Did UN and EU members violate travel ban on Mugabe?


Several delegates to the G-8 meeting in Tokyo, a day before the presidential elections run-off in Zimbabwe, were angered at United Nations and European Union violations of the travel ban on President Robert Mugabe and his lieutenants but did not state who the culprits were.

They said the violations were being perpetrated at a time when British and United States diplomats were being detained in Zimbabwe.

US secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that Harare’s behaviour would not be tolerated elsewhere in the world, and that the time had come to stop thinking of Zimbabwe as a problem of backwards Africans incapable of democracy.

The Russians were the only delegation to oppose the mention of UN sanctions in a separate G8 document on Zimbabwe. They argued for a sober, “balanced approach” to language about Zimbabwe.


Full cable:

Viewing cable 08PARTO8, U) Secretary Rice’s June 26-27 Participation in

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Reference ID





2008-07-12 12:10


US Delegation, Secretary




DE RUCNAI #0008/01 1941210


O 121210Z JUL 08























C O N F I D E N T I A L PARTO 000008




E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/29/2018




SUBJECT: (U) Secretary Rice’s June 26-27 Participation in

the G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting, Kyoto, Japan


1. (U) Classified by: Uzra Zeya, Deputy Executive

Secretary, S/ES, Department of State, Reasons 1.4 (b) and



2. (U) June 27, 2008 at 18:00, and June 28, 2008 at

09:30; Kyoto, Japan.


3. (U) Participants:



The Secretary

U/S Bill Burns

A/S Christopher R. Hill, EAP

Lt. Gen. William Fraser

Evan Reade (Embassy Notetaker)

Phil Cummings (Embassy Notetaker)



Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura

Kenichiro Sasae, Deputy Foreign Minister for Political


Makita Shimokawa, Chief of Staff to the Foreign Minister

Takehiro Funakoshi, Principal Sr. Foreign Policy Advisor



Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier

Dr. Volker Stanzel, Director General for Political Affairs

Jens Plogner, Deputy Head of Foreign Office

Daniel Kriener, Deputy Division Head



Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner

Gerard Araud, Dep. Sec. General and Political Director

Philippe Errera, Advisor for G-8

Philippe Faure, Ambassador to Japan



Foreign Minister David Miliband

Mark Lyall-Grant, Director General for Political Affairs

Paul Williams, Head of Europe Global Group

David McFarlane, Minister’s Private Secretary



Foreign Minister Franco Frattini

Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata, Political Director

Alain Maria Ecomomides, Chief of Cabinet

Mario Boba, Ambassador to Japan



Foreign Minister David Emerson

Colleen Swords, Assistant Dep. Minister, Political Dir.

Barrett Bingley, Assistant to Foreign Minister

Ron Jarson, Director of Foreign Policy Planning Div.



First Vice Minister Andrei Denisov

Sergei Kislyak, Deputy Foreign Minister




SLOVENIA (EU Presidency)

Minister of Foreign Affairs Dimitrij Rupel

Matjaz Sinkovec, State Secretary



Robert Cooper, Dir. Gen. for External and Pol-Mil Affairs

Bruno Scholl, Coordinator of Political and Security




Karel Kovanda, Dep. Dir. General for External Relations

David Tirr, Head of Unit, European Correspondent

Stefan Huber, Minister Counselor

Dominic Al-Badri, Political Analyst


4. (C) SUMMARY: The G8 Foreign Ministers met in Kyoto on

June 26-27. At a working dinner on June 26 attended by

Principals plus Political Directors, the topics of Burma,

Afghanistan, and Pakistan were discussed. The next

morning the issues of North Korea, Iran, the Middle East

Peace Process, and Lebanon were taken up. The meeting

closed with a working lunch during which Zimbabwe and

Sudan were covered. The Chairman’s Statement, as well as

the G8 Foreign Ministers Statement on Zimbabwe and the G8

Foreign Ministers Statement on Afghanistan, can be found

on the Japanese MOFA’s website at

mofa.go.jp/policy/economy/summit/f_kyoto08/in dex.html.







5. (C) In the Japanese-led discussion on Burma, G8

members noted the lackluster cyclone response by the

Burmese government, which led to an unnecessary loss of

life, in order for the Burmese regime to preserve the

illusion that the country did not need international help.

Several members, including Italy, pushed for a formal UN

statement on the regime’s lack of transparency in

accounting for its use of international humanitarian aid,

stating the international community was facing a

credibility test. Japan called for incentives to promote

change by the Burmese regime.


