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Viewing cable 09BRUSSELS1048, JULY GAERC - SWEDISH PRESIDENCY OUTLINES

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09BRUSSELS1048 2009-07-30 17:05 2011-01-13 05:05 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN USEU Brussels
VZCZCXRO0571
PP RUEHAG RUEHKW RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHBS #1048/01 2111750
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 301750Z JUL 09
FM USEU BRUSSELS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUCNMUC/EU CANDIDATE STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFITT/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BRUSSELS 001048 
 
NOFORN 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/27/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV ECON EUN AF AL BO GG GR HR IC IR
KN, MK, SI, SO, SW 
SUBJECT: JULY GAERC - SWEDISH PRESIDENCY OUTLINES 
PRIORITIES AND TENDS TO BUSINESS 
 
Classified By: USEU Pol M-C Christopher Davis for reasons 1.4 (b) and ( 
d). 
 
1.  (SBU) Summary: EU Foreign Ministers (FMs), meeting in 
Brussels July 27 as the General Affairs and External 
Relations Council (GAERC), received an overview of Swedish 
Presidency priorities for the next six months.  The GAERC 
adopted without discussion numerous decisions, to include 
U.S.-EU negotiations on payment data ("Swift"), and adopting 
a Common Position extending the scope of restrictive measures 
against the DPRK in line with UNSCR 1874.  Discussions in the 
General Affairs Council focused on the work program of the 
Swedish Presidency, the Baltic Sea Strategy, and Iceland's EU 
membership application.  While unanimously deciding to refer 
Iceland's membership application to the European Commission 
for its opinion, the Council reiterated its support for 
Western Balkan EU aspirants.  The External Affairs Council 
devoted its attention to the situation in Somalia, Georgia, 
Iran, Afghanistan-Pakistan, and the Western Balkans. The next 
GAERC will be in September. The press confernc also confirmed 
diffs place in Europe."  Rehn declined to 
commit on thQ timetable for the presentation of the 
CommisQion's opinion, saying the Commission "will ue the 
same methodology as for any other appliQant."  Rehn noted, 
however, that Iceland is aQready a member of the European 
Economic Area (EEA) and Schengen, implying that "the distance 
to the EU" may therefore be shorter.  Iceland already 
completed 22 of 35 EU accession negotiation chapters in order 
to become a member of the EEA, Rehn acknowledged.  To this, 
Swedish FM Bildt added, "It took Sweden a longer time to 
negotiate its membership in the EEA than its membership in 
the EU" 
 
6.  (SBU) Responding to pressure from some Ministers, the 
Council also sent "a very clear message" to Albania (whose 
application is to be handled when the June election procedure 
has been completed) and the other countries of the Western 
Balkans, reiterating the EU's full support for their 
"European perspective.Rehn stressed, too, that the EU must 
continue to focus on "the need to stabilize and integrate 
more Eastern European countries." 
 
External Affairs 
---------------- 
 
7.  (SBU) Chaired by Swedish FM Bildt, the External Affairs 
Council discussed - and issued formal Conclusions related to 
- Somalia, Georgia, and Iran.  Following recommendations from 
HR Solana, Ministers decided to step up EU engagement for 
promoting peace and development in Somalia.  Priority will 
 
BRUSSELS 00001048  002 OF 003 
 
 
reportedly be given to activities that produce quick yet 
sustainable results to promote peace and recovery for the 
Somali people.  Capacity building of public institutions will 
be of particular importance in this context, FM Bildt saying 
that "the EU is looking for every step that could contribute 
to stability."  External Relations Commissioner 
Ferrero-Waldner stressed the importance of incorporating "all 
groups" into any stabilization efforts and noted that pledges 
for UNISOM in the amount of 60 million Euros had been 
obtained at a recent pledging conference. 
 
8.  (C) High Representative Javier Solana welcomed Norway's 
participation in Operation Atalanta, and added, "We are also 
continuing our mission on the ground."  Solana alluded to a 
mission "for training security forces in Somalia" and how to 
cooperate with the African Union mission there, adding that 
the formal mission will "clarify our agreement on how to 
cooperate."  On July 29, the French pol-mil counselor told 
PolOff that while Member States had not yet agreed on a 
particular course of action to support the Somali security 
sector, he expects the EU to launch an SSR initiative of some 
kind.  France is still looking to &Europeanize8 future 
training efforts for Somali security forces in Djibouti, 
following the recently launched French national effort. 
Paris wants to make sure, however, that any EU action along 
these lines is a truly shared effort, not one where France 
takes on the bulk of the military and financial burden, as in 
Chad.  In addition to the announced EU mission, contacts from 
the French and UK missions say they support EU participation 
in the security sector assessment mission that begins August 
12, in which the U.S. is participating, but that some Member 
States, including the Swedish Presidency, need assurance that 
the assessment mission ties in with UN efforts. 
 
