Oct 202014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/08/07MANILA2588.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA2588
2007-08-01 11:54
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO7931
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #2588/01 2131154
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 011154Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7669
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING IMMEDIATE 6151
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE 0517
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI IMMEDIATE 2338
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL IMMEDIATE 2617
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO IMMEDIATE 3304
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI IMMEDIATE 1527
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 002588

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR D, AND EAP

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/08/2027
TAGS: ASEAN ETRD PREL RP
SUBJECT: THE DEPUTY SECRETARY’S MEETING WITH PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT ARROYO

Classified By: Deputy Secretary Negroponte, reasons 1.4 c, d

¶1. (C) Summary: Philippine President Gloria Arroyo and Deputy
Secretary Negroponte lauded stronger U.S.-Philippine ties,

SIPDIS
including continued close cooperation in counterterrorism and
the Mindanao peace process during a July 31 meeting at
Malacanang Palace. Arroyo pledged to take a “measured
approach” to resolving the current security crisis in Basilan
to avoid damaging the peace process, but made clear that the
central government was committed to bringing to justice those
responsible for the beheadings of 10 Marines. She
acknowledged U.S. concerns over reported extrajudicial
killings, and said recent court convictions demonstrated that
the Philippine government was committed to human rights.
Arroyo lauded ASEAN’s agreement to accelerate establishment
of a regional common market to 2015 and pointed to its
adoption of an ASEAN charter with a human rights committee as
clear signs the organization was willing to take on difficult
issues like Burma. The two welcomed recent progress in the
Six-Party Talks, but agreed that continued pressure was
needed to ensure that North Korea produced a complete
accounting of its nuclear programs and lived up fully to its
commitments to denuclearize. End summary.

C/T Cooperation Strengthens Relations
————————————-

¶2. (C) President Arroyo and the Deputy Secretary agreed
U.S.-Philippine ties had strengthened in the past 18 months,
particularly in counterterrorism cooperation with the
neutralization of Abu Sayyaf leaders. The Deputy Secretary
stressed that he carried a robust message of support from
President Bush and Secretary Rice for close relations with
the Philippines and with ASEAN. Secretary Rice was currently
on travel in the Middle East with Secretary Gates, but this
should not suggest diminished support for ASEAN or Southeast
Asia. SE Asian states were vital partners for the U.S., with
growing economic importance, and ASEAN’s commitment at this
summit to seek to achieve a common market by 2015 was an
important development.

Pressing for Change in ASEAN
—————————-

¶3. (C) President Arroyo concurred, saying that ASEAN’s
dynamic economic changes were matched by significant
political progress, notably agreement on an ASEAN charter
that included a human rights body — with even Burma signing
on. This was a sign ASEAN was moving away from the consensus
decision-making that had hampered it in the past; it also
might lead to positive change in Burma. The Deputy Secretary
said he hoped these changes would indeed have a positive
impact, not only on ASEAN broadly but specifically in Burma.
Arroyo expressed her hope for a bilateral meeting with
President Bush, and for a U.S.-ASEAN summit meeting, perhaps
in the U.S., to parallel similar gatherings with Japan and
China. The Deputy Secretary took note of the request and
said that President Bush would be taking part in the APEC
summit in Australia.

Seeking Justice, Preserving Peace in Mindanao
———————————————

¶4. (C) Turning to the current security crisis in Basilan
province over the killing and mutilation of 14 Philippine
Marines, Arroyo stressed that the government and military
were taking a measured approach, trying to mount a “surgical”
operation focused on capturing five key suspects and limiting
“collateral damage” to both the local population and the
Mindanao peace process. Her government had just agreed to
give the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of
Hostilities (CCCH) and local leaders an additional two days
to firm up evidence against the suspects. She thanked the
USG for its strong support for the peace process, saying that
it had provided a successful paradigm combining hard and soft
power.

Commitment to Resolve Extrajudicial Killings
——————————————–

¶5. (C) The President also welcomed recent budget action by
the U.S. Senate to increase assistance to the Philippines,
but voiced concern that Philippine “leftists” had lobbied the

MANILA 00002588 002 OF 002

U.S. Congress to lower aid because of alleged human rights
violations. Acknowledging concerns about extrajudicial
killings, Arroyo stressed that such human rights violations
were not carried out as part of Philippine government policy.
To the contrary, the government was actively investigating
the killings and had obtained six convictions so far. The
Deputy Secretary agreed on the importance of resolving the
issue, voicing confidence in the ability of the Philippines’
democratic structures — including its free press — to deal
with this difficult problem.

Maintaining Momentum in Six-Party Process
—————————————–

¶6. (C) Turning to another “Asian flashpoint,” Arroyo noted
she and the Deputy Secretary would be meeting shortly with
the new North Korean foreign minister and the heads of
delegation from the other Six-Party partners. She praised
recent progress in the Talks, but stressed the need for
continued movement, including in the five working groups.
The Deputy Secretary said North Korea’s actions in producing
a comprehensive list of its nuclear facilities would be a key
sign of its commitment to the process. It remained to be
seen if Pyongyang would be forthcoming or drag its feet; past
experience suggested the process would not be smooth, and we
would need to induce them to cooperate and then hold them to
their commitments. But clearly a nuclear North Korea was in
no one’s interest, including China’s, and Pyongyang’s nuclear
programs produced a “spiralling effect” that could induce
other countries like Japan to reconsider their own status,
the Deputy Secretary noted. Conversely, a nuclear agreement
could bring Pyongyang better relations with all countries in
the region, including the U.S.

¶7. (U) July 31, 2007; 18:00; Manila, Philippines

¶8. (U) Meeting Participants:

Philippines

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo
Undersecretary for Policy Erlinda Basilio
Maria Josefina Ceballos, Deputy Presidential Assistant for
Foreign Affairs

U.S.

Deputy Secretary John Negroponte
Ambassador Kristie Kenney
DCM Paul Jones
Political Counselor Tom Gibbons (notetaker)
KENNEY

   

 

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.