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Cablegate: National Security Advisor Heusgen On Afghanistan,

VZCZCXRO6312
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHRL #1433/01 3161743
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 121743Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5750
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BERLIN 001433

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/11/2019
TAGS: PREL MARR NATO MNUC PARM KNNP GM IR RU AF
SUBJECT: NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR HEUSGEN ON AFGHANISTAN,
MIDDLE EAST, IRAN, DETAINEES, RUSSIA, NUKES AND BALKANS

Classified By: AMBASSADOR PHILIP D. MURPHY. REASONS: 1.4 (B) AND (D).

1. (C) SUMMARY. Chancellery National Security Advisor
Christoph Heusgen told EUR A/S Phil Gordon and Ambassador
Murphy in a November 10 meeting in Berlin that Germany
strongly preferred that the proposed international conference
on Afghanistan be held outside the country to make it easier
to press Karzai to commit to the necessary reforms. On the
Middle East, Heusgen thought Netanyahu had to do much more on
settlements if there was to be any hope of re-starting
negotiations. On Iran, Heusgen hoped for some conclusion by
early next month on whether the diplomatic track was going to
bear fruit so that this issue could be discussed at the
December 10 EU Summit. Heusgen said Germany was ready to
discuss taking Guantanamo detainees, but stressed the
importance of dealing directly with the Ministry of Interior
and keeping the negotiations confidential. While arguing for
being rhetorically supportive of the Medvedev European
Security proposal, Heusgen shared U.S. skepticism about a new
treaty and an OSCE Summit hosted by Kazakhstan. Heusgen
distanced the Chancellery from the proposal to remove all
remaining tactical nuclear weapons from Germany, stressing
the need to get reciprocal cuts from the Russians. Also
discussed was CFE, the Macedonian name issue and Bosnia. END
SUMMARY.

AFGHANISTAN

2. (C) Heusgen confirmed that Germany would only announce
additional resources for Afghanistan after the proposed
international conference, which Chancellor Merkel and UK PM
Brown are now proposing for January 28 in London. He said
the conference is key because this is where the Germans
expect the Afghan government to make specific commitments to
improve governance and to gradually begin assuming
responsibility from the international community. President
Karzai had to be put under international pressure to perform
according to prescribed benchmarks. Toward that end, the
Chancellery felt strongly that the conference should be held
outside of Afghanistan and not on Karzai's "home turf."
Heusgen complained that the German and U.S. embassies in
Kabul are on "a different track" and pushing for a conference
in Kabul. It was important to "make up our minds" quickly on
the way ahead. If the conference slipped to February or
later, and the UK were no longer able to host it in view of
the upcoming parliamentary elections there, then Germany
would be willing to.

3. (C) Heusgen at first expressed concern that the U.S. would
undermine international leverage on Karzai by rolling out its
new strategy and resource commitments before he made any
reciprocal commitments to reform. Gordon assured him that
the formal U.S. roll-out would only come after the November
19 inauguration, where Karzai is expected to "say the right
things" in his inaugural address. Gordon also highlighted
the need to coordinate on the U.S. roll-out to avoid the
perception that the U.S. was "Americanizing" the
international effort in Afghanistan. It should be announced
as a common strategy and not as a U.S. strategy to which the
Allies then respond. Heusgen agreed in principle, but
indicated that Germany would stick to its approach of holding
back on any announcement of new commitments until after the
international conference.

MIDDLE EAST

4. (C) Referring to the Secretary's recent public statements
on settlements, Heusgen said that Germany "perceives this
differently" and thought Netanyahu needed "to do more" in
order bring the Palestinians to the negotiating table. With
Palestinians in East Jerusalem getting notices from Israeli
authorities that their houses will be destroyed, it would be
"suicide" for President Abbas to move under the current
circumstances. Heusgen said he could not fathom why
Netanyahu did not understand this. He suggested pressuring
Netanyahu by linking favorable UNSC treatment of the
Goldstone Report to Israel committing to a complete stop in
settlement activity. Gordon said that making a direct
linkage between the two would almost certainly be
counterproductive, but agreed that it was worth pointing out
to the Israelis that their policy on settlements was making
it difficult for their friends to hold the line in the UNSC.
Heusgen said this certainly would be an issue when Netanyahu
and "half of his cabinet" visit Berlin on November 30 for
bilateral government consultations.

