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Cablegate: Panama: Iran and Sudan Demarches Delivered

VZCZCXYZ0011
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHZP #0406/01 0752100
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 162100Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY PANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9995
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 0014
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0263

C O N F I D E N T I A L PANAMA 000406

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR IO/PSC (GRACE KANG), IO/T (HEATHER VON BEHREN),
IO/UNP, WHA/CEN (ELIA TELLO), AND WHA/PPC

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/16/2017
TAGS: PREL UNSC KPKO IR CD CT
SUBJECT: PANAMA: IRAN AND SUDAN DEMARCHES DELIVERED

REF: (A) STATE 33349 (B) STATE 33367

Classified By: Counselor for Political Affairs Brian R. Naranjo. Reaso
n: 1.4 (d).

-------
Summary
-------

1. (C) "We do not foresee a problem with the draft UN
Security Council Resolution on Iran that was prepared by the
P-5 1 and anticipate that it will be adopted early next
week," Panamanian MFA Senior Advisor for UN Security Council
Matters Nils Castro told POLCOUNS on March 16. Though he
complained about the lack of early consultation with the E-10
regarding the resolution's text, Castro did not believe that
any significant "observations" would be made on March 19 in
New York and that the resolution would be passed quickly with
Panama's support. Noting the very grave situation Sudan,
Castro said that the GOS was "clearly aggravating the
situation" and "using false pre-texts" to derail the
peacekeeping effort. Panama would voice its concerns on
March 19 when UN U/SYG Guehenno briefed the Council on Sudan.


-------------------------
Unable to Reach FM or VFM
-------------------------

2. (SBU) Ambassador continues to try to reach First VP and
FM Samuel Lewis and VFM Ricardo Duran to present reftel
demarches. Lewis is traveling in the U.S., and Duran is
traveling in Panama. Post will report septel the results of
any further high-level conversations on these matters.
Castro was the highest-ranking available MFA official to
receive this demarche.

--------------------------------------------- --
Iran: Panama Supportive, but With Hurt Feelings
--------------------------------------------- --

3. (C) Noting that he had reviewed the P-5 1 draft UNSCR,
Castro said that Panama had "no major concerns" and believed
that the text was good. Nonetheless, Castro said Panama
shared South Africa's concerns that that E-10 were not being
given sufficient time to consider the text and were not
provided the opportunity to negotiate. Castro welcomed the
text's "gradualist" approach and said its "flexibility" would
help bring about a diplomatic solution. When the draft Iran
UNSCR was discussed on the morning of March 19, Castro
predicted that there would not be any serious observations
and that the resolution would be quickly adopted next week
with Panama's support.

-----------------------------------------
Sudan: Grave Situation, What to Do Next?
-----------------------------------------

4. (C) Castro said that Sudan was "clearly aggravating" the
situation in Sudan and using "pre-texts" to derail UN-AU
cooperation. "This very grave situation is a clear threat to
international peace and security," Castro added. "We are
running out of Chapter VI options." Castro said Panama would
voice its concerns on Sudan in New York. Frustrated, Castro
said he did not know what else could be done to pressure
Sudan to accept a peacekeeping mission. Though he winced at
the prospect of "coercive measures," Castro acknowledge that
the time for such measures may have arrived. Castro said
that he had already spoken with PANUN PermRep Arias, and they
agreed that Panama had to speak out on the "humanitarian
tragedy" in Sudan.

-------
Comment
-------

5. (C) Concerning Iran, Panama's concerns have been
primarily about process and approach: maintain consensus
(especially among the P-5) and gradually ratchet up pressure
on Iran. While Panama's feelings are somewhat bruised for
not having been brought into the negotiations on the P-5 1
text, Panama will support this resolution since its concerns
were met. On Sudan, Panama will speak out against the
continuing humanitarian crisis and may even directly
criticize the Sudanese government, a government with which it
has little at stake. Panama will need to be brought along to
accept coercive measures, and it's acknowledgment that
"Chapter VI" options are running out should help pave the way
to accept tougher steps.
EATON

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