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Viewing cable 09BERLIN1433, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR HEUSGEN ON AFGHANISTAN,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09BERLIN1433 2009-11-12 17:05 2010-11-28 18:06 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Berlin
VZCZCXRO6312
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHRL #1433/01 3161743
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 121743Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5750
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BERLIN 001433 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/11/2019 
TAGS: PREL MARR NATO MNUC PARM KNNP GM IR RU AF
SUBJECT: NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR HEUSGEN ON AFGHANISTAN, 
MIDDLE EAST, IRAN, DETAINEES, RUSSIA, NUKES AND BALKANS 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR PHILIP D. MURPHY. REASONS: 1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY.  Chancellery National Security Advisor 
Christoph Heusgen told EUR A/S Phil Gordon and Ambassador 
Murphy in a November 10 meeting in Berlin that Germany 
strongly preferred that the proposed international conference 
on Afghanistan be held outside the country to make it easier 
to press Karzai to commit to the necessary reforms.  On the 
Middle East, Heusgen thought Netanyahu had to do much more on 
settlements if there was to be any hope of re-starting 
negotiations.  On Iran, Heusgen hoped for some conclusion by 
early next month on whether the diplomatic track was going to 
bear fruit so that this issue could be discussed at the 
December 10 EU Summit.  Heusgen said Germany was ready to 
discuss taking Guantanamo detainees, but stressed the 
importance of dealing directly with the Ministry of Interior 
and keeping the negotiations confidential.  While arguing for 
being rhetorically supportive of the Medvedev European 
Security proposal, Heusgen shared U.S. skepticism about a new 
treaty and an OSCE Summit hosted by Kazakhstan.  Heusgen 
distanced the Chancellery from the proposal to remove all 
remaining tactical nuclear weapons from Germany, stressing 
the need to get reciprocal cuts from the Russians.  Also 
discussed was CFE, the Macedonian name issue and Bosnia.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
AFGHANISTAN 
 
2. (C) Heusgen confirmed that Germany would only announce 
additional resources for Afghanistan after the proposed 
international conference, which Chancellor Merkel and UK PM 
Brown are now proposing for January 28 in London.  He said 
the conference is key because this is where the Germans 
expect the Afghan government to make specific commitments to 
improve governance and to gradually begin assuming 
responsibility from the international community.  President 
Karzai had to be put under international pressure to perform 
according to prescribed benchmarks.  Toward that end, the 
Chancellery felt strongly that the conference should be held 
outside of Afghanistan and not on Karzai's "home turf." 
Heusgen complained that the German and U.S. embassies in 
Kabul are on "a different track" and pushing for a conference 
in Kabul.  It was important to "make up our minds" quickly on 
the way ahead.  If the conference slipped to February or 
later, and the UK were no longer able to host it in view of 
the upcoming parliamentary elections there, then Germany 
would be willing to. 
 
3. (C) Heusgen at first expressed concern that the U.S. would 
undermine international leverage on Karzai by rolling out its 
new strategy and resource commitments before he made any 
reciprocal commitments to reform.  Gordon assured him that 
the formal U.S. roll-out would only come after the November 
19 inauguration, where Karzai is expected to "say the right 
things" in his inaugural address.  Gordon also highlighted 
the need to coordinate on the U.S. roll-out to avoid the 
perception that the U.S. was "Americanizing" the 
international effort in Afghanistan.  It should be announced 
as a common strategy and not as a U.S. strategy to which the 
Allies then respond.  Heusgen agreed in principle, but 
indicated that Germany would stick to its approach of holding 
back on any announcement of new commitments until after the 
international conference. 
 
MIDDLE EAST 
 
4. (C)  Referring to the Secretary's recent public statements 
on settlements, Heusgen said that Germany "perceives this 
differently" and thought Netanyahu needed "to do more" in 
order bring the Palestinians to the negotiating table.  With 
Palestinians in East Jerusalem getting notices from Israeli 
authorities that their houses will be destroyed, it would be 
"suicide" for President Abbas to move under the current 
circumstances.  Heusgen said he could not fathom why 
Netanyahu did not understand this.  He suggested pressuring 
Netanyahu by linking favorable UNSC treatment of the 
Goldstone Report to Israel committing to a complete stop in 
settlement activity.  Gordon said that making a direct 
linkage between the two would almost certainly be 
counterproductive, but agreed that it was worth pointing out 
to the Israelis that their policy on settlements was making 
it difficult for their friends to hold the line in the UNSC. 
Heusgen said this certainly would be an issue when Netanyahu 
and "half of his cabinet" visit Berlin on November 30 for 
bilateral government consultations. 
 
