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Cablegate: Iceland: Press in New York for a Position On Partnership

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 211713Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3446
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0085
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UNCLAS REYKJAVIK 000277

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR G (FERRAO), DRL/MLGA (PAZ)
DEPT ALSO FOR EUR/NB (WHEELER)
ADDIS ABABA for USAU
PARIS for USOECD Paul Reid, Curtis Stone
BRUSSELS for USEU Patricia Lerner
USOAS for Bob Manzanares

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID KDEM OECD UNGA PREL IC
SUBJECT: Iceland: Press in New York for a position on Partnership
for Democratic Governance

Refs: A) State 108794

B) State 131040

1. (SBU) Summary: Iceland's Ministry for Foreign Affairs remains
noncommittal on Iceland's involvement in the OECD Partnership for
Democratic Governance (PDG), despite repeated overtures from Post.
Embassy believes this may be a result of uncertainty about the form
and objectives of the PDG as well as the fact that Iceland's
development aid policy is apparently under review by the Minister
for Foreign Affairs. Post suggests engagement on the margins of
UNGA to clarify details of the PDG and press for Icelandic support.
End Summary.

2. (SBU) DCM, Econ Chief, and visiting EUR/NB Desk Officer
presented Ref A points to the Director-General for External Trade
and Economic Affairs at Iceland's Ministry for Foreign Affairs on
August 21. Earlier in the day, Pol Chief, EUR/NB DeskOff and Pol
Intern made a similar presentation to the MFA's Counsellor for Human
Rights and Democracy Issues. Both were appreciative but
noncommittal, saying they would raise the issue within the ministry.
In follow-up contacts on September 14 and again on September 20 to
present Ref B information, MFA contacts were similarly undecided
about Iceland's participation. Icelandic MFA's Minister-Counsellor
for International Organization Affairs Nikulas Hannigan told Pol
Chief on September 20 that the issue was "under review" at the
ministry, but added on a separate topic that development aid was one
of Iceland's main issues of interest for the upcoming UN General
Assembly (UNGA).

3. (SBU) Comment: EmbOffs have learned separately that Minister
for Foreign Affairs Gisladottir has asked for a review of Iceland's
development aid policy, including an exploration of merging the
Icelandic International Development Agency (ICEIDA) into the
Ministry. Currently, ICEIDA handles bilateral aid projects while
the MFA has responsibility for multilateral donations. We speculate
that this review may be stalling commitments to other initiatives.

4. (SBU) Comment, cont'd: Post recommends engagement with the
Icelandic missions at the UN and OECD to clarify thinking on the PDG
as well as direct engagement with the Icelandic delegation at UNGA
to help flush out MFA thinking on the issue.

Klopfenstein

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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