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US said the GPA had plenty of holes

The United States said the Global Political Agreement which was signed by Zimbabwe’s three major political parties had plenty of holes including no division of ministries, the possibility that Mugabe would retain control over the police and security services, and no mention of amnesty or transitional justice.

The agreement did not have a timeline for implementation but only language requiring ratification of relevant constitutional amendments by parliament.

But the deal offered the people of Zimbabwe a chance to live in peace and to begin to move down the road towards political openness and economic stability, if it was implemented in good faith.

 

Full cable:

Viewing cable 08STATE108064, APPROACHING THE EU IN ADVANCE OF THE OCTOBER

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08STATE108064

2008-10-08 19:59

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Secretary of State

VZCZCXRO1595

OO RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV

DE RUEHC #8064/01 2822005

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

O R 081959Z OCT 08

FM SECSTATE WASHDC

TO EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

INFO RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE 3084

RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI 8876

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3431

RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 9847

RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 5109

RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT 0946

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 STATE 108064

 

SIPDIS, SENSITIVE

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: EUN PHUM PREL PGOV ZI UZ BO GG RS SIPDIS

SUBJECT: APPROACHING THE EU IN ADVANCE OF THE OCTOBER

13 FOREIGN MINISTERS MEETING (GAERC)

 

1. (U) This is an action request. See paragraph 12.

 

2. (SBU) Summary: EU Foreign Ministers will hold their

next General Affairs and External Relations Council

(GAERC) meeting in Luxembourg on October 13. We expect

the formal agenda to include: Zimbabwe, Georgia/Russia,

Belarus, and Uzbekistan. A background section covering

these issues is provided prior to a section containing

talking points. Points are to be delivered as soon as

possible at the appropriate level to EU members only.

Other posts should not/not deliver these points. Please

note that while Uzbekistan is expected to be on the

GAERC agenda and background material on Uzbekistan is

provided in this cable for posts’ awareness, there are

no Uzbekistan talking points to deliver to the EU at

this time. Posts are requested to include the SIPDIS

caption on their response cables and to reference this

cable.

 

BACKGROUND

———-

 

ZIMBABWE

 

3. (SBU) The agreement signed by the parties on

September 15 provides an opportunity to put Zimbabwe on

the path to democratic reform and economic prosperity.

Though far from ideal, it serves as a framework for

sharing power. There are plenty of holes in this

document, including no division of ministries, the

possibility that Mugabe will retain control over the

police and/or security services, and no mention of

amnesty or transitional justice. There also is no

timeline for implementation, only language requiring

ratification of relevant constitutional amendments by

the Parliament. Nevertheless, if implemented in an

approximation of good faith, the deal offers the people

of Zimbabwe a chance to live in peace and to begin to

move down the road towards political openness and

economic stability. The agreement notes the Zimbabwean

state’s responsibility to ensure that all citizens have

access to humanitarian and food assistance.

 

4. (SBU) We welcome the agreement signed by the parties

and are standing by to see if it will bear fruit by

giving greater voice to the aspirations of the

Zimbabwean people. The agreement promises executive

authority for Morgan Tsvangirai and the Movement for

Democratic Change, reflecting in part the will of the

Zimbabwean people as expressed in the first round of

presidential elections on March 29. The test of the new

arrangement will be in the implementation.

 

5. (SBU) The U.S. remains concerned about the welfare of

the Zimbabwean people as a result of reports of

incidents of government-sanctioned violence and

intimidation in some areas of the country. There are

reports that so-called war veterans and youth “militia,”

previously organized and funded by the government, have

not been disbanded and continue to assault and harass

segments of the population. The Mugabe Government also

continues to harass opposition supporters and leaders.

 

6. (SBU) Although we are encouraged by the government’s

decision to lift the suspension on the operations of

organizations providing humanitarian assistance, we

remain seriously concerned by reports that democratic

governance and human rights organizations may still face

significant challenges to their operations.

Furthermore, the imposition of certain reporting and

monitoring requirements on humanitarian organizations

could potentially obstruct humanitarian and other

assistance programs. We will monitor closely the re-

activation of the food and medical assistance so

desperately needed by millions of Zimbabweans. We hope

that under the new inclusive government, civil society

will be able to operate freely so that Zimbabweans can

access greatly needed assistance and safely exercise

their political rights.

