Cablegate: Canada Supports Strong Nac Statement Condemning
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 OTTAWA 001064
STATE PASS EUR/RPM, GEORGIA TASK FORCE
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/11/2018
TAGS: PREL NATO MOPS RU GG CA
SUBJECT: CANADA SUPPORTS STRONG NAC STATEMENT CONDEMNING
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 OTTAWA 001064 SIPDIS STATE PASS EUR/RPM, GEORGIA TASK FORCE E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/11/2018 TAGS: PREL NATO MOPS RU GG CA
SUBJECT: CANADA SUPPORTS STRONG NAC STATEMENT CONDEMNING RUSSIAN ACTIONS IN GEORGIA REF: STATE 85678 Classified By: DCM Terry Breese, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 1. (C)
Summary: The Canadian government agrees that the NATO North Atlantic Council (NAC) must move quickly to issue a strong statement condemning Russian actions in Georgia, and to call for an immediate cease-fire. Canadian officials are concerned that "process issues" and other distractions could get in the way of immediate action at the NAC, which in turn would slow the response to the growing humanitarian crisis in Georgia. Canadian officials appreciate close bilateral coordination on the matter, and note that U.S. and Canadian policy and public affairs approaches to the crisis are in sync. End summary.
2. (C) Responding to reftel demarche, on August 11 Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) Deputy Director for Defence and Security Relations Anne Burgess said that Canada agrees with the U.S. that on August 12 the NATO North Atlantic Council (NAC) should issue a strong statement condemning Russian actions in Georgia. Canada is also looking at the possibility of coordinating a G-7 statement with the final NAC language, she added. Burgess emphasized the importance Canada places on the need for Russia to respect Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty, noting that there is "no divergence" with the U.S. on that point or any of the other principal themes in reftel.
3. (C) Burgess emphasized that Canada wants all parties to focus on putting a cease-fire into place, and that this should occur before the NAC embarks on other discussions relating to the crisis. We cannot allow ourselves or our allies to be distracted from this immediate priority, she added. Only with a ceasefire in place, she said, will NATO and others be able to begin to properly address the "important and growing" humanitarian crisis in Georgia.
4. (C) Turning to the August 12 meeting of the NAC, Burgess observed that on the weekend Canada had become "slightly concerned" that some European NATO members might press to delay the NAC statement until after the European Union General Affairs Council has issued its own statement based on the findings of French Foreign Minister Kouchner's trip to Georgia.
5. (C) Burgess expressed Canada's appreciation for the close coordination on the crisis -- Secretary Rice and Minister Emerson discussed it on August 10 -- and the prompt sharing of related U.S. public statements. She described Canadian public statements as "tracking closely" with those issued by senior U.S. officials. Canadian
Public Statement ------------------------- 6. (U) Quote: August 10, 2008 (9:15 p.m. EDT) Minister Emerson Issues Statement on Continuing Hostilities in Georgia The Honourable David Emerson, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today released a statement on the continuing hostilities in Georgia. "I am very concerned about the expansion of hostilities well beyond the region of South Ossetia. Rather than acting as a neutral peacekeeper, Russia has escalated the hostilities through its attacks on Georgian towns and cities outside the conflict zone. Canada calls on Russia to respect Georgia's borders and to desist from any further encroachment on Qborders and to desist from any further encroachment on Georgia's territorial integrity. Minister Emerson also joined international calls for an immediate ceasefire and expressed hope that Georgia's ceasefire offer would be accepted without delay by Russia. In addition, he noted that Canada will continue to encourage diplomatic efforts with other interested parties to end the conflict. The priority for all authorities in the region should be to ensure the safety of the civilian populations affected by this crisis. Unquote. OTTAWA 00001064 002 OF 002 Visit Canada,s Economy and Environment Forum at http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/can ada WILKINS