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Cablegate: Czech Comments On September Gaerc

VZCZCXRO3377
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSL RUEHSR RUEHVK
RUEHYG
DE RUEHPG #0540 2541203
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 111203Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1741
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS PRAGUE 000540

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

EUR/ERA WLUCAS, EUR/CE FOR JBERGEMANN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EUN EZ EG IR AF ZJ PGOV PREL
SUBJECT: CZECH COMMENTS ON SEPTEMBER GAERC

REF: PRAGUE 526

1. (SBU) Summary: On September 9 and 11 emboff spoke with
Czech MFA Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)
Department Deputy Director Magdalena Janesova in advance of
the September 14-15 EU Foreign Ministers' meeting (GAERC).
She offered brief comments on Iran, Afghanistan, and the EU's
Eastern Partnership as it relates to the Caucasus. End
Summary.

----------
Iran - Czechs Unwavering in Skepticism
----------
2. (SBU) According to Janesova, the EU Foreign Ministers plan
to discuss three items related to Iran - EU concerns about
certain Iranian Ministerial appointments, the internal
political situation following the June elections (as a subset
of this, some European nationals are still being harassed and
monitored), and the nuclear issue. With respect to the
Ministerial appointments, the EU is particularly concerned
about the proposed Defense Minister, Ahmad Vahidi, given that
he is currently wanted by Interpol for his terror links.
Regarding European nationals, some member states are still
having trouble getting their citizens out of Iran. There is
apparently one British diplomat who faces charges, while
other nationals are being closely monitored. On the nuclear
issue, Janesova commented that the Czechs felt that the
letter Iran delivered to the P5 1 on September 9 lacked
substance and was simply another attempt by Iran to buy time.
As Janesova noted last week (reftel), the Czechs are not
optimistic that Iran will have met any of its obligations by
the end of September. Czech MFA Political Director Ivo
Sramek told POLEC Counselor that the Czechs will urge the EU
to continue work on sanctions, even as the EU continues
diplomatic engagement, in order to have sanctions ready if
diplomacy fails.

----------
Afghanistan
----------
3. (SBU) Following up on the Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy
paper produced by the European Commission and Council
Secretariat and discussed by the Foreign Ministers on
September 4 at the Gymnich, Janesova stated that the
Commission and Council Secretariat are now working on a
consolidated paper. For October, the Czechs believe that the
international community needs to be better prepared to assist
with the next round of elections, particularly when it comes
to monitoring the elections and establishing a secure
environment for voters.

----------
Eastern Partnership - Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan
----------
4. (SBU) The Swedes have proposed this item for the Foreign
Ministers to discuss at the GAERC, and the Czechs heartily
endorsed this. The idea is to enhance relations with these
countries and the Czechs would like to see, as an outcome of
this meeting, consensus within the EU to move forward with
drafting Association Agreements for the Caucasus. Janesova
notes that there is some reluctance from certain EU member
states to move forward, but she is hopeful that these member
states may be brought around to the views of the majority.
With respect to visa liberalization for these three
countries, she noted that this is a very long way off for the
Caucasus and the Czechs are some of the most optimistic
within the EU.

----------
AOB - Visa Issues
----------
5. (SBU) Apparently there are relatively minor issues to be
raised under Any Other Business (AOB) next week. Janesova
flagged for emboff that the Czechs have added the Canadian
visa issue. She noted that while ESTA has been discussed in
a number of EU fora, it has not been added to the agenda of
this GAERC.
Thompson-Jones

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