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Cablegate: Czech Comments in Advance of the Eu Gaerc

VZCZCXRO6387
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHPG #1283/01 3411330
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 071330Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9880
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PRAGUE 001283

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

EUR/ERA JGIAUQUE, EUR/NCE FOR ATRATENSEK

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EUN EZ EG PGOV PREL
SUBJECT: CZECH COMMENTS IN ADVANCE OF THE EU GAERC

REF: STATE

1. (SBU) Summary: Emboff met with Vaclav Balek, Director of
the Czech MFA Department of Common Foreign and Security
Policy prior to the December 10 EU General Affairs and
External Relations Council (GAERC). Of note were his
comments on: Iran, Israel, Kosovo, Burma, Chad and European
Neighborhood Policy.

----------
Iran - EU Sanctions Unlikely Now
----------
2. (SBU) According to Balek, given the information contained
in the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), it is unlikely
that the EU Foreign Ministers will adopt EU sanctions at the
December 10 GAERC. Balek indicated that this reluctance has
several causes - while some EU member states question the
efficacy of EU sanctions against Iran, others remain
reluctant to jeopardize economic ties with Iran, and still
others question whether sanctions are appropriate given Iran
has suspended "weaponization." Thus, Balek anticipates that
certain EU member states will press for "time to study the
NIE," and that the EU FMs will adopt GAERC conclusions on
Iran along the lines of the November GAERC - expressing
concern about Iran not meeting its UNSC obligations.
Considering the sensitivity of this topic and its links to
Missile Defense, Balek noted that the NIE has not changed the
GOCR position on Iran or MD.

----------
Kosovo - EU Still Working on Its Own Position
----------
3. (SBU) Balek expects the EU FMs will discuss Kosovo and the
implications for the broader Western Balkans at the GAERC.
He commented that they also are likely to try to hammer out
the details of an EU ESDP mission since the EU does not
expect the Kosovars to make an unilateral declaration of
independence (UDI) prior to the end of the orthodox Christmas
season in early January. Balek's first concern, however, is
not how the EU will handle recognition of an eventual UDI
(likely to be discussed at an extraordinary GAERC and then
left to individual member states in his opinion), but rather
whether the EU will be able to rapidly come to consensus on
the ESDP mission. When all is said and done, Balek
anticipates that this will come together, but that it will
require quite a bit of arm twisting of reluctant EU member
states.

----------
Israel - EU Mood Shift
----------
4. (SBU) While Balek had very little that he wanted to add to
our points on the Israel-Palestinian Peace Process, he did
flag for our attention that the Annapolis conference provided
a bit of an impetus for the EU to evaluate its position with
respect to Israel. He indicated that there has been a bit of
a "mood shift" within the EU and that there is interest in
exploring strengthening EU-Israeli relations in such possible
areas as access to certain EU programs or EU internal
markets. Balek noted that he could not be more specific
since this is still such a recent development. Balek was
also very clear to caution that the USG should refrain from
any "bold expressions" encouraging the EU to expand economic
cooperation with Israel since this almost certainly would not
go over well with certain EU member states reluctant to make
changes to the current relationship.

----------
Burma - Give Gambari Time
----------
5. (SBU) According to the Czechs, the EU does not plan to
release any conclusions on Burma at this GAERC, nor is Balek
aware of any plan for the EU FMs to discuss expanding
existing EU sanctions to include financial sectors. The EU
FMs will discuss the topic generally and their concerns about
the regime's lack of positive action, but the general
sentiment, according to Balek, is that UNSYG special advisor
Gambari needs more time to negotiate before the EU takes
additional steps.

----------
Chad - Support, but Minimal
----------
6. (SBU) Balek noted that the EU FMs will discuss the
preparations for the EUFOR Chad-RCA mission. He noted that
they have already had several planning conferences, and yet
they are still short of personnel, equipment and financing.
Since the EU has made a commitment to undertake this mission,
there will be quite a lot of pressure on leading EU member
states to address the shortfalls. The Czech Republic has

PRAGUE 00001283 002 OF 002


committed three people to the EUFOR Chad-RCA mission, but
does not plan to offer any additional support at this time.
They are considering providing special forces, however, only
after the first rotation is completed in six months time
(this would consist of approximately 100 SOF personnel who
are also being considered for deployment to Afghanistan).

----------
European Neighborhood Policy - Mixed Progress
----------
7. (SBU) The EU FMs will discuss the progress reports of the
EU's Eastern Neighbors' implementation of individual action
plans, which the EU Secretariat has prepared. Since the
Czech plan to focus on ENP during their 2009 EU Presidency,
they have been following the progress of these countries
closely. With respect to Ukraine, Balek commented it has had
some difficulties with implementing certain reforms (Note: He
did not specify which). Moldova, however, appears to have
made solid progress on many of its identified tasks, although
there is still the sticky issue of Transnistria.
Graber

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