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US ambassador still on Mugabe’s case

United States ambassador to Portugal Alfred Hoffman in a last ditch attempt expressed strong concern to Prime Minister’s senior diplomatic advisor, Jorge Roza de Oliveira, that President Robert Mugabe’s presence in Lisbon at the European Union-Africa summit would send a terrible message about good governance.

 Roza de Oliveira responded: “We don’t control who represents Africa. That is up to the African Union.”

 He insisted that Portugal must move ahead with the summit.

 The United States and Britain wanted Mugabe barred from attending the summit because of United States and European Union travel bans on him but African countries said they would not attend the summit if he was stopped.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 07LISBON2806, AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES EU-RUSSIA SUMMIT AND KOSOVO

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

07LISBON2806

2007-11-05 15:33

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Lisbon

VZCZCXRO8155

PP RUEHDBU RUEHDU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHMR RUEHRN RUEHROV RUEHSR

DE RUEHLI #2806 3091533

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 051533Z NOV 07

FM AMEMBASSY LISBON

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6410

INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L LISBON 002806

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/05/2017

TAGS: PREL PINR RU PO ZI

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES EU-RUSSIA SUMMIT AND KOSOVO

WITH PM’S DIP ADVISOR

 

REF: A) LISBON 2771 B) LISBON 2714

 

Classified By: AMBASSADOR ALFRED HOFFMAN FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D).

 

EU-Russia summit

—————-

 

1. (C) In a one-on-one farewell lunch with the Prime

Minister’s senior diplomatic advisor, Jorge Roza de Oliveira,

at the residence on October 31, the Ambassador asked whether

Portugal was pleased with the recent EU-Russia summit

(reftels). Roza de Oliveira said yes, Portugal’s goal was to

ensure relations with Russia were better at the end of the

summit than at the beginning, and “we did that.”   One of

President Putin’s advisors told Roza de Oliveira that Putin

“has no respect” for the European Commission, which recently

blocked Gazprom’s acquisition of a European energy firm. The

reason is simple, according to Putin: it is because the EC

“has no fatherland,” (comment: we took this to mean Putin

believes the Commission has no constituency to which it is

accountable. end comment). Putin pointedly told PM Socrates

it is a very good thing Portugal enjoys sunny weather most of

the year, as “it can get very cold in Europe during the

wintertime.” Putin made very clear, according to Roza de

Oliveira, that Russia would continue to use energy as an

instrument of foreign policy.

 

Kosovo

——

 

2. (C) Independence for Kosovo is an abolute given, Roza de

Oliveira asserted, but it is a question of timing. He said

Portugal would need “a little more time” after December 10

but declined to be drawn on the details. Asked how the EU

would respond to a unilateral declaration of independence by

the Kosovars, Roza de Oliveira expressed concern that such a

move would spark a bloody crackdown by the Serbs. Asked the

status of EU deliberations regarding a legal basis for an

ESDP mission, Roza de Oliveira insisted that such a mission

could not be deployed in the absence of a UN mandate.

 

EU-Africa summit

—————-

 

3. (C) The Ambassador welcomed Portugal’s efforts to host an

EU-Africa summit but expressed strong concern that Robert

Mugabe’s presence in Lisbon would send a terrible message

about good governance. “We don’t control who represents

Africa,” the diplomatic advisor replied. “That is up to the

African Union,” and we must move ahead with the summit.

 

PM’s Washington visit

———————

 

4. (C) Roza de Oliveira said the Prime Minister had been

very happy with his meeting with President Bush in the White

House in September and had been very complimentary of the

President.

 

Comment

——-

 

5. (C) Roza de Oliveira, although friendly and accessible,

tends sometimes to incline toward unhelpful Socialist

rhetoric. He confirmed our suspicions that there were no

significant achievements at the EU-Russia summit. His

satisfaction that Portugal had fulfilled such unambitious

objectives for the summit was not surprising, given previous

comments to U.S. officials that Washington should tone down

its anti-Russian rhetoric. Roza de Oliveira made it clear he

was anxious to hand over Kosovo to the Slovenian presidency.

His insistence on a UN mandate for an ESDP mission is not

consistent with what we have heard from his MFA colleagues,

and we will seek clarification.

Hoffman

 

(6 VIEWS)

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