Cable en el que Estados Unidos y España discuten su colaboración en el plan BMENA del G-8

  • Un delegado estadounidense pide consejo a España por su experiencia de diez años con el Proceso de Barcelona.
  • La Alianza de Civilizaciones está a punto de anunciar la composición de su Grupo de Alto Nivel.
  • España dice a EE UU que la iniciativa extrapolará los objetivos de BMENA al contexto de la ONU.
2005-03-14 14:58:00
Embassy Madrid
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MADRID 000960


[eliminado por]

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/08/2015

Classified By: POL [eliminado por] for reasons 1.4(b) and (d)

1.(C) SUMMARY: [eliminado por] met with Spanish MFA
officials, including Political Director Rafael Dezcallar,
Barcelona Process Ambassador Juan Prat and Near East Division
DAS-equivalent Alberto Moreno, in Madrid on March 7 as part
of the effort to forge greater U.S.-Spain and U.S.-EU
cooperation on BMENA. The Spanish officials support
coordination and division of labor, if the U.S. and EU
political messages to the region are similar. Madrid prefers
coordination on the national or sub-regional level. Greater
explanation of the benefits and provision of incentives for
democracy and reform is key. Madrid believes that the
Islamist PJD will win Morocco's 2007 elections and that
agreement is needed on how to engage Islamists in BMENA. A
solution to W. Sahara is key to providing the economic growth
needed in N. Africa and a new representative is needed. FM
Moratinos will ask for greater inclusion of Spain in G-8
BMENA activities from Secretary Rice during his visit to
Washington in April. He will also suggest that Middle East
liaison officers be posted in Washington and Madrid and will
request a formal annual dialog to exchange views on the
Middle East at that time. END SUMMARY

2.(C) [eliminado por]held a day long series of
meetings at the MFA in Madrid March 7th with: Policy Director
Rafael Dezcallar, MFA Barcelona Process Ambassador Juan Prat
and divisional Deputy DGs Carlos Fernandez-Arias (N. Africa),
Antonio Moreno (ME) and Manual del la Camara (N. America).
The purpose of the meetings was to elicit Spanish support for
greater U.S.-EU cooperation on policy and assistance
programming in the Broader Middle East and to discover the
GOS's views on how democracy and reform can be promoted
effectively in the region.

3.(C) [eliminado por] stated that the USG was interested in
lessons that the GOS has learned from the 10-year Barcelona
process. He asked if Spain was happy with the results and
what its view is on attaching greater conditionality to
foreign assistance. [eliminado por] asked the GOS about the
possible scope for greater consultation and coordination
between the U.S. and EU on political messages and foreign
assistance programming in BMENA. He explained that the USG
had concluded that it had contributed to the causes of
violence by over-emphasizing regional stability in the past.
The USG allowed BMENA governments to suppress and drive
political opposition to violence. The USG now believes that
greater democracy is needed in the region in order to coax
political opposition into the mainstream and away from
violence. Some short-term instability may therefore be
needed to achieve the long-term stability that both the USG
and the GOS are seeking in BMENA.

Strategic Overview

4.(C) Policy Director Dezcallar started off by reminding [eliminado por] that Spain is active in every region of the world
but the Far East. Latin America and the Mediterranean are
strategic for Spain. Within the Mediterranean, North Africa
and Palestine are areas of particular strategic interest.
The EU's Barcelona Process is a Spanish creation: "we have to
find a way to put the two contexts together ... BMENA and
Barcelona can be perfect complements".

5.(C) Dezcallar argued that the USG would gain by involving
Spain in the G-8 BMENA initiative either ad hoc in discrete
programs and activities or by inviting Spain to participate
in the forthcoming Forum for the Future meeting in Bahrain in
some manner. He intimated that FM Moratinos will ask
Secretary Rice to find a way to be more inclusive of Spain in

the G-8 BMENA process in his forthcoming April visit to

6.(C) Dezcallar said it is important to update the content of
the Barcelona Process. Spain fully supports the new European
Neighborhood Policy whereby the EU's previously separate East
European and Mediterranean assistance programs will be
combined and "action plans" are being developed for each
beneficiary country along the EU's periphery. In an allusion
to the competition for resources between Southern EU members
focused on the Mediterranean and new EU members focused on
Eastern Europe, Dezcallar stated that a lot more money would
be required to make the Neighborhood Policy successful. He
noted that the GOS had committed to increase foreign
assistance from 0.25 to 0.50 percent of GDP, in this

7.(C) As long as the political messages being delivered to
the BMENA region are similar, the GOS fully supports
coordination of U.S. and EU foreign assistance and sees room
for a division of labor between the U.S. and EU. (Comment:
How much movement is required from either side towards the
other in order to make the messages similar was left
unclear.) Dezcallar suggested including some statement on
cooperation in the forthcoming 10th anniversary celebration
of the Transatlantic Agenda.

8.(C) The key to success in Dezcallar's view is to convince
BMENA countries that democracy and more aggressive economic,
educational, and social reforms are in their interest. The
GOS can facilitate the reception of the political message due
to the particular nature of its relations with BMENA
countries. He pointed out that the way in which the political
message is packaged is very important in the Arab world.

