98433 2/28/2007 15:00 07HELSINKI138 Embassy Helsinki CONFIDENTIAL 07SECSTATE23592 VZCZCXRO0424 RR RUEHAG RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR DE RUEHHE #0138 0591500 ZNY CCCCC ZZH R 281500Z FEB 07 FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3022 INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST 0557 RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA 0405 C O N F I D E N T I A L HELSINKI 000138
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/28/2017 TAGS: PREL, PGOV, ENRG, EUN, KPAL, IR, FI SUBJECT: FINNISH RESPONSE - APPROACHING THE EU IN ADVANCE OF THE MARCH 5-6 FOREIGN MINISTERS MEETING (GAERC)
REF: SECSTATE 23592
Classified By: POLCHIEF GREGORY THOME FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D)
1. (SBU) PolChief discussed subject demarche with European Correspondent Jarno Syrjala Feb. 28. Syrjala thanked us for sharing US viewsand highlighted the following:
2. (C) ISRAEL/PAESTINE: Syrjala said that there is still strong ember-state (MS) consensus around the need for the Nationa Unity Government (NUG) to commit unequivcally to the Quartet's three basic principles, ad that the EU will judge the NUG based on its actions. However, discussions at the GAERC may reveal some divisions regarding approach. Syrjala said that most member states are increasingly skeptical that President Abbas will really be able to convince Hamas and deliver a NUG that truly commits to the Quartet's principles. A smaller group of MS (including Finland) are inclined to support the NUG somewhat more unconditionally. He predicted that the GAERC will ultimately issue a statement that fully supports the need for adherence to the Quartet's principles, but that internal debate on the details could prove interesting, "depending on who speaks up." Regarding the overall peace process, Syrjala noted that the EU appreciated Secretary Rice's recent efforts in the region and the briefings she provided the German Presidency. The EU is very supportive of the positions she outlined during her most recent trip, he added.
3. (C) UZBEKISTAN: Syrjala downplayed suggestions that the EU may be looking to lift its sanctions on Uzbekistan in May and said that Finland at this point would oppose any such move. (During its EU Presidency, Finland was instrumental in November 2006 in ensuring that the sanctions be extended.) The Uzbeks have engaged in a real dialogue with the EU and "basically responded adequately" to EU concerns about Andijan, Syrjala noted; however, much remains to be done to improve the country's overall human rights record and the EU is unlikely to lift sanctions until it sees meaningful improvements in several areas.
4. (U) AFGHANISTAN: Although not on the GAERC agenda, PolChief thanked Finland for announcing that it will contribute 10 trainers to the EU's forthcoming Afghanistan police training mission, approved at the Feb. GAERC. Some technical details remain to be worked out, but Syrjala said that all political hurdles have been cleared and the mission should indeed be operational by June, as planned. WARE