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Viewing cable 09BRUSSELS854, JUNE GAERC - GUANTANAMO, IRELAND, THE MIDDLE EAST,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09BRUSSELS854 2009-06-19 17:05 2011-02-02 15:03 CONFIDENTIAL USEU Brussels
VZCZCXRO7516
PP RUEHAG RUEHKW RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHBS #0854/01 1701711
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 191711Z JUN 09 ZDK
FM USEU BRUSSELS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUCNMUC/EU CANDIDATE STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNMEU/EU INTEREST COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFITT/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BRUSSELS 000854 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/15/2019 
TAGS: PREL PHUM ECON EUN AF BK CU HR IR IZ MD PK
SI 
SUBJECT: JUNE GAERC - GUANTANAMO, IRELAND, THE MIDDLE EAST, 
WESTERN BALKANS AND MO...




213120
2009-06-19
09BRUSSELS854

USEU Brussels

CONFIDENTIAL

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BRUSSELS 000854
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/15/2019

TAGS: PREL PHUM ECON EUN AF BK CU HR IR IZ MD PK
SI
SUBJECT: JUNE GAERC - GUANTANAMO, IRELAND, THE MIDDLE EAST,

WESTERN BALKANS AND MORE

BRUSSELS 00000854 001.2 OF 003

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

1. (C) Summary: Meeting in Luxembourg on June 15, EU
Foreign Ministers prepared the June 18-19 European Council
summit meeting on guarantees for Ireland and financial
regulation, and they addressed the Middle East, Western
Balkans, and Cuba. Significantly, they announced the
approval of joint US-EU joint statement on Guantanamo. The
EU-Israel Association Council was new Israeli Foreign
Minister Lieberman's first interaction with EU Foreign
Ministers since assuming his new post, but it resulted in no
progress on upgrading relations. A planned dinner with the
Secretary General of the Arab League was canceled over
formalities, but a summit with King Abdullah of Jordan
remained scheduled for the margins of the Council, as did a
meeting between Enlargement Commissioner Rehn and the Foreign
Ministers of both Slovenia and Croatia. End Summary.

General Affairs
---------------

2. (SBU) Chaired by Czech Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign
Minister Jan Kohout and Czech Minister of European Affairs
Stephan Fule, the General Affairs Council discussed
Guantanamo closure and preparations for the upcoming European
Council meeting June 18-19. The Council adopted without
discussion the EU-US Joint Statement on the closure of the
Guantanamo Bay detention facility and future
counter-terrorism cooperation. Summing up what he described
as a joint effort of the Czech presidency, the EU
counter-terrorism coordinator, and the U.S., Kohout said that
joint statement was looking both to the past and to the
future. Kohout stressed that Ministers had not discussed
numbers of prisoners to be transferred, but about the means
and conditions that give us a heading for a political
agreement with the U.S.

3. (SBU) In addition to discussing Guantanamo, Ministers
focused on preparing draft conclusions for the European
Council meeting June 18-19, with guarantees for Ireland to
organize another referendum on the Lisbon Treaty and
financial regulation figuring prominently. Kohout reported
that Irish colleagues presented a draft text of guarantees
which he described as a result of consultations with the
presidency and the Council's legal department. He said that
very good progress had been made and that the process was on
track. According to Kohout, the guarantees sought by the
Irish involve social aspects, workers rights, taxation, and
security and defense (septel). Suggesting that this was
still a work in progress, Kohout reported that the final
round of consultations among the EU27 would start on June 16.

4. (SBU) Kohout said that the aim of the presidency was to
ensure a smooth passage of the text at the European Summit
and that it not reopen the ratification process for Lisbon,
nor go against the consensus reached at the December 2008
summit. Suele reported that while the EU27 should approach
the issue of the Irish guarantees with creativity, the
means should not create problems in the other Member States.
Some Member States expressed concern that adopting a protocol
as opposed to just a declaration could reopen domestic debate
in their countries on ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.

5. (SBU) Kohout reported that the presidency received broad
support for its draft of the European Council conclusions on
1) financial regulation and support for a new framework based
on proposals by the Commission, 2) climate change (which will
reflect the conclusions of the last Ecofin Council), 3)
immigration (Kohout saying a European response based on
solidarity was needed and that conclusions will touch upon
cooperation with both countries of origin and transit), 4)
Afghanistan-Pakistan, and 5) the Middle East.

External Affairs - the Middle East
----------------------------------

6. (SBU) Chaired by Czech Deputy PM and FM Kohout, the
External Affairs session focused on the Middle East, Western
Balkans, and Cuba. The Council welcomed the initial step
announced by Israeli Prime Minister (PM) Netanyahu of
commitment to a peace that would include a Palestinian state
and urged both parties to take immediate steps to resume
BRUSSELS 00000854 002.2 OF 003
peace negotiations, respecting previous agreements and
understandings. Kohout said great attention was also paid to
the June 4 speech of President Obama. He said that the
positions of the EU and the U.S. were remaMiddle East. of Jue 15 did not yield much progress.
According 4o the Israeli Embassy, Ferrero-Waldner and others
emphasized that the mood was not right Qt this point for
progress on the upgrade in rQlations decided in 2008. The
Action Plan (the implementation document for the Association
Agreement) expired in May 2009 and was simply continued, with
the EU also not wanting to move forward at this time. There
was no joint statement from the Association Council meeting,
and the statement issued by the EU links forward movement on
the upgrade in relations to the context of the peace
process. In addition, a dinner planned for June 14 between
the EU Troika and the Arab League Secretary General Amr
Moussa was canceled in a disagreement over formalities, but
then Spanish Foreign Minister Moratinos hosted a personal
invitation dinner June 15 which included some Arab states
(reportedly Algeria, the UAE, Palestinian Authority, and the
Arab League's Amr Moussa) and a handful of Europeans.

9. (SBU) On Iran, the Council noted concerns regarding the
conduct of the Iranian presidential elections and expressed
serious concern about the violence on the streets and the use
of force against peaceful demonstrators. HR Solana said that
the elections had been followed with attention. While
noting the high level of voter turnout, he said that the EU
was now concerned by events unfolding in Tehran and added we
want a solid relationship with Iran - we have a lot to do
together.

External Affairs - Western Balkans
----------------------------------

10. (SBU) The GAERC Conclusions called for the countries of
the region to further accelerate and implement reforms
necessary to fulfill the necessary accession-related
benchmarks. During the working lunch, Ministers had an
exchange of views with ICTY Chief Prosecutor Brammertz,
following his report to the UNSC on cooperation by Serbia and
other countries with the ICTY. Commissioner Rehn reported
that the Council brought the Commission some good news on
the Western Balkans and welcomed the Council's invitation to
the Commission to present a proposal for a legislative
framework for visa free travel for those countries that will
have met the benchmarks. Rehn reported that the Commission
BRUSSELS 00000854 003.2 OF 003
will present this proposal before the summer break.

11. (SBU) Regarding the ongoing border dispute between
Slovenia and Croatia which hampers Croatia's EU accession
negotiations, Rehn reported that he had met with the
presidency trio and then with the Slovene and Croatian FMs,
adding we will continue the discussions to find a solution.
He said that the presidency trio endorses the process and
that the two FMs will now consult further with their
respective governments. Later, Rehn confessed that
productivity could be higher, but we're doing indepth work
with colleagues.

12. (SBU) Asked to comment about a lack of achievement on
Enlargement during the Czech presidency, FM Kohout said that
the questioner was right, but due to circumstances results
could not materialize so far - we still have two weeks time
and I'm still optimistic. Asked whether Serbia would be
debated again at the European Council, Kohout said that
today's discussion had been in an informal setting (over
lunch) and that my feeling is that we are closer to
understanding what we can do - I can't exclude that the
European Council will address the issue. Responding to a
question about people-to-people contacts with Kosovo,
Commissioner Rehn said that the issue would be addressed in a
feasibility study to be presented by the Commission in
October and confirmed that the Commission wanted to work for
the Europeanization of Kosovo.

13. (C) A friendly country contact told us that the
discussion on Serbia was the most contentious of the GAERC,
wherein Dutch FM Verhagen dug himself a complete hole.8
Swedish FM Bildt and UK FM Miliband reportedly &got very
cross8 with the Dutch FM blocking the interim agreement
until Mladic and Hadzic are turned over to the ICTY.
Belgrade is doing better and needs forward movement with the
EU, our contact contended, and he attributed Verhagen,s
obduracy not only to the legacy of Srebrenica, but to his
wanting to be seen as tough in the context of Dutch
parliamentary politics.

External Affairs - Cuba and Other Countries
-------------------------------------------

14. (SBU) In the context of the annual review of the EU
Common Position, the Council welcomed the resumption of the
political dialogue with Cuba. Further, the Council said that
the political dialogue should be pursued and deepened on a
comprehensive, equal and result-oriented basis. The Council
also agreed to review its Common Position on Cuba again in
June 2010. FM Kohout reported that meetings with the Cuban
opposition would go ahead at all opportunities. Asked
about reaction to a letter reportedly sent to the Czechs by
Cuban groups calling for a tougher approach on the part of
the EU, Kohout said that the Czech Republic would return to
be a normal member state as of July 1st and will then be
defining a position. He noted that contacts with the Cuban
opposition are a constant of European policy and added the
contacts we had gave us the feeling that these contacts make
sense.

15. (SBU) On Burma, the Council reviewed EU policy on Burma
in the light of developments in the country, in particular
political prisoners, ethnic minorities, respect for human
rights, and progress toward the establishment of an inclusive
democratization process in the run-up to planned elections.
The debate focused on the ongoing trial of Aung San Suu Kyi,
the Council agreeing to issue a statement on the occasion of
her anniversary of imprisonment on June 19 (which coincides
with the European Council meeting).

16. (SBU) Concerning Moldova, the Council adopted
negotiating guidelines for a new government with Moldova
which are aimed at taking relations beyond the current
partnership and association agreement.
.