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Cablegate: Netherlands/Georgia: Supporting Condemnation Of

VZCZCXRO8780
PP RUEHAG RUEHFL RUEHLA RUEHMRE RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHTC #0684 2251554
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 121554Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1849
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNOSC/OSCE POST COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L THE HAGUE 000684

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/11/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV EU NL GG
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS/GEORGIA: SUPPORTING CONDEMNATION OF
RUSSIA'S EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE

REF: A. SECSTATE 86108
B. FALLS EMAI...

C O N F I D E N T I A L THE HAGUE 000684 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/11/2018 TAGS: PREL PGOV EU NL GG

SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS/GEORGIA: SUPPORTING CONDEMNATION OF RUSSIA'S EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE REF: A. SECSTATE 86108 B. FALLS EMAIL 8-12-08 C. THE HAGUE 680

Classified By: Political Economic Counselor Andrew C. Mann for reasons 1.5(b,d)

1. (C) For the August 13 GAERC, the Dutch want a "strong, unified condemnation" of Russia's excessive use of force. Poloff shared ref A points on August 12 with Rochus Pronk, Deputy EU Correspondent, Carin Lobbezoo, deputy chief for East Europe and Central Asian Affairs, and Johanneke de Hoogh, Senior Policy Officer for NATO Affairs. Pronk responded that the Dutch have not seen EU draft conclusions but support a "strong, unified condemnation" of violence. The "use of force is excessive and unacceptable." The conclusions should not comment on the impact on EU-Russia relations at this time -- "that would go too far." The most important priority for the resolution is to end the war. Pressed on the language the Dutch support regarding Russia, Pronk explained the Netherlands supports a condemnation of Russia's "disproportionate use of force" and language urging Russia to respect Georgian sovereignty. At the same time, both sides should respect humanitarian law, and troops on both sides should pull back. (Note: As reported in ref B, the Dutch reversed their earlier position, reported in ref C, in favor of softening or balancing the Russia language proposed by the USG for the NATO meeting on August 12. The Dutch toughened their position based on events during the previous evening, i.e., continued Russian advances into Georgian territory. End note.)

2. (U) At the insistence of the absent FM Verhagen, State Secretary for European Affairs Timmermans issued a statement on August 12 condemning the "excessive use of force." The Foreign Ministry was reacting to news a Dutch cameraman (Stan Storimans) was killed during the Russian bombing of the Georgian city of Gori, saying "the Dutch government was horrified" to learn of Storimans, death. Timmermans met with Georgia's ambassador to discuss the matter and called in the Russian ambassador for an explanation. The statement noted: "There is no military solution to this conflict, only a political one. The Netherlands supports the efforts by France as EU chairman and Finland as OSCE chairman to reach a cease-fire between the parties as soon as possible, to achieve a withdrawal of Russian and Georgian troops under some form of international supervision and to hold negotiations about a lasting solution to the conflict." Culbertson

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