Oct 042014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/10/09MANILA2133.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MANILA2133
2009-10-07 07:32
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

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DE RUEHML #2133/01 2800732
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O 070732Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5393
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS IMMEDIATE 0271
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA IMMEDIATE 0038
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 002133

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/07/2019
TAGS: PREL EAID KNNP ASEAN IR BM RP
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES BURMA, U.S.-ASEAN SUMMIT, IRAN, AND MCC WITH FOREIGN SECRETARY ROMULO

REF: A. STATE 103219 (IRAN TALKS OUTCOME)
¶B. STATE 100518 (BURMA POLICY REVIEW)

Classified By: Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney, reason: 1.4 (b and d).

SUMMARY
——-

¶1. (C) In a one-on-one breakfast meeting on October 7, the
Ambassador strongly urged Foreign Secretay Romulo to consider
favorably our proposal for a November U.S.-ASEAN Summit in
Singapore; Romulo preferred that the Summit take place in
Bangkok or in the U.S. Romulo welcomed the outcome of the
USG’s recently-concluded Burma policy review and told the
Ambassador the GRP would continue to work with the U.S. to
promote our shared objectives. Romulo said he was following
closely developments relating to Iran’s nuclear program, and
he would consult on Iran and other non-proliferation issues
in upcoming visits to Paris and Vienna. He was committed to
the GRP chairing a productive Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty Review Conference in May 2010 and wanted to stay in
close touch with the USG in the run-up to that event. Romulo
also said a senior team of GRP officials might travel to
Washington to explain Philippine progress toward meeting
Millennium Challenge Corporation indicators. Septel will
report the Ambassador’s discussion with Romulo on flood
relief efforts. End Summary.

BURMA POLICY REVIEW
——————-

¶2. (C) In a one-on-one breakfast meeting on October 7, the
Ambassador briefed Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo on the
USG’s recently-concluded Burma policy review (ref B). Romulo
welcomed the outcome of the review, stating that the U.S.,
numerous ASEAN countries, and other friends of Burma had
exerted great efforts to move Burma back to democracy,
promote respect for human rights, and to secure the release
of Aung San Suu Kyi. None of these efforts had worked,
however, and Romulo believed it appropriate for the USG to
try a new approach. He assured the Ambassador that the
Philippines would remain solidly with the USG on Burma and
was ready to help in any way possible.

ASEAN SUMMIT
————

¶3. (C) The Ambassador raised USG interest in arranging a
U.S.-ASEAN Summit in Singapore in November. Romulo said he
preferred that the Summit not appear to be a sideshow on the
margins of the APEC Summit and suggested it could take place
instead in Thailand, directly after APEC. The Ambassador
said she did not believe President Obama’s itinerary could
include a stop in Thailand, and Singapore appeared to be the
only realistic option. Romulo then suggested a Summit in
early 2010 in the United States, saying the U.S. hosting
would demonstrate the importance of ASEAN. The Ambassador
countered that it was precisely because of ASEAN’s importance
that the USG hoped to schedule the summit for the near
future, and it would be better to proceed with an event in
Singapore rather than delaying the Summit.

IRAN/NPT REVCON
—————

¶4. (C) The Ambassador reviewed recent multilateral talks with
Iran, drawing on ref A to explain the USG’s current
perspective and highlight the need for meaningful action from
Iran. Romulo said he had followed the talks with interest
and hoped the USG would succeed in its efforts. Iran needed
to stop pursuing actions that could prove seriously
destabilizing in the Middle East. Romulo would depart on the
night of October 7 to Paris, where he would discuss both
Iranian affairs and broader issues relating to the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) with French officials. He
then would proceed to Vienna and visit the IAEA, among
others. Recognizing the Philippines’ modest role in such
matters, Romulo nevertheless said he hoped to do everything
possible to chair a productive NPT Review Conference and help
reduce the threat of nuclear weapons. He assured us he
wanted to work closely and cooperatively with the USG on
nonproliferation.

MCC

MANILA 00002133 002 OF 002

¶5. (C) The Philippines remains eager to sign a Millennium
Challenge Corporation compact, Romulo said. The Ambassador
welcomed the progress the Philippines had made on the
technical side. Now, the challenge for the GRP was to show
that it was meeting the MCC’s defined indicators. Romulo
said that the Philippines could demonstrate meaningful
progress, and the GRP might send a senior team to Washington
in the near future to provide updates on Philippine efforts.

COMMENT
——-

¶6. (C) The Philippines has been exceptionally forward-leaning
on Burma, displaying a willingness to criticize the junta
that is rare among ASEAN countries, and we are confident the
GRP will remain a valued partner as we implement our new
Burma policy. We hope that the Philippines will prove
equally helpful on Iranian issues and believe Romulo is
sincerely sympathetic to our concerns. Nevertheless, we
worry that the GRP’s ongoing pursuit of closer ties with
Middle Eastern governments (in part to secure support for
observer status at the Organization of the Islamic
Conference) might constrain the GRP somewhat on
nonproliferation issues and Iran. On the ASEAN Summit, the
Philippines clearly had hoped to have a Summit that was not
attached to APEC. But they are beginning to understand that
there really is no other option, and will ultimately, we
believe, agree with holding the ASEAN Summit in Singapore.
KENNEY

   

 

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