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WikiLeaks: 2008-05-08: 08BRUSSELS690: Embassy Brussels Outreach to Democracy Activists

by WikiLeaks. 08BRUSSELS690: May 08, 2008.

Posted: Sunday, September 08, 2013 at 12:39 PM UT


Viewing cable 08BRUSSELS690, EMBASSY BRUSSELS OUTREACH TO DEMOCRACY ACTIVISTS

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Reference ID Created Classification Origin
08BRUSSELS690 2008-05-08 13:18 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Brussels
VZCZCXRO8571
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK
DE RUEHBS #0690/01 1291318
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 081318Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7400
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BRUSSELS 000690 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR DRL/SEA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PHUM PREL BE
SUBJECT: EMBASSY BRUSSELS OUTREACH TO DEMOCRACY ACTIVISTS 
 
REF: STATE 44903 
 
EMBASSY ACTIVITIES 
------------------ 
 
1. (U)  Over the past year, the Embassy has promoted the 
President's Freedom Agenda in numerous ways.  Post regularly 
works with the Belgian government to support 
democracy-promotion initiatives, for example, the 
transnational network to advance the rights of women from 
Belgium, Morocco, Turkey and Iran, which was created by the 
office of the then-Minister of Justice.  The group also 
organizes events that promote understanding and cooperation 
among both sides of the Middle East conflict. 
 
2.  (U)  In addition, the Embassy,s Political Counselor met 
several times to hear the concerns of various democracy and 
human rights activists including from Amnesty International 
and the Syriac Christian Association of Europe.  The Embassy 
regularly had outreach initiatives with human rights 
non-governmental organizations and has a substantial program 
on Muslim outreach that extends to Belgium's primarily 
Moroccan- and Turkish-origin Islamic communities.  Public 
Diplomacy hosts events of many types in many locations.  As 
part of the broader EUR effort, PD and Political take active 
part in identifying persons and events to preempt Islamic 
radicalization.  Many of our activities are targeted to 
immigrants and minorities in Belgium, especially children in 
the multicultural schools here.  Some of these attendees and 
students may come from un-free nations but since we don't ask 
about the ethnic background of attendees we don't know how 
many would fit this category.  Belgium is not home to 
significant numbers of dissidents focused on un-free nations. 
 
WORKING WITH THE BELGIAN GOVERNMENT 
--------------- ------- ------ ------------- 
--------------------- 
 
In UN Fora 
-------------- 
 
3.  (U)  As a non-permanent member of the United Nations 
Security Council in 2007-08, Belgium, despite reservations 
regarding the likelihood of success, supported U.S. 
initiatives for resolutions to promote human rights in 
Burma/Myanmar and Zimbabwe. 
 
4.  (U)  Belgium remains active in the OSCE since its 2006 
chairmanship.  Post continues to work closely with the GoB to 
promote democratic reform and human rights through this 
forum, particularly in the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central 
Asia.  Belgium sought an enhanced OSCE role in Kosovo and was 
one of the first countries to recognize an independent 
Kosovo.  In addition, Belgian FM De Gucht has pushed for 
democracy in Belarus. 
 
On the Military Side 
----------------------- 
 
5.  (U)  Belgium keeps some 1200 of its some 40,000 military 
deployed worldwide, including contingents with KFOR in Kosovo 
(Belgium was a founding member), in UNIFIL in Lebanon, 
trainers in Benin, military support units in the Democratic 
Republic of Congo; most recently, it added support forces to 
Chad.    Also in Lebanon, a Belgian jurist led the 
investigation into the assassination of former Prime Minister 
Hariri, with Brussels subsequently contributing 250,000 Euros 
to tribunal startup costs.  Another Belgian has been selected 
to be a tribunal judge. 
 
Afghanistan 
-------------- 
 
6.  (SBU)  Belgium has gradually increased its contributions 
to NATO ISAF forces.  Initial deployments of forty troops to 
protect Kabul airport increased by four when Belgium took 
control of the airport in October 2007.  In April 2007, the 
Belgian government decided to redeploy two F-16 aircraft from 
the Baltics to ISAF.  The Belgian government also decided to 
leave the airport contingent in place to help build a new 
security wall around an ammunition zone near the airport, an 
effort for which Belgium made the top contribution of 300,000 
euros.  The Belgian government recently informed the Embassy 
that Belgium would keep 25-40 troops in country in order to 
participate in an OMLT. 
 
Civil Society 
--------------- 
 
7.  (U)  Belgium's contributions to democracy-development 
 
BRUSSELS 00000690  002 OF 002 
 
 
initiatives, many under U.S. aegis, have been wide-ranging 
and, given the country's size and budgetary constraints, 
remained at a respectable level.  As a result of these 
budgetary constraints, Belgium often prefers to make 
contributions to civil society in-kind, such as when the 
Ministry of Justice sponsored and implemented judicial 
training through exchange programs with Iran.  The Ministry 
of Foreign Affairs is considering repeating a training 
program for Iraqi diplomats, justices and politicians in the 
ways of multi-party federal democracy. 
 
FOX.


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