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Cablegate: Swedes' Cyprus Musings: Channel Their Interest

VZCZCXRO7851
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHNC #0754/01 2571400
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 141400Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY NICOSIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8168
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0948
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 NICOSIA 000754

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/SE, EUR/ERA, IO/UNP

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/13/2017
TAGS: PREL PGOV UNFICYP CY TU SW FI
SUBJECT: SWEDES' CYPRUS MUSINGS: CHANNEL THEIR INTEREST
PRODUCTIVELY

REF: NICOSIA 729

Classified By: Ambassador Ronald L. Schlicher, Reasons 1.4 (b), (d)

1. (C) Summary: Our UK counterparts share our skepticism
about the timing of Sweden's emerging proposal on Cyprus. A
formal proposal at this stage runs the risk of backfiring and
allowing President Papadopoulos and the other candidates in
the presidential race to shift to the international community
the onus for a solution, as well as the blame for the lack of
progress under the UN-brokered July 8 agreement. A fresh
proposal now may also further irritate divisions within the
EU over Turkey's accession negotiations, which for now appear
to be on track. That said, there are measures in the
near-term which could encourage progress under the July 8
process, and lay the groundwork for a strong push to reach an
overall Cyprus settlement following the February 2008
presidential elections. End Summary.

PROPOSED SWEDISH INITIATIVE ON CYPRUS

2. (C) UK Deputy High Commissioner Rob Fenn was well aware
of Swedish FM Bildt,s desire to engage more actively on the
Cyprus issue, but in our September 13 meeting with him, he
was surprised to learn of some of the ideas being considered
by the Swedes, e.g., replacing SRSG Moller. Like us, the UK
High Commission is frustrated by the lack of progress since
former U/SYG Gambari brokered the July 8, 2006 agreement
between President Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader
Talat, and lack of results from their first meeting in 14
months on September 5. Fenn noted that this heated
presidential campaign period is not the time to launch major
new proposals. The Swedish initiative to bring together
"like-minded" countries would likely play to Papadopoulos's
political advantage, as well as highlight divisions within
the EU over Turkey. Fenn expected that Turkey would soon
open at least one or possibly two more chapters of the Acquis
in its accession negotiations, and that the upcoming EU
review of Turkey's progress did not pose any imminent threat
to keeping those negotiations on track.

3. (C) Despite serious concerns about the outlines of the
Swedish proposal, the UK does want to keep FM Bildt engaged
and active on the Cyprus issue, given his strong support for
Turkey's accession negotiations and his stature within the
EU. A "brainstorming breakfast" on the margins of UNGA
meetings might be useful. It could encourage the UNSYG to
make a statement following his meeting with President
Papadopoulos (and again following his separate meeting with
Talat) noting the lack of progress and the need for both
leaders to get serious about producing meaningful results
within the July 8 framework. A brainstorming session could
also look ahead to February 2008 and consider options for
engaging the victor of the tight three-way presidential race
to reinvigorate negotiations for a final settlement to the
Cyprus issue.

4. (C) Fenn advised us that the Brits were having an
internal debate on whether or not to use the roll-over of
UNFICYP's mandate in December to exert pressure on
Papadopoulos. We told him that any attempt to fiddle with
the mandate now would certainly backfire and hand
Papadopoulos a huge political gift, which would let him run
against the international community instead of talking with
the electorate about their future. If efforts or initiatives
to re-energize negotiations after presidential elections
faltered next spring, then the next roll-over in June could
be the right time to get serious about considering
substantive changes to UNFICYP's mandate.

NEAR-TERM MEASURES


5. (C) In our view, there are opportunities to encourage
progress on the Cyprus issue in the near-term, including:

-- a proposed meeting between U/S Burns and President
Papadopoulos on the margins of UNGA;

-- a statement from the UNSYG following each of his meetings
with Papadopoulos and Talat, exhorting them to make good and
produce results from their July 8, 2006 agreement; we see
such statements as aimed at not letting Talat squirm out of
his July 8 commitments, while not letting the legalistic
Papadopoulos suggest that the process has carved-in-stone
rules which Talat is violating;

-- a forward-looking "brainstorming session" on the margins

NICOSIA 00000754 002 OF 002


of UNGA, urging both parties to "find a way forward" in the
process, while contemplating possibilities for re-energizing
negotiations following February presidential elections.

COMMENT: THE TIME WILL BE RIPE - BUT NOT NOW

6. (C) The Swedes, interest, ideas, and activism on Cyprus
are admirable, but their timing is off. Contrary to their
current views, the time for meaningful, substantive progress
on the Cyprus will be especially ripe after the February
presidential elections. Elements of any initiatives -- old
or new -- would vary depending on which of the three
candidates ends up as the winner. A UN assessment mission, a
report and/or recommendations to the UN Security Council, a
new SRSG, or possible changes to UNFICYP,s mandate in June
2008 are only some of the ideas which Sweden, the U.S., the
UK, and other like-minded countries might consider when the
local "givens" become clear.

7. (C) The current lack of progress on the July 8 process is
putting pressure on Papadopoulos and the other two candidates
to proffer their own ideas on the way ahead and differentiate
themselves in this tight race. Each of them must now explain
to voters how they would achieve a solution to the Cyprus
issue, though by nature, they would prefer to shift the blame
to Ankara, foreign interference, the U.S., and UK.
Meanwhile, Talat apparently has neither the interest nor the
support from Ankara to make bold or modest moves on the July
8 process until after the elections at least. For the time
being, our proposed near-term measures represent the best way
to lay the foundation for a renewed push on the Cyprus issue
next spring.
SCHLICHER

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