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Cablegate: Estonian Concerns Over Azerbaijan

VZCZCXRO5946
RR RUEHAG RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHROV RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTL #0498 2111339
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 301339Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY TALLINN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0042
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHKB/AMEMBASSY BAKU 0009
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0484

UNCLAS TALLINN 000498

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EUN KDEM OSCE PGOV PHUM AJ EN
SUBJECT: ESTONIAN CONCERNS OVER AZERBAIJAN

REF: STATE 99391

1. (SBU) On July 26, we delivered reftel points to
Toomas Lukk, MFA Director for Eastern Europe and Central
Asia, concerning USG concerns over the state of
democracy and human rights in Azerbaijan. Lukk
responded that the GOE fully shares U.S. concerns and is
keen on doing more in Azerbaijan and central Asia in
general. However, he noted, although resources will
likely prevent any significant increase in assistance in
the next year, the GOE does have contact with
Azerbaijani officials. On June 18-19, Prime Minister
Andrus Ansip attended the GUAM Summit (Georgia, Ukraine,
Azerbaijan, and Moldova) in Baku. While there, PM
Ansip met with President Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister
Artur Rasizada who both expressed a desire for closer
Estonian-Azerbaijani relations. GOAJ officials said
they see Estonia as a model in reforming Azerbaijan's
economy and society.

2. (SBU) Given that Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova are
priority countries for Estonian development assistance,
GUAM's fourth member, Azerbaijan, would be a natural
addition to Estonia's program. Lukk noted the MFA
recognizes it should do more for Azerbaijan and other
countries in the neighborhood. The MFA is in the early
stages of planning an outreach program to central Asia.
The MFA is especially interested in working together
with the U.S. on assistance projects to promote
democracy, human rights, and media freedom. Lukk
reiterated the point that Estonia's shared history with
the former Soviet republics and its reputation for
successful political and market reforms, lend Estonia a
great deal of credibility in the region. Estonia needs
to take advantage of its "window of opportunity" -- where
many Estonians still speak Russian and can communicate
easily with Central Asians and others.

PHILLIPS

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