6. (C) Secretary Rice, the Canadians, and the British

favored adding stronger language to the G8 chair?s

statement addressing long-term political reforms and the

regime?s failure to provide an adequate response to the

cyclone. The Japanese noted concern with the growing

influence of China and India, neither of which promoted

democratic governance in Burma. Secretary Rice, the

French, the Russians, and the British proposed reaching

out to ASEAN and China to apply pressure on the regime.

The Russians were alone in calling for limited UN actions

and “balance” in the G8 statement by noting a small but



significant trend of improvement in the regime’s disaster

relief response.






7. (C) Participants were united in their concern over the

rise of extremism in the Federally Administered Tribal

Areas (FATAs) along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, and

over increasing political instability in Pakistan. There

was general agreement on increasing G8 member state

assistance in healthcare, education, border security, and

economic stabilization. The UK called for action to

weaken the pervasive role of the military in the Pakistani

government and to strengthen the role of civil society.

The Italians were strongly in favor of reviving the

Potsdam Process, where the leaders of both Afghanistan and

Pakistan were invited to the G-8 to foster cooperation on

economic development in the border region. Participants

expressed support for greater dialogue between Afghanistan

and Pakistan in order to diffuse growing political and

military tensions. The Canadians proposed more aid and

training to combat the narcotics trade, and together with

Russia warned that short-term accommodation of extremists

in Afghanistan ultimately destabilized both Afghanistan

and Pakistan.


8. (C) The British also proposed enlisting Saudi Arabia

and China, both of which had strengthened business,

military, and grassroots ties, to jointly promote G-8

priorities in the region. The Italians and Canadians

called for strengthening the rule of law in Afghanistan by

introducing programs to reduce judicial corruption.

Secretary Rice also noted problems with police corruption.

Several members expressed frustration with President

Karzai for slow progress on many reform fronts, and for

the corruption of members in his inner circle, but

Secretary Rice and others noted that Afghanistan had come

a long way in its civil and political development since

2001. The EU Council proposed distributing more official

direct assistance through local institutions rather than

international NGOs to boost the standing of local







9. (C) Japanese FM Koumura led the discussion on North

Korea by noting the resolution of the North Korea nuclear

issue was an important challenge for the international

community and called for continued support for the Six-

Party Talks process. He welcomed the North’s declaration

of its nuclear programs but cautioned that a verification

regime must now be crafted and implemented. As for Japan-

North Korea relations, Koumura reported negotiations had



resumed on investigating the cases of Japanese citizens

abducted by the North.


10. (C) Secretary Rice concurred that while the

submission of the North’s declaration was an important

step, the creation of a verification protocol was even

more important. She predicted that Phase III of the Six-

Party Talks would be difficult as we must be certain that

the North accounted for, declared, and disabled its

nuclear program. Other important issues also remained,

she added, noting missile proliferation, the ongoing

humanitarian crisis, and the abduction issue, which was

not just an issue between Japan and North Korea, but an

issue between the United States and the North, as well.

She reminded the other participants that North Korea

remained the most closed and dangerous regime on earth and

that there must be a concerted effort to make it clear to

the North that we expected them to fulfill their

obligations and that everyone was watching.


11. (C) Following the Secretary’s remarks, FM Koumura

invited EAP Assistant Secretary Hill to report on recent

developments. A/S Hill stated the process had been a long

one and that much difficult work remained ahead.

Verification principles must be established and fashioned

into a process; the North must grant access to nuclear

materials, sites, and personnel. He said we were not

playing a game of trust with the North. Rather, we were

playing a game of serious verification. He predicted that

Phase III would see much more multilateral negotiations,

rather than bilateral talks with the North, and said that

once the abandonment stage was reached, the other nuclear

powers would also need to be involved. The Secretary then

touched on the recent measures taken by the United States

to rescind North Korea?s designation as a State Sponsor of

Terrorism (SST) and lift the application of the Trading

with the Enemy Act. She explained that very little had

been given up and that means of pressure remained.


12. (C) The EU Presidency commended A/S Hill and said the

progress achieved to date was a great success for the

international community. He stressed this success was the

result of engagement rather than isolation. With regard

to the humanitarian crisis, he noted the need to focus on

“small items,” such as leniency for North Koreans crossing

into China in search of food, in addition to the “big”

nuclear issue. French FM Kouchner focused on the

humanitarian dimensions of the situation in the North,

highlighting the lack of food, the resulting starvation,

malnutrition, and disease, and said that even if hospitals

existed to treat the sick, there were no means to

transport the ill to them. He said that North Korea must

agree to grant access to international aid organizations,

particularly those associated with the UN. In addition,

efforts must be made to inform the North Korean population

that our intention was to help them, not to hurt them. He



decried DPRK propaganda that made its people believe that

international food aid was poisoned. EC Representative

Kovanda pointed out that the EU maintained a small

technical cooperation office in the North but agreed with

Kouchner that international aid organizations lacked

access and that there was no information available on crop

production nor an assessment of the overall situation.


