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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Environment, Iran, Pakistan, U.S.-Russia,

VZCZCXRO0222
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #1599/01 3521136
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 181136Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6087
INFO RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC
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RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1607
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0770
RHMFIUU/HQ USAFE RAMSTEIN AB GE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE//J5 DIRECTORATE (MC)//
RHMFISS/CDRUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 BERLIN 001599

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, EUR/PAPD, EUR/PPA, EUR/CE, INR/EUC, INR/P,
SECDEF FOR USDP/ISA/DSAA, DIA FOR DC-4A

VIENNA FOR CSBM, CSCE, PAA

"PERISHABLE INFORMATION -- DO NOT SERVICE"

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E.0. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KGHG IR PK RS NATO
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: ENVIRONMENT, IRAN, PAKISTAN, U.S.-RUSSIA,
NATO-RUSSIA;BERLIN

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (Environment) COP 15
3. (Iran) Nuclear Conflict, Protests
4. (Pakistan) Court Ruling on President's Amnesty
5. (U.S.-Russia) START Talks
6. (NATO-Russia) Rasmussen in Moscow


1. Lead Story Summary

Print and electronic media opened with reports on the decisive talks

of the Copenhagen climate summit. Editorials focused on the same
issue and on the ruling of the European Human Rights Court on
preventive detention in Germany.

2. (Environment) COP 15

Die Welt (12/18) noted in a front-page editorial: "Was Copenhagen
the
last chance for the world? Given the fact that the climate
conference
in Copenhagen will come to an end without a visible result, the
apocalypse is written on the wall. And America will be once again
blamed for the end of the world. Barack Obama, who many Europeans
believed to be able to walk on water, already faced doubts over his

policy on Afghanistan. Obama will be blamed in particular because
he
was unable to resolve the fundamental conflict between rich and
poor,
between established industrialized nations and emerging superpowers.

Even those who do not believe in the authority of politicians to
prohibit global warming note that Americans have some catching-up to

do.... The thermal insulation of American homes must be improved,
cars
must consume less gasoline and industrial plants must become more
energy efficient.... For Obama, who came into office with a serious

ecological program, jobs and health care reform have a priority. He

would be badly advised to anticipate the Congress' decision-making
or
to disempower legislators by emergency acts. Europeans should stop
to
act as schoolmasters. Under Jimmy Carter, Americans invented
photovoltaic and wind turbines. Germans and Japanese are now
earning
money with it - as businessmen, not as environmental angels.
Pragmatists achieve more than ideologists. Let's be optimistic.
Copenhagen may have been the last chance for the world. However,
the
next conference and the next chance will come."

Deutschlandfunk radio (12/18) noted: "Clinton did what Merkel did
not
do. The U.S. Secretary stole the show from Merkel. The U.S. wants
to
participate in the 100 billion dollar package for the poorest
countries in the world. The U.S. offer is a new impetus for the
deadlocked negotiations... Is success therefore still possible in
Copenhagen? ... Yes, because all pieces are on the table... And only
the
political will must be bundled up. This will be Merkel's moment.
She
knows the subject better than any of her colleagues, can play the

BERLIN 00001599 002 OF 005


political poker game and enjoys a great reputation.... Merkel must
use
this historic moment and put the pieces of the puzzle together with

Obama and Hu Jintao."

Sddeutsche (12/18) editorialized: "The double game the Chinese are

playing is threatening the success of the global climate summit in
Copenhagen. In international bodies like the G20 the Chinese insist

on making decisions on an eye level with industrial countries. This

is legitimate as it represents one eighth of the global economic
power. Every eighth dollar that is spent for consumption in the
world
goes to China. Due to this huge economic program, China's economy
is
growing so much that it keeps the decline of the western industry in

balance. China also has the greatest foreign currency reserves
worldwide. However, in international climate protection, the
Chinese
like to sit in the second row. Meanwhile, there is no other country

that emits as much damaging greenhouse gases into the air like the
People's Republic of China. But the government in Beijing is
persistently rejecting binding regulations to reduce emissions. The

argument that China is a developing country is particularly
annoying....
Concerning climate protection, the Chinese vigorously reject the
power
they demand in other decision-making processes. They change their
status as they like.... If China allows the negotiations in
Copenhagen
to fail, it will bring its economic position into discredit."

