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Cablegate: Spanish Views On October Gaerc

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P 231526Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1373
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MADRID 001042

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/ERA AND EUR/WE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/23/2019
TAGS: PREL EU SP
SUBJECT: SPANISH VIEWS ON OCTOBER GAERC

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Classified By: ADCM William H. Duncan for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C) Poloff discussed anticipated GAERC agenda items with Spanish MFA Deputy European Correspondent Pablo Nuno Garcia October 23. Nuno indicated that the GAERC agenda continued to grow, now covering the Western Balkans, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, MEPP, Sri Lanka, Guinea, Uzbekistan, Moldova, Indonesia, Sahel, and the Great Lakes Region.

2. (C) Western Balkans: Nuno was quick to criticize Spain's exclusion from Swedish FM Bildt and Deputy Secretary Steinberg's meeting at Camp Butmir regarding Bosnia and Herzegovina, stating that because Spain will bear the responsibility for implementation and follow-up during their Presidency, they should have at least been consulted. He did not have any criticism for the set of proposals, however, stating that it was a "good agreement." He added that the GOS is concerned regarding certain Dayton Accord issues, namely that forcing a constitutional change could disturb the balance in the region and create tension with the Serbian minority.

3. (C) Iran: Nuno confirmed that Iran will be discussed at the October 26 Ministerial dinner, reiterating Spain's support for the dual-track approach. He said that the EU will work to achieve consensus on a sanctions package, and that Spain would support such package, but only if new negotiations do not produce results.

4. (C) Afghanistan/Pakistan: According to Nuno, the Swedes developed an enhanced action plan and plan to release it at the October GAERC. Nuno said that the GOS feels it is premature considering the unfinished state of Afghanistan's electoral process and that any new plan could further complicate the situation. The Commission's bluebook on member states' contributions to Afghanistan will be presented to the
Council for discussion, and conclusions congratulating President Karzai on moving forward with a second round of elections will be adopted without discussion. As evidence of Spain's commitment to Pakistan, FM Moratinos will speak about plans for the first EU-Pakistan Summit to be held during Spain's EU Presidency and how the summit will serve to upgrade the strategic relationship with Pakistan. Regular counter-terrorism dialogues at the expert level are also being planned for by Spain for implementation during their presidency.

5. (C) Sri Lanka: Commenting on the suspension of trade benefits as being a clear political sign, Nuno expects that the discussion regarding Sri Lanka will focus on: the need for national conciliation, the continued hardship suffered by IDPs, and the EU's desire to commit financially to assist in the return of IDPs to their homes. He said that in addition, the GOS wants to commit money and technical equipment to assist in de-mining efforts. FM Moratinos will also announce the political dialogue troika to take place during Spain's Presidency.

6. (C) Guinea: Nuno confirmed that the EU is considering restrictive measures for high-ranking officials. He stated that the disruption of law and order is of grave concern to Spain and the EU and that the foreign ministers will, at the very least, mandate the working groups to draft additional restrictive measures.

7. (C) Uzbekistan: According to Nuno, of the several options on the table, the EU is going with "Plan B," allowing the restrcitive measures to lapse. Notwithstanding, the EU will send a strong message regarding the need for reform with respect to human rights and will warn Uzbekistan of the EU's intent to closely monitor their progress, Nuno added. If there is no progress, new restrictive measures will be considered, he said.

8. (C) Any Other Business (Moldova, Indonesia, Great Lakes, and Sahel): Nuno said that association agreement negotiations with Moldova will be discussed, adding that the EU is ready to re-launch relations. The EU will also commit 22 million euros in direct budget aid to be distributed before the end of 2009, he said. With respect to liberalization of visa restrictions, Nuno said that the GOS is not fond of the idea (claiming that Germany isn't either) as the Moldovans are not
complying with certain technical requirements. Conclusions on the establishment of human rights negotiations with Indonesia
will be adopted; a statement will be issued welcoming progress and stating the EU's concerns regarding the humanitarian situation caused by the conflict in the Great Lakes Region; and conclusions will be adopted regarding

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counter-terrorism efforts in the Sahel region. Nuno said there is wide-spread concern with the security situation in Mauritania, Mali, and Niger, and that the EU desires further engagement and intensified dialogue in an effort to prevent terrorists in the region from uniting. "A regional crisis calls for a regional approach. We want to coordinate efforts with the United States and ECOWAS," Nuno said, adding that this will be a priority for Spain during their upcoming presidency. CHACON

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