Oct 272014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/10/07MANILA3565.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA3565
2007-10-30 08:45
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO2673
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #3565 3030845
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 300845Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8778
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 003565

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS AARON COPE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/29/2017
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL RP BM
SUBJECT: FOREIGN MINISTER STRESSES NEED TO KEEP PRESSURE ON BURMA

REF: A. STATE 148530
¶B. STATE 148528
¶C. MANILA 3510
¶D. MANILA 3449
¶E. MANILA 3443 AND PREVIOUS

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

¶1. (C) SUMMARY: In a free-ranging October 30 lunch
discussion with the Ambassador, Foreign Minister Alberto
Romulo expressed his hope that ASEAN leaders would craft a
strong statement on Burma in their upcoming summit in
Singapore. Romulo stressed the importance of maintaining
pressure on the regime while events in Burma still held the
public’s attention, and he repeated his earlier-stated view
that greater engagement on the part of China was key. After
a brief hiatus during which Burma was eclipsed in Philippine
national media by high-profile domestic developments, the
ongoing Burma crisis has returned to the attention of leading
dailies and other media, the reports of which have included
recent actions by the EU and the United States. END SUMMARY.

¶2. (C) During his discussion with the Ambassador, Romulo
confessed that ASEAN had little to show for its ten years of
engagement with Burma’s junta, and opined that it was time
now for tough talk, rather than half measures. He said that
he had hopes that the November 18-22 ASEAN Summit and related
meetings would yield a robust statement on Burma. Romulo
expressed confidence in ASEAN Chair George Yeo of Singapore
garnering support for such a resolution, although he confided
his misgivings regarding the commitment of some other ASEAN
members to a strong stance on Burma, and noted that in any
event, Burma’s presence at the meetings will preclude a
unanimous vote. (As reported in reftel C, Philippine
Department of Foreign Affairs officials perceive no consensus
on barring Burma from further participation in ASEAN, and in
fact have their own doubts as to the efficacy of any such
measures.) Romulo continues to see an increased Chinese role
as a crucial element in faster progress toward
democratization in Burma, as well as greater cooperation on
the part of the regime with UN Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari.

¶3. (SBU) After being temporarily displaced in Philippine
media by nationwide municipal elections and Philippine
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s pardon of former
President Joseph Estrada, Burma has returned to national
attention in the Philippine media. The Sunday, October 28,
edition of highest-circulation Philippine Daily Inquirer
featured a full page of in-depth analysis on Burma, outlining
historical background, economic issues at stake and barriers
to more effective results by the international community, as
well as possible avenues for further action. On October 30,
Burma regained the front page in the leading daily Philippine
Star with a report on remarks by French Foreign Minister
Bernard Kouchner. The French minister, traveling through
Southeast Asia to bring attention to Burma, was outspoken in
his criticism of the regime, and explained that the junta’s
recent behavior had made inevitable the October 25 imposition
of additional sanctions by the EU.
KENNEY

   

 

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