IRAN

5. (C) Heusgen praised the U.S. for its patience with Iran,

BERLIN 00001433 002 OF 003


but noted that at some point, it would be necessary to move
to the second track in order to maintain credibility.
Heusgen said that he and his British counterpart agreed that
ideally, there would be some conclusion on this by early next
month so that the way ahead could be discussed by EU leaders
at their summit on December 10. Gordon agreed that there had
to be a time limit, noting that President Obama had given the
Iranians "by the end of the year" to respond favorably. He
also noted that the U.S. could support a Turkish role in the
proposed exchange of low-enriched uranium for reactor fuel if
that would make it easier for Iran to accept the deal.
Gordon indicated, however, that Turkish PM Erdogan needed to
be careful about losing credibility in Washington if he
continued to make comments about Ahmadinejad being his
"friend."

GUANTANAMO DETAINEES

6. (C) Heusgen noted that now that the Bundestag election was
past, Germany was ready to help on detainees, as it had
promised earlier. He advised the USG to work directly with
new Interior Minister de Maiziere, rather than going first to
MFA and the Chancellery, which had irritated de Maiziere's
predecessor and made him less willing to cooperate. In this
regard, he thought that it would be helpful if DHS Secretary
Napolitano made direct contact with de Maiziere. Heusgen
also suggested that the discussions be kept confidential
until MOI had come to a decision on which detainees to accept
and in which state they would be settled. Premature public
disclosure could doom the whole initiative. Heusgen said
that Uighurs would be "too difficult," but that Germany could
probably accept "2-3 others." (Comment: The reluctance about
Uighurs is due to the expected negative reaction of the
Chinese government. End Comment.)

EUROPEAN SECURITY PROPOSAL AND POSSIBLE OSCE SUMMIT

7. (C) Heusgen said that while the West should try to react
positively to whatever the Russians propose in advancing the
Medvedev European security proposal, nothing should be
accepted that would undermine current European security
institutions, including the OSCE. He shared Gordon's
misgivings about a proposed treaty. He was also skeptical
about the idea of an OSCE Summit in Astana, agreeing that
Kazakhstan's human rghts record and the lack of substantive
agenda items made it unattractive. Heusgen suggested that an
OSCE Summit be offered to the Russians on the condition they
solve the frozen conflict in Transnistria, which he said
Moscow could accomplish "in about a month."

TACTICAL NUCLEAR WEAPONS

8. (C) In response to Gordon's question about how the
government planned to take forward the commitment in the
coalition agreement to seek the removal of all remaining
nuclear weapons from Germany, Heusgen distanced the
Chancellery from the proposal, claiming that this had been
forced upon them by FM Westerwelle. Heusgen said that from
his perspective, it made no sense to unilaterally withdraw
"the 20" tactical nuclear weapons still in Germany while
Russia maintains "thousands" of them. It would only be worth
it if both sides drew down. Gordon noted that it was
important to think through all the potential consequences of
the German proposal before going forward. For example, a
withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Germany and perhaps from
Belgium and the Netherlands could make it very difficult
politically for Turkey to maintain its own stockpile, even
though it was still convinced of the need to do so.

CFE

9. (C) Gordon asked for Heusgen's views on a German CFE paper
that had been delivered to the State Department just a few
days earlier. Heusgen said he did not know anything about
it, claiming that he did not follow this issue closely or
"believe in it." He noted that MFA "loved this disarmament
business," which was okay, but it had to be balanced or the
"Russians will sit there and laugh."

MACEDONIAN NAME ISSUE

10. (C) Gordon briefed Heusgen on the current state of the
negotiations, noting that the two key issues were the
geographic modifier and international usage. Heusgen noted
that the Chancellor knew PM Macedonian Gruevski through their
common membership in the European People's Party and would be
willing to engage him on this issue if that would be helpful.

BOSNIA

BERLIN 00001433 003 OF 003

11. (C) Heusgen revealed that Serb President Tadic was coming
to Berlin the week of November 16 for consultations. He
noted that while Tadic always claimed to be tough on
Republika Srpska PM Dodic, he needed to be tougher. While
expressing pessimism about whether it would ever be possible
to turn Bosnia into a "working state," Heusgen agreed it was
important to keep trying.
MURPHY

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