IRAN 
 
5. (C) Heusgen praised the U.S. for its patience with Iran, 
 
BERLIN 00001433  002 OF 003 
 
 
but noted that at some point, it would be necessary to move 
to the second track in order to maintain credibility. 
Heusgen said that he and his British counterpart agreed that 
ideally, there would be some conclusion on this by early next 
month so that the way ahead could be discussed by EU leaders 
at their summit on December 10.  Gordon agreed that there had 
to be a time limit, noting that President Obama had given the 
Iranians "by the end of the year" to respond favorably.  He 
also noted that the U.S. could support a Turkish role in the 
proposed exchange of low-enriched uranium for reactor fuel if 
that would make it easier for Iran to accept the deal. 
Gordon indicated, however, that Turkish PM Erdogan needed to 
be careful about losing credibility in Washington if he 
continued to make comments about Ahmadinejad being his 
"friend." 
 
GUANTANAMO DETAINEES 
 
6. (C) Heusgen noted that now that the Bundestag election was 
past, Germany was ready to help on detainees, as it had 
promised earlier.  He advised the USG to work directly with 
new Interior Minister de Maiziere, rather than going first to 
MFA and the Chancellery, which had irritated de Maiziere's 
predecessor and made him less willing to cooperate.  In this 
regard, he thought that it would be helpful if DHS Secretary 
Napolitano made direct contact with de Maiziere.  Heusgen 
also suggested that the discussions be kept confidential 
until MOI had come to a decision on which detainees to accept 
and in which state they would be settled.  Premature public 
disclosure could doom the whole initiative.  Heusgen said 
that Uighurs would be "too difficult," but that Germany could 
probably accept "2-3 others."  (Comment: The reluctance about 
Uighurs is due to the expected negative reaction of the 
Chinese government.  End Comment.) 
 
EUROPEAN SECURITY PROPOSAL AND POSSIBLE OSCE SUMMIT 
 
7. (C) Heusgen said that while the West should try to react 
positively to whatever the Russians propose in advancing the 
Medvedev European security proposal, nothing should be 
accepted that would undermine current European security 
institutions, including the OSCE.  He shared Gordon's 
misgivings about a proposed treaty.  He was also skeptical 
about the idea of an OSCE Summit in Astana, agreeing that 
Kazakhstan's human rghts record and the lack of substantive 
agenda items made it unattractive.  Heusgen suggested that an 
OSCE Summit be offered to the Russians on the condition they 
solve the frozen conflict in Transnistria, which he said 
Moscow could accomplish "in about a month." 
 
TACTICAL NUCLEAR WEAPONS 
 
8. (C) In response to Gordon's question about how the 
government planned to take forward the commitment in the 
coalition agreement to seek the removal of all remaining 
nuclear weapons from Germany, Heusgen distanced the 
Chancellery from the proposal, claiming that this had been 
forced upon them by FM Westerwelle.  Heusgen said that from 
his perspective, it made no sense to unilaterally withdraw 
"the 20" tactical nuclear weapons still in Germany while 
Russia maintains "thousands" of them.  It would only be worth 
it if both sides drew down.  Gordon noted that it was 
important to think through all the potential consequences of 
the German proposal before going forward.  For example, a 
withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Germany and perhaps from 
Belgium and the Netherlands could make it very difficult 
politically for Turkey to maintain its own stockpile, even 
though it was still convinced of the need to do so. 
 
CFE 
 
9. (C) Gordon asked for Heusgen's views on a German CFE paper 
that had been delivered to the State Department just a few 
days earlier.  Heusgen said he did not know anything about 
it, claiming that he did not follow this issue closely or 
"believe in it."  He noted that MFA "loved this disarmament 
business," which was okay, but it had to be balanced or the 
"Russians will sit there and laugh." 
 
MACEDONIAN NAME ISSUE 
 
10. (C) Gordon briefed Heusgen on the current state of the 
negotiations, noting that the two key issues were the 
geographic modifier and international usage.  Heusgen noted 
that the Chancellor knew PM Macedonian Gruevski through their 
common membership in the European People's Party and would be 
willing to engage him on this issue if that would be helpful. 
 
BOSNIA 
 
BERLIN 00001433  003 OF 003 
 
 
 
11. (C) Heusgen revealed that Serb President Tadic was coming 
to Berlin the week of November 16 for consultations.  He 
noted that while Tadic always claimed to be tough on 
Republika Srpska PM Dodic, he needed to be tougher.  While 
expressing pessimism about whether it would ever be possible 
to turn Bosnia into a "working state," Heusgen agreed it was 
important to keep trying. 
MURPHY