Oct 272014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/10/07MANILA3443.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA3443
2007-10-17 09:36
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO1585
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #3443 2900936
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 170936Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8616
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 003443

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS AARON COPE
STATE FOR EAP/MTS MICHAEL TAYLOR

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/16/2017
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL RP BM
SUBJECT: FORMER PRESIDENT RAMOS RULES OUT BURMA ENVOY ROLE

REF: A. STATE 142628

¶B. MANILA 3418
¶C. MANILA 3393 AND PREVIOUS

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

¶1. (C) SUMMARY: In a lengthy October 17 private breakfast
meeting with the Ambassador, former Philippine President
Fidel Ramos declined — despite strong encouragement — the
suggestion that he could step forward as a candidate for
ASEAN special envoy for Burma (reftel A). Ramos cited a full
schedule of international and domestic obligations, saying
that he instead preferred to concentrate his already taxed
attention and energies on domestic Philippine issues. The
former president nonetheless offered his views on Burma, and
went on to broach a variety of domestic political topics
(latter to be reported septel). END SUMMARY.

¶2. (C) The Ambassador opened the breakfast with a discussion
of recent developments in Burma, and the intense
international effort to find ways to move the country toward
greater democratization. She noted to Ramos that many
international observers believed an ASEAN special envoy for
Burma could be of assistance to UN Special Envoy Ibrahim
Gambari in his continuing efforts to make progress with the
junta, and she explained that in a recent discussion with
President Arroyo, she had raised Ramos’ name as an excellent
candidate for any such position. The Ambassador pointed out
that President Ramos’s broad combination of military and
political experience constituted the best possible
qualifications for dealing with Burma’s military junta.
(Ramos, a West Point graduate, served as chief of staff of
the Philippine armed forces and Secretary of Defense prior to
his term as President — during which he visited Burma.) The
Ambassador likewise underscored how Ramos’ 1999 founding of
the Ramos Peace and Development Foundation, as well as his
membership in the ASEAN Eminent Persons Group, gave him the
stature needed to be an effective advocate for democracy with
the regime.

¶3. (C) Ramos explained that, while flattered at the
suggestion he might be a good envoy, he felt that his
frequent international travel left him insufficient time to
deal with pressing domestic political issues in the
Philippines, and mentioned that he had declined similar
overtures in the past. Ramos went on to say that he wants to
be more actively engaged in domestic matters such as the
Mindanao peace process and the continuing evolution of
civil-military relations.

¶4. (C) Returning to the theme of Burma, Ramos opined that
based on his own experience several years back with the
junta, he agreed with Foreign Minister George Yeo of
Singapore, the current ASEAN chair, that the military would
likely seek to play a significant role in any lasting
solution to Burma’s problems. He offered the view that the
regime’s current intransigence might be partly rooted in a
belief that Burma’s military feared an “all or nothing”
scenario that required their complete departure from Burma’s
power structures, a clear threat to the military’s survival.
Lastly, Ramos echoed the widely held sentiment that greater
engagement on the part of China was key to faster progress,
but added that he thought Russia might be able to play a more
influential role than many envisioned.

¶5. (C) Ramos afterwards touched on a variety of domestic
political matters, including Philippine President Gloria
Macapagal Arroyo’s corruption-scandal headaches, progress in
the Mindanao peace process, as well as perennial rumors of
unrest and disloyalty among certain elements in the military.
These topics of the discussion will be reported septel.
KENNEY

   

 

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