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Cablegate: Austrian Views in Advance of the October 13 Gaerc

VZCZCXRO2317
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHVI #1508 2831412
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 091412Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY VIENNA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1087
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS VIENNA 001508

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/ERA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EUN PGOV PHUM PREL BO GG RS UZ ZI AU
SUBJECT: AUSTRIAN VIEWS IN ADVANCE OF THE OCTOBER 13 GAERC

REF: STATE 108064

(SBU) Polchief discussed reftel points October 8 with Klaus
Famira, MFA European correspondent. Famira provided the
following information on the October 13 GAERC agenda:

-- Georgia: EU representatives will discuss the deployment of
the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM). Famira acknowledged that
EU leaders are concerned that Russia has not allowed EUMM
access to Abkhazia or South Ossetia. He said the French may
press Russian President Medvedev on this issue at the
November EU-Russia Summit. Famira said the GOA would likely
not provide any new bilateral assistance for Georgia, though
this was still under consideration.

-- Zimbabwe: Discussion of Zimbabwe will probably be very
brief. Participants may discuss how the change of leadership
in South Africa influences the political dynamics.

-- Belarus: Famira said the "balanced view" on Belarus
reflected in reftel points is very close to the EU position.
The OHDIR report on the elections paints a "grim picture."
At the same time, however, the Government of Belarus allowed
OHDIR to observe the elections, permitted opposition
candidates to register, and released political prisoners.
President Lukashenka is looking to move closer to the West to
offset his ties to Moscow. Famira said GAERC participants
are not expected to reach any decisions on sanctions. He
said EU leaders are not considering changing the legal
framework regarding Belarus, but rather discussing ways of
making gestures to encourage a more Western orientation.

-- Uzbekistan: The GOA could support a measure to lift the
visa ban against Uzbek officials, but would insist that the
arms embargo remain intact.

-- Informal Oct. 30 GAERC: Famira said the French may discuss
plans for an informal GAERC to be held October 30 in Paris to
discuss transatlantic relations, following up on the
discussion at the September 5-6 Gymnich. He said the GOA is
not sure why the French want to continue with this project.
The EU-U.S. relationship is sound, and is far closer and more
extensive than any other EU relationship. Austrian officials
do not see the value in holding another discussion that would
focus on only a few of the many areas of transatlantic
cooperation, and might choose not to attend, he said.
GIRARD-DICARLO

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