96008 2/9/2007 14:04 07THEHAGUE252 Embassy The Hague CONFIDENTIAL 07STATE13840 VZCZCXRO3272 OO RUEHDE RUEHHM RUEHMR RUEHPB RUEHRN DE RUEHTC #0252/01 0401404 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 091404Z FEB 07 FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8151 INFO RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE 0436 RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE RUCNWTO/WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION COLLECTIVE RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 0204 RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST 1143 RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS 0305 RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA 0435 C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 000252
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/09/2016 TAGS: PREL, EUN, NL SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS/EU: DUTCH PREVIEW FEBRUARY 12-13 GAERC
REF: A. STATE 13840
B. STATE 15811 C. STATE 16453
Classified By: Political Counselor Andrew J. Schofer; reasons 1.4 (b) a nd (d).
1. (C) SUMMARY: The Dutch expect the upcoming February 12-13 GAERC to "welcome" the Ahtisaari report, and will continue to push for Serbian "full cooperation" with the ICTY. On the Middle East, the GAERC will likely endorse ongoing diplomatic efforts and will evaluate the recent Fatah-Hamas agreement. The Dutch would like to see the EU play a more active role promoting democratization and human rights in Iran, including by establishing a Commission presence in Tehran. On Afghanistan, the Dutch will provide trainers to the EU's police training mission and will be prepared to discuss counternarcotics strategies. The Dutch hope the EU will increase financial support for the AU mission in Sudan and the peace process in Somalia, but worry that the AU may be overextended in Burundi. Finally, the Dutch will press the EU to play a "constructive" role in the Doha Round discussions. END SUMMARY.
2. (C) Mission shared ref A points on February 7 with Jeroen Boender (Deputy European Correspondent, Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and ref B points February 8 with Tjerk Opmeer (Senior Policy Advisor, Trade Policy Department, Ministry of Economic Affairs), Dorine Wytema and Pauline Diepenbroek (both Policy Officers in the MFA's Department of European Integration.) On February 8, Boender, Wytema, and Diepenbroek briefed POLCOUNS and representatives of the non-EU diplomatic community on Dutch goals for the upcoming February 12-13 GAERC. POLCOUNS discussed ref C points with Boender on February 9.
3. (C) According to Boender, the Netherlands would press at the GAERC for a united EU position "welcoming" Ahtisaari's report. While the report laid out a positive way forward, he added, "there was still a lot of work to be done," both in the region and to convince "some member states" in the EU that this was the way to go. Boender He hoped strong EU support would help pave the way for a UNSC resolution on Kosovo "acceptable to all parties."
4. (C) Boender stressed that the Dutch would continue to insist on Serbian "full cooperation" with the ICTY in determining future EU-Serbian relations, but would defer to the ICTY on the definition of "full cooperation." He noted that Dutch FM Bot met with Carla del Ponte on February 6 to discuss this issue; according to Boender, del Ponte indicated that a good faith effort by the new Serbian government to apprehend wanted war criminals -- as evidenced by putting key people in certain positions, aggressive investigations, sharing information with the court, etc. -- might be judged to be sufficient, even if Mladic and Karadzic were not actually "enjoying the hospitality of The Hague." He added that the Dutch would prefer to see both individuals in custody, however.
5. (C) Boenders did not anticipate much new to emerge from the GAERC's discussion of the Middle East. Broadly speaking, he expected the GAERC to endorse ongoing Quartet efforts as well as the upcoming trilateral meeting (U.S.-Palestinians-Israel) initiated by Secretary Rice.
6. (C) POLCOUNS separately passed ref C points on the Hamas-Fatah National Unity Government agreement to Boender on February 9. Boender noted that the Dutch government had not yet completed its analysis of the agreement, but would be prepared to discuss it at the February 12 GAERC meeting. He added that the views of the U.S. and Israel would be significant factors influencing the Dutch analysis.
7. (C) The GAERC discussion of Iran would be "broader" than at previous sessions, according to Boender. While the nuclear issue remained a central concern, he said, the
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members would continue to defer to the lead of the EU-3 in dealing with Tehran while working to implement UNSCR 1737 effectively. The Dutch, however, believed the EU could and should do more in other areas, such as promoting democratic change and promoting human rights. Boender said the Dutch, for example, would support establishing an EU Commission presence in Tehran to support and promote contact with "democratizing" and reform elements. He recognized, however, that such a presence would be very difficult to establish over the opposition of the GOI and given the reluctance of some EU members to "rock the boat."
8. (C) Boender expressed strong support for the EU's rule-of-law and police training missions in Afghanistan. As one of the members leading the push for such programs, he added, the Netherlands was prepared to provide trainers to the 150 man police training mission. He hoped the GAERC would make the "final decision" to deploy the mission.
9. (C) According to Boender, the Dutch would also be prepared to discuss counternarcotics strategy -- including possible EU financial support for programs to develop alternative crops, etc. -- within the context of the discussion on Afghanistan. He stressed that while eradication was necessary, it would only work within the context of a comprehensive approach that took local sensitivities and concerns into consideration. Boender said the Dutch have discussed the issue with "several" EU partners, including the German Presidency. He was cagey about whether the Dutch intended to raise the issue, but reiterated that they would be fully prepared for a discussion "if it comes up."
10. (C) Boender did not expect a long discussion on African issues, although both Sudan and Somalia would be on the agenda. The EU was "still struggling" to find an appropriate mechanism to fund the African Union's AMIS mission; in the meantime, the Dutch would continue their bilateral contribution. On Somalia, the EU was prepared to contribute 15 million Euros to the peace process, provided it was "truly representative" and included "all important groups," including the "legitimate" government. Finally, Boender noted EU concerns that the AU may be over-extending its capabilities by taking on a mission in Burundi in addition to Sudan and Somalia.
11. (C) Diepenbroek and Wytema briefed that GAERC would address developments in the Doha Round as well as government procurement policy (reportedly added to the agenda at the request of the French.) They noted that Dutch Trade Minister Karien van Gennip would participate in discussions of these issues on Brussels on Sunday, February 11. On the Doha Round, Diepenbroek and Wytema applauded the "sincere efforts" of President Bush, Chancellor Merkel, and EU Commission President Barroso to jump-start discussions, and noted that the next several months would be crucial in finding a compromise. The Dutch would push the EU to play a "constructive" role in the process, they added.