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Viewing cable 09PARTO41305, Secretary Clinton's March 31, 2009 conversation

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09PARTO41305 2009-04-13 19:07 2011-01-27 12:12 SECRET US Delegation, Secretary
VZCZCXYZ0000 
OO RUEHWEB 

DE RUCNAI #0005/01 1031934 
ZNY SSSSS ZZH 
O 131934Z APR 09 
FM USDEL SECRETARY//EUROPE// 
TO RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE IMMEDIATE 
INFO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL IMMEDIATE 
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE 
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE 
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV IMMEDIATE
S E C R E T PARTO 041305 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 3/31/2019 
TAGS: OVIP PREL NL AF PHUM RU NATO
SUBJECT: Secretary Clinton's March 31, 2009 conversation 
with Dutch FM Verhagen 
 
Classified by: Paul Wohlers, Deputy Executive Secretary,...




202072

2009-04-13

09PARTO41305

US Delegation, Secretary

SECRET



S E C R E T PARTO 041305 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 3/31/2019 
TAGS: OVIP PREL NL AF PHUM RU NATO
SUBJECT: Secretary Clinton's March 31, 2009 conversation 
with Dutch FM Verhagen 

Classified by: Paul Wohlers, Deputy Executive Secretary, 
S/ES, Department of State. Reason 1.4(b,d). 

1. (U) March 31, 2009; 9:00 a.m.; The Hague, 
Netherlands. 

2. (U) Participants: 

U.S. 
The Secretary 
Deputy Secretary Lew 
SRAP Holbrooke 
A/S Fried 
Ms. Abedin, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Secretary 
Mr. Sullivan, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Secretary 
Mr. Falls (Embassy Notetaker) 

NETHERLANDS 
FM Verhagen 
Pieter de Gooijer, DG for Political Affairs 
Robert de Groot, Deputy DG for Political Affairs 
Peter Potman, Deputy for Western Hemisphere Affairs 
Bart Rijs, Spokesperson 
Marcel de Vink, Private Secretary (Chief of Staff) 

3. (C) SUMMARY. In a cordial meeting, the Secretary 
and Dutch FM Verhagen reviewed Afghanistan policing and 
regional politics, NATO and Russia, Guantanamo and human 
rights, and the Middle East. Both agreed to help 
celebrate the NY 400 commemorating Henry Hudson's trip 
to the New World and founding of the first Dutch colony. 
END SUMMARY. 

----------- 
AFGHANISTAN 
----------- 

4. (C) The two leaders met on the margins of the March 
31 International Conference on Afghanistan, held in The 
Hague. The Secretary and Verhagen exchanged compliments 
on the Dutch-hosted conference and the new U.S. strategy 
toward Afghanistan. The Secretary noted that our 
common goal is to build security for the Afghans. While 
prospects for the Afghan Army are good, the situation 
with the police is more challenging. The Secretary 
encouraged Verhagen to approach his European colleagues 
to win support for funding the Afghan police. Japan's 
offer to pay six months' of police salaries was 
generous, but the needs are significant. It is 
difficult to properly screen the applicants for security 
concerns, to provide an adequate salary, and to build 
the same morale level as within the Afghan army. Europe 
should be able to resolve any policy concerns over civil 
vs. military policing. The United States is willing to 
consider putting the police under the Afghan Army, which 
functions well, if necessary. SRAP Holbrooke added that 
Italy seems to be the stumbling block on the police 
force. 

5. (C) Verhagen responded that policing is a concern, 
and indeed worrisome. The Dutch intend to double 
their personnel contribution for police training and 


provide $40 million for salaries. Regarding Europe's 
contributions, some nations such as France find it 
difficult to use military and civilian police together. 
That is not a problem for the Netherlands, but it is 
difficult for the Dutch MOD to use Gendarmes as 
trainers. EUPOL will likely announce soon that it is 
ready with 400 police trainers. 

6. (C) The Secretary emphasized regional coordination - 
- we don't want to impose our view -- as an essential 
element to the new U.S. strategy. The biggest challenge 
is working with Pakistan. China, India, and Russia are 
engaged. Iran has signaled it may be willing to help on 
border issues due to concerns about narcotics 
trafficking. 

