Cablegate: Gaerc Outlines Eu Observer Mission and Aid To

P 151810Z SEP 08




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (U) Summary: Meeting in Brussels September 15, EU Foreign
Ministers formally established an independent civilian
monitoring mission of at least 200 in Georgia, to be deployed
by October 1. They designated Pierre Morel as EU Special
Representative for the crisis in Georgia. Welcoming the the
Commission's proposal to mobilize 500 million Euros in aid to
Georgia for the period 2008-2010, the Ministers called upon
the Commission to prepare a donors' conference to take place
in October (date TBD) in Brussels. International discussions
planned for Geneva will be held shortly after the October 15
date originally set, due to a conflict with the European
Council meeting that day. The Council decided to postpone
extending EU sanctions against Zimbabwean officials. On
Somalia, the Council reaffirmed its willingness to continue
the EU's engagement, to include approving a strategic
military option for a possible EU naval operation. Despite a
positive readout from ICTY Chief Prosecutor Brammertz on his
recent trip to Serbia, consensus could not be reached on the
question of whether to unfreeze the Stabilization and
Association Agreement with Serbia. While welcoming the
release of political prisoners in Belarus, the Commission
said that reengagement would not be considered until after
the September 28 elections. End Summary.

Post-Conflict Georgia

2. (U) EU Foreign Ministers, meeting as the General Affairs
and External Relations Council (GAERC) on September 15,
formally established an independent civilian ESDP monitoring
mission in Georgia. In accordance with the arrangements set
out in the agreement of September 8 and in close coordination
with the OSCE and UN, the European Union Monitoring Mission
(EUMM) will be deployed by October 1. According to a
simultaneous EU ESDP press release from the Council, the main
objectives of EUMM will be to "contribute to stability
throughout Georgia and the surrounding region," while in the
short term, EUMM will seek "to contribute to the
stabilization of the situation in accordance with the
six-point agreement and subsequent implementing measures."
The Council's objective is to reach a European presence of
"at least 200 monitors by October 1." (French FM Kouchner
told the press afterwards that more than 200 monitors have
already been identified.) With an expected initial mission
duration of 12 months, 31 million Euros have been allocated
for the mission. According to the Council Conclusions, the
EUMM deployment is to replace Russian troops in zones
adjacent to Abkhazia and South Ossetia by October 1. Within
ten days of that date, Russian troops are to withdraw to
lines held prior to the outbreak of hostilities.

3. (U) In addition to the monitoring mission, the Commission
announced a 500 million Euro aid program for the period
2008-2010 to assist Georgia with its post-conflict rebuilding
efforts. Referring to the "stabilization and growth
package," External Relations/European Neighborhood Policy
Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner said at the post-GAERC press
conference that the package includes the continuation of the
normal program for Georgia, assistance for displaced people,
reconstruction, economic recovery, macro-financial stability
plus new infrastructure, especially in the energy sector.
Also envisaged is a donors' conference for Georgian
reconstruction and economic recovery, to be organized by the
Commission "next month in Brussels." The GAERC encouraged
member states to prepare significant financial contributions
as well for this conference. It also welcomed the
Commission's work to accelerate visa facilitation and
readmission, and its efforts toward establishing free trade
with Georgia. (See para 9 for more on what FM Kouchner had to
say about Georgia.)

Piracy off Somalia

4. (U) FMs approved a strategic military option for a
possible EU naval operation to combat piracy off the Somali
coast, saying they "would like to see the current planning
work press ahead." The FMs also approved establishment "in
the next few days" of a coordination unit in Brussels to
support surveillance and protection activities carried out by
some member states in the waters off Somalia, to be known as
EU NAVCO. In addition to the anti-piracy provisions, Council
Conclusions on Somalia approved at the GAERC included
language welcoming the official signing of the Djibouti peace
agreement by the Transitional Federal Government and the
Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia. The EU pledged
support for the agreement's implementation, as well as
support for capacity-building of the Somali police. At the
post-GAERC press conference, FM Kouchner said that, while it
is hard to catch pirates in the act, piracy was becoming a
well-organized industry requiring a well-organized response.