13. (C) Responding to an inquiry from Germany about

whether scholarships for North Korean students should be

offered, Secretary Rice said that none of us would feel

comfortable as long as the North remained closed as the

last Stalinist regime in the world. Efforts to promote

cultural, educational, and sporting exchanges should be

promoted, even though it was very doubtful the regime

would let its citizens participate. Russia indicated it

strongly supported Japan’s desire to resolve the abduction

issue and urged the Chair’s statement be strengthened to

include using President Bush’s language that this issue

must be resolved. VM Denisov also called for stronger

language on the North’s need to fully participate in the

verification process. FM Koumura thanked Russia and

others for their support on the abduction issue and again

urged the members of the G8 to support the on-going work

of the Six Parties.






14. (C) French FM Kouchner led off the discussion by

stating all members of the G-8 shared concerns about

Iran’s nuclear program. The most recent report by IAEA

Director El Baradei and the outcome of the most recent

Board of Governors meeting strongly indicated Iran

continued to work toward the development of a nuclear

weapons capability. This, coupled with Iran’s continued

work on ballistic missile technology, could lead to a

worst-case possibility: a nuclear armed Iran. The P5-

plus-one had been trying to make progress with the

Iranians, but Tehran did not seem to want to hear that we

were not opposed to the development of a peaceful nuclear

program. As a result, the dual-track approach —

combining sanctions and incentives — was the only

approach open to us. The recent visit to Tehran by Javier

Solana and five of the six political directors meant we

were in a more delicate situation now, said Kouchner, who

commented that “we’d received Iran’s answer to our new

proposal before we arrived when the Iranians announced

they planned to bring 6,000 more centrifuges on line.”

Our central objective must continue to be to convince the

Iranians, both the public and the political elite, that we

were not opposed to a civil program and that sanctions

would continue to mount unless they ceased their uranium

enrichment activities.



15. (C) The Secretary concurred and said she was hopeful

we had done a better job of getting through to the Iranian

people with the publication of our latest offer. However,

the fact was that the Iranians continued to advance their

program, and others in the region were becoming more and

more nervous. There was a real danger that the Israelis

would soon become convinced that we could not halt Iran’s

program through diplomatic means. She stressed that if

Iran obtained a nuclear weapons capability, a difficult

region would become a chaotic region. Iran, she said, is

the most difficult issue facing the international



16. (C) German FM Steinmeier agreed that Iran’s nuclear

program was not just a concern to the G8 but to the

neighbors as well. He suggested that Iran was also afraid

that perhaps its influence in other parts of the region

would wane if, for example, the Syrians and Israelis

reached an accord, or if Hamas and Fatah reconciled, or if

the situations in Lebanon and Iraq became more stable.

Accordingly, this gave Iran an incentive to continue its

nuclear program in order to maintain influence. Germany,

he said, was skeptical about what Iran’s response would be

to the P5+1 offer; if the response ultimately received was

not positive, further steps by the Security Council would

have to be considered.


17. (C) EU High Representative Solana did not expect a

breakthrough from Tehran, said EU Council Representative

Cooper, who pointed out that the Iranian default position

to any offer was to reject. “Rejecting offers is easier

than responding or agreeing in a consensus-based system.”

However, both the government and the media were clearly

impressed by the presence of the political directors,

particularly those from China and Russia, and by the fact

that the Secretary had also signed the letter conveying

the offer. Hopefully, a debate within Iran would be

launched as a result. Italian FM Frattini agreed that it

was easier for Iran to simply reject all offers because

once it accepted, it must negotiate and then fulfill

commitments. Italy, he said, supported taking a resolute

and firm approach and sanctions that were effective and

achievable. However, our contacts with Iran must be

calibrated to avoid conveying the message to a

nationalistically-sensitive populace that the world was

somehow out to get them. Italy understood Israel’s

concerns, but believed an attack on Iran would be

catastrophic and ultimately ineffective and urged that

voices be raised against this option.