7. (C) The Secretary thanked Verhagen again for the 
conference, noting, You are the best of Allies ... 
Uruzgan is a model. She added that she understood 
Dutch domestic political concerns, and that she hoped 
the Dutch public would continue to support a strong 
deployment in Afghanistan. 

--------------- 
NATO AND RUSSIA 
--------------- 

8. (C) The Secretary noted that France's participation 
in NATO had been resolved through close consultations 
with Turkey, and that Danish PM Rasmussen might do 
himself a favor and address Turkish concerns about his 
candidacy for NATO Secretary General in a similar 
manner. SRAP Holbrooke wondered whether NATO SYG De 
Hoop Scheffer might be able to extend his tenure. The 
Secretary noted that this was one possibility, if the 
Turkish concerns persist. 

9. (C) Verhagen was confident De Hoop Scheffer would 
stay on as needed. Given the public statement by PM 
Erdogan against Rasmussen, however, it may be difficult 
to resolve Turkish concerns. 

10. (C) The Secretary noted the President will 
encourage the Russians to pull back from Georgia. 
Eastern European nations want to focus on Russia and 
Russia's efforts to pressure them, and they are looking 
for reassurance from us ? understandably, based on their 
history and recent events in Georgia. We should not let 
Russia intimidate Eastern Europe, and we should support 
their aspirations. For example, Ukraine is looking to 
develop its energy capacity. At the same time, the 
United States wants to stand up the NATO-Russia 
Council. Obviously, we should work with them on non- 
proliferation issues. NATO also needs to look to other 
issues, such as cyber security. 

11. (C) Verhagen agreed and stated that as NATO reviews 
its strategic concept, it needs to go beyond Article 5 
and look at regional and global threats. NATO should 
not focus solely on Russia but also on these broader 
issues. For the Dutch, Russia is not the threat it 
was. NATO should look to cyber security, energy 


security, and piracy, for example. Verhagen cautioned 
that the installation of missiles in Poland could be 
misinterpreted as evidence of a lack of faith by Poland 
in Article 5, in favor of a bilateral security 
relationship with the U.S. The Secretary responded that 
President Yeltsin once had told President Clinton that 
he agreed the United States wasn't a threat, but little 
old ladies in St. Petersburg don't agree. In other 
words, mistrust was a political problem above all. 

--------------------------- 
GUANTANAMO AND HUMAN RIGHTS 
--------------------------- 

12. (C) The Secretary thanked FM Verhagen for the Dutch 
effort to frame a response to the legal issues 
surrounding Guantanamo and asked for FM Verhagen's 
further advice. She also thanked Verhagen for the Dutch 
effort to draft new text for the Durban review 
conference. 

13. (S) Verhagen responded that, while the Netherlands 
would be very hesitant to take people [detainees], ... 
we want to assist. He noted that, due to the Schengen 
visa regime, EU members will have to consider jointly 
the implications of accepting detainees. Asked by A/S 
Fried whether the EU may set the bar too high for a 
general EU-U.S. understanding, Verhagen said no. I'm 
difficult, but not frustrating your process. 

14. (C) On a second track with Guantanamo, Verhagen 
said the Netherlands is supporting university 
discussions on the legal issues and has started a 
discussion on having the ICC respond to terrorist 
crimes. In addition, the Netherlands is willing to 
assist with detainee rehabilitation programs in Yemen. 

----------- 
MIDDLE EAST 
----------- 

15. (C) The Secretary urged Verhagen to stick with the 
Quartet Principles for Hamas. She understood there was 
pressure to change policy, but now is not the time to 
open the door...now is the time to keep the pressure 
on. On Syria, she noted that it is worthwhile to have 
a more inclusive approach. On Israel, the United 
States will press to end settlements. 

16. (C) Verhagen said he fully agreed that the 
Quartet Principles should apply to the new Palestine 
government. However, I am more and more isolated 
within the EU...I was the only one to raise the issue 
at a recent meeting. The mainstream says we provoked 
Hamas. Verhagen said we need to apply the same human 
rights principles to both Israel and Palestine. Israel 
is getting blamed for violations, but not Palestinians. 
DG De Gooijer noted that the situation within the EU was 
upside down -- it appears the EU might ask the new 
Israeli government to adhere to the Quartet principles. 
CLINTON