9.  (SBU) Turning to Georgia, the Council decided to extend 
the mandate of the EU's Monitoring Mission (EUMM) for an 
additional 12 months (until 12 September 2010).  The Council 
adopted joint actions extending both the duration of EUMM and 
the mandate of the EU Special Representative (EUSR) for the 
Crisis in Georgia.  Responding to a question about whether 
the Council had had an initial debate about inviting non-EU 
members to participate in EUMM, FM Bildt said that the 
emphasis of the day's discussions had been to "convey a 
message of stability and continuity," implying that the issue 
of third-country participation "was not really addressed." 
 
10.  (C) On Iran, FM Bildt reported the Ministers had "a 
rather thorough discussion over lunch."  While expressing 
satisfaction that "we managed to get release of people 
working for the UK Embassy," Bildt also reported "deep 
concern" about the detention of French citizen Clothilde 
Reiss.  Bildt added, "We expect her immediate release,"  and 
noted that Ministers had expressed deep concern about the 
human rights situation in the country.  Concerning the 
upcoming inauguration of President Ahmadinejad, Bildt said 
that the EU lacked "a definitely clear picture of the 
ceremonies, but would make its views known on the human 
rights situation and French citizen detained."  Swedish 
Presidency contacts told Poloff on July 29 that a consensus 
view on EU participation at the upcoming inauguration did not 
emerge because details surrounding the event remained unclear 
(no formal invitations received to date) and Ministers wanted 
to gauge Iran's response to requests that Reiss be freed from 
detention. 
 
External Affairs - Other Issues 
------------------------------- 
 
11.  (U) Concerning Afghanistan-Pakistan, FM Bildt reported 
that the EU and SRAP Holbrooke had sent a very clear message 
to Afghan authorities and candidates for the upcoming 
elections that they expect a credible election.  Bildt said 
that the EU was "preparing for an even more active role" and 
that the post-election period would be critical for the 
future development of Afghanistan. 
 
12.  (U) Concerning the ongoing name dispute between 
Macedonia and Greece and reports in the Greek press that the 
Greek FM had claimed that accession negotiations could only 
move forward once the dispute was settled, Enlargement 
Commissioner Rehn said that there was "still a realistic 
chance to find a solution to the name issue."  He added that 
the Niemetz-led mediation efforts were moving ahead and 
stressed that the necessarily unanimous decision to open 
 
BRUSSELS 00001048  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
negotiations will depend on Macedonia meeting eight 
benchmarks. Speaking to the Western Balkans more broadly, 
Rehn said that it would be a "busy fall," especially since 
the Commission recently recommended visa-free travel for 
three countries in the region.  He expressed his belief that 
it should be possible to find solutions to bilateral issues 
(referring specifically to the Slovenia-Croatia dispute and 
Macedonia name issues), adding, "We need to tackle the issues 
one by one.  That requires patience and determination, but 
there is no other choice than that." 
 
Other Business 
-------------- 
 
13.  (U) Following the test of nuclear device by the DPRK in 
May, the Council adopted a Common Position extending the 
scope of restrictive measures against the DPRK in line with 
UNSCR 1874.  Ministers also decided without discussion to 
allow negotiations with the U.S. on payment data ("Swift") to 
begin. 
 
EU-Macedonia SAA Council 
------------------------ 
 
14.  (C/NF) Well-placed Council sources tell us the annual 
EU-Macedonia SAA Council was tense. Last-minute procedural 
changes demanded by the Greek Deputy FM nearly derailed 
discussions, and the Macedonian delegation itself took a 
noticeably harder line.  "On orders from Athens," the Greek 
Deputy FM reportedly demanded that all name placards for 
Macedonian representative contain "FYROM" spelled out fully, 
not simply list the name and title of each representative.  A 
number of Council officials successfully impressed upon the 
Greek Deputy FM that changing the placards was not possible 
given the imminent start of the meeting, and that such an 
action would undoubtedly result in the Macedonian delegation 
walking out.  For their part, the Macedonian delegation 
reportedly insisted on a variety of editing changes to 
references to their country, Milososki reportedly telling a 
Council official that the current references to Macedonia in 
EU-internal documents amounted to "ethnic cleansing." 
Ultimately, it took FM Bildt's personal involvement to get 
the Macedonians to back down and allow for the issuance of a 
joint statement upon conclusion of the meeting. 
 
EU-Belarus Troika 
----------------- 
 
15.  (SBU) Taking place on July 28, the EU-Belarus Troika 
revealed that while both sides recognize the need to develop 
relations, it also confirmed differences on their 
expectations from one another.  Describing relations as being 
at "a crossroads," External Relations Commissioner 
Ferrero-Waldner made it clear that the EU was ready to 
reengage with Belarus.  Trade, energy and visa facilitation 
were discussed, the latter being of particular interest to 
Belarus FM Martynov.  Characterizing the discussions as 
"frank and open," FM Bildt expressed hope in progress, but 
left Martynov with no doubt (alluding to Georgia's breakaway 
provinces) about "the importance we attach to the principle 
of territorial integrity."  Concerning the Eastern 
Partnership Initiative, Bildt noted that its implementation 
was just in the "start-up phase." 
 
CHASE 
.