The Telegraph: Charles Taylor may have $400 million out of reach
"Charles Taylor, the former Liberian president, could have as much as $400 million hidden away out of reach of prosecutors, according to leaked US diplomatic cables."
Aftenposten: ADDITIONAL DETAILS ON SYG,S MOSCOW TRIP ALLEGE PUTIN SPARRED ON MISSILE
"A usually reliable source on January 5 conveyed additional details to us about NATO SYG Anders Fogh Rasmussen,s December 17 interactions in Moscow with President Medvedev and PM Putin that were not reflected in the SYG,s report on the visit (reftel). Based on information from someone present at the Moscow meetings, the source reported that while Russian President Medvedev was polite, neither he nor PM Putin had expressed any real interest in cooperating with NATO. Putin allegedly told Rasmussen that NATO no longer has a purpose and it was in Russias interest that NATO no longer exist. 2. (S) The source claimed that in the SYG meeting with the PM, Putin had not let Rasmussen sit down before challenging him with the allegation that NATO planned to put missiles in Bulgaria, and demanding further information. This reporter threw the SYG off balance, although the source did not indicate how he responded."
Aftenposten: NATO SYG DROPS BOMBSHELL IN ABU DHABI RELATING TO MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS AND ALLIANCE POLICY
"Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen dropped a bombshell in a NATO-UAE Conference attended by the NAC and senior UAE officials this morning. At the end of his public address to the conference, the SYG announced a five-point plan for Middle East peace (in para 5), leaving Perm Reps and Conference participants stunned. NATO has no official position on, nor a role in, the Middle East peace process and it is unprecedented for the Secretary General to wade into the issue ) let alone in this detail. None of the NATO Ambassadors or Missions had any advance warning of the statement. Many reacted with incredulity to his statement. The Danish Perm Rep, dean of the ambassadors, said "this time, he has gone too far."
Aftenposten: SECGEN WRITES KARZAI ABOUT SHIA LAW CONCERNS
"Secretary General Rasmussen has drafted a letter to Afghan President Karzai expressing concerns about the Law on Personal Affairs of the Followers of Shia Jurisprudence. The letter is now with NATOs Senior Civilian Representative in Kabul for delivery, although it is not clear when delivery would actually take place. The text of the letter is reproduced in para 6 below. The Shia law was discussed at the August 19 meeting of the North Atlantic Council, with most Allies expressing grave concerns -- both about the law itself and about the likely negative impact the law will have on the ability to maintain public support for NATOs Afghanistan mission. While most Allies argued in favor of a NATO reaction to the law, most had also agreed that it was best to not react until after the August 20 Afghan elections. The fact that the Secretary General decided to go ahead with a letter now provides insights into his leadership style. After the elections--and after the law has been further studied--Allies may seek an even stronger Allied reaction to the law, consistent with the position taken by the EU and Norway in a letter they sent privately to Karzai."
Aftenposten: RUSSIANS PROVIDE EUROPEAN SECURITY PAPER TO EU-3
"The following document was provided to us unofficially by a staffer in the Private Office of NATO Secretary General de Hoop Scheffer (strictly protect). According to the Private Office, the document was initially provided by the Russians to the EU-3. Germany, in turn, shared it with the Secretary General only. It is not in circulation at NATO formally."
Aftenposten: ACTION REQUEST: POINTS TO RAISE WITH NATO-SYG ON SEPTEMBER 18 SPEECH ON RUSSIA
"As part of his efforts to revitalize NATO-Russia relations, NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen intends to deliver a major speech on Russia September 18 at the Carnegie Europe Center. There are concerns that SecGen intends to announce Alliance initiatives that have yet to be agreed upon by Allies and go beyond most Allies comfort zones, including possible official NATO engagement with the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)" (ref A). By unilaterally announcing new initiatives on behalf of the Alliance, SecGen risks undermining the Alliances consensus-driven approach to policy in an area where we have taken great pains to find a delicate balance. Department requests that Ambassador Daalder raise privately with SecGen the concerns outlined in paragraph 3 prior to SecGens speech, while emphasizing U.S. support for several areas of NATO-Russia cooperation (additional thoughts on NRC cooperation coming septel)."
Aftenposten: NATO SECRETARY GENERAL READY TO REACH OUT TO CSTO?
"NATO Secretary General Rasmussen may be planning to take improved NATO-Russia relations to a new level by proposing that NATO engage with the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The SecGen recently indicated that he has an "open mind" to such a course of action, has been in contact with the head of the CSTO, and plans to make a speech on NATO-Russia relations that would go beyond most Allies comfort zones. Engaging with an organization initiated by Moscow to counter NATO and U.S. influence would be counterproductive at a time when we should focus on enhancing relations with Russia bilaterally and as an alliance. NATO-CSTO engagement would likely lead to the same bloc-on-bloc dynamic that manifested during the Cold War, and further increase Moscows influence over our Central Asian partners, countries we should actively court through NATOs Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC)."
Aftenposten: RESPONDING TO NATO SECRETARY GENERALS PROPOSALS FOR NATO RUSSIA COOPERATION
"NATO Secretary General Rasmussen proposed during his September 18, 2009, speech on NATO-Russia relations that NATO and Russia undertake a "joint threat assessment" and that the NATO Russia Council (NRC) serve as a forum to discuss the European Security Treaty (reftel)."
Aftenposten: NATO-RUSSIA: SECRETARY GENERALS TRIP TO MOSCOW
"Below is a written summary provided by Secretary General Rasmussen of his December 15-17 visit to Moscow. The SecGens schedule included meetings with President Medvedev, Premier Putin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, and Russian Parliamentarians. He also visited NATOs Information Office and Military Liaison Mission in Moscow and gave a speech at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO). We will report septel regarding how Allies will follow-up on the SecGens visit."
(Image Credit: Dali Rău)