 

7. (SBU) As part of our commitment to help the people of

Zimbabwe in their time of greatest need, we have

 

STATE 00108064 002 OF 004

 

 

provided over $170 million in food aid and other support

inside Zimbabwe in FY 2008. In addition, we have

provided $2.5 million for refugees and asylum seekers in

neighboring countries in FY 2008. We strongly encourage

commitment to the agreement by all parties, so that the

Zimbabwean people can experience relief and begin

recovery.

 

GEORGIA

 

8. (SBU) High Representative Solana and EU Special

Representative for the Crisis in Georgia Pierre Morel

traveled to Georgia on October 1 to launch the EU

Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia with a visit to

mission headquarters in Tbilisi as well as to the Gori

field office. Solana also met separately with President

Saakashvili, FM Tkeshelashvili, Interior Minister

Merabishvili, opposition leaders and NGOs. All 225 EU

civilian monitors are now in place at the HQ in Tbilisi,

as well as at field offices in Zugdidi, Gori and Poti.

Once all support staff arrive by the end of October, the

total international staffing for the mission will be

352. 22 EU member states have contributed personnel to

the mission. On October 1, three patrols successfully

passed Russian checkpoints in the area adjacent to South

Ossetia. The mission will not seek to enter South

Ossetia or Abkhazia proper until after October 10, when

the Russians will have left undisputed Georgian

territory. The European Commission will host the

Georgia Donors’ Conference on October 22 in Brussels.

The World Bank has agreed to co-chair, and invitees will

include 65-70 countries. EUSR Morel met with A/S Fried

and DAS Bryza on the UNGA margins to review planning for

the October 15 Geneva conference on the political

situation in Georgia; there were no significant

differences in our thinking.

 

9. (SBU) Georgian President Saakashvili recently

publicly committed his government to working with the

opposition to reform and reinforce democratic

institutions in a participatory fashion. We need to

encourage and support these efforts, as well as his

commitment to non use of force in resolving the South

Ossetia and Abkhazia crises.

 

UZBEKISTAN

 

10. (SBU) In response to the killing by Uzbek forces

of hundreds of civilians in the context of a jail break

and hostage taking that occurred in the city of Andijon

in May 2005, and the refusal of the Uzbek authorities to

allow an impartial investigation of the incident, the EU

imposed a visa ban on senior Uzbek officials – including

the defense minister and national security chief –

involved in human rights abuses in the country. In

October 2007, EU Foreign Ministers, facing pressure from

Germany and other member states, agreed to suspend the

sanctions for six months, provided that certain

conditions demonstrating progress in human rights

standards and democracy were met. “With a view to

encouraging the Uzbek authorities to take substantive

steps to improve the human rights situation and taking

into account their commitments,” FMs in April 2008 noted

progress on human rights and extended the ban for

another six months. The October 13 GAERC will again

take up the extension of the visa ban. Reports from

Brussels indicate that the GAERC may drop the visa ban

against Uzbekistan and maintain but “downsize” its arms

ban to get rid of prohibitions on selling equipment and

other items that are not weapons. Contacts say that EU

Special Representative for the Georgia Crisis Pierre

Morel predicts there will be a diplomatic offensive by

Russia in coming weeks to engage its neighbors-including

Uzbekistan. Many in the EU want to increase their own

outreach to Russia’s neighbors to provide balance.

 

11. (SBU) In June 2008, the U.S. implemented travel

restrictions under a provision of the Department of

State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs

Appropriation Act which could limit the U.S. visa

eligibility of current or former Uzbek government

officials responsible for human rights abuses in

Uzbekistan. The Department continues to closely monitor

the human rights situation in Uzbekistan and is working

closely with the Government of Uzbekistan to encourage

discussions and progress on this issue.

 

 

STATE 00108064 003 OF 004

 

 

12. (SBU) ACTION REQUEST: Please deliver the following

points to the appropriate MFA official(s) as soon as

possible (in advance of the October 13 GAERC).

 

BEGIN NON-PAPER TEXT

 

ZIMBABWE

 

— We welcome the EU’s close coordination with the U.S.

so that the international donor community speaks with

one voice with respect to the imperfect power sharing

agreement signed September 15.

 

— We believe it is important to make clear to the

Mugabe regime that no economic reengagement will occur

until a transitional government implements concrete

democratic reforms.

 

— Sanctions will remain in place to maintain pressure

on the regime. The U.S. has a new, expanded set ready

to go if Mugabe fails to join with the MDC to follow

through on the letter and spirit of the September 15

agreement. We urge the EU to maintain current sanctions

as well until genuine change begins.

