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Viewing cable 09STOCKHOLM384, SCENESETTER FOR ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON'S JULY 2-4 VISIT TO STOCKHOLM

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09STOCKHOLM384 2009-06-24 19:07 2010-12-05 12:12 SECRET Embassy Stockholm
Appears in these articles:
http://svtplay.se/v/2256485/dokument_inifran/de_hemliga_telegrammen
VZCZCXRO8174
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL
DE RUEHSM #0384/01 1751908
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 241908Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4447
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 STOCKHOLM 000384 

SIPDIS 

FOR A/S PHIL GORDON FROM CDA BOB SILVERMAN 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/17/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR ECON SENV SW
SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON'S JULY 2-4 VISIT TO STOCKHOLM 

Classified By: CDA Bob Silverman for reasons 1.4 (B and D). 

Introduction & Summary 
---------------------- 

1. (U) Embassy Stockholm warmly welcomes you to Sweden. The mood in Sweden is both eager anticipation for its turn to set the agendas and chair the EU meetings, and a bit of trepidation at the daunting list of issues, starting with the financial crisis and climate change. Bilateral relations are very close and collaborative, and you will find good partners in FM Carl Bildt and his team, as well as PM Fredrik Reinfeldt and his team. Their Moderate Party ideology may be center-right in the Swedish spectrum, but that translates into slightly left of center in the US spectrum, with Reinfeldt a firm supporter of Sweden's social welfare system. 

2. (C) The key to success, for Sweden and US-Sweden relations, will be an engagement that keeps Sweden focused and coordinated with us on our key foreign policy priorities. Both Bildt and Reinfeldt have strong interests in working closely with us, Reinfeldt like other Europeans wants close association with the President. We can get concrete deliverables from them in advance of the US-EU Summit this fall. We recommend focusing on three in the foreign policy arena: -- Guantanamo resettlement; -- Support for our Iran policy; and -- Leadership on Afghanistan (specifically expansion of the EUPOL mission and aid). There will be other issues that present opportunities for Sweden as EU President to play a significant role, such as on the Arab-Israeli conflict where they have long-term interests with both sides. Finally, there is a major danger of discord on another issue - climate change - which will require close engagement as well and we will provide the latest Swedish thinking on that issue septel, with the key Swedes just now coming back from the Major Economies Forum in Mexico City. End Introduction and Summary. 

Sweden's EU Presidency Priorities; Preview of Your Meetings --------------------------------------------- -------------- 

3. (U) Sweden has six articulated priorities for its EU Presidency: - Manage the financial crisis. Help restore market confidence by, inter alia, strengthening existing market regulation and seeking to create a new EU-wide regulator. - Lead the EU into a global climate agreement, PM Reinfeldt's personal goal. The current strategy involves urging the US, Canada and other developed countries to adopt high carbon mitigation targets, which the Swedes and other EU members believe will lead to binding commitments by China and the major G-77. - Adopt the "Stockholm Program" for harmonizing asylum and migration issues, intended to better share the burdens of refugee resettlement (but which doesn't include Guantanamo detainees). - Launch a Baltic Sea Strategy, involving only the EU member littoral states and not Russia, intended to foster trade and regional environmental ties. - Continue the EU accession program, on Croatia and Turkey and possibly Iceland, sending the important signal that the EU remains open to new members. Specifically seek to open the energy chapter of the Turkish accession negotiations. - Implement the Lisbon Treaty, should the Irish referendum break the right way, and appoint a new Commission. 

4. (C) Your schedule includes a combination of multilateral and bilateral meetings. The two multilateral ones are the EU Political Directors luncheon (with all 27 EU PolDirs), and the follow-on Political Directors Troika meeting (Robert Cooper, Director General for External Affairs at the EU Council; Karel Kovanda, Deputy DG of the EC Directorate for External Affairs; and possibly the Spanish PolDir, representing the next EU Council President). The proposed bilateral meetings include a one-on-one dinner with Bildt, a meeting with PolDir Lyrvall and National Security Advisor Gustav Lind, a dinner hosted by Lyrvall that includes State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Frank Belfrage, and a brain storming session with Belfrage on major themes and deliverables for the U.S.-EU Summit. Following is background STOCKHOLM 00000384 002 OF 003 information with post assessment of Swedish positions on several key issues. 

Guantanamo 
----------- 

5. (C) Post has asked Sweden multiple times to accept Guantanamo detainees for resettlement. They have not yet agreed to do so, but Minister of Migration Tobias Billstrom has told us that Sweden now strongly approves of the "general approach" the U.S. Administration has taken on detainees, and that if Sweden can assist, it would like to do so, noting though that this is a very difficult request, given the already high level of popular concern with Middle Eastern refugees. The Swede on the street feels the country has already done its share, by taking in over 120,000 Iraqis, including over 40,000 in the past three years, giving it the largest Iraqi community in Europe. For Sweden to accept former detainees, per the Migration Minister, there must be a "quality branding" for individual asylum seekers "achieved by using UNHCR." Now with the US-EU memorandum and the May 29 UNHCR letter to Special Envoy Fried, you might wish to urge the Swedes to help build momentum within the EU by announcing that they will accept two or more detainees for resettlement. But we shouldn't expect an immediate "yes." We assess that the government will accept detainees for resettlement, but wants to show its public that it won't be among the first Euros to do so. This commitment will likely come in the context of planning a US-EU Summit in the fall, which will have a bilateral aspect, unless there is an earlier bilateral opportunity between the President and Prime Minister. 

