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Viewing cable 06BERN1686, SWISS DFA DEPUTY POLDIR ON IRAN, UNHRC, AND \

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06BERN1686 2006-09-14 07:07 2011-02-18 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Bern
Appears in these articles:
www.letemps.ch/swiss_papers
VZCZCXRO2756
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK
DE RUEHSW #1686/01 2570749
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 140749Z SEP 06 ZDS
FM AMEMBASSY BERN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3005
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2595
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0099
78299	2006-09-14 07:49:00	06BERN1686	Embassy Bern	CONFIDENTIAL	06BERN1593	VZCZCXRO2756\
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK\
DE RUEHSW #1686/01 2570749\
ZNY CCCCC ZZH\
P 140749Z SEP 06 ZDS\
FM AMEMBASSY BERN\
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3005\
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE\
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE\
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2595\
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0099	C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BERN 001686 \
 \
SIPDIS \
 \
C O R R E C T E D  C O P Y -- FORMATTING \
 \
SIPDIS \
 \
STATE FOR P, EUR, NEA, CA \
 \
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/14/2016 \
TAGS: PREL KNNP CASC SZ
SUBJECT: SWISS DFA DEPUTY POLDIR ON IRAN, UNHRC, AND \
BILATERAL RELATIONS \
 \
REF: A. BERN 1593 \
 \
     ΒΆB. BERN 1553 \
 \
BERN 00001686  001.2 OF 002 \
 \
 \
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires, a.i., Carol Urban, reasons \
1.4 b/d \
 \
1.(C) Summary:  Charge d'Affaires has asked Swiss DFA \
Deputy Poldir Thalmann to help spread the positive news about \
U.S.-Swiss bilateral cooperation.  Charge also urged the \
Swiss not to break with transatlantic unity on the UN Human \
Rights Council (HRC) and Iran.  Thalmann, who was pleasantly \
surprised in the number of areas the United States and \
Switzerland cooperate, said that Switzerland very much hoped \
that EUR A/S Dan Fried would visit Bern in the fall. \
Thalmann revealed broad Swiss frustration with the HRC and \
confided that there had been considerable internal debate \
over Foreign Minister Calmy-Rey's decision to abstain on the \
anti-Israel resolutions.  On Iran, Thalmann rejected a \
confrontational stance for Switzerland and mentioned that \
his government -- as U.S. protecting power in Iran -- had \
assigned additional security personnel at the SPP facility \
in Tehran.  End summary. \
 \
Surprise at Numerous Areas of Cooperation \
----------------------------------------- \
 \
2.(C) Charge d'Affaires Urban used her introductory \
courtesy call on incoming Department of Foreign Affairs \
(DFA) Deputy Political Director Anthon Thalmann in early \
September to press for greater Swiss acknowledgment of the \
positive areas of cooperation underway between Bern and \
Washington.  DFA Americas Division deputy Urs Hammer, desk \
officer Balz Abplanalp, and Poloff joined the meeting. \
Charge \
reminded Thalmann that Switzerland and the United States in \
May had signed a framework agreement on enhanced political \
dialogue -- as well as agreements on trade/investment and law \
enforcement.  Unfortunately, little positive about the \
bilateral relationship was reported on in the press. Swiss \
Foreign Minister Calmy-Rey had been critical of the United \
States in her August speech to Swiss Ambassadors \
(reftels).  With the public story primarily negative, it \
was difficult to imagine how the enhanced dialog could go \
forward. \
 \
3.(C) Thalmann replied that he had been surprised at the \
numerous areas of cooperation between the United States and \
Switzerland.  Switzerland, he said, was anxious to add \
substance to the framework agreement and hoped that \
Assistant Secretary Dan Fried would be able to visit Bern \
in the fall.  As for Calmy-Rey, Thalmann observed that she \
was from the Socialist Party, which was traditionally \
critical of the United States.  "However, they are NOT in \
the majority," he said bluntly, as he told his notetakers \
to put down their pens.  (Comment:  The Socialists and \
other left-wing parties garnered a little over one-third of \
the nationwide vote in the 2003 elections.  End comment.) \
Thalmann said that he understood that Calmy-Rey planned to \
deliver some "feel good" speeches on the United States in \
the coming weeks. \
 \
Human Rights Council \
-------------------- \
 \
4.(C) Charge reviewed the disappointing track record of the \
HRC since its inception last June.  The two special \
sessions involved little more than Israel bashing.  Adding \
to our chagrin was Switzerland's decision to abstain on two \
imbalanced resolutions, when the remainder of Western Group \
united to oppose.  Thalmann admitted there had been heated \
internal debate within the Swiss DFA on the issue of \
abstention, but that ultimately FM Calmy-Rey's decision was \
final.  The only consolation had been that Islamic \
countries had also complained about Bern's decision not to \
support.  The HRC was not what Switzerland had hoped for, \
Thalmann conceded.  The Swiss continued to hope that the \
process of peer review would have a moderating effect on \
member states. \
 \
Iran \
---- \
 \
5.(C) Addressing Iran's failure to meet the UN Security \
Council's deadline, Charge urged Switzerland not to split \
from P6 consensus, or P3 consensus if Russia or China chose \
 \
BERN 00001686  002.2 OF 002 \
 \
 \
to split off.  Thalmann demurred from a direct commitment, \
saying that it was not Switzerland's role to pressure \
Iran.  Thalmann agreed only that "Switzerland would not \
undermine P6 efforts."  Charge retorted that she hoped \
Switzerland, in its dealings with Iran, would not give \
Tehran false hope of splitting the West, to which Thalmann \
appeared taken aback. \
 \
6.(C) Turning to Switzerland's role as Protecting Power \
(SPP) for the United States in Iran, Thalmann informed \
Charge that the Swiss Embassy in Tehran had beefed up \
security at the SPP facility (some distance away).  More \
security personnel were now on hand.  He said that he hoped \
these new security measures would not hinder the quality of \
services provided. \
 \
Comment \
------- \
 \
7.(C) Our repeated pleas for public acknowledgment of \
U.S.-Swiss cooperation appear to have registered with key \
Swiss officials.  On the issue of Western unity, Swiss \
officials are a somewhat schizophrenic -- proselytizing on \
behalf of multilateralism, while chafing at pressure to toe \
the Western line.  In the end, however, the Swiss do not \
wish to be isolated from their closest Western partners. \
As demonstrated in their push last year to complete three \
bilateral agreements in  political, economic, and law \
enforcement spheres, the Swiss also retain an interest in \
working with us in areas of mutual concern. \
URBAN \