 

GEORGIA

 

–We welcome the full deployment of the EU Monitoring

Mission in Georgia on October 1. We greatly appreciate

the unprecedented speed with which the EU deployed the

225 monitors from 22 EU member states.

 

–We strongly support the EU position that the mission’s

mandate covers all of Georgia, including Abkhazia and

South Ossetia. It is vital that the EU, the OSCE, the

UN and other objective outsiders gain full access to

South Ossetia as soon as possible.

 

–We need to hold Russia to its September 8 and August

12 commitments. This means that we must hold Russia to

its August 12 commitment to withdraw its forces “to

their positions prior to the outbreak of hostilities”.

Keeping 7,600 troops in South Ossetia and Abkhazia

violates that commitment.

 

–The EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia and the OSCE MMOs

are the international mechanism referenced in the

ceasefire and supplemental agreements. There is nothing

in the August 12 or September 8 agreements authorizing

any long-term Russian deployments outside of the

separatist regions, and there should not be any Russian

or South Ossetian patrols in the areas adjacent to South

Ossetia nor any Russian patrols in areas adjacent to

Abkhazia after October 10.

 

–The U.S. and EU should agree to impose travel

restrictions on high-ranking Abkhaz and South Ossetian

officials, and we welcome EU thinking on how to penalize

Russian firms operating illegally in those regions. The

international community – particularly the EU – has

leverage here, and we need to remain united in support

of Georgian territorial integrity.

 

–We thank the European Commission for hosting the

international Georgia donors’ conference in Brussels on

October 22, and we look forward to participating. We

applaud the Commission on its significant contribution

of 500 million euros and encourage similarly generous

bilateral pledges.

 

–We hope to continue the close coordination on

preparations for the October 15 meeting in Geneva,

keeping it focused on the long-standing Abkhazia and

South Ossetia conflicts. Consultations with EU Special

Representative Morel last month showed that our ideas

for the meeting are very closely aligned, with no

significant differences between us.

 

–The U.S. and EU need to work together to press

President Saakashvili to implement his pledges to

reform and reinforce democratic institutions, and to do

his part to fulfill his no use of force pledge.

 

BELARUS

 

–We understand the EU is considering responses to

Belarus’ release of the remaining political prisoners.

 

STATE 00108064 004 OF 004

 

 

The U.S. responded to the prisoner release by issuing

licenses on September 4 allowing transactions for six

months for two previously-sanctioned enterprises. This

action was thus proportional and limited in time.

 

–We would encourage the EU to take a similar measured

approach. While we were heartened by the prisoner

release, we have failed to see a real improvement in

basic rights and freedoms.

 

–The September 28 parliamentary elections were a

particular disappointment in this regard. Prior to the

elections, both the U.S. and EU made clear that the

conduct of the elections would be a key benchmark in our

ability to build a closer relationship. Notwithstanding

these warnings, the OSCE has determined that despite

minor improvements, the elections fell significantly

short of OSCE standards and pledges to make the vote

count more transparent were not met.

 

–It is important that we continue to use the tools at

our disposal to seek positive change. We would thus

encourage that any lifting of sanctions be partial and

limited in time. Extensions of sanctions waivers and

moves to relax sanctions further should be made

contingent on demonstrable, positive change, not on

promises.

 

–Possible conditionality could include the removal of

the Central Election Commission head and the inclusion

of significant numbers of opposition and independent

representatives on the CEC and on election commissions

at all levels. We should also consider requiring

Belarus to repeal the recently passed media law which

further restricts Belarus’ few remaining press freedoms,

particularly regarding the internet, and to pass one

that is in line with OSCE commitments.

 

–We also want to continue to encourage Belarus to adopt

a more Western orientation. It is clear that the

Georgia crisis has provided Lukashenka with an

opportunity to approach the West and ask for concessions

and heightened engagement lest he be “forced” into the

arms of the Russians. While encouraging distancing from

Russia, we should be wary of Lukashenka playing us all

off with little real commitment to the U.S./EU

position..

 

–It is encouraging that Belarus has thus far refrained

from recognizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and we

should continue to emphasize that such a move would be

detrimental to improved relations with the EU and the

U.S. It would also remove one of Lukashenko’s key

bargaining chips.

 

–We see these two goals – promoting democracy and human

rights in Belarus and encouraging a Western orientation

– as mutually reinforcing. It is important that we

pursue both simultaneously.

 

END NON-PAPER TEXT

RICE

 

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