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Cablegate: Gaerc - Finnish Response

VZCZCXRO9053
RR RUEHAG RUEHROV
DE RUEHHE #1209 3411312
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 071312Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2802
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 0103
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 0086
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 0633

C O N F I D E N T I A L HELSINKI 001209

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/07/2016
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM UN EUN YI SR BK IS LE IR TU
AF, KPAL, FI
SUBJECT: GAERC - FINNISH RESPONSE

REF: STATE 195044

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

1. (U) PolChief delivered December GAERC demarche to
Finnish EU Correspondent Jarno Syrjala November 5 and
followed up further by phone November 7. Syrjala
highlighted the following points:

2. (C) TURKEY/ENLARGEMENT: The Finnish Presidency is
greatly encouraged by Turkey's announcement that it
intends to open one airport and one port to Cypriot
traffic. Syrjala confirmed that Turkey has informed the
Presidency of this decision, adding that it can only have
a "positive impact" on a GAERC ministerial that will
focus heavily on enlargement questions in general and
Turkey in particular. Many EU member states (MS) had
indicated to the GOF that they did not want discussion of
Turkey to "hijack" the meetings. In fact, Syrjala
acknowledged, many MS have been speaking more openly in
favor of freezing or even suspending new Acquis chapters
for Turkey, and that their positions appear to be
hardening. However, in light of new developments the
Finnish Presidency will seek to allow "as much time as
necessary" for discussion of Turkey's progress. Syrjala
noted that the Finnish Presidency agrees with most US
views on Turkey and re-emphasized the efforts Finland
continues to make to keep Turkey's accession process on
track.

3. (C) MEPP/LEBANON: Syrjala said that these discussions
will take up the bulk of the "external relations"
discussions at the GAERC. The EU shares the US concerns
about Lebanon and about Hezbollah's disruptive behavior,
and agrees that bolstering the Siniora Government is
crucial. Regarding the MEPP, Syrjala reiterated that for
the most part the "Spanish-French" proposal offers little
new and will not significantly affect the EU's overall
policies.

4. (C) KOSOVO/WESTERN BALKANS: On Kosovo, Syrjala re-
emphasized that the GOF's national priority as well as
that of the Finnish Presidency remain to keep the EU
united behind UN Special Rep Martti Ahtisaari's efforts
to implement a final status decision shortly after
Serbia's January 21 elections. On Serbia, Syrjala said
the EU Presidency appreciated our demarche point
indicating that Belgrade needs to do more on ICTY
cooperation. The Finnish national position has been one
of the toughest in the EU on this point, he added;
however, NATO's decision to offer PfP to Serbia will make
it harder to ensure a strongly unified EU position.

5. (C) IRAN: Syrjala said that there would be a very
short update from the EU Security Council members on the
status of sanctions negotiations at the UN. Most MS
believe that a broader discussion of Iran is needed, he
added, but because of time constraints that discussion
will likely be put off until the first GAERC of the
German Presidency.
WARE

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