Viewing cable 08LISBON777
Title: PORTUGAL'S VIEWS ON BUCHAREST NATO SUMMIT

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08LISBON7772008-03-28 16:51:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Lisbon
VZCZCXRO7627
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHLI #0777/01 0881651
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 281651Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY LISBON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6727
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHPD/AMCONSUL PONTA DELGADA 0440
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LISBON 000777 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: MARR MOPS PREL RS PO
SUBJECT: PORTUGAL'S VIEWS ON BUCHAREST NATO SUMMIT 
 
REF: A. LISBON 755 
     ¶B. LISBON 611 
 
LISBON 00000777  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
¶1. Summary.  The Government of Portugal expects the NATO 
Summit to be dominated by three topics:  Russia, operations, 
and enlargement.  On Russia, the Portuguese stress engagement 
and believe that true progress is available regarding CFE and 
missile defense.  The Portuguese avoided discussions 
regarding the size of Portugal's contribution to ISAF, noting 
only that the reduced contribution planned for August was a 
"qualitative answer" to ISAF shortfalls.  Portugal supports 
membership invitations for Croatia, Albania, and Macedonia, 
but does not support even a Membership Action Plan for 
Ukraine or Georgia, preferring an undefined new status for 
those countries.  End summary. 
 
¶2. Portuguese MFA Deputy Political Director Ambassador Carlos 
Frota and Director for Security and Disarmament Joao 
Corte-Real briefed diplomats from NATO member states March 28 
on Portugal's views on the upcoming NATO Summit in Bucharest. 
 
¶3. Frota stated that although allies and partners would meet 
on many issues and in many formats, three main topics would 
dominate:  Russia (including CFE and Missile Defense), 
operations (ISAF and KFOR), and enlargement. 
 
Russia 
------ 
¶4. Frota suggested that hosting the summit in Bucharest sent 
a clear message to Russia that allies would develop whatever 
relations they desired to maximize European stability.  This 
was in no way a return to cold war tactics, he opined, merely 
a signal that all interested parties need to recognize the 
new realities of European security architecture.  In 
particular, Frota noted that the summit coincided with a 
shift from a Putin administration in Russia to a 
Medvedev/Putin administration. 
 
¶5. Regarding Missile Defense (MD), Frota was pleased that 
multilateral and bilateral efforts to engage Russia appeared 
to have been positive endeavors.  It was not clear to the 
Russians, he posited, that MD was not aimed at Russia.  Frota 
said he expected some allies to stress the "indivisibility" 
of alliance defense during the summit.  Although we explained 
the reach of current MD proposals and why these proposals do 
not leave allies unprotected, Frota maintained that the 
potential evolution of threats still requires consideration 
of coverage for all allies. 
 
¶6. Corte-Real added that the MD paragraphs for the summit 
declaration were still under discussion and that he expected 
allies to ask the USG for further information on deployment 
during the summit.  Frota noted that Portugal encourages NATO 
bodies to continue to study MD proposals with the aim of 
bringing all MD systems under NATO command and control and 
sharing the financial burdens across NATO's membership. 
Frota also stated that NATO is a military alliance; thus, it 
is entirely appropriate for defense planners to consider 
future threats such as those current MD plans are designed to 
counter. 
 
¶7. Regarding CFE, Frota stressed Portugal's desire that all 
parties sign and ratify the adapted CFE treaty as soon as 
possible.  Frota congratulated the U.S. for its negotiations 
with Russia and said that Russia was apparently ready to join 
with NATO in simultaneous and complementary steps to put the 
provisions of adapted CFE into practice before it enters into 
force. 
 
¶8. Corte-Real stated that he had received a communique from 
NATO that morning that the alliance had agreed upon the joint 
Germany-U.S. draft text for a statement on CFE in the HLTF 
(Ref A).  The text, said Corte-Real, was under silence 
procedures until 1400 hours on March 28.  He continued that 
Portugal fully supports this "timely and substantive" text. 
 
Operations 
---------- 
¶9. Frota expressed Portugal's pleasure that the new UN 
Coordinator for Afghanistan was in place, given that NATO's 
ISAF operations needed support from the UN, the EU, and other 
institutions.  Frota said he looked forward to the 
development of a joint strategy among these institutions, 
particularly during the summit.  Frota also underlined the 
need for greater EU and NATO coordination and suggested that 
the status quo was unacceptable given its effect on 
operations. 
 
¶10. Corte-Real noted that Portugal had committed a second 
Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT) and a C-130 to 
ISAF (Ref B).  Frota declined to state how many troops would 
 
LISBON 00000777  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
comprise Portugal's contribution starting in August, with the 
planned withdrawal of its Quick Reaction Force company, 
noting only that Portugal's contribution of two OMLTs was a 
"qualitative answer" to ISAF's shortfalls. 
 
¶11. Regarding KFOR, Corte-Real said allies had made "tangible 
progress" towards language for a summit declaration, 
recognizing KFOR's role as a stabilizing influence under UNSC 
1244 and how well KFOR had responded to recent incidents. 
 
Enlargement 
----------- 
¶12. Frota stated that Portugal supported membership 
invitations for Croatia, Albania, and Macedonia (although he 
referred to Macedonia as "Skopje").  He then said Georgia and 
Ukraine deserved praise for their accomplishments and 
encouragement to continue on the reform path, but that they 
were too "immature" for consideration at Bucharest.  When 
pressed, Frota said that importing frozen conflicts was no 
contribution to the alliance's security and that Portugal 
supported a prudent approach. 
 
¶13. When pushed further, Frota said that Membership Action 
Plans (MAP) had always been seen as equivalent to membership. 
 Frota stated again that Georgia and Ukraine needed formal 
encouragement, but under some other name or structure. 
Warming to the subject, Frota said that allies were not 
restricted to a rigid process and that we could find a 
flexible formula for a new status for Georgia and Ukraine. 
He repeated several times that "Portugal is not alone in this 
view." 
 
¶14. Regarding the Macedonia name issue, Frota suggested that, 
if no resolution is found, Macedonia could be given a 
conditional acceptance pending a future resolution.  Frota 
echoed his earlier statement regarding the allies' ability to 
be flexible at the summit. 
 
Comment 
------- 
¶15. We spoke extensively on MAP for Georgia and Ukraine and 
on MD during the open discussion.  It was clear on MAP that 
Russian sensitivities are the most important consideration 
for the Portuguese, even though MAP is an extremely prudent 
approach, requiring resolution of domestic and regional 
conflicts before acquiring membership.  On MD, it was clear 
that the facts surrounding recent proposals -- numbers of 
interceptors, the lack of any warhead, etc. -- were known 
only to technical specialists and not to diplomatic 
representatives. 
Stephenson