Frankfurter Allgemeine (12/18) editorialized: "The goal of limiting

the increase of temperature to two degrees Celsius and to
drastically
reduce greenhouse gas emissions is threatened to disappear behind
angry controversy. This has to do with interests and not so much
the
problem of the unprofessional leadership of the negotiations.... A

failure of the global climate protection agreement will not be the
end
of international climate policy or the end of the planet. However,

the attempt to resolve a problem internationally would have failed.

The advocates of national interests and climate extremists who
warned
against an apocalypse must then be blamed, not just the Danish host.

Hopefully, reason and a sense of responsibility will prevail in
Copenhagen after all."

ARD-TV's late-night newscast Tagesthemen (12/17) opined: "The
premonition of a failure hurts... Due to the many figures mentioned
in
the debate, we easily forget that this is not just about melting
glaciers, but the future stability of the world.

Norddeutscher Rundfunk radio (12/17) remarked: "This climate summit
is

BERLIN 00001599 003 OF 005


a huge mess. Everybody is talking at once.... Our ecological angel

Merkel does not deserve any sympathy because - surprise, surprise -

she is not a climate chancellor. Forget about her wearing red
anoraks
in front of glaciers to win the hearts of voters. It is shameful
that
she puts German interests over climate protection."

3. (Iran) Nuclear Conflict, Protests

The events in Iran do not play a great role in today's press. Only

two papers carry factual news reports on the protests in Iran and on

the country's nuclear program. In a report under the headline:
"Iran
Testing Obama's Patience," die tageszeitung (12/18) wrote: "The new

test of a medium-range missile in Iran has escalated the controversy

over Iran's nuclear program. The United States but also a few EU
states are accusing Iran of having intensified the distrust towards

Iran's nuclear program with the missile test. According to the
United
States, the missile test raises new questions about the peaceful
intentions of Tehran and the nature of its nuclear program. While
the
West is preparing tough sanctions on Iran, Tehran does not seem to
have made up its mind on an official position. The rivalries and
controversies within the state leadership have made the Islamic
Republic incapable of accepting a clear position."

Sueddeutsche Zeitung (12/18) dealt with the opposition movement in
Iran and reported under the headline: "Fight for the Dead
Revolutionary Leader" and said: "Tensions between the Iranian regime

and the opposition are heading for a new culmination. Following the

official joint prayer at Tehran's university, a large-scale rally is

to take place later in which all supporters of revolutionary leader

Ayatollah Khomeini are supposed to demonstrate their loyalty to the

founder of the state. The reason for the rally was the burning of an

effigy of Khomeini which was shown on TV. But if supporters and
opponents of Khomeini are demonstrating at the same time, the
slightest reason would be enough to provoke a new eruption of
violence. In addition, the popular passion plays during the
Muharrem
month offer opponents of the regime numerous opportunities to
protest
the regime and to make their voices heard. The concern about the
political and social stability of the country is rising on all
sides...."

4. (Pakistan) Court Ruling on President's Amnesty

The papers did not have any commentary on the events in Pakistan but

several newspapers carried reports on the suspension of the amnesty

law. Sueddeutsche (12/18) headlined: "Pakistan's President Loses
Protection," and reported that President Zardari "is now coming

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under
increasing pressure at home, following the Supreme Court's decision,

die tageszeitung (12/18) reported under the headline: "Pressure on
Pakistan's President Zardari is Mounting." The daily wrote:
"Pakistan's most important opposition party has called upon
President
Zardari to step down after the country's Supreme Court declared an
amnesty law null and void which protected Zardari, the defense and
interior ministers, as well as 8,000 other people. Zardari, who
faced
several trails before the adoption of the amnesty law, could now
face
trials again. And then his election could be held to be
unconstitutional. Since Zardari has taken office, Pakistan has
descended even more into a state of terror. Zardari is also
increasingly unpopular because he is considered too yielding towards

the United States. Pakistan's media have overwhelmingly welcomed
the
annulment of the amnesty law."

