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.
Viewing cable 07LISBON2806, AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES EU-RUSSIA SUMMIT AND KOSOVO
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
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/05/2017
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).
¶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.
¶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.
¶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
¶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.