Iran 
---- 

6. (S) Sweden used to be among the EU members most vocally opposed to EU autonomous sanctions on Iran, according to readouts of EU meetings, both out of principle ("sanctions are a blunt instrument that never work and only harm innocent civilians") and out of concern for trade and investment (Volvo trucks and Ericsson mobile phone equipment and cell networks are the main Swedish players in Iran). Moreover, we assess that Bildt may hope to play a quiet but significant role in helping to broker a deal on the nuclear problem, based on the number of high-level contacts between Stockholm and Tehran. Nonetheless, following the President's outreach, and the Iranian regime's brutal reaction to the demonstrations, and also persistent British pressures, the Swedish position has shifted dramatically. MFA interlocutors now tell us that Sweden will not block EU efforts to "pre-designate" entities linked to Iran's WMD and missile programs, preparing the way for possible formal designation in the fall. Bildt has publicly condemned the Iranian regime and sent messages to Teheran. Now, Bildt may well be in a position to lead in announcing an intention to join in the "crippling sanctions" called for by the Secretary if Iran does not cease its enrichment activities. The Swedes are always more receptive to proposals that are placed squarely in the context of common goals such as strengthening the NPT and countering Iranian efforts to contravene the authority of the UN Security Council and the IAEA. 

Afghanistan 
----------- 

7. (C) Sweden has 400 troops based in four provinces in Regional Command-North headquartered in Mazar-i Sherif, and another 100 will be deployed by end 2009, including a second OMLT and a C-130 at ISAF HQ's disposal. Medevac helicopters are coming in 2010-2011. Recent security incidents in and around the Swedish PRT in Mazar-e Sharif involved the ambush and killing of ten Afghan police officers and firing on Swedish troops. In the aftermath, Sweden is determined to enhance security in its PRT during the election season, but under current budgetary and legislative conditions we cannot expect Sweden to deploy forces beyond the 500 already assigned in this calendar year. On the civilian side, however, Sweden can -- and should -- do more. It currently has three officers in EUPOL and three more training in Sweden, but the head of the joint MoD/MFA-run training academy has reported that several dozen more Swedish policemen want to go to Afghanistan. You may wish to urge that Sweden again demonstrate leadership by deploying additional police trainers to EUPOL as part of its effort to spur a stronger response from other EU Member States. Building upon the June 17 EU-Pakistan Summit, we also expect the Swedes to energize the EU to maximize the potential levers of development aid and emergency humanitarian assistance for Pakistan. STOCKHOLM 00000384 003 OF 003 

Middle East Peace Process 
------------------------- 

8. (C) Sweden is the rare European that maintains good relations with both the Israelis and the Palestinians. High-level visits to the Middle East in the past year, by Bildt, Lyrvall and Belfrage, and Aid Minister Gunilla Carlsson, show a determination to engage and an interest in playing a signficant role if conditions warrant. Swedish mediation on this conflict goes back to 1948 and Count Folke Bernadotte, the first UN mediator. Sweden is also the third largest donor to UNRWA (after the US and EU), and has a large direct bilateral aid program to the Palestinians as well. Thus we assess Sweden would provide an appropriate venue for international meetings on the Middle East, as it did for the highly successful review conference of the International Compact with Iraq held in Stockholm in May 2008. The Swedes are intensely interested in knowing how the USG will follow up the President's Cairo speech with concrete actions. You may wish to parlay their interest into a discussion of how the EU can help us assure the Israelis and stimulate confidence building measures by key Arab countries. Of particular interest is the plan, supported by Sweden, to sign an EU-Syria partnership agreement during the Swedish Presidency. 

Bio Notes 
--------- 

9. (C) Bildt has only two senior trusted aides in the MFA - Lyrvall and Belfrage, and the three function as a team, with at least one of them always in capital. Political Director Bjorn Lyrvall is Sweden's former ambassador to the EU's Political and Security Committee in Brussels. He served as Carl Bildt's assistant when Bildt was the High Representative to Bosnia 1995-1997, and before that was a Russian specialist in the MFA. He is youngish (mid-40's) and widely respected throughout the MFA. Belfrage is at the end of a distinguished career (facing retirement at 65) after serving as ambassador to France, the EU, and Saudi Arabia. He is most remembered here for his job as chief negotiator of Sweden's accession to the EU during the Bildt government 1992-93. Lind is a mid-30's former State Secretary for Migration, and professor of international law at the National Defense College. Lind has a narrower focus, reflecting Reinfeldt's interests in Turkey accession and EU issues. He is the only one of your interlocutors who belongs to the "New Moderates," the young turks led by Reinfeldt who overthrew the older pols in the party (including Bildt) after the 2002 parliamentary elections. SILVERMAN