"Pakistan's Highest Court Annulled Amnesty Law," headlined
Tagesspiegel (12/18), and wrote: "In a historic move, Pakistan's
Supreme Court reversed an amnesty for politicians and declared it
'unconstitutional.' Thus far, the amnesty protected America's ally

Zardari from an aggressive opposition, which called for Zardari's
resignation immediately after the pronouncement of the verdict.
Pakistan's newspapers commented positively on the verdict, saying it

was a victory of justice. The daily The News, which is critical of

the government, even headlined: 'Zardari: An Accused President.' It

is true that Zardari as state leader enjoys immunity, but his power

apparatus is tottering and the legitimacy of his presidency is now
being questioned. After a lengthy period of political calm,
Pakistan
is again faced with months of tension.'

5. (U.S.-Russia) START Talks

Frankfurter Allgemeine (12/18) headlined; "Priority for START," and

wrote: "America and Russia are preparing for the overdue
continuation
of nuclear disarmament negotiations by limiting their strategic
weapons to between 1,500 and 1,650 warheads. The basic principles
for
a new treaty are laid down anyway since the understanding between
President Obama and Russian President Medvedev last year. Without a

substantial agreement, both powers would have an unlimited time to
compose their strategic forces and arm them at their own discretion.

But this is not the declared intention and is not in the long-term
economic interests of both governments, which want to find savings
while maintaining operational large-scale conventional forces."

In an editorial, Sueddeutsche Zeitung (12/18) opined: "For months,
the
United States and Russia have been negotiating under strict secrecy
a
new nuclear disarmament agreement. If Russia's Foreign Minister
Lavrov is now publicly complaining about the U.S. conduct of
negotiations, saying that the treaty cannot be signed this year,

BERLIN 00001599 005 OF 005


then
this is clearly the attempt to exert pressure on the Americans to
make
a few more concessions, because President Obama would lose face if
he
were unable to push through one of his main projects of his first
year
in office in the time frame he set for achieving this goal. The
controversy focuses on apparently second-rate details...but because
of
Lavrov's move, these details are turning into politically basic
questions. This is all the more true because Obama must get this
treaty through Congress."

6. (NATO-Russia) Rasmussen in Moscow

Several papers carried reports on NATO Secretary-General Rasmussen's

trip to Moscow. Sueddeutsche Zeitung (12/18) headlined: "Negative
Reply to Moscow - NATO Head Rasmussen Rejects new Security Pact."
Die
Welt (12/18) headlined: "Russia Should Help NATO in Afghanistan -
Moscow is Making a Fuss," while Tagesspiegel (12/18) reported under

the headline: "NATO Wants Moscow's Assistance in Kabul."

According to an editorial in Die Welt (12/18), "The logic is clear.

NATO is fighting a source of terrorism by attacking the Taliban in
Afghanistan. They are threatening the West and the East, especially

neighboring countries, including Russia. That is why it would, and

many Russian experts see it that way, be in Moscow's own interest to

grant the western alliance any kind of support. But Russia is
hesitating, and NATO Secretary General Rasmussen had to leave Moscow

without any concrete promises for support. There is a method behind

Moscow's hesitance. First, there is the painful experience with the

military defeat in Afghanistan ten years ago. And the ones who are

asking for support today were also the sharpest critics of Moscow at

that time. But Russian politicians have an even more ardent
aversion
against a more intense engagement in Afghanistan because it is a
NATO
action. Russia feels encircled by the Alliance. In this situation,

cooperation is becoming more difficult even though it would be
reasonable in Russia's interest. But when NATO is involved,
Russia's
politicians are standing in their own way."

MURPHY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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