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Cablegate: "We Look Uncoordinated": Swedes "Embarrassed" by Eu Behavior at Ahmadinejad Speech

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PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHSM #0615 2681404
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 251404Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4754
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0337

C O N F I D E N T I A L STOCKHOLM 000615

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/25/2019
TAGS: PREL PGOV IR UN EUN SW
SUBJECT: "WE LOOK UNCOORDINATED": SWEDES "EMBARRASSED" BY EU BEHAVIOR AT AHMADINEJAD SPEECH

REF: STOCKHOLM 600

Classified By: PolCouns Marc Koehler for reasons 1.4 (B) & (D).

1. (C) In a September 25 discussion with Poloff, Swedish Desk Officer for Iran, Ulf Samuelsson, confirmed media reports that Sweden, as EU President, did not/not walk out during Iranian Pres. Ahmadinejad's UNGA speech on September 24. He said the red lines agreed upon by the EU-27 -- the denial of the Holocaust or of the right for Israel to exist -- were not crossed in the speech. Nonetheless, some EU members walked out, but the choice was an "individual decision" by those states, Samuelsson said. Sweden is, in general, uncomfortable with using walk-outs as a punitive tool in UNGA. Samuelsson added that were Sweden to use the tool "equally," it would have walked out on a number of leaders' speeches at UNGA this year. Sweden would rather respond in other ways to objectionable/heinous statements at UNGA.

2. (C) Separately, Andres Jato, chief of staff to MFA Political Director Bjorn Lyrvall, told Pol Counselor the same day that the lack of EU coordination was "embarrassing." EU Member States were represented at the counselor level during Ahmadenijad's speech, and Lyrvall was listening "outside with headphones on," ready to give the "pre-arranged signal" for all EU reps to walk out. He was "surprised" when he saw first the Germans and then other EU delegations stream past him without the agreed-upon redlines having been crossed. "We look like we can't coordinate anything," Jato lamented. BARZUN

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