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Cablegate: Ambassador Presents Credentials, Discusses Elections

VZCZCXRO3632
PP RUEHLMC RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHPB
DE RUEHDT #0251/01 1861231
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P R 051231Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY DILI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3610
INFO RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0584
RUEHLI/AMEMBASSY LISBON 0950
RUEHROV/AMEMBASSY VATICAN 0184
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0729
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUCNMCM/MCC COLLECTIVE
RUEHDT/AMEMBASSY DILI 2986

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DILI 000251

SIPDIS

SECSTATE FOR EAP/MTS
USUN FOR RICHARD MCCURRY
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM TT
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR PRESENTS CREDENTIALS, DISCUSSES ELECTIONS


DILI 00000251 001.2 OF 002


1. (SBU) Summary: Ambassador Hans Klemm presented his letter of
credence to President Jose Ramos-Horta on July 4 in a ceremony
hosted at the President's office. In a meeting following the
ceremony, both vowed to strengthen bilateral relations.
Ramos-Horta expressed his appreciation for U.S. support since
Timor's independence vote, and Ambassador Klemm relayed our
continued commitment to ensuring the country's long term
success. The conversation also touched on smooth conduct of the
June 30 elections and the negotiations regarding government
formation that now must take place since no party gained a
majority. On this issue, Ramos-Horta said that he is engaged in
discussions with all the parties regarding next steps.
Ramos-Horta used the opportunity to make a specific appeal to
the Ambassador for US assistance in order to expand educational
opportunities for Timorese students. End summary.

2. (SBU) Ambassador Hans Klemm presented his letter of credence
to President Jose Ramos-Horta on July 4 in a ceremony held at
the President's office at the Palace of Ashes. Following the
formal ceremony, the Ambassador and President met to discuss
U.S.-East Timor relations and current issues in East Timor.
Ramos-Horta remarked on the excellent relations that have
existed between the countries since East Timor voted for
independence in 1999, noting that USAID was the biggest employer
in Timor Leste in 2000 due to its quick impact projects. In
this vein, Ramos-Horta emphasized the need for continued U.S.
support for East Timor's development, particularly in rural
development, youth employment, justice, and infrastructure. The
Ambassador emphasized the USG's commitment to supporting East
Timor's democratic and economic development. He stressed the
particular importance we place on addressing land and property
issues, both to encourage investment and economic growth, and
towards the resettlement of internally displaced persons (IDP).

3. (SBU) Ambassador Klemm relayed his congratulations for the
smooth and peaceful conduct of the June 30 parliamentary
elections and the ongoing ballot counting process, noting the
professionalism and seriousness with which Timorese election
officials at all levels carried out their duties. Given the
weak capacity of many Timorese public institutions, the
Ambassador urged that a way be found to tap the civic commitment
of young Timorese that he witnessed on Election Day.
Ramos-Horta gave credit to the Technical Secretariat for
Election Administration (STAE) and the National Election
Commission (CNE). He singled out STAE in particular, which he
has previously targeted for sharp criticism as lacking
impartiality, to commend them for a job well done. In addition,
he cited the critical assistance provided by the UN and the
International Stabilization Force (ISF) both in ensuring
security and providing much needed logistical support.

4. (SBU) Ramos-Horta informed the Ambassador that in light of
the emerging elections results pointing to the necessity of a
coalition government, he has begun informal discussions with the
various parties to consult with them on the next steps. He
indicated that he would start by calling the largest party
(FRETILIN with about 29%) to see if it could pull together a
majority coalition, and then go from there. (Comment: other
mission sources have since indicated that Ramos-Horta may be
shifting away from a focus on the largest party and instead
towards the party most able to assemble a majority coalition -
that is unlikely to be FRETILIN. End comment.) In addition,
the president said he wants to establish a consultative
mechanism with all parties, even those who received insufficient
votes to be represented in Parliament. Referring to the three
percent threshold required for parliamentary representation, he
estimated that about 40,000 voters, around 10 percent of the
national total, voted for parties that would not be in
parliament, so a way must be found to include them. In
addition, Ramos-Horta described at some length his plans to
establish a permanent youth parliament for high school age
youth, in order both to engage the younger generation in
politics and to provide a venue for their voices to be heard.

5. (SBU) Ramos-Horta made a specific appeal to the Ambassador
for US assistance to open up greater overseas educational
opportunities for Timorese students. In particular, he
requested that we focus resources on assisting Timorese students
to complete their studies at schools in other countries in the
region. He said that he has discussed with Philippine President

DILI 00000251 002.2 OF 002


Arroyo an arrangement whereby Timorese students would complete
secondary and undergraduate studies in the Philippines, with the
GOET covering most expenses, but the GOP arranging for tuition
and fees. Noting that students would be receiving an
English-language education based on the American system, he
expressed his hope that the USG might become a supporting
partner in this initiative. He relayed his great appreciation
for USG scholarship programs that send students to the US, but
cited their relative expense. Regional or trilateral
initiatives hold the promise of supporting the education of
Timorese students in much greater numbers, suggested the
president.
KLEMM

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