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Viewing cable 08MADRID174, SPAIN WILL OPPOSE KOSOVO RECOGNITION AT GAERC

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MADRID174 2008-02-15 17:05 2010-12-13 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Madrid
VZCZCXRO9835
PP RUEHAG RUEHROV
DE RUEHMD #0174/01 0461739
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 151739Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4276
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA PRIORITY 3300
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MADRID 000174

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/15/2018
TAGS: PHUM PREL EUN SP KV IS
SUBJECT: SPAIN WILL OPPOSE KOSOVO RECOGNITION AT GAERC

REF: A. STATE 15648

B. MADRID 162
C. BERLIN 184

MADRID 00000174 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: DCM Hugo Llorens for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) SUMMARY: Spanish Political Director Rafael Dezcallar
and Director General for North America and Europe Pepe Pons
told DCM separately that Spain would oppose any EU consensus
statement on Kosovo recognition in Brussels February 18.
Separately, Spanish Deputy DG for ESDP Carlos Fernandez-Arias
told Poloff that the maximum statement Spain could entertain
would be a "two-sentence" statement of the outcome from
Pristina and a restatement of the EU's commitment to the
Western Balkans. The GAERC also plans to send a message of
"no more business as usual" by issuing conclusions on Burma,
Kenya, and Chad. END SUMMARY.

//KOSOVO AND SERBIA//

2. (C) On February 13, Spanish Political Director Rafael
Dezcallar told the DCM that Spain would almost certainly not
be able to join consensus on Kosovo recognition at the GAERC
in Brussels (ref B), but that the decision would be made by
Moncloa. Spanish Vice President Fernandez De La Vega,
speaking at the GOS weekly press briefing February 15, said,
"Spain does not support a unilateral declaration of
independence...Despite the fact that recognition is an
exclusively national competency...the government is working
and will continue working until the last moment so that the
EU will have a common and active position toward the future
of Kosovo...Our position has not changed." Director General
for North America and Europe Pepe Pons told DCM February 15
that Spain would oppose any movement toward EU recognition at
the GAERC. Noting European concerns about Spanish opposition
due to the elections (ref C), the DCM emphasized that no one
seriously believed that Kosovo would be an electoral issue,
nor did any credible politician see any correlation between
Kosovo and Spanish internal disputes. Pons replied that
Kosovo would be an election issue, saying that Kosovo is in
the headlines and the debate in Europe is drawing the
government's attention away from its campaign priorities.
The DCM countered that there was no guarantee that the GOS
would be in a position to support Kosovar independence after
the elections, given that a PSOE victory would mean weeks of
negotiations to form a coalition government, while a PP
government would certainly oppose Kosovar independence. Pons
acknowledged this was true, but said that at least then
Kosovo's independence would not be distracting the government
during the campaign. Pons said that the Russian Ambassador
had been to see him earlier on February 15 and had left the
impression that the Russians would react negatively but
passively to the UDI.

3. (C) Deputy Political Director for ESDP Carlos
Fernandez-Arias told Poloff the same separately.
Fernandez-Arias said that Spain would not accept any EU
statement that hinted at recognition but would, if pressed,
consider a very brief "no more than two sentence"
acknowledgment of the outcome in Pristina on February 17
along with a restatement of the EU's commitments in the
Western Balkans. Fernandez-Arias noted that the question of
recognition is a prerogative of each member nation and is
completely separate from EULEX and the naming of an EU High
Representative, which he said are going forward regardless.
Fernandez-Arias said that the EU would not be able to broach
the EU Stabilization and Association Agreement with the Serbs
again until well after Kosovo's independence, once things
have calmed down a bit.

//MEPP//

4. (C) Fernandez-Arias said that there would likely be
little discussion of the Middle East, but that Spain is
concerned about finding a way to keep the Rafah crossing open
to provide a pressure release valve for Gaza. He said that
last month's border events had weakened Abbas and the PA and
had shown the need for such a valve. The means to administer
that border were more challenging, he said, given the
inability to negotiate with Hamas.

//BURMA//

5. (C) According to Fernandez-Arias, Spain supports the EU
in Burma and does not want the situation to return to the
status quo ante. The GAERC will issue conclusions on Burma
calling for continued pressure and sanctions but FM Moratinos
feels it is also important to send positive signals to the
Burmese regime.

//CHAD//


MADRID 00000174 002.2 OF 002


6. (C) With plans moving forward once more for EUFOR's
deployment to Chad and CAR, Spain is pushing conclusions that
will first and foremost keep forward momentum for EUFOR and
also make a qualified statement of support for President Deby
that cannot be interpreted as a carte blanche for the Chadian
government to exact reprisals.

//KENYA//

7, (C) The GAERC will issue conclusions on Kenya calling for
dialogue and supporting the UN, and calling for an end to
"business as usual."
AGUIRRE