82253 10/18/2006 6:08 06ISTANBUL1910 Consulate Istanbul UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY 06STATE162288 VZCZCXYZ0000 PP RUEHWEB DE RUEHIT #1910/01 2910608 ZNR UUUUU ZZH P 180608Z OCT 06 FM AMCONSUL ISTANBUL TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6159 INFO RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 5706 RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS PRIORITY 0733 RUEHKB/AMEMBASSY BAKU PRIORITY 0003 RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PRIORITY 0037 RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST PRIORITY 0139 RUEHCH/AMEMBASSY CHISINAU PRIORITY 0046 RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV PRIORITY 0001 RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 0317 RUeHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA PRIORITY 0216 RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI PRIORITY 0115 RUEHTI/AMEMBASSY TIRANA PRIORITY 0063 RUEHYE/AMEMBASSY YEREVAN PRIORITY 0075 RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY UNCLAS ISTANBUL 001910
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: PREL, SENV, KCRM, TU, RS, SR SUBJECT: BSEC MINISTERIAL: VIEW FROM ISTANBUL
REF: STATE 162288
Sensitive But Unclassified, Please Protect Accordingly
1. (SBU) Summary: BSEC Secretariat officials and members of key delegations recommend that the USG discuss reftel project on environmental enforcement for economic development in general terms at the November 1 Council of Ministers meeting. Seeking to place discussion of reftel project on the agenda runs the risk of getting bogged down in political squabbles unrelated to the merits of the proposal. Project details including content, venue and financing should be agreed by the Environmental Working Group prior to presentation to the Ministers. Turkey, who chairs the Environmental Working Group and will be taking up the BSEC Chairmanship in May, is interested in working with the USG on environmental protection issues. End Summary.
2. (SBU) We discussed reftel talking points with BSEC First Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Murat Sungar who was receptive to the idea of an environmental protection-focused U.S. project. We also raised the idea informally with members of the Greek, Turkish and Ukrainian delegations as well as with Russian chairman-in-office Sergey Goncharenko during the course of the October 5-6 BSEC Senior Officials meeting. During a subsequent visit to Istanbul, Budapest-based EST Hub officer reviewed reftel points with Stefana Greavu, the BSEC secretariat staffer with responsibility for BSEC's Environmental Working Group.
3. (SBU) Asim Arar, Turkish MFA Deputy Director General for Multilateral Economic Affairs, advised us that the GOT would likely be very interested in working on environmental protection issues with the United States during Turkey's May - November 2007 chairmanship. Turkey would like to work seriously on environmental issues within BSEC and chairs BSEC's Environmental Working Group so is well-placed to move forward on this type of project, he noted. Based on previous BSEC experience Arar predicted that it would be difficult to add a 'conceptual' U.S. proposal to the agenda for the Moscow Ministerial. He noted however, that most delegations would likely be receptive to the idea as described reftel and that it would be useful for the U.S. delegation to elaborate on the concept given reftel during the Ministerial meeting in Moscow. In a separate discussion Goncharenko, who chaired the senior officials meeting, noted that it would be virtually impossible for any proposal (whether from an observer or member state) to be added to the Ministerial agenda without prior discussion in a working group.
4. (SBU) Visiting EST Hub officer met with Stefana Greavu the BSEC staffer who works with the environmental working group. Although interested in the concept, she recommended that the USG develop a more detailed proposal (including financing) prior to presentation to BSEC. She questioned whether it was necessary to add discussion of a U.S. proposal to the agenda, noting that in the past events have been organized under the auspices of the BSEC chair without a resolution or intergovernmental decision. She noted that one of the advantages to seeking to organize a Chair's initiative rather than an intergovernmental decision was that a decision (or resolution) ran the risk of getting bogged down in political squabbles.
5. (SBU) When queried directly concerning the modalities of adding reftel U.S. proposal to the agenda for the November 1 Ministerial meeting, Sungar explained that the agenda was largely prepared by the working groups, approved by the senior officials and then endorsed by the Ministers. He recommended that rather than seeking to add discussion of a U.S. environmental proposal to the agenda, the US delegation come to Moscow prepared to give broad outlines of the proposal as part of our opening statement. The USG could then work directly with the environment working group to discuss details such as content, venue and financing that would not normally be handled by the Ministers.
6. (SBU) Comment: The adoption of the agenda at BSEC meetings tends to be an unusually difficult and lengthy process. We recommend that the U.S. delegation to the Moscow Ministerial be prepared to review the concepts discussed reftel during opening/closing statements rather than seeking to have the U.S. project added to the agenda. The program can then be discussed in detail at the working group level with the aim of having it presented as a Chair's initiative when the GOT takes the Chair in May 2007. Serbia will hold the chairmanship from November 2006 through April 2007; however, Serbia is an unlikely partner for this initiative as it is focused on law enforcement cooperation, particularly trafficking in persons, as a theme for its term in office. End Comment. JONES