Cablegate: Secretary Abraham's May 23 Bilateral Meeting

Published: Wed 2 Jun 2004 02:36 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958 N/A
SUBJECT: Secretary Abraham's May 23 Bilateral Meeting
with Dutch Economics Minister Brinkhorst
1. Summary: Energy Secretary Abraham held a May 23
luncheon discussion with Dutch Economics Minister
Brinkhorst on the margins of the International Energy
Forum meeting in Amsterdam. They agreed to explore the
possibilities for increased U.S.-EU collaboration on
energy technologies and that the IEA focus the bulk of
its work on oil and gas, with possibly a new emphasis on
promoting development of a world market for natural gas.
The Secretary rebuffed Brinkhorst's suggestion that the
U.S. reconsider its sanctions against Iran noting serious
non-proliferation concerns. The Secretary agreed that
close cooperation between oil consumers and producers was
useful but noted that to receive support in the long-
term, the IEF would have to continue to deliver
significant results. Secretary Abraham's party did not
clear this cable. End Summary.
Future of the International Energy Forum
--------------------------------------------- -----
2. Brinkhorst expressed appreciation for U.S. support
(including financial) for the IEF and noted the political
importance of having a framework for producer-consumer
dialogue. He thought that producer-consumer cooperation
had helped ensure the conflict in Iraq did not result in
a severe oil shock. The Secretary agreed that close
producer-consumer cooperation had kept prices from
skyrocketing but thought that U.S. support for
institutionalized producer-consumer dialogue through the
IEF depends on whether the IEF can deliver significant
3. Brinkhorst claimed that the U.S. and EU share serious
concerns regarding the nature of the Iranian regime. He
thought, however, that isolating Iran would not produce
more responsible Iranian behavior and was not warranted
by the size of the potential Iranian threat. Brinkhorst
asked that the U.S. reconsider its sanctions against Iran
claiming that their removal would support Iran's efforts
in moving closer to the West and becoming a more robust
partner in assuring the security of world oil supplies.
The Secretary pointed out serious U.S. non-proliferation
concerns with regards to Iran and declared that Iran
cannot be allowed to develop the enrichment capability
that would allow it to develop nuclear weapons.
Brinkhorst reassured the Secretary that the U.S. and EU
disagreed only on tactics.
Dutch EU Presidency
4. The Secretary noted the upcoming (7/04-12/-4) Dutch
EU presidency and the excellent existing transatlantic
cooperation on energy technology, especially hydrogen.
He said that the U.S. would like to explore whether this
cooperation could be expanded to include additional clean
energy technologies. Brinkhorst enthusiastically
supported this idea.
International Energy Agency
5. Brinkhorst voiced concern over the wide scope of IEA
activities and stressed the need for more focus. The
Secretary stated the IEA should maintain a primary focus
on oil and gas and thought the organization could be
useful in creating an enabling environment for
development of a world natural gas marketplace.
Brinkhorst agreed and suggested that development of the
world gas market might also be a subject for U.S.-EU
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