147720 3/28/2008 16:51 08LISBON777 Embassy Lisbon UNCLASSIFIED 08LISBON611|08LISBON755 VZCZCXRO7627 RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG DE RUEHLI #0777/01 0881651 ZNR UUUUU ZZH R 281651Z MAR 08 FM AMEMBASSY LISBON TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6727 INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE RUEHPD/AMCONSUL PONTA DELGADA 0440 RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LISBON 000777
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: MARR, MOPS, PREL, RS, PO SUBJECT: PORTUGAL'S VIEWS ON BUCHAREST NATO SUMMIT
REF: A. LISBON 755 B. LISBON 611
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1. Summary. The Government of Portugal expects the NATO Summit to be dominated by three topics: Russia, operations, and enlargement. On Russia, the Portuguese stress engagement and believe that true progress is available regarding CFE and missile defense. The Portuguese avoided discussions regarding the size of Portugal's contribution to ISAF, noting only that the reduced contribution planned for August was a "qualitative answer" to ISAF shortfalls. Portugal supports membership invitations for Croatia, Albania, and Macedonia, but does not support even a Membership Action Plan for Ukraine or Georgia, preferring an undefined new status for those countries. End summary.
2. Portuguese MFA Deputy Political Director Ambassador Carlos Frota and Director for Security and Disarmament Joao Corte-Real briefed diplomats from NATO member states March 28 on Portugal's views on the upcoming NATO Summit in Bucharest.
3. Frota stated that although allies and partners would meet on many issues and in many formats, three main topics would dominate: Russia (including CFE and Missile Defense), operations (ISAF and KFOR), and enlargement.
4. Frota suggested that hosting the summit in Bucharest sent a clear message to Russia that allies would develop whatever relations they desired to maximize European stability. This was in no way a return to cold war tactics, he opined, merely a signal that all interested parties need to recognize the new realities of European security architecture. In particular, Frota noted that the summit coincided with a shift from a Putin administration in Russia to a Medvedev/Putin administration.
5. Regarding Missile Defense (MD), Frota was pleased that multilateral and bilateral efforts to engage Russia appeared to have been positive endeavors. It was not clear to the Russians, he posited, that MD was not aimed at Russia. Frota said he expected some allies to stress the "indivisibility" of alliance defense during the summit. Although we explained the reach of current MD proposals and why these proposals do not leave allies unprotected, Frota maintained that the potential evolution of threats still requires consideration of coverage for all allies.
6. Corte-Real added that the MD paragraphs for the summit declaration were still under discussion and that he expected allies to ask the USG for further information on deployment during the summit. Frota noted that Portugal encourages NATO bodies to continue to study MD proposals with the aim of bringing all MD systems under NATO command and control and sharing the financial burdens across NATO's membership. Frota also stated that NATO is a military alliance; thus, it is entirely appropriate for defense planners to consider future threats such as those current MD plans are designed to counter.
7. Regarding CFE, Frota stressed Portugal's desire that all parties sign and ratify the adapted CFE treaty as soon as possible. Frota congratulated the U.S. for its negotiations with Russia and said that Russia was apparently ready to join with NATO in simultaneous and complementary steps to put the provisions of adapted CFE into practice before it enters into force.
8. Corte-Real stated that he had received a communique from NATO that morning that the alliance had agreed upon the joint Germany-U.S. draft text for a statement on CFE in the HLTF (Ref A). The text, said Corte-Real, was under silence procedures until 1400 hours on March 28. He continued that Portugal fully supports this "timely and substantive" text.
9. Frota expressed Portugal's pleasure that the new UN Coordinator for Afghanistan was in place, given that NATO's ISAF operations needed support from the UN, the EU, and other institutions. Frota said he looked forward to the development of a joint strategy among these institutions, particularly during the summit. Frota also underlined the need for greater EU and NATO coordination and suggested that the status quo was unacceptable given its effect on operations.
10. Corte-Real noted that Portugal had committed a second Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT) and a C-130 to ISAF (Ref B). Frota declined to state how many troops would
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comprise Portugal's contribution starting in August, with the planned withdrawal of its Quick Reaction Force company, noting only that Portugal's contribution of two OMLTs was a "qualitative answer" to ISAF's shortfalls.
11. Regarding KFOR, Corte-Real said allies had made "tangible progress" towards language for a summit declaration, recognizing KFOR's role as a stabilizing influence under UNSC 1244 and how well KFOR had responded to recent incidents.
12. Frota stated that Portugal supported membership invitations for Croatia, Albania, and Macedonia (although he referred to Macedonia as "Skopje"). He then said Georgia and Ukraine deserved praise for their accomplishments and encouragement to continue on the reform path, but that they were too "immature" for consideration at Bucharest. When pressed, Frota said that importing frozen conflicts was no contribution to the alliance's security and that Portugal supported a prudent approach.
13. When pushed further, Frota said that Membership Action Plans (MAP) had always been seen as equivalent to membership. Frota stated again that Georgia and Ukraine needed formal encouragement, but under some other name or structure. Warming to the subject, Frota said that allies were not restricted to a rigid process and that we could find a flexible formula for a new status for Georgia and Ukraine. He repeated several times that "Portugal is not alone in this view."
14. Regarding the Macedonia name issue, Frota suggested that, if no resolution is found, Macedonia could be given a conditional acceptance pending a future resolution. Frota echoed his earlier statement regarding the allies' ability to be flexible at the summit.
15. We spoke extensively on MAP for Georgia and Ukraine and on MD during the open discussion. It was clear on MAP that Russian sensitivities are the most important consideration for the Portuguese, even though MAP is an extremely prudent approach, requiring resolution of domestic and regional conflicts before acquiring membership. On MD, it was clear that the facts surrounding recent proposals -- numbers of interceptors, the lack of any warhead, etc. -- were known only to technical specialists and not to diplomatic representatives. Stephenson