[10ATHENS77] AMBASSADOR TO DROUTSAS: SHOW WASHINGTON YOUR STUFF

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Published by Wikileaks & Bivol.bg
 date: 2/3/2010 16:43 refid: 10ATHENS77 origin: Embassy Athens classification: SECRET destination:  header: VZCZCXRO5401 OO RUEHAG RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL DE RUEHTH #0077/01 0341643 ZNY SSSSS ZZH O R 031643Z FEB 10 FM AMEMBASSY ATHENS TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1471 INFO EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC  ----------------- header ends ----------------  S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 ATHENS 000077    SIPDIS  AMEMBASSY ANKARA PASS TO AMCONSUL ADANA  AMEMBASSY ASTANA PASS TO AMCONSUL ALMATY  AMEMBASSY BERLIN PASS TO AMCONSUL DUSSELDORF  AMEMBASSY BERLIN PASS TO AMCONSUL LEIPZIG  AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PASS TO AMEMBASSY PODGORICA  AMEMBASSY HELSINKI PASS TO AMCONSUL ST PETERSBURG  AMEMBASSY ATHENS PASS TO AMCONSUL THESSALONIKI  AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PASS TO AMCONSUL VLADIVOSTOK  AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PASS TO AMCONSUL YEKATERINBURG    E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/03  TAGS: PREL, PGOV, MARR, GR, MK, TU, CY, IR  SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR TO DROUTSAS: SHOW WASHINGTON YOUR STUFF    CLASSIFIED BY: Daniel V. Speckhard, Ambassador; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)    1.  (S) SUMMARY.  In a January 30 meeting with Alternate Foreign  Minister Dimitri Droutsas just prior to his first trip to the U.S.,  Ambassador Speckhard focused him on resolving challenges close to  home and advised him to show Washington he was not just a diplomat  but a political decision maker with whom we could work.  He told  Droutsas frankly that bold moves to tackle longstanding regional  problems could strengthen the case for a meeting between PM  Papandreou and President Obama, given the long queue of leaders  seeking to travel to Washington.  On Macedonia, he counseled  Droutsas to prepare to discuss specifics with Washington  counterparts; on Cyprus, he urged him to identify how Greece can  help promote a solution in the interest of all and to be more  positive in public; on Turkey, he discussed PM Papandreou's recent  letter to Turkish PM Erdogan, and Greek views on the future of the  relationship, including willingness to take the continental shelf  dispute to the ICJ.  Droutsas emphasized that he hoped Washington  had taken note of the positive direction of Greek-Turkish  relations, and Papandreou's personal efforts thus far.  He was  disappointed in Talat's recent proposal which he characterized as a  step backwards in the Cyprus process.  Describing Papandreou's  approach toward both Turkey and Macedonia, he explained that he is  trying to lay the groundwork and build the personal ties necessary  to change relationships that have become entrenched in bitter  disputes.  Turkey is Greece's top foreign policy priority at  present, and while Greece's message to Macedonia prior to the  December EU Council meeting was "we're ready if you are," Greece  did not sense a real effort by Macedonia to find a solution.  END  SUMMARY.        --------------------------------------------- ----------------------  -----------    SHOW WASHINGTON YOU'RE READY TO WORK TOGETHER    --------------------------------------------- ----------------------  -----------        2.  (S) The Ambassador met with Alt/FM Droutsas in advance of his  February 2 meetings in Washington with the Secretary and Deputy  Secretary.  While delivering a strong message that we welcomed PM  Papandreou's interest in strengthening our partnership and playing  a greater role in meeting international challenges, he counseled  that the most important contribution Greece could make would be to  resolve some of the challenges close to home.  Show Washington you  are a political decision maker able to lead, and somebody with whom  we can work together practically to solve problems, the Ambassador  said, not just a diplomat who can explain positions.  The  Ambassador stated that there are many supporters at State and the  White House recommending a PM visit to Washington, but given the  long queue of leaders wanting to come there were some others asking  "why Greece, why now."  Bold moves in tackling longstanding  regional problems would make the case for a visit even stronger.  Droutsas, describing Papandreou's approach toward both Turkey and  Macedonia, explained that the PM is trying to build the personal  ties and lay the groundwork necessary to overcome the bitter  disputes that have become entrenched over the past two decades.  Even though these issues may seem inconsequential to  Washington in  the face of greater world challenges, Droutsas noted, the PM has  been working hard to make progress and deserves a great deal of  credit for only four months in office.        -----------------------    Macedonia Name    -----------------------    ATHENS 00000077  002 OF 003      4.  (S) The Ambassador told Droutsas that Washington was interested  in substance, and that the Deputy Secretary was prepared to talk  specifics about what Greece was willing to accept.  The U.S. had  been listening, the Ambassador said, and believed the main elements  of the deal were a geographic qualifier, a general acceptance of  erga omnes in the international context, and leaving identity  outside the agreement (and not to be recalled at some point in the  EU accession process).        5.  (C) Droutsas complimented his previous meetings with Macedonian  FM Milososki as friendly and warm, and said that he had invited  Milososki to Athens following their most recent talks.  