71428 7/14/2006 16:40 06DUBLIN839 Embassy Dublin CONFIDENTIAL 06STATE114605 VZCZCXRO9378 PP RUEHAG RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR DE RUEHDL #0839/01 1951640 ZNY CCCCC ZZH P 141640Z JUL 06 FM AMEMBASSY DUBLIN TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7232 INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES PRIORITY RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST PRIORITY 0092 RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA PRIORITY 0039 C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DUBLIN 000839
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/12/2016 TAGS: PREL, UNAUS, EUN, YI, MW, SR, BO, IR, IZ, KPAL, SU, CG, EI SUBJECT: PRE-GAERC DEMARCHE: IRELAND CALLS FOR MIDDLE EAST RESTRAINT, PUSHES SUDAN ON UN FORCE
REF: A. STATE 114605
B. STATE 15346 C. STATE 115371 D. DUBLIN 799
Classified By: Pol/Econ Chief Mary E. Daly, for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
1. (C) Summary: The Irish Government recognizes Israel's right to self-defense, though not at the expense of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, according to Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) EU Correspondent Jim Kelly, to whom emboffs delivered refs A-C demarches. Kelly cited a July 13 statement by Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern urging all sides in the Middle East to exercise restraint and to cooperate with diplomatic efforts to defuse the current crisis. Kelly noted that Foreign Minister Ahern planned to brief the July 17 GAERC on his recent discussions with the Sudanese Government on EU/international support for a UN force to replace AMIS by year's end. According to participants in Ahern's visit to Sudan, the humanitarian situation in Darfur is still troubling, but not as severe as in previous months. Regarding the Balkans, Ireland and EU Member States were focused on the challenge of helping Serbia to play a more constructive role in the Kosovo status talks, while at the same time insisting that Belgrade show full cooperation with ICTY. Kelly added that Ireland was guardedly optimistic about the July 30 elections in the Congo, which could be a monumental step toward stabilizing central Africa. He also noted previous DFA talking points supporting the U.S. call for a return to the 6-party process in the aftermath of North Korea's missile tests. End summary.
2. (C) Kelly observed that the July 17 GAERC would focus intensely on the current Middle East crisis, and he cited points from Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern's July 13 statement calling for restraint on all sides. In the statement, Ahern underscored Israel's right to defend itself, and he urged the release of captured Israeli soldiers in Gaza and Lebanon as well as the cessation of rocket attacks. The statement noted, however, that Israel's right to self-defense should not be exercised "at the expense of the lives and welfare of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians" through "harshly disproportionate military action." The statement concluded that Israel should "end its blockade on Lebanon, stop the destruction of civilian infrastructure in Lebanon and Gaza, and act urgently to avoid a humanitarian crisis in the Occupied Territories."
3. (C) More generally, Kelly agreed that Hamas and Hizbollah had precipitated the crisis, but cautioned that the situation in Gaza and Lebanon threatened to spiral out of control, particularly with political engagement now in abeyance. He added that international efforts were urgently needed to convince all sides to step back from violence and to avoid further civilian casualties. Kelly added that EU Foreign Policy Chief Solana would travel to the region over the weekend, though it was unclear whether he would be able to engage with principals in the conflict.
4. (C) Kelly said that Foreign Minister Ahern would brief the GAERC on his July 2-5 visit to Khartoum and Darfur, the first visit to Sudan by an EU Foreign Minister since the signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA). In his meeting with Sudanese Foreign Minister Lam Akol, Ahern emphasized strong EU and international support for a transition from the AMIS force to a UN peacekeeping operation. Lam Akol's response was "not as negative as might have been expected," according to Kelly, who nevertheless cautioned that the Foreign Minister was from southern Sudan and that views on the UN force within Sudan's coalition government were still fluid. He added that Ireland would make a pledge at the July 18 Donors' Conference in Brussels to bolster AMIS for its extended mandate through year's end, but he did not know the exact pledge amount.
5. (C) In his talks with Foreign Minister Akol, NGOs, and UN Special Representative Jan Pronk, Ahern also highlighted the need to remove impediments to humanitarian assistance in Darfur, and he subsequently claimed to have received assurances from the Sudanese government in that regard. Kelly noted that Irish NGOs active in Darfur, including
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Trocaire and Concern, had pressed Ahern strongly on humanitarian access in the lead-up to the visit. Kelly cited comments from DFA Political Director Rory Montgomery, who accompanied Ahern to Sudan, that the humanitarian situation in Darfur remained troubling, though seemingly not as bad as earlier in the year. When emboffs asked for Ahern's general views on the viability of the DPA, Kelly replied that the challenge lay in signing all parties up to the agreement, including factions whose leaders resided outside the region and thus were removed from the tragedy on the ground.
6. (C) Kelly expected GAERC discussions on the Balkans to focus on Kosovo, with plans for UN Special Envoy Ahtisaari, EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana, and European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn to brief ministers on progress in the final status process. Kelly said that Solana and Rehn would likely concentrate on the major role to be played by the EU in post-status Kosovo, a role that Ireland would strongly support. Kelly also pointed out the challenge of helping Serbia to play a more constructive role in the final status talks, while at the same time insisting that Belgrade show full cooperation with ICTY. He added that the Irish Government was pleased with the successful Macedonian elections, but shared U.S. concerns about isolated violence that marked the event. He also noted that the GAERC would likely not discuss Bosnia, due to the more pressing Middle East concerns.
7. Like the United States, Ireland and EU Member States see the DRC's July 30 presidential and parliamentary elections as a monumental step toward resolving a conflict that has destabilized central Africa, said Kelly. He noted that the Irish Government was generally optimistic about the elections' prospects, notwithstanding disappointments that had marked previous optimistic phases in the conflict. Kelly pointed out that the EU and Ireland had contributed euro 235 million and euro 1 million, respectively, to the DRC electoral process. Ireland also planned to assign two persons to the EU's election monitoring team.
8. Kelly said that DFA points on North Korea remained those conveyed to Post in ref D, in which Ireland supported EU-U.S. solidarity in pressing for a return to the 6-Party diplomatic approach. Kelly also commented on the difficulty of reading Kim Jong Il's motives with the recent missile tests, noting the "loopy" communication that North Korea's Foreign Ministry had had with some EU Member States' diplomats in recent years.
9. The Irish Government agreed with ref C demarche points on the need for diplomatic efforts, particularly by Russia, to prevent the planned September 17 referendum on Transnistria's independence, which Kelly described as a "surreal development." He also recounted a discussion on the margins of the informal EU Political Directors meeting in Helsinki the week of July 3, in which EU diplomats speculated that the Transnistrian Supreme Soviet's announcement on the referendum was partly a response to a recent car bomb in Tiraspol that killed nine ethnic Russians. KENNY