Zimbabwe Sanctions Decision Postponed

5. (U) After a briefing by Commissioner Louis Michel on the
power-sharing agreement just reached between President Mugabe
and opposition leader Tsvangirai, the foreign ministers
postponed adding 10-12 additional names to the list of
Zimbabweans subject to financial and travel sanctions
approved by the PSC and COREPER last week. Prior to the
GAERC, Solana said he was confident the agreement would open
"a new page" for Zimbabwe. At the post-GAERC press
conference, FM Kouchner said, "power sharing is what we
wanted, and we were right." While acknowledging that
Zimbabwe's political problems largely remained to be solved,
Kouchner said the "French Presidency" will soon visit


6. (U) On Serbia, French FM Kouchner reported at the
post-GAERC press conference that ICTY Chief Prosecutor
Brammertz had briefed the Council on his September 10-11
visit to Belgrade, providing "his opinion as a lawyer and
chief prosecutor, not a political opinion." While Kouchner
said that Brammertz had reported "much progress in Serbian
administration" and that a large majority of FMs had been in
favor of unfreezing the SAA, a consensus could not be
reached. EU Enlargement Commissioner Rehn praised the French
Presidency for its continued commitment to the issue while
the Council was focused on other areas, adding "I trust the
Serbian government will continue to pursue cooperation with
the EU on a sustained basis." Saying that the Commission's
view was rather well known and that the Commission felt the
arrest of Karadzic should be recognized by starting the
implementation of the trade provisions of the SAA, Rehn went
on to say that the issue "was in the hands of the member
states." Rehn welcomed ratification of SAA by the Serbian
Parliament, saying "I would like to encourage Serbia to start
implementing its obligations under the SAA," going on to say
that this could help Serbia achieve its goal of attaining
candidate status in 2009. Reiterating that he had been in
favor of unfreezing, Kouchner hinted of possible moves on the
fringes of UNGA.


7. (U) While welcoming the release of political prisoners in
Belarus, FMs remained concerned about "other major aspects of
the human rights situation." Contingent on the conduct of
credible elections September 28, the Council said that it
stood ready to reconsider existing "restrictive measures" and
to take "positive and concrete" steps leading to a
step-by-step reengagement with Belarus.

Other Topics Discussed

8. (U) FMs called upon Bulgaria and Romania to intensify
their efforts under the Cooperation and Verification
Mechanism, highlighting among other things the importance of
"an impartial, independent and effective administrative and
judicial system." In response to Ecuador's invitation, FMs
decided to dispatch an election observation mission under MEP
Ribeiro e Castro to observe the September 28 constitutional
referendum. With regard to the annual report on the European
Community's Development and External Assistance Policies and
their implementation, the Council welcomed improvements in
the report, encouraged the Commission to continue its efforts
to make the report a tool to assist political decision
making, and reaffirmed the EU's commitment to contribute to
poverty eradication efforts.

More on Georgia at the Press Conference

9. (U) Speaking at the post-GAERC press conference, FM
Kouchner said that there was "total unity" on the day's
Council Conclusions. While the mediation process has not
been perfect, he admitted, Russian troops did not march on
Tbilisi, a timetable has been established, and Russian troops
have abandoned checkpoints outside Poti, as agreed. In
announcing that more than the minimum 200 EUMM observers have
been identified, Kouchner said they were "crucial" to ensure
the further withdrawal of Russian troops. Kouchner was
reportedly somewhat ambiguous in his comments, however, about
the extent to which the EUMM would be independent of the
UNOMIG and OSCE missions. When asked how he envisioned the
EUMM entering Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Kouchner responded,
"By not being pessimistic!" He continued that nothing has
been said or done to accept any faits accomplis; however, he
said referring to the Russians, it takes two to tango.
Kouchner said the mandate of EUSR Pierre Morel (septel) was
yet to be defined. Noting that the Council Conclusions
support the idea of an international inquiry into the
conflict, Kouchner said this provision was discussed at the
September 6 Gymnich.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN: Bachelet Calls On Mexico To Step Up Efforts As Tragic Milestone Reached Of More Than 100,000 Disappearances

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday called on the Mexican authorities to step up efforts to ensure truth and justice for victims of disappearances, who now number more than 100,000, according to official data... More>>

ADC: Statement On The Assassination Of Shireen Abu Akleh

Early this morning in Jenin, Occupied Palestine, revered Palestinian voice Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American journalist for Al Jazeera, was assassinated by Israeli Occupation Forces snipers...

Ukraine: UN Rights Office Probe Spotlights Harrowing Plight Of Civilians

Almost 76 days since Russia invaded Ukraine, countless civilians remain caught up in the horror and destruction of war, UN rights investigators said on Tuesday... More>>

Access Now: Elon Musk’s Twitter Buyout Must Not Come At The Expense Of Human Rights

Following today’s announcement that Elon Musk will acquire complete ownership of Twitter in a cash sale of around 44 billion USD, pending shareholder approval, Access Now urges Twitter’s Board, employees, and shareholders... More>>

UN: Biodiversity And Ecosystem Protection Highlighted On Mother Earth Day

Marking International Mother Earth Day, UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid urged on Friday, for collective action to safeguard biodiversity and protect ecosystems... More>>

Ukraine: Hundreds More Reach Safety After Fleeing Besieged Mariupol
In Ukraine, humanitarians said on Wednesday that hundreds of people have managed to reach safety after fleeing Mariupol, where there’s also been condemnation for the killing of Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius... More>>