82613 10/20/2006 11:17 06LISBON2361 Embassy Lisbon CONFIDENTIAL 06SECSTATE175933 VZCZCXYZ0012 OO RUEHWEB DE RUEHLI #2361 2931117 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 201117Z OCT 06 FM AMEMBASSY LISBON TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5278 INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST PRIORITY 0185 RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY C O N F I D E N T I A L LISBON 002361
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/20/2016 TAGS: PO, PREL, MARR SUBJECT: VENUE FOR 2008 NATO SUMMIT
REF: SECSTATE 175933
Classified By: DCM Adrienne O'Neal for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
1. (SBU) DCM Adrienne O'Neal contacted the Foreign Minister's Chief of Cabinet Francisco Ribeiro de Menezes per reftel to inform him that, although the U.S. appreciates Portugal's interest in hosting the NATO summit and that Lisbon is an attractive option for a NATO summit overall, that the U.S. will be supporting Bucharest's bid to host in 2008. She noted that Bucharest is a symbolically more compelling location and related President Bush's call to enlarge the organization. O'Neal stressed that we were letting Portugal know in advance of the announcement to other Allies as a courtesy and that we regret not being able to support Portugal's bid.
2. (SBU) Ribeiro de Menezes replied that he appreciated the special courtesy of advance notice. He reported that Portugal had made a bid on the 2007 summit and withdrawn early with hopes of hosting in 2008. Although Portugal understands the symbolism of hosting summits in new NATO member states, Ribeiro de Menezes argued that such a consideration had been accomplished already with the Riga Summit. Lastly, he inquired about the timing on notifying other allies and was informed that the announcement would be public soon. Ribeiro de Menezes said he would follow up if Portugal had further comment.
3. (C) Comment: Our decision and announcement clearly took Ribeiro de Menezes off-guard but the advance warning seems to have made the decision more palatable. End comment. Hoffman