Cablegate: Guantanamo Closure: Se Fried Discusses European

DE RUEHBS #0192/01 0490545
R 180545Z FEB 10




E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/17/2020

Classified By: USEU Political M-C Christopher Davis for reasons 1.4(b)
and (d).

1. (C) SUMMARY. Special Envoy for Closure of the Guantanamo
Detention Facility Daniel Fried, along with Assistant
Secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and
Labor Michael Posner and Guantanamo Detainee Review Task
Force Director Matthew Olsen discussed the detention
facility's current status and European assistance during
meetings with the EU's Political and Security Committee (PSC)
ambassadors and EU Counterterrorism Coordinator Gilles
DeKerchove on January 26 and 27. Additionally, the
delegation met with key members of the European Parliament
(EP) and exchanged views with NGOs. The delegation also met
separately with the Irish, French, and Portuguese Permanent
Representatives to the EU to encourage their governments to
share their positive experiences with other European
countries that may be considering resettlement. END SUMMARY.


2. (C) SE Fried began the January 26 meeting with the 27 PSC
ambassadors by thanking those EU member states that accepted
detainees for resettlement: France, Portugal, Ireland,
Belgium, Hungary, and Slovakia; noting also Italy which took
two for prosecution. He said that despite some success over
the past year, the United States still needs Europe's help to
resettle the 33 detainees approved for transfer but whom we
cannot return to their country of origin due to post-transfer
treatment concerns. Additionally, S/E Fried referenced the
significant Yemeni population at Guantanamo and the need for
Europe's help to create the conditions in Yemen that would
allow those detainees to return home. A/S Posner then
described how the administration is determined not to allow
past decisions regarding Guantanamo dictate future detention
policy, which, he said, would be law-based and in accordance
with universal standards consistent with the Geneva
Convention and the UN Declaration on Human Rights. DOJ's
Matthew Olsen described how the interagency review process
made unanimous determinations on each of the 240 detainees it
3. (C) The Portuguese PSC Ambassador thanked Fried for
recognizing Portugal's assistance. He described the
resettlement as a success and encouraged said other member
states to cooperate as well. The PSC Ambassador from
Slovakia, which that same day announced it's resettlement of
three detainees, said that although the decision to accept
detainees for resettlement was not easy, Slovakia is
satisfied by the openness and support provided by the United
States. He asked for advice on avoiding recidivism, to which
SE Fried responded that appropriate assistance and prudent
security measures, in combination, were keys to success. The
French Charge then asked about the effectiveness of
rehabilitation programs like the one in Saudi Arabia and
about U.S. plans for Yemen. S/E Fried described the Saudi
program as "serious but not perfect," with a 10-to-20 percent
failure rate. He said that although the United States is
discussing a Yemeni rehabilitation structure, the country
needs broader assistance. S/E Fried said he was profoundly
grateful for Europe's help and he urged member states that
have taken detainees to take one more, and encouraged member
states considering to accept detainees to do so.
4. (C) During the PSC discussion, EU Counterterrorism
Coordinator Gilles DeKerchove congratulated the U.S.
delegation for its success, but noted that resettling
detainees was made difficult since the U.S. itself is not
doing so. He asked about the status of a Spanish EU
presidency draft statement on guiding principles in combating
terrorism, as called for by the June joint U.S.-EU
declaration on Guantanamo. He said these principles, once
accepted by the U.S. and the EU, would have "worldwide
impact." DeKerchove further congratulated AG Holder for
deciding to try the 9/11 suspects in federal court, but
lamented the prospect of the death penalty, which Europe
opposes. Referring to the detainees designated for
indefinite detention, DeKerchove said, "It is not the EU
position that you can hold 50 without trial."
5. (C) S/E Fried said that the U.S. response to the draft
Spanish statement on guiding principles is not yet ready, but
"what we agree to we will implement, which is why we are
being careful in our response." S/E Fried further applauded
the leadership of Spanish head of government Zapatero, noting
that Spanish FM Moratinos had said publicly that Spain would
accept five detainees eventually. A/S Posner reiterated the
importance of first closing Guantanamo, and then developing a
comprehensive detention policy that advocates trying

