After much negotiation, India finally accepted a watered-down conclusion in support of Lebanon and the implementation of UNSCR 1701.

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SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/20/2016 TAGS: PREL, ENRG, PGOV, EUN, ETRD, FI, IN

SUBJECT: A READ-OUT ON THE EU-INDIA SUMMIT

Classified By: POLCHIEF GREGORY THOME FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D)

1. (SBU) Emboffs met Oct. 18 with Johan Schalin, Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen's Special Advisor for Foreign Affairs. Schalin offered the following tidbits from the Oct. 12-13

EU-India Summit: Joint Action Plan and a Bilateral Trade Agreement

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2. (SBU) The Summit's brightest spots, according to Schalin, included progress made toward formalizing a Joint Action Plan (JAP) on strategic partnership and positive discussions of an eventual bilateral EU-India trade agreement. The JAP's actual parameters remain somewhat vague, but it offers a framework for expanding cultural, technological and business exchanges, Schalin said. The EU and India agree that a bilateral trade agreement -- only in the discussion stage at this point -- is meant to be complementary to and not a replacement for progress in the WTO context.

Hard Bilateral Push on Civilian-Nuclear Deal

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3. (C) There was less of a meeting of the minds regarding the US-India civil nuclear agreement. The GOI had hoped that the Summit's formal agenda and conclusions could make reference to the deal. However, Schalin said, the EU has adopted a ""non-position"" on the agreement, choosing purposely to remain neutral because of the obvious lack of consensus among member states regarding nuclear power in general. Recognizing this, Prime Minister Singh did not insist on a statement from the EU. Singh did make a surprisingly hard push bilaterally with the GOF, Schalin said, but PM Vanhanen was not prepared to deviate from the EU line at a Summit he was hosting. (COMMENT: The Indians' pressure also put the Finnish PM in a tough spot domestically. Both Vanhanen and the coalition government he leads are supportive of nuclear power, and unofficially he has even commented positively on the US-India agreement. Ironically, however, the PM's views put him at odds with his own Center Party, which strongly opposes nuclear power.)

Stymied on Burma, Iran

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4. (C) Certain regional issues also proved somewhat sensitive. While the EU was satisfied with the Summit's joint statements on Sri Lanka, North Korea and Afghanistan, the Indians initially rejected outright the EU's effort to adopt strongly-worded conclusions on Iran, Burma and Lebanon, Schalin reported. After much negotiation, the GOI finally accepted a watered-down conclusion in support of Lebanon and the implementation of UNSCR 1701. However, the Indians would not even consider EU language criticizing the Burmese junta's human rights record or in support of UN sanctions against Iran. The Indian counterproposals were so weak that they ""actually would have damaged what the Union wanted to achieve,"" Schalin said, forcing the EU to settle for nothing better than noting that Burma and Iran's nuclear program were ""discussed.""

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