18. (C) British FS Miliband said that although we had not

achieved a breakthrough on Iran, the conveyance of the

latest offer had at least established a bridgehead. Two

things must now be done, he said: increase the

international consensus against Iran and tighten the

screws. The first should involve widening the



international consensus against Iran’s nuclear ambitions

by bringing in other countries as well, such as India,

South Africa, and Brazil. Our ambassadors in these and

other countries should be engaged in joint demarchis and

public diplomacy events to stress the consensus. We must

also continue to build consensus in our own countries and

also within Iran using cultural, diplomatic, and sporting

events to convince the Iranians that “their other vital

interests are being harmed by immovable and stubborn

officials,” a phrase he quoted from an interview recently

given by a former deputy in Iran’s nuclear program. As

for tightening the screws, increased IAEA involvement was

called for. At the September meeting of the Board of

Governors it must be clear that we were all standing

together. In addition, we must build on the actions taken

already by the UNSC. Resolution 1803 should be enforced

and built upon.


19. (C) The Russian delegation said it had always

stressed to the Iranians that the P5-plus-one were

standing firmly together. Japanese FM Koumura reported

briefly on Prime Minister Fukuda’s recent meeting with

President Ahmadinejad, at which Fukuda conveyed the will

of the international community that Iran comply with the

Security Council resolutions and cease its uranium

enrichment activities.






20. (C) The Secretary led this session by confirming that

the Annapolis conference had launched three important

tracks. The first track involved improving the daily

lives of the Palestinians, particularly those in the West

Bank. There had been some progress in Jenin, where

security responsibilities had passed from the Israelis to

the Palestinian police. The Fayyad government was

dedicated to this process, whereby Palestinian police

stepped in, the Israelis stepped back, increased economic

activity followed, and access improved. She acknowledged

the process had seen some ups and downs involving Israeli

incursions and less freedom of movement than we would

like. The second track involved intensified efforts to

implement the Roadmap Agreement. We were monitoring how

the parties were meeting their Roadmap obligations. There

was a long way to go before the Palestinians could meet

their security obligations, and perhaps even a longer way

to go with regard to Israeli settlement activities. The

Secretary said she had held several trilateral meetings

with Prime Ministers Olmert and Fayyad to discuss the

Roadmap obligations in great detail. The third track, she

explained, was the negotiations track. Abu Alaa and FM

Livni had agreed these negotiations must be held in

private as they were discussing the most sensitive of

issues, including settlements, territory, borders, water,



security, and ultimately, Jerusalem. They had held

serious discussions and serious expert-level work was

taking place. The Secretary said she still held out hope

that a peace agreement could be achieved by December. The

difficulty was to convince others, and particularly the

Arabs, that real progress was being made.


21. (C) With regard to Gaza, the Secretary acknowledged

that the Palestinian Authority was not in control, and

this presented a problem. However, the Egyptian-

negotiated “calm” showed promise and could be built upon.

The Syrian-Israeli track, which was being moderated by the

Turks, at the very least gave a more comprehensive view of

the process. The most important thing to do at this time,

said the Secretary, was to maintain momentum. The

Annapolis conference, followed by meetings in Paris,

Bethlehem, Berlin, and a coming meeting in Moscow, would

keep the international community focused on the goal. The

parties remained committed to making progress, and despite

the difficult internal political situations faced by both,

continued to push ahead toward an agreement that would be

popular with both Palestinians and Israelis.


22. (C) Italian FM Frattini reported that the recent

Lebanese presidential election was a turn for the better

and it was necessary to take advantage of this as we

concentrate on the future. Prime Minister Siniora had yet

to form a government, but he was committed to the process

despite the difficulty in selecting ministers. The Doha

Agreement would be difficult to implement, but needed the

support of the international community, which must see it

as a package. We could not talk about disarming the

militias without concurrently strengthening the Lebanese

armed forces. Daily living conditions must be improved,

particularly in the Palestinian camps. The UNIFIL mission

was important and should be continued, but its

effectiveness on the ground could be improved with better

understanding on the rules of engagement and other issues.

Frattini urged the G8 to encourage Israel to show

readiness to discuss the Sheba Farms issue. Their

continued presence in this area gives Hezbollah a pretext

for its existence as a force to resist Israeli occupation,

adding that it seemed all agreed this small area was not

Israeli territory and that UN supervision of this issue

was called for.


