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Cablegate: Mfa Delivers Message: Stop Supporting Political Activists

VZCZCXRO9203
RR RUEHHM
DE RUEHHI #0782/01 1171014
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271014Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5234
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH 2959
RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 000782

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS AND DRL/AWH
NSC FOR HOLLY MORROW

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL PGOV VM
SUBJECT: MFA DELIVERS MESSAGE: STOP SUPPORTING POLITICAL ACTIVISTS

REF: Hanoi 752

1. (SBU) On April 27, the Ambassador was called in by MFA Americas
Department Director General Pham Van Que to receive a message from
the "highest GVN authorities" concerning the Ambassador's and
Embassy's "support for political activists." The text of the
message is provided in paragraph four below. Before reading the
message, a clearly uncomfortable Que noted the positive momentum in
our bilateral relations and the Ambassador's personal contributions,
but added that there is "strong discontent" in some parts of the GVN
about recent U.S. actions.

2. (SBU) The Ambassador replied that GVN leaders need to understand
that his and the Embassy's actions in support of human rights
reflect the concerns of the U.S. Government and the American people.
Our meetings with political activists are an important part of the
work of our Mission and should not be viewed as support for their
political views, but rather a demonstration of the fundamental U.S.
belief in the importance of political free speech. Our efforts to
set up meetings during the Secretary's visit were done in
coordination with the GVN, and we will continue to act transparently
regarding such activities because we know the issue is a sensitive
one for the GVN and calls for a delicate approach. The Ambassador
expressed his strong disappointment that the GVN had interfered with
the recent event at his residence to which family members of
political activists had been invited (Reftel) and noted that the
event became far more important because it was not allowed to take
place.

3. (SBU) The Ambassador said he would continue to speak out on
behalf of peaceful political activism because it is an area of
fundamental U.S. concern. Such actions are intended to make overall
U.S.-Vietnam relations stronger and have no other aim. He also
affirmed the USG's full support for Vietnam's sovereignty and
territorial integrity and offered to speak to GVN officials who have
concerns about U.S. policy in order to avoid further problems. Both
sides need to work together to order to avoid the issue of human
rights from dominating the visit of President Nguyen Minh Triet and
also causing greater difficulties in the bilateral relationship.

4. (SBU) Begin text of MFA message.

The course of renovation (Doi moi) in Vietnam has strongly been
intensified. Accordingly, the Government and people of Vietnam are
determined to speed up economic development, improving people's
material and spiritual life and at the same time to enhance
democracy and the rights of their people in managing socio-economic
life. On that basis, Vietnam hopes to contribute an increasingly
positive role for peace, stability, prosperity and international
cooperation in South East Asia and the world at large. This policy
serves benefit of the whole Vietnamese community.

To realize the above-mentioned great objectives, Vietnam does not
accept law-breaking activities conducted by some Vietnamese
elements, such as Nguyen Van Ly, Nguyen Van Dai, etc. These cases
have nothing to do with the issue of human rights or religious
freedom. They are associated with a number of overseas Vietnamese
reactionaries in order to overthrow the Vietnamese regime,
threatening the national security of Vietnam.

Vietnam's public opinions have been very discontented at some
statements by the Ambassador about the group 8406 and the
Ambassador's arrangement of meetings with relatives of several
anti-regime elements. The Ambassador's residence has been seen as
the venue for meeting with those elements, encouraging them to
conduct activities which violate Vietnamese laws and undermine
Vietnam's national security. The support for those activities runs
counter to the Ambassador's mission of strengthening Vietnam - U.S.
relations. Various circles in Vietnam have questioned the role of
the U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, whether to promote the bilateral
relations or to create instability in Vietnam.

The efforts in arranging meetings with those individuals were made
at the sensitive moments such as the visits by President Bush, and
by Congresswoman Sanchez or on the occasion of the Human Rights
Dialogue. Therefore, Vietnam's public opinion raised the question
whether these provocative activities by the U.S. side are aimed at
creating a critical situation at those times in order to draw the
attention from U.S. Congress and public to put pressure on Vietnam
and create difficulties for Vietnam and Vietnam-U.S. relations.

The U.S. Ambassador, the Embassy, and the Consulate General are
strongly urged not to make any further similar statements or to meet
with anti-regime elements, which might affect the favorable
political atmosphere of Vietnam - U.S. relations that the two sides
have been trying to foster.

End text of MFA message.

HANOI 00000782 002 OF 002

MARINE

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