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Portugal said Mugabe should not be held to a different standard

Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado said that there were plenty of undemocratic, corrupt political leaders in Africa so President Robert Mugabe should not be held to a different standard.

He was responding to a plea by United States ambassador to Portugal Alfred Hoffman that Portugal should do everything possible to stop President Robert Mugabe from attending the European Union-Africa summit in Lisbon because his presence would send a terrible message about good governance and human rights.

Amado criticised the British government for focusing so energetically on Mugabe when there were many other leaders who should receive the same level of attention.

The critical point, he said, was that the summit should take place as Europe was working to secure with the Africans a joint plan of action that would establish collaborative efforts in a range of key areas, including security and peacekeeping.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 07LISBON2730, PORTUGUESE FM AMADO ON RUSSIA, IRAN, KOSOVO, AND

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

07LISBON2730

2007-10-26 17:48

SECRET//NOFORN

Embassy Lisbon

VZCZCXRO0741

PP RUEHDBU RUEHDU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHMR RUEHRN RUEHROV

DE RUEHLI #2730/01 2991748

ZNY SSSSS ZZH

P 261748Z OCT 07

FM AMEMBASSY LISBON

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6382

INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA PRIORITY 0029

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA PRIORITY 0034

RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE PRIORITY 0034

RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 0486

RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA PRIORITY 0174

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 LISBON 002730

 

SIPDIS

 

NOFORN

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/25/2017

TAGS: PREL PO

SUBJECT: PORTUGUESE FM AMADO ON RUSSIA, IRAN, KOSOVO, AND

EU-AFRICA SUMMIT

 

REF: LISBON 2720

 

Classified By: Ambassador Alfred Hoffman for reasons 1.4 (B) and (D).

 

Summary

——–

 

1. (C) Ambassador hosted FM Amado for a very friendly,

two-and-a-half hour one-on-one lunch at the Residence on

October 24.   Amado said the EU would press President Putin

during the October 26 EU-Russia summit to agree to additional

UN sanctions on Iran and to invite the OSCE to observe the

December 2 Duma elections.   He was optimistic about the

Russian response on the latter point.   On Kosovo, Amado did

not speculate on how individual Member States might respond

to a UDI by Kosovo, but rather stressed the importance of

maintaining a common EU approach if the Troika negotiations

are unsuccessful. He did not address the state of planning

for an ESDP mission. He underscored Portugal,s

determination to proceed with an EU-Africa summit in spite of

concerns about Robert Mugabe,s attendance. End Summary.

 

EU-Russia Summit

—————————

 

2. (C) Iran: The Ambassador encouraged Portugal to press

President Putin to hold firm on Iran, particularly to push

Tehran to fully implement the IAEA workplan and to comply

fully with previous UN Security Council Resolutions. Amado

replied that it is their intention to continue to be strong

on Iran, to collaborate with us in ensuring Iran is not

allowed to develop a nuclear weapon capability. Amado

reassured the Ambassador that the EU would press the Russians

on the need for further sanctions but did not address

directly the question of autonomous measures.

 

3. (C) CFE: The Ambassador expressed his hope that the EU

would press the Russians not to suspend implementation while

talks continue on the way forward. Amado replied that he

thought significant headway had been made on this topic and

he was hopeful there would be a satisfactory resolution.

 

4. (C) Election Observation: Amado said the EU would press

the Russians to issue the OSCE an invitation to send an

election observation mission for the December 2 Duma

elections and was optimistic that Putin would agree.

 

Kosovo

———-

 

5. (C) Amado said he and his EU counterparts have been

consumed by negotiations on the EU’s constitutional reform

treaty and were proud to have secured final agreement of

heads of state and government at the October 18-19 informal

European Council gathering in Lisbon.   Now they will begin

to focus more intensively on Kosovo. If it appears by

mid-November as though the Troika negotiations are making

little progress, he will work hard to build a consensus EU

approach on the way forward. He speculated that a number of

EU Member States would recognize a unilateral declaration of

independence by Kosovo, but underscored his strong preference

for the EU, to the extent possible, to act in unison after

December 10. No matter what happens, Amado said, it is

essential that the EU speak with one voice on Kosovo.

 

Energy

———

 

6. (C) Asked whether he was troubled by the efforts of

Portugal’s primary energy company, Galp, to increase

collaboration with Gazprom, Amado said no, he did not think

those efforts diminished the importance of energy security

and the need to maintain some measure of freedom of choice

from Russia. He added that the main reason GALP is exploring

collaborative activities with Venezuela’s national oil

company is because Galp’s CEO lived and worked in Venezuela

for many years. Amado was skeptical, though, that those

explorations would result in much concrete collaboration.

 

GTMO detainee resettlement

————————————–

 

7. (S/NF) The Ambassador asked whether the GOP had made any

decision in regard to the recent request by S/WCI Ambassador

 

LISBON 00002730 002 OF 002

 

 

Williamson, during his October 10 visit to Lisbon (reftel),

that Portugal accept a number of individuals currently

incarcerated at Guantanamo. Amado said he was receptive to

the idea, noting that Portugal and other EU Member States

need to help us close the detention facility at Guantanamo.

Given the internal political difficulties generated by the

whole issue of CIA overflights and renditions, Amado said his

government would not be able to be the only Member State that

says yes — it would need the political cover of acting as

part of a group. If a number of EU countries agree to

accept detainees, though, Portugal would be likely to do so

as well.   He indicated that he had discussed this issue with

the British, but noted that the Austrian Chancellor had not

raised it on the margins of the October 18-19 informal

European Council meeting, as the Austrians had told

Ambassador Williamson they would do.

 

EU-Africa Summit

————————

 

8. (C) The Ambassador urged Portugal to do everything

possible to ensure Robert Mugabe does not attend the

EU-Africa summit in Lisbon in early December, noting that his

presence would send a terrible message about good governance

and human rights.   Amado noted that there are plenty of

undemocratic, corrupt political leaders in Africa, and that

Mugabe should not be held to a different standard. He

criticized the British government for focusing so

energetically on Mugabe when there are many other leaders who

should receive the same level of attention. The critical

point, though, was that the summit take place, as Europe is

working to secure with the Africans a joint plan of action

that will establish collaborative efforts in a range of key

areas, including security and peacekeeping.

 

France in NATO

———————

 

9. (C) Amado expressed strong support for President

Sarkozy,s efforts to have France reintegrated into NATO’s

unified military command. He encouraged the United States to

support this energetically, saying it was his view that

giving the French a leadership role would strengthen the

Alliance.

 

Comment

——

 

10. (C) This was intended as the Ambassador’s farewell

meeting with Amado and, as usual,

their conversation was a warm and useful exchange. On the

positive side, we were heartened

to hear that the EU plans to press the Russians on many of

the key issues, although they are

not likely to be as assertive as we would like. Amado’s

remarks on the resettlement of

Guantanamo detainees were very forward-leaning — it will be

essential to be able to reassure

him that there are other EU Member States prepared to join

Portugal in accepting at least

some detainees. We were disappointed, but not surprised, at

Amado’s remarks on Mugabe. As

we have reported previously, the Portuguese don’t like Mugabe

any more than we do, but if

his presence in Lisbon is the price of ensuing the EU-Africa

summit takes place, they are

willing to pay that price.

 

 

 

Hoffman

 

(6 VIEWS)

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