EMBASSY OF INDIA - COPENHAGEN

 

 

No. COP/102/1/02                                                                      19.06.2003

 

To: Foreign, New Delhi
From: Indembassy, Copenhagen

 

Director (EWC) from First Secretary (Pol/HOC)

Rpt: (1) JS (XP) (2) All Indian Missions in Europe

 

POLITICAL REPORT FOR WEEK ENDING 19th JUNE, 2003

                                                 

I. External

Baltic Sea Council

1. FM Per Stig Møller took part in the 12th Ministerial Session of the Baltic Sea Council from 10-11 June 2003 at Pori in Finland . The meeting marked the conclusion of Finland ’s Presidency of the Baltic Sea Council by the end of June 2003. The presidency would be passed on to Estonia thereafter.  At the meeting, the FM urged other member states to strengthen their efforts to dismantle the remaining trade and investment barriers in the Baltic Sea region.  He also stressed on the enhanced safety at sea and improving the protection of the sea habitat.

Iraq

2. Møller denies misleading Parliament on WMD: After deposing before the parliament's Foreign Policy Committee, FM Stig Møller denied that the government had misled Parliament about Iraq 's WMD before Denmark committed troops to the USA led attack on Iraq . FM Møller testified that Denmark used freely available information on nerve gas and anthrax that came, amongst others, from Chief UN Weapons Inspector Hans Blix.

Myanmar

3. Denmark for tougher EU sanctions on Myanmar : At their meeting in Luxembourg on June 16, the EU foreign ministers initiated a discussion on Myanmar at the request of Denmark , and expressed their resolve to tighten the course towards the Burmese military regime by bringing forward the introduction of harsher sanctions against the regime. The EU FMs urged the Burmese regime to release Aung San Suu Kyi and other imprisoned democracy fighters immediately and to reopen the closed universities and party offices. The EU FMs encouraged ASEAN nations along with China , India and Japan to use their influence to bring about necessary political changes in Burma .

4. PM of the Burmese government in exile visits Copenhagen : Prime minister of the Burmese government in exile, Sein Win, visited Copenhagen last week and called on foreign minister Per Stig Møller and his predecessor Mogens Lykketoft. FM Møller promised the Burmese government in exile that Denmark would work for harsher EU sanctions against the military junta. Mr Sein Win said that a kind of international intervention in Burma may soon be necessary.  He welcomed the recent resolution passed by the US Senate that banned imports from Burma and said that the EU sanctions are comparatively milder. Sein Win said that the toughened US course towards the Burmese junta will make the EU follow suit. The Burmese government in exile has offices in New York and Brussels and receives significant economic aid from Denmark , Norway , the USA and the EU.

Sri Lanka

5. Denmark commits DKK 156 million in aid to Sri Lanka : Denmark has committed to give DKK 156 million as aid to Sri Lanka over the next three years. An additional DKK 450 million will be at disposal for mixed credits as a contribution towards developing the private sector in Sri Lanka . The Danish aid will focus on the northern and north-eastern parts of Sri Lanka , which were the worst affected by the civil war. The areas of priority of Danish aid will comprise the physical infrastructure; repatriation and reintegration; support to the reconciliation process; conflict-preventive measures; support for monitoring the peace process (via the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission) and furthering human rights and democracy.  The EU will contribute jointly with Euro 250 million.  A total aid of $ 4.5 billion was promised to Sri Lanka by international donors during a reconstruction and development conference that took place in Tokyo during 9-10 June 2003.

Russia

6. Danish FM Stig Møller met with his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov on 11 June 2003 in Finland on the sidelines of the meeting of the foreign ministers of the Baltic Sea Council.  The FM described the talks as “constructive” and said that both sides are planning a number of bilateral activities in the political and economic fields.

UN

7. UN to close information offices in Copenhagen :  It was reported in the Danish media that the UN has decided to close down its information offices in nine European countries, including Copenhagen , Paris , London , Rome , Bonn , Madrid , Lisbon and Brussels , and instead open a regional information headquarters in Brussels .  UN has 600-700 employees working in its various offices in Copenhagen .

 II. Internal

 

Political

8. Govt. targets Turkish Imams: As part of its initiative to further ethnic integration in Denmark , the government has given notice that it is preparing to terminate a 17-year-old agreement with Turkey that provides Turkish imams with automatic residency permits in this country. The idea appears to be by way of an effort to create a uniform and fair system for all foreign imams who preach in Denmark . There are presently 25 Turkish imams in Denmark who function as prayer leaders and preachers in mosques.

 Economy

 9. A broad, cross-party political consensus is emerging in Denmark backing the Social Democrat demands that the state becomes a partner in the North Sea oil consortium that currently consists only of A.P. Møller, Shell and Texaco. The main opposition party, the Social Democrats, has demanded that at least a 20% part-ownership of the consortium should be taken up by the government.

 10. Denmark 's foreign debt rose by DKK 3bn, to DKK 253bn, during the year's first quarter, according to new figures from the National Bank. Currency reserves rose by DKK 6bn, to DKK 202 bn during the same period, whilst public-sector debt fell by DKK 4bn.

Regards,

Dr. Ausaf Sayeed
First Secretary Pol/E&C)