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detainees as criminals in federal court.
6. (C) On January 27 DeKerchove discussed the strategy for
closing Guantanamo in a separate meeting with S/E Fried, A/S
Posner and Olsen. DeKerchove noted that he is talking to the
Belgian government about accepting the two Belgian detainees
convicted in absentia and noted that he will meet with the
German Interior Minister in mid-February. S/E Fried inquired
whether the EU has mechanisms in place to manage resettled
detainees traveling outside their country of resettlement but
in the Schengen zone. DeKerchove said that although the EU
has not agreed to specific actions when and should this
occur, the EU is prepared to use established structures
within the Schengen Information Service that allow member
states to support surveillance and share information. On
Yemen, DeKerchove expressed his shared concern, described the
European Commission's stabilization funds as inadequate, and
he noted that he is pushing the EU to do more.
7. (C) During meetings with the Portuguese and Irish
Permanent Representatives to the EU, and separately with the
French Permanent Representative to the EU, Fried urged them
to share information about their governments' experience in
taking detainees with other European countries considering
resettlement, in an effort to demystify the process. Irish
PermRep Rory Montgomery described the resettlement process in
Ireland as "very smooth." If anything, he argued, the media
has portrayed the decision as politically positive for the
Irish government and with some saying the government should
do even more. Similarly, Ambassador Manuel Lobo Antunes
called the resettlement process a "non-issue" for the
Portuguese government. He indicated that Portugal will
continue to press other countries to accept detainees. S/E
Fried mentioned specifically that the governments of Hungary
and Slovakia might benefit from their advice. In their
meeting, French Ambassador Philippe Etienne noted that the
process has been difficult for the French government,
especially in regard to relations with Algeria (both
detainees' country of nationality), but he agreed that there
is a need to exchange information and best practices.
Montgomery and Etienne suggested, separately, that while
diplomatic pressure continued in capitals, it might also be
useful to arrange exchanges between working level technical
8. (SBU) President of the European Parliament (EP) Jerzy
Buzek welcomed the delegation on January 26 and highlighted
the importance of human rights for Europeans. S/E Fried
likewise framed Guantanamo's closure as part of a common
U.S.-EU human rights mission. He thanked Europe for its help
in resettling many of the detainees in the past year and he
asked the EP to encourage member states to accept more
detainees for resettlement. Buzek assured the delegation
that he would talk with member states to explain the U.Sion), and
the Comittee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Afairs
on the Guantanamo Review Task Force nd underscored the need
for Europe's assistace in resettling the remaining
detainees. A/ Posner thanked the EP for its February 2008
resolution on the return and resettlement of the Guantanamo
detention facility inmates and asked the MEPs for their
guidance, recommendations, and help in closing the facility.
Vice Chair of the EP's U.S. Delegation and former Special
Rappoteur on Guantanamo Sarah Ludford (United Kingdom, ALDE)
said that although it was "brave" to move forward and try
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the alleged September 11
conspirators in federal courts in New York, she found it hard
to expect EU member states to offer more assistance when the
United States had not yet answered how it will handle
prosecutions in military commissions, which she does not
support, or what the new framework is for U.S. detention
policy. Olsen explained the process for deciding who will be
tried in federal courts versus military tribunals. A/S
Posner added that her questions are similar to those
currently being debated internally. But, he noted, it is
important that the closure of Guantanamo be viewed as a
unique case and not dictate the discussion on future
detention policy.
10. (SBU) Other MEPs joined the questioning mixing in their

BRUSSELS 00000192 003 OF 003

own comments. Vice President of the EP and member of the
U.S. Delegation Stavros Lambrinidis' (Greece, S&D) posed a
lengthy list of questions about the process the United States
had undertaken to engage European governments on resettling
detainees, including what measures we have asked those
government receiving detainees to take. Barbara Lochbihler
(Germany, Green) also asked about the case of Canadian Omar
Khader, expressing concern for his age at capture.
Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Human Rights Heidi Hautala
(Finland, Green) expressed concern about the remaining Uighur
detainees and Ana Gomes (Portugal, S&D) described how she
lobbied the Portuguese government intensely to accept
detainees. She suggested that both trying the detainees as
criminals and providing more information on European
involvement in $ecret renditions would help sway public
opinion toward accepting more detainees. Finally, Ludford
said that she hoped to get a vote on a new Guantanamo
resolution on a future plenary schedule.
11. (SBU) A NGO roundtable discussion on January 27 offered
another opportunity for the delegation to outline progress
and discuss where the United States still needs help. While
noting the NGO's criticism regarding judicial and detention
policy, S/E Fried focused the conversation on ways the United
States could work with the NGOs to further their common goal
of closing the detention facility. S/E Fried encouraged the
representatives from Amnesty International, Human Rights
Watch, International Crisis Group, Reprieve, International
Commission of Jurists, and the Center for Constitutional
Rights to offer support to European governments that recently
accepted detainees. Amnesty's representative noted that his
organization has been working behind the scenes to help the
U.S. resettlement effort. Reprieve's representative, noting
also that her organization represents detainees offered a
specific post-transfer assistance program that receiving
governments might consider to help in their own integration
12. (U) Special Envoy Fried and Assistant Secretary Posner
have cleared this cable.

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