23. (C) Russian Deputy FM Denisov said he agreed with the

above assessments and stressed that Russia was working

with its Quartet partners to overcome the negative trends

in the peace process. He noted an upcoming ministerial in

Tokyo between Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinians as a

positive development. The Slovenian minister said the EU

had been encouraged by the Annapolis process, the

activities of the Quartet, the Israel-Syria talks, and the

election in Lebanon, but not by the situation in the

Palestinian territories. He said the G8 must encourage



the Israelis to take a better attitude toward the building

of a viable Palestinian state; settlement activities and

roadblocks must stop. The Palestinians must be permitted

to develop the institutions of a state, including

healthcare institutions. German FM Steinmeier said his

country recognized the positive developments mentioned but

was not overly optimistic about the situation in Lebanon.


24. (C) The French view was that no one should be lulled

into forgetting the fact that “progress” was made in

Lebanon because Hezbollah took Beirut by force and over 60

people died. It was important to support the Siniora

government and to try to extend the agreement between

factions that led to the presidential elections. But the

facts that an “over-armed and dangerous” Hezbollah

remained a force to be reckoned with and that the

Christian camp was divided portended difficult times

ahead. Likewise, we should not get too carried away by

the fact that Israelis seemed to be willing to discuss

easing access to Gaza. Kouchner reported that President

Sarkozy had been very tough with the Israelis on the issue

of settlements during his recent visit, but was encouraged

that it was now at least possible to speak of Jerusalem as

the capital of two states without having members of the

Knesset walk out on him. Kouchner also expressed concern

that current Israeli decisions were being taken against

the backdrop of internal political uncertainties. He was

afraid that if the Israeli government fell, we would be

back to square one. He noted with some optimism the

existence of a bill in the Knesset to give financial

incentives to Israeli settlers to leave their homes and

said he believed a significant number of settlers would be

willing to do so.


25. (C) British FS Miliband touched upon three points.

First, the Palestinian financial crisis was an urgent

issue. Steps must be taken to ensure the government could

continue to function beyond July. Second, while the Jenin

model was key to furthering development in the West Bank,

continued steps to reform and strengthen the Palestinian

security sector were essential. Third, the process of

opening the crossings into Gaza must continue and the G8

must provide support for this.


26. (C) FM Koumura wrapped up the discussion by

explaining Japan’s “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity”

initiative and confirmed that Tokyo planned to host a

ministerial between Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinians

on July 2-3.






27. (C) On the day of contested by-elections,

participants made impassioned statements of dismay over



the escalating political and economic collapse of

Zimbabwe, once the breadbasket of southern Africa.

Secretary Rice, the British, and others forcefully spoke

of the threats to regional stability posed by President

Mugabe?s increased harassment, torture, and killing of the

political opposition. Several delegates expressed anger

at recent UN and EU violations of the travel ban imposed

on the Zimbabwean regime, even while UK and U.S. diplomats

were being detained in Zimbabwe.


28. (C) The foreign ministers broadly supported

publishing a separate statement on Zimbabwe with strong

language on imposing sanctions on the country should

Mugabe conduct a fraudulent by-election. Secretary Rice

stated that Harare?s behavior would not be tolerated

elsewhere in the world, and that the time had come to stop

thinking of Zimbabwe as a problem of backwards Africans

incapable of democracy. The Secretary said the United

States had run out of patience with South Africa?s “quiet

talks” and insisted on language in the G8 statement

referring to the GOZ as “illegitimate.”


29. (C) The Russians were the only delegation to oppose

the mention of UN sanctions in a separate G8 document on

Zimbabwe. They argued for a sober, “balanced approach” to

language about Zimbabwe. Although they did not object to

a separate statement by the G8, the Russians preferred

using the UN for action on Zimbabwe. In response,

Secretary Rice said she would consider bringing the matter

up in the UNSC on Tuesday.






30. (C) Participants underscored the difficulty in

finding solutions to the ongoing conflict in Sudan, as

well as the potential for regional spillover. Canada

requested G8 support in the UN for a renewal of the UNAMID

hybrid Africa Union/UN peace keeping operation mandate,

which is up for review in July, and for more member

states to participate in the mission. The Japanese added

their support to UNAMID and the Comprehensive Peace

Agreement (CPA). The UK called for an improvement in the

quality, not just the quantity, of UNAMID support.

Secretary Rice underlined our support for the economic

reconstruction in southern Sudan, and our backing of the

SPLM, which has made the government of Sudan more

efficient. Secretary Rice and FS Miliband warned that the

unraveling of the CPA could lead to civil war and

emphasized the importance of Chinese cooperation on Sudan.

France drew attention to the 400,000 IDPs in Sudan, adding

to the general criticism of Khartoum. Japan said it was

considering a dispatch to UMAMID if Sudan neglected to

comply with relevant UN Security Council resolutions.




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The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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