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Cablegate: Cg Raises Moneylaundering, Unga with New Andorran Fm,

VZCZCXRO4624
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHLA #0055 2081747
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271747Z JUL 07
FM AMCONSUL BARCELONA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0869
INFO RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 0833
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUCNSE/US SECRET SERVICE WASHINGTON DC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0010
RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA 1033

UNCLAS BARCELONA 000055

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (CLEMENTS/CERVETTI)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL UNGA KCRM SNAR SP
SUBJECT: CG RAISES MONEYLAUNDERING, UNGA WITH NEW ANDORRAN FM,
OPPOSITION LEADER


1. (SBU) Summary: CG traveled to Andorra July 26 to call on
newly appointed Foreign Minister Meritxell Mateu, meet for the
first time with opposition party leader Jaume Bartomeu,
President of the Social Democrat group in the Andorran
Parliament, and handle an ACS case. Mateu delivered a copy of a
diplomatic note (faxed to EUR/WE) requesting agrement for Carles
Font, Andorra's Ambassador-designate to the U.S. Mateu and
Bartomeu highlighted the close cooperation between the United
States and Andorra at the UN and in other international fora,
and both sought to reaffirm their commitment to continued
cooperation. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Meritxell Mateu, 41, swapped portfolios with former
FM Juli Minoves in May after a cabinet shakeup. She told CG one
of her priorities would be to bring Andorra closer in line with
the world's financial transaction and banking regimes and rid
the country of its reputation as a tax haven. She assured the
CG that Andorra has ratified all UN anti-terrorism conventions.
She will travel to New York with Head of Government (prime
minister equivalent) Albert Pintat to attend the UNGA as well as
special high-level Conference on climate change ahead of the GA.
In that regard, she expressed appreciation for our note to the
Government of Andorra with President Bush's remarks on the
administrations new International Framework Initiative. She
said Andorra would continue to follow the debate on UN reform,
and is likely to send a representative to the ICAO GA in
Montreal, September 18-28. She admitted that work still needed
to be done on Andorra's CWC/BWC commitments. Finally, Mateu
left CG with a copy of a diplomatic note she will be sending
shortly requesting agrement for Carles Font, Andorra's choice
for U.S. ambassador.

3. (U) In her previous position, Minister for Urban Development,
Higher Education, and Research Mateu handled the Fulbright
program for Andorra. She was Ambassador to Slovenia (2001),
Ambassador to Germany (1999-2004), Ambassador to Denmark (1999),
Ambassador to the Netherlands (1998), Ambassador to the EU,
Belgium, and Luxembourg (1997), and Ambassador to France and
Permrep at UNESCO from 1995-97.

4. (SBU) Prior to meeting FM Mateu, CG called on Jaume
Bartomeu, President of the Social Democratic party and chief
rival to Pintat's Liberal Party. Bartomeu worried that the
current government was not moving fast enough to address three
issues: 1) bringing the country in line with international
anti-money laundering standards; 2) clarifying social rights for
non-citizens of Andorra, and 3) establishing a smoother
relationship with the EU. He expressed appreciation for the
excellent relationship between Andorra and the U.S.

5. (SBU) Comment: The Andorrans are proud of their close
relationship with the United States and clearly want to maintain
it. Their effort to ratify the UN Terrorism Conventions is a
direct outcome of our exchanges on the issue. Likewise, there
may be more we could do with them to make their banking system
more transparent and less susceptible to criminal activity.
Currently, the Andorran banking system remains secretive, and
there is a clear sense that government and opposition leaders
are worried about the sources of money that might be flowing
through it. Both main parties want to take the high ground
without giving their rival an advantage on this issue. End
Comment.

ROBINSON

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