Oct 272014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/09/07MANILA2982.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA2982
2007-09-04 06:45
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHML #2982/01 2470645
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 040645Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTTE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8101
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATIONOF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 002982

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PTER RP
SUBJECT: BREAFAST WITH SECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS ABERTO ROMULO

MANILA 00002982 001.4 OF 002

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. PLEAS PROTECT ACCORDINGLY.

¶1. (SBU) Summary: At a pivate breakfast on September 3,
Secretary of Forign Affairs Romulo told me that the

SIPDIS
Philippines hares our concerns over the situation in Burma.
Te Philippine government is concerned about the recnt
crackdown, feels the Burmese potential “new cnstitution” is
a sham, and does not believe thatBurma is moving in a
positive direction in termsof allowing a legitimate
opposition. On the DPRK Romulo praised continuing progress
in the Six-Prty talks. On U.S.- Philippine issues, Romuo
praised U.S. development assistance in Mindanao, saying the
USG is making a tangible difference in people’s lives. He is
pushing Philippine negotiators to accelerate progress in
peace talks with Muslim insurgent groups, saying that the
combination of “soft” and “hard” power used by the Philippine
Government is proving effective. When he sees Secretary Rice
in Sydney at the APEC meeting, he will convey hopes that she
will visit the Philippines later this year and travel to
Mindanao to see the progress being made against terrorism
with the strong support of the United States. End Summary.

¶2. (SBU) Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto
Romulo came to my residence for a relaxed private breakfast
on September 3, a day prior to his departure for the APEC
meetings in Sydney, Australia. Romulo had just returned from
joining Philippine President Arroyo at events marking the
50th Independence of Malaysia where he said the Philippine
President thanked her Malaysian counterpart for their
continuing role as facilitator for peace talks between the
Government of the Philippines and the Muslim insurgent group,
the Moro Independent Liberation Front (MILF). The week
before, Romulo had been in Brazil for meetings between Asian
and Latin American countries. He said he felt that the two
regions had drifted apart in recent years, despite strong
Spanish heritage in the Philippines. He was surprised at the
vehement comments of the Venezuelan Foreign Minister against
the United States and said that the strong and “rude” public
commentary was surprising to the Asian attendees.

BURMA
—–

¶3. (SBU) We talked about Burma’s recent crackdown on
pro-democracy activists and Burma’s National Convention to
develop a new constitution. Romulo characterized the new
constitution effort as a “total sham” noting that it offered
no voice and no role for opposition. Romulo said he could
not imagine any of our nations voicing support for anything
short of meaningful progress toward democracy. He noted
recent statements by Mrs. Bush as well as ASEAN’s continuing
efforts to try and promote democracy in Burma, saying he felt
that the Burmese regime simply ignored all our efforts. I
pointed out the importance of international efforts to
pressure the regime and said we must all resist any efforts
to imply that such meaningless steps as the “new”
constitution represented genuine progress. Romulo said he
would look forward to talking about developments in Burma
with Secretary Rice on the margins of the upcoming APEC
meetings in Sydney.

SECRETARY RICE – ROMULO MEETING IN SYDNEY

SIPDIS
—————————————–

¶4. (SBU) In addition to talking to the Secretary about
Burma, Romulo said he would hope to hear the Secretary’s
thoughts on next steps in the Six-Party talks with North
Korea. He applauded the progress made thus far and praised
U.S. leadership of this important process. He told me he’d
hope to update the Secretary on the progress the Philippines
was making toward bringing peace to Mindanao in the southern
Philippines. He highlighted the combination of “soft” and
“hard” power blending development with the tough fight being
waged by the Armed Forces of the Philippines against
terrorists as an emerging success story. He said that U.S.
development assistance was directly helping bring the
benefits of peace to “real people,” turning away support for
terrorists and building a foundation for prosperity. He said
he hoped that Secretary Rice would be able to visit the
Philippines before the end of this year to see personally the
impact of U.S. assistance in Mindanao in fighting terrorism
as well as how genuinely fond of Americans Filipinos
throughout the country are. I said that I knew the Secretary
would like to visit but highlighted the many competing
demands for her time. Romulo said he would also hope to
share with the Secretary his thoughts on the growing economic
successes, to include a recent USD $1 billion investment by
U.S. firm Texas Instruments, and discuss the Philippines’
desire to be a Millenium Challenge Compact country.

ARREST OF TERRORIST GROUP LEADER, JOSE MARIA SISON

MANILA 00002982 002 OF 002

——————————————— —–

¶5. (SBU) Romulo was elated by the recent arrest by Dutch
authorities of Jose Maria Sison, the longtime self-exiled
leader of the Communist New People’s Army, a group on the
U.S. list of Foreign Terrorist organizations. He said he and
Cabinet colleagues had been working with the Dutch for
several years to make sure the case they built was good.
They were delighted to finally have Sison behind bars.
Romulo said that given the U.S. interest in prosecuting
terrorists, he hoped we’d be prepared to assist the Dutch
with the case, if the Dutch so requested.

TRAVEL BY SENIOR PHILIPPINE OFFICIALS
————————————-

¶6. (SBU) Romulo told me it was unlikely that Philippine
President Arroyo would travel to New York for the UNGA in
September. He said he would attend the UNGA, stopping first
in Washington on September 24. While in Washington, he’d
hope to see members of the U.S. Congress. Recognizing that
he would have just seen Secretary Rice in Sydney, Romulo said
he’d like to call on Deputy Secretary Negroponte, if
schedules permitted.
KENNEY

   

 

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