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Cablegate: Czechs Will Not Attend Monrovia Development

VZCZCXYZ0009
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPG #0586 2420620
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 290620Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0663
INFO RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 0016
RUEHMV/AMEMBASSY MONROVIA 0038
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

UNCLAS PRAGUE 000586

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/W PDAVIS, EUR/CE, EUR/ERA
PLEASE PASS TO USAID -- CHERYL KIM

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREL EZ EU
SUBJECT: CZECHS WILL NOT ATTEND MONROVIA DEVELOPMENT
MINISTERS MEETING; AID PRIORITIES OUTLINED

REF: SECSTATE 89825

1. (SBU) Summary: No one from the Czech Republic will
attend the Monrovia Development Ministers Meeting due to
other priorities, including preparations for the upcoming
Czech EU presidency. The GOCR concentrates its assistance on
ten long-term priority countries -- including Iraq and
Afghanistan -- and four countries/territories of special
interest, including Kosovo and Palestine. End summary.

2. (SBU) We delivered reftel demarche to MFA Development
Department Director Hana Sevcikova August 27. Sevcikova
reported that MFA Deputy Minister Jan Kohout will attend the
Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Accra
September 2-4. No one from the Czech republic, however, will
attend the Monrovia Development Ministers Meeting due to the
need to concentrate on preparations for the Czech EU
Presidency. Liberia is also not one of the Czech Republic's
assistance priorities. Deputy Minister Kohout will, however,
be available for bilaterals in Accra and in New York
September 20-26 should we wish to discuss this (or other
subjects) further. (Note: Since the Czech Republic does not
have a development ministry, Foreign Minister Schwarzenberg
has designated Deputy Minister Kohout to represent the Czech
Republic on development issues. Endnote.)

3. (U) The Czech MFA has identified ten countries as
long-term priority aid recipients: Afghanistan, Iraq, Angola,
Bosnia-Herzogovina, Yemen, Moldova, Mongolia, Serbia,
Vietnam, and Zambia. The MFA has also identified four
additional countries/territories of special interest:
Ethiopia, the Palestine Territories, Cambodia and Kosovo. In
the past week, the Czech Republic has dispatched 5 million
crowns (approximately USD 312,500) in emergency humanitarian
aid to Georgia and approved an additional 150 million crowns
(USD 9.4 million) in reconstruction aid over the next three
years (see septel). Foreign Minister Schwarzenberg has also
offered to host a Georgia donor's conference in Prague.

4. (SBU) Sevcikova noted that Czech overseas development
assistance (ODA) was now 0.12 percent of GNI, the highest
percentage of any of the new EU member states. Nevertheless,
she did not believe that the Czech Republic could
realistically meet the goal the EU had set for the new
members of 0.17 percent of GNI by 2010.

5. (SBU) Sevcikova said the MFA's development goals during
the upcoming Czech EU presidency are modest. Since one of
the Czechs three overarching objectives is energy, they hope
to introduce energy issues into assistance discussions. They
also hope to widen the discussion within the EU on illegal
immigration to include the flow of people from Eastern Europe
and Asia, and not just to focus on the flow of people from
the South. The GOCR will host an EU Development Ministers
Conference in Prague January 29-30. Sevcikova's office will
also chair during the Czech EU presidency the European
Council Working Parties on Development Cooperation, on
Humanitarian Assistance and Food Aid, and on Preparation for
International Development Conferences.
Graber

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