Oct 202014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/08/07MANILA2708.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA2708
2007-08-10 07:05
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO8270
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DE RUEHML #2708/01 2220705
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 100705Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7807
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA IMMEDIATE 1159
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 002708

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR D AND EAP

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/08/2007
TAGS: PREL
SUBJECT: THE DEPUTY SECRETARY’S BILATERAL MEETING WITH CANADIAN DEPUTY MINISTER LEONARD EDWARDS

MANILA 00002708 001.2 OF 002

Classified By CDA Paul Jones, reasons 1.4 c, d.

¶1. (C) SUMMARY: Canadian Deputy Minister Leonard Edwards
reiterated Canada’s interest in maintaining the fluidity of the
U.S. Q Canada border, during an August 1 bilateral meeting with
the Deputy Secretary at ASEAN Regional Forum meetings in Manila..
In particular, Canada wants to use travel documents other than
passports and questioned the recent imposition of APHIS fees.
Edwards also expressed Canada’s dislike of the United States’ new
Northern Command structure. Edwards reported on the status and
future of Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan and commented on
the Canadian Prime Minister’s interest in the Americas. Canada
has begun FTA negotiations with Colombia and Haiti is a Canadian
foreign policy priority, representing CanadaQs largest aid
recipient. END SUMMARY.

WESTERN HEMISPHERE TRAVEL INITIATIVE
————————————

¶2. (U) Edwards welcomed the good progress and communication on
the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. He said the recent
announcement that passports will not be required immediately at
land borders is good news. However, Edwards continued to press
for a commitment to expand the use of other documents, especially
enhanced drivers licenses, in addition to passports. Edwards
noted that he runs the Canadian passport office and they, like
us, have struggled to meet the additional passport demand. He
hopes to achieve normal service levels by August. Presently,
Canadian citizens living in the U.S. have the longest wait. For
those who can get to a passport office, the turnaround is 10
days. If applicants have to use mail service, it takes 12 to 13
weeks. Edwards noted that Canada ceased delivering passports to
consulates as a savings measure, not anticipating the current
demand.

¶3. (U) Edwards reported that the “thickening of the border”
continues to be an issue and that the Animal and Plant Health
Inspection Service (APHIS) fee that was recently imposed is also
a concern. He noted that the Canadian government understands the
security versus risk equation. They believe the U.S. approach is
one that seeks no risk at considerable cost. In response, the
Deputy Secretary said that the Unites States is doing what it can
to preserve the fluidity of the border.

U.S.-CANADA DEFENSE RELATIONSHIP
——————————————— ———-

¶4. (C) Edwards reported that the Canadian government was very
happy with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)
but does not like the new Northern Command structure, which is
less point-to-point and offers limited face-to-face contact.
Canadians do not feel they participate in the same way they did
under NORAD, Edwards continued. They would like to work on a new
joint statement for the anniversary of NORAD next year and
Edwards reported that they have begun discussions with State
Department counterparts about coordinating such an activity.

AFGHANISTAN
———–

¶5. (C) Edwards noted that achieving peace and stability in
Afghanistan is currently CanadaQs number one foreign policy
objective. Canada is in the process of adjusting its Afghanistan
programs. He reported that Canada is upgrading its presence in
Kabul and Kandahar through more robust aid programs, including
support for the police to undertake peace and security
activities. Currently, there is no mandate for Canadian
involvement beyond February 2009. While the Canadians have
experienced success in Kandahar, they have seen the enemy
transition from conventional operations to guerilla tactics,
especially suicide bombings. Canadian casualties now result from
such devices, not from combat. The Deputy Secretary noted that
the U.S. sees this as a new class of tactics and that he feels we
have not come very far in combating this threat.

¶6. (C) The Deputy Secretary raised the issue of Pakistan’s
border security, asserting that resolving Afghanistan’s problems
requires dealing with Pakistan. The Deputy Secretary pointed out
that as the Taliban has moved into the Northwest Territories, the
Pakistanis have begun to understand the dangers of offering the
Taliban sanctuary. However, the Deputy Secretary questioned
whether the Pakistani government has the strength to address the
issue. The Deputy Secretary also noted that the U.S. is
providing considerable aid to the Federally Administered Tribal
Areas (FATA) in the hope that it will support U.S. objectives in
Afghanistan. Edwards pointed out that Canada helped to bring the
Pakistani and Afghani players together at the G-8 meetings. He
indicated that the Canadian government would like to sponsor a
border security meeting at the civilian level. The government is

MANILA 00002708 002.2 OF 002

also interested in holding a workshop in Dubai for Pakistani and
Afghani border security officials. The Deputy Secretary
indicated that the United States would view any such efforts as
helpful.

CANADA’S INTEREST IN THE AMERICAS
———————————

¶7. (C) The Canadian Prime Minister recently returned from a
successful trip throughout the Americas that has made him more
enthusiastic about his Hemispheric Initiative. During the trip,
the Prime Minister started free trade talks with Colombia,
although he then had to push back against domestic criticism.
The Deputy Secretary indicated that, likewise, the U.S.’s biggest
priority is to get four agreements ratified: Peru, Colombia,
Panama, and South Korea. Colombia has proven troublesome, and
the U.S. government has also faced criticism for paramilitary
activities there. The Deputy Secretary indicated he believes
that if a few countries in the region were to go the right way,
it would make a large difference. Edwards offered that the
Canadian government has maintained a good relationship with
Chavez.

¶8. (C) The Deputy Secretary commented on his positive meetings
with Canada’s former Ambassador to Cuba. Edwards noted that he
went to Cuba a month ago and met with the Commerce Ministry and
the Foreign Minister. With the latter Edwards talked about human
rights for over an hour. Edwards said he believes that Cuba is
starting to think about transition. The Cuban Foreign Minister
would not agree to talk with the Canadian government about human
rights a month ago. Edwards also highlighted that the Canadian
government is supporting a group of economists in Cuba, and those
economists are reporting enthusiastically about the fact that
they are being consulted about how to reform the Cuban economy.
The Deputy Secretary told Edwards the U.S. does not want to give
a free pass for Cuba to transition from one Castro to another.
He sees this as an opportunity to give freedom a chance. He also
indicated that he would like to keep in close touch with the
Canadians on this issue.

¶9. (C) During his trip the Canadian Prime Minister also visited
Barbados and Haiti. Haiti is the Canadian government’s second
foreign policy priority, following Afghanistan. Canada
contributes more aid to Haiti than any other global aid
recipient. The Canadian government is currently providing a
police presence, and its aid has had some success in controlling
gang activity.

INTEREST IN FUTURE MEETINGS
—————————

¶12. (U) Edwards noted that Canadian Ambassador to the United
States Michael Wilson wanted Edwards to visit Washington soon
after he became Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in March 2007.
In fact, Edwards was in Washington, D.C., in June 2007 and had
planned to meet with the Deputy Secretary. However, as the
Deputy Secretary noted, he was called away to travel with the
President to Europe and then on to Iraq and Pakistan. Edwards
indicated that he would like to reschedule their meeting soon and
that he would welcome the opportunity to host the Deputy
Secretary in Ottawa.

SIPDIS

MEETING PARTICIPANTS:

U.S.
Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte
Kaye Lee, Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary
Ted Wittenstein, Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary
Ellen Colleran, Vice Consul, U.S. Embassy Manila
Lori Michaelson, Embassy Notetaker

Canada
Leonard Edwards,Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
Randolph Mank, Director General of Asia and South Pacific
Embassy Notetaker

JONES

   

 

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