Droutsas  pledged his full support to the UN process, and highlighted his  invitation to UN negotiator Nimetz to visit Athens.  Looking back  at the December 2009 EU Council meeting that punted the decision on  naming a date for Macedonian EU accession talks, Droutsas shared  his impression that PM Gruevski had believed mistakenly that  last-minute pressure within the EU from select states would cause  Greece to fold.  Greece's message to Macedonia prior to the meeting  had been "we are ready if you are," but Athens had seen no real  effort by Skopje to work on details.  Droutsas stated that if he  had one message to pass to Skopje, it would be to avoid public  statements that harm the bilateral atmosphere, and create a hostile  press climate in Greece that limits the government's course of  action.        ---------    Cyprus    ---------        6.  (S) The Ambassador told Droutsas to expect Washington to press  him on Cyprus and encouraged him not to respond by blaming  everything on Turkey, and offer what Greece could do to promote a  solution in the interest of everyone.  The Ambassador encouraged  Greece to be more positive in public in order to help generate the  necessary public support for the difficult negotiations.  Droutsas  believed that the last proposal by Turkish Cypriot leader Talat was  seriously disruptive to the process and had been a setback.  With  these types of "antics" it would be hard to get the progress  needed, he said.  He agreed that the public dynamics were not  helpful, in particular that some Greek Cypriots have started to  accept the idea of a permanent partition as preferable to what they  thought would be a poor agreement.  President Christofias had  Greece's full support, Droutsas underscored, and deserved much  credit for keeping the process moving in the face of such  difficulties.  Droutsas conveyed the Greek impression that the  talks were not going near as well as reported.  He said that he had  told this to UN SYG Ban prior to Ban's recent trip to Cyprus, while  also assuring him that Greece fully supported the UN process and  welcomed the Secretary General's involvement and would support any  initiative the SYG undertook.        ---------    Turkey    ---------        7.  (C) Greek-Turkish relations are at the top of PM Papandreou's  priority list, Droutsas told the Ambassador.  He pointed to  intensive engagement that began with the PM's October 8, 2009 trip  to Istanbul - 4 days after his election - where he met with PM  Erdogan, and continued with the exchange of detailed letters by    ATHENS 00000077  003 OF 003      both Prime Ministers on bilateral relations, and commitments for  future high-level travel to capitals.  Droutsas pointed to his  3.5-hour dinner with Turkish FM Davutoglu in London on the margins  of the London Conference as a sign of their warm relationship and  seriousness of purpose, and said that he had reiterated PM  Papandreou's invitation to PM Erdogan to visit Athens, which he  anticipates will happen by the end of June.  He also informed the  Ambassador that Davutoglu invited him to Ankara, which he intends  to follow up on in the future.        8.  (C) The challenge, Droutsas noted, was how to proceed in  practical terms, now that the political willingness appears to be  in place.  Greece hopes to replicate some successful processes from  the 1999-2004 Papandreou-Cem rapprochement to take joint steps on  issues of mutual concern such as climate change, the Middle East,  and Iran, while continuing high-level consultations on more  sensitive areas of the relationship.  Greece supports exploratory  bilateral talks aimed at delimiting the continental shelf in the  Aegean.  These talks should proceed with a set timetable, and if a  satisfactory agreement cannot be reached by a specific date, they  should agree to take jointly the issue of continental shelf  delineation to the International Court of Justice for resolution.        9.  (C) Droutsas was pleased that thus far, coverage by the Greek  media of Papandreou's initiatives has been relatively positive.  He  attributed this to the methodical, step-by-step approach by  Papandreou to the problem, and judged that changing public opinion  was a key ingredient in the future success of any initiatives  between Greece and Turkey.        ------------------------------    Foreign Policy Priorities    ------------------------------        10.  (C) Droutsas was clear:  the PM had placed changing  Greek-Turkish relations at the top of the foreign policy priority  list.  He assured that this did not mean that Greece was not  working hard to resolve the Macedonia name issue - one had only to  note the number of Prime Ministerial and Ministerial-level  engagements to see the effort - but he hoped Washington would  recognize the bold steps the PM was taking on Turkey and realize  the significance of this initiative.  The PM was going to great  lengths to fundamentally and permanently improve the relationship.  They were picking up where Papandreou and Cem had left off in 2004  and had been energetic in pushing the process forward in only a few  months in office.  With the opposition New Democracy party now  reorganized following its October defeat and its leader Samaras  likely to look toward foreign policy as an area to criticize the  government, they were expecting more challenges ahead.  Managing  Greek domestic politics while moving the foreign policy ball  forward was understandably a key component of success.  This will  be a delicate process with some political risk, and Droutsas asked  for Washington's support and understanding.  Speckhard 
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