Oct 182014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/01/07KUALALUMPUR173.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07KUALALUMPUR173
2007-01-29 11:01
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Kuala Lumpur

VZCZCXRO1125
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHKL #0173 0291101
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 291101Z JAN 07
FM AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8378
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L KUALA LUMPUR 000173

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/29/2017
TAGS: PREL PINS MOPS KISL RP MY
SUBJECT: MALAYSIA’S OTHMAN APPEARS SUPPORTIVE OF U.S.-MILF CONTACTS

REF: A. MANILA 281 – PEACE PROCESS MOVING FORWARD

¶B. 06 KUALA LUMPUR 2235 – OTHMAN OPTIMISTIC

Classified By: Political Section Chief Mark D. Clark, reasons 1.4 (b an
d d).

¶1. (C) Malaysian facilitator for the GRP-MILF peace talks
Othman Abdul Razak appeared supportive of another U.S.
Mission Manila meeting in February with MILF leaders (ref A),
in response to polchief’s explanation of the mission on
January 29. Othman wished the American team success in its
meeting with the MILF. He volunteered as useful many of the
same points that Manila plans to raise with the MILF, to
include: international attention on the peace process and
appreciation for MILF’s engagement in talks; the U.S.
supportive role; peace dividends; the need for the MILF to
disassociate itself from terrorists; and U.S. military
activity in Mindanao. Regarding the final point, MILF
leaders were “not comfortable” with perceived U.S. military
activities in Mindanao. Othman asked if there were further
details regarding the visit by the USS Blue Ridge,
particularly the rationale for the vessel’s port call in
General Santos. Othman added another plug for U.S.
assistance to the leadership training center being developed
in Cotabato City and to capacity building in general for
MILF’s future role in civilian governance. Othman asked
polchief for a read-out following Embassy Manila’s meeting
with the MILF, and jokingly noted that if the discussion goes
poorly, he will probably learn about the results before
anyone else in Malaysia at least.

¶2. (C) Othman noted that the MILF-Government Peace Talks
were still classified as “deadlocked” and he would not rush
to call another round of informal negotiation if there were
not promise of progress. The two sides still remained “far
apart” on the issue of territory. As a result, the schedule
of talks he had described in early December (ref B) had
fallen several months behind. Othman expressed some
optimism, however, regarding the increased creativity shown
by both sides represented by the GRP’s introduction of
self-determination and the various uses of concepts of the
Moro homeland, the Moro autonomous region, and Moro ancestral
domain. Economic issues, including rights to off-shore
natural gas reserves, were seen as increasingly important to
the MILF. Othman raised criticism that he was biased in
favor of the MILF, explaining his view that the MILF had
given up their key demand — independence — and Manila
needed to respond in a “sincere” manner. Othman saw the
MILF-MNLF dynamic as important to the final settlement, but
Moros themselves needed to work on relations between the two
groups (Othman made no mention of plans to engage in a
reconciliation effort). Othman said Philippines President
Arroyo remaining in power was key to the peace process.
Assuming progress in the coming months, Othman would not
attempt to schedule any announcement of a tentative peace
deal just prior to the Philippines elections for fear this
plays into the hands of Arroyo’s opponents.

¶3. (C) Comment: Othman seemed to appreciate the advance
notice of Embassy Manila’s next meeting with the MILF. We
presented this information in the spirit of keeping Othman
informed in the event MILF consulted him, rather than seeking
Othman’s blessing.
LAFLEUR

   

 

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