Oct 042014


Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05MANILA1893 2005-04-26 23:42 2011-08-30 01:44 SECRET Embassy Manila
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
S E C R E T MANILA 001893


E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/27/2015

(U) Classified by Ambassador Francis J. Ricciardone. Reason
1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (S) In a conversation on other subjects April 26, I urged
President Arroyo to keep up her country’s leadership on
pressing Burma on democracy and human rights. Looking ahead
to senior US-RP contacts in Manila and Washington, I
suggested that this is one especially meaningful way that the
RP can help advance the US and allied foreign policy priority
of widening the circle of democracies. Arroyo responded that
“I always have to sit next to the Burmese at these events,
and so I always press him on Aung San Suu Kyi and
democratization.” She questioned whether losing the chair
would “make any real difference for democracy in Burma,” but
affirmed that the GRP and ASEAN are keeping up the pressure

¶2. (S) I noted that GRP’s public statements seemed to be
backing away from openly opposing Burma’s scheduled ASEAN
chairmanship in 2006, ostensibly on grounds of “delicatesse:”
The RP is next in order of succession and would stand to
gain the chair a year early if Burma does not assume the
chair. She conceded that avoiding the appearance of Filipino
self-interest was a key factor in avoiding public opposition
to Burma’s accession to the chair. However, she said that
the principal reason for avoiding public pressure on this
issue for now was an understanding reached between Burma and
ASEAN leaders that Burma would itself “voluntarily withdraw”
from accepting the chair, provided ASEAN avoid public demands
that it do so. She was concerned, therefore, when Cambodia
had recently broken the agreed silence and had spoken out
publicly against Burma — though evidently without response
from Burma so far.



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