59806 4/7/2006 16:03 06THEHAGUE763 Embassy The Hague CONFIDENTIAL 06STATE53022 VZCZCXRO6356 OO RUEHAG RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR DE RUEHTC #0763/01 0971603 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 071603Z APR 06 FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5347 INFO RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE 0284 RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 0183 RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST 1112 RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS 0289 RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA 0419 C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 000763
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/07/2011 TAGS: PREL, ECON, ETRD, EUN, YI, MW, SR, BK, BO, IR, UP, SY, LE, NL SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS/EU: APPROACHING THE EU IN ADVANCE OF THE APRIL 10 GAERC
REF: A. A) STATE 53022
B. B) STATE 55459
Classified By: Political Counselor Andrew J. Schofer; reasons 1.4 (b) a nd (d).
1. (C) SUMMARY: Poloff delivered reftel demarche April 7 to MFA European Correspondent Desiree Kopmels and Deputy Correspondent Bahia Tahzib-Lie. The Dutch do not expect the Balkans to be on the GAERC agenda and are content to let UN Special Envoy Ahtisaari set the pace for future status talks. On Belarus, the GONL is "very pleased" that the EU will issue a visa ban on 31 Belarusian government individuals, but is skeptical about the political and technical feasibility of an asset freeze. The Dutch remain opposed to opening discussions with Ukraine on EU accession. With regard to Iran, the Dutch will support continuing EU pressure but want to know how far the U.S. is willing to go. The GONL will press for tougher EU guidelines on contacts with Hamas while finding ways to maintain provisions for basic needs. END SUMMARY.
2. (C) Kopmels said that the Balkans would not be on the GAERC agenda. With regard to Kosovo, she noted that the GONL was content to allow UN Special Envoy Ahtisaari to decide on the timing for expanding the scope of status talks. She added that the Dutch want to ensure that minority rights and minority returns are both given due attention and that the latter does not crowd out the former. On ICTY cooperation, she said that the GONL would support the "tribunal," if it decided to cease negotiations with Belgrade on the handover of Mladic and others, were that decision based on a finding of insufficient progress. (Note: The prosecutor would actually make this decision. End note.)
3. (C) The GONL is "very pleased," Kopmels said, that the GAERC will take a decision on a visa ban list of 31 individuals, including Belarusian President Lukashenko. The GONL is irritated that there was, until late in the week, an apparent lack of urgency on the part of some in the EU to place the issue on the agenda. She said the GONL had not decided whether to point fingers but would probably not do so.
4. (C) The MFA is interested in asset freezes, according to Kopmels, and would like to include a significant share of those individuals who are on the list of 31. She believes, though, that, for a variety of reasons, freezes are unlikely to gain full GONL or EU support.
5. (C) The GONL would like to redirect some TACIS funding, in order to provide aid directly to pro-democracy elements. TACIS funding must be approved by the host country government.
6. (C) The GONL is pleased with the conduct of the Ukrainian elections and is watching closely the formation of a new government. The GONL remains firmly opposed, however, to discussion at this time of Ukrainian EU membership, she said.
7. (C) Kopmels said the GONL welcomes the UNSC and P-5 plus Germany statements. It expects this and the question of human rights to figure prominently in the GAERC. She asked how far the U.S. will push on Iran. She noted that, within the Dutch MFA, there is a feeling that, if the U.S. is not willing, at some point, to push for sanctions, then pursuing the matter in the UNSC may prove hollow and counterproductive. She noted that both Germany and Russia had urged the U.S. to hold discussions with the Iranians and asked what we thought about the matter.
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8. (C) The GONL will push for EU guidelines on contact with Hamas. Kopmels said that the Dutch are in favor of continuing the provision of basic needs. Hamas should, she said, be cut out of the financial loop. Contacts with President Mahmoud Abbas could, however, continue. The GONL will push also for EU pressure on Israel regarding VAT and customs payments and Gaza border closings.
9. (C) Lebanon and Syria will not be on the agenda, according to Kopmels. ARNALL