Cablegate: