonen, and with Enlargement Commission Special
Advisor Jaakko Bloomberg, aimed at helping the Finns
move forward with their EU Presidency plan to help the
EU and Turkey move forward on Cyprus by forging a
compromise on the reciprocal opening of ports.

Tweaking the Finnish Plan
-------------------------
3. (C) Tuomioja opened by noting that Finland is making
a concerted effort to avoid an EU-Turkey train wreck
over Cyprus on November 8, when the Commission is due to
publish its report on Turkey's progress in the accession
process. He also expressed thanks for the fruitful
meeting he had with A/S Dan Fried in New York regarding
the Finnish Presidency's plan. Finland has begun to
"shuttle" among the parties, and is trying to keep "the
package minimal for now" to increase the chances for
buy-in from the Greek and Turkish Cypriots in the run-up
to Nov. 8, Tuomioja said. Although Tuomioja said he
"wouldn't rate the chances for success any greater than
50 percent" over the long term, he viewed as very
positive that fact that no one had said "no" to the
proposals thus far.

4. (C) Bryza encouraged the Finnish approach, noting
that the US thinking closely matched the incentives the
Finns have come up with. The US began its effort on
ports in July, just as Finland was beginning its own
effort. The US now sees its role as standing behind the
EU Presidency effort, but stands ready to weigh in with
any of the parties or offer whatever other support it
can to help the process proceed. Bryza did suggest that
the Finnish plan's chances for success in the longer
term may increase if it incorporates additional elements
should an impasse emerge. In particular, he suggested a
moratorium on property sales in the north -- if not an
eventual return of property -- as a carrot for the
Cypriots, and the eventual opening of Ercan airport as a
carrot for the Turks. Bryza shared with the Finns the
fact that the Greek Cypriots had told him they liked
many of the ideas in the Finnish plan but that they
wanted something more (which they left undefined) on
Varosha. The Turkish side, meanwhile, had responded with
less interest but was "studying" the package. Tuomioja
welcomed the US suggestions and called them "eminently
reasonable," although he and Bryza agreed they represent
potential "red lines" and would have to be addressed
carefully, and only if the Finnish effort stalls.
Tuomioja noted specifically that while all 25 EU MS
supported the Finnish plan, the GOF may well need to
seek US help to counter increasing "anti-Turkey"
statements (particularly in France and Germany) as well
as to press the Turks to show some kind of flexibility.

Keeping Turkey on Track
-----------------------
5. (SBU) In separate meetings, Finnish MFA Director
General for Europe Kari Halonen said that the Finnish
Presidency remains steadfast in the view that the EU
must keep its commitments to Turkey; i.e., that the
European perspective remains open if Turkey engages in
the necessary reforms. Moving the goalposts or concepts
like "privileged partnership" threaten to alienate the
Turks and increase the danger of the GOT's "returning to
thinking the EU is a Christian club." Bryza emphasized

HELSINKI 00001003 002 OF 002


to Finnish officials that while the US supports eventual
Turkish membership in the EU, its main interest is
seeing a "reformed Turkey" bolster its democratic and
market institutions and serve as an example to inspire
other reformers in Muslim majority countries; Turkey is
important to Europe and the West, but not so important
that it can enter the EU without engaging in the
necessary reforms.

Commission Perspective
----------------------
6. (C) Bryza also met separately with Jaakko Bloomberg,
EU Enlargement Commissioner Ollie Rehn's Special Advisor
for Turkey and Cyprus. While Brussels is fully
supportive of the Finnish Presidency's efforts on
Cyprus, Bloomberg said the Commission also emphasizes a
three-track process: the EU Presidency plan, the EU
accession criteria for Turkey, and the UN Good Offices
process on Turkey/Cyprus. While these tracks are
mutually reinforcing, the Commission believes that the
standoff over the ports, in particular, cannot be
resolved without UN involvement. Bloomberg also noted
that if the EU Presidency process "does not fail" and
the UN process starts building space for compromise, it
will become more difficult for the EU or skeptical
member states to fabricate reasons to derail Turkey's
accession process.

7. (U) DAS Bryza has cleared this cable.
WARE

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