9.(C) Dezcallar closed discussion of BMENA by suggesting that
the USG and GOS post Middle East liaison officers in their
respective embassies and that the GOS and USG meet formally
once a year to exchange views on the Middle East. (COMMENT:
By seeking closer coordination with the USG on BMENA, Spain
may be attempting both to put itself on a par with Paris and
London and to gain leverage in the intra-European competition
for resources. Madrid may think that BMENA is more important
currently to the USG than assistance to E. Europe. The GOS
may thus believe that by having greater insight into USG
thinking it can sway EU foreign assistance resource
allocation decisions towards N. Africa. END COMMENT).

10.(C) Finally, Dezcallar touched on PM Zapatero's "Alliance
of Civilizations" initiative. U/S Dobriansky has been briefed
on the concept by the GOS and UN SecGen Annan will soon
announce a high-level group (HLG) in support of the
initiative. He argued that the initiative would allow the
ideas behind BMENA to be extrapolated to the UN context. The
message on the need for reform in the Islamic world would
arrive not just from the North but from Islamic countries of
the South who had themselves been the victims of terror. The
GOS will send a special ambassador to the U.S. to explain the
concept in detail. Spain would like the USG to participate in
the HLG and will formally request such participation during
Moratinos' forthcoming visit.

The Barcelona Process

11.(C) Barcelona Process ambassador Juan Prat led off a
session with N. Africa, ME and N. America Deputy DGs
Fernandez-Arias, Moreno and de la Camara by stating that the
U.S. and EU shared the same goal of accelerating reform but
had differing approaches. Calling for greater efficiency in
the execution of assistance from the Commission, Prat stated
that Barcelona had been a big success, despite the fact that
it had not achieved all of its goals.

12.(C) Little progress has been made in Barcelona's political
and security "basket", because it has become "polluted" by
lack of progress on the peace process. And Barcelona has not
achieved the expansion of civil society in the region, which
the GOS seeks. The economic and financial basket, by
contrast, has been a success. Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan
have launched structural adjustment programs. The EU is
successfully pushing greater private sector involvement and
trade between the Southern Med and Europe has risen by 30%.
The EU is not spending enough on Barcelona's educational and
cultural basket and redressing this defect will be a priority
of the British EU presidency. Prat stressed the need to
increase exchanges and projects targeting women's
empowerment, in this connection.

13.(C) Prat reiterated the GOS view that the U.S. and EU have
to coordinate more closely. The national and sub-regional
levels would likely be the most fruitful area in which to
achieve concrete results.

14.(C) The GOS is concerned that pushing democratization in
countries with no tradition of democracy could lead to the
election of Islamists.[eliminado por] pointed out that one could
either provide a safety valve for social discontent now, or
face dealing with more radical Islamists later. According to
Prat, the GOS position is "yes" to accelerating political
reform. "We can't have a second Algeria. We have to let the
Islamists come into power", seconded Moreno. However, a
debate is underway in Europe on how to handle the Islamic
groups that will inevitably gain representation or control.
Should the EU start dealing with moderate Islamists? Is there
such a thing as moderate Islamists? If so, can they be
trusted? The EU needs a common position. Camara noted that
the prospect of EU accession had provided a check on
Islamists in Turkey and had provided a strong means by which
to justify difficult reforms to the Turkish people.
15.(C) BMENA governments and populations have to be given
something similar to look forward to - something that they
could not achieve without undertaking the difficult reforms
being asked of them. The U.S. and EU have to exert pressure
to start reforms, but also have to show how these reforms
will lead to well being. The U.S. and EU need to think
together how they can provide incentives. It will need a lot
of money. Moreno noted that the EU has traditionally been
poor at attaching credible conditions when providing funds
and argued that much more thought is required on striking the
right balance between too much and too little pressure.

North African Roundup

16.(C) After pointing out that N. Africans distrust BMENA,
because they do not understand it, Fernandez-Arias focused on
two macroscopic challenges: Western Sahara and housing. He
highlighted the need to create mortgage markets if housing is
ever to be produced in the volume required by demographic
pressure. Western Sahara is preventing the sub-regional
integration needed to make N. Africa an attractive market for
investors and is therefore the principal impediment to
kick-starting much needed economic growth. "We need a
Baker-style representative ... When Baker was there things
were moving because he could get White House attention. So
Morocco and Algeria showed interest".

17.(C) Algeria is not particularly interested in EuroMed or
BMENA. The Algerians, according to Arias, don't need money
and don't want pressure.

18.(C) Morocco on the other hand needs money and is willing
to accept conditionality, as long as it is done in a way that
does not injure national pride. Spain is not getting the
results it wants in Morocco. Political and economic reforms
are happening, but they are not touching the lives of
ordinary people. This exacerbates the gap between rich and
poor and Islamists are gaining in popularity as a result. The
GOS believes that the PJD will win Morocco's 2007 elections.
It would be a mistake to see the PJD in purely Islamic terms.
The party is equally focused on economic reform, social
services and social justice. Spain would like to see a joint
focus on these topics and does not believe that extreme
liberalization is the way to achieve results. "We are not
talking to the right people. We need to talk to religious
parties who have a social base and have been meeting the
demands of the people".

19.(C) Tunisia is of lower strategic importance to Spain. It
has resisted the EuroMed political dialog. "We want to see
elections, not 99% victories". The GOS pointed to Tunisia's
dependence on Europe for 95% of its exports and implied that
the GOT was quite vulnerable, should Europe ever decide to
impose some form of political conditionality on access to the
EU market.

20.(U) This cable has been cleared by [eliminado por].