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Viewing cable 07MADRID210, FM MORATINOS ON AFGHANISTAN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MADRID210 2007-02-07 17:05 2010-12-08 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Madrid
VZCZCXRO0915
OO RUEHLA
DE RUEHMD #0210 0381752
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 071752Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1803
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA PRIORITY 2427
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L MADRID 000210

SIPDIS

NOFORN
SIPDIS

EUR FOR GARY CLEMENTS AND ANGELA CERVETTI

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/07/2017
TAGS: MARR PREL PGOV SP
SUBJECT: FM MORATINOS ON AFGHANISTAN

REF: MADRID 208

Classified By: Amb. Eduardo Aguirre for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C/NF) Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos called
Ambassador Aguirre February 7 to discuss Spain's commitment
to Afghanistan in advance of the February 8-9 NATO
ministerial in Sevilla. The Ambassador had previously spoken
with Defense Minister Alonso and National Security Advisor
Casajuana on the same subject (reftel), and Moratinos was
returning the Ambassador's call.

2. (C/NF) The Ambassador told Moratinos that both he and
Washington were disappointed by President Zapatero's decision
not to increase Spain's troop commitment in Afghanistan. He
noted that it was the Department's understanding after
Moratinos and Secretary Rice met in Paris January 25 that
Spain would be willing to be a more active partner in
Afghanistan. The Ambassador also told Moratinos that the GOS
should not interpret the Embassy's current silence in the
media as in any way diminishing our disappointment with the
decision.

3. (C/NF) Moratinos replied that he believed there must have
been a misunderstanding from the Paris meeting, saying that
he intended simply to underscore Spain's commitment to NATO,
ISAF and the mission in Afghanistan. He had not meant to
suggest that the U.S. could count on a Spanish expansion of
its forces.

4. (C/NF) Turning to the Ambassador's initial comments,
Moratinos said that the United States at times seemed to
highlight the negative aspects of the bilateral relationship
as it saw fit and often failed to focus on the positive. He
outlined Spain's robust development assistance and military
commitments to Afghanistan, including infrastructure and
training programs. He argued that Spain is one of the lead
contributors in Afghanistan, and he said that such
commitments should underscore President Zapatero's commitment
both to NATO and to ISAF. Moratinos suggested that no one is
giving Spain credit for what it has done thus far.

5. (C/NF) After clarifying that he was only offering his
personal opinion without instructions, Moratinos speculated
that the situation might have been different had Secretary
Rice been able to visit in the fall of 2006 as initially
planned, as she could have pressed President Zapatero on the
importance of the mission. He expressed chagrin at the fact
that the Secretary had not visited Spain and suggested that
the U.S. only treated Spain as a first world NATO ally when
convenient. The Ambassador replied that the Secretary
maintains an unquestionably professional schedule and
reiterated that the postponement of the fall 2006 visit was
unavoidable. He did not mention the possibility of a March
visit, but he reiterated USG disappointment with Spain's
decision.

6. (C/NF) COMMENT: Moratinos, who waited several hours to
return the Ambassador's call, had clearly prepared and
scripted his message. Noticeably agitated, he took to the
offensive, whereas Alonso made clear his unhappiness with
Zapatero's decision and Casajuana expressed greater
understanding and sympathy with our position. END COMMENT.

------------------------------------------
Visit Embassy Madrid's Classified Website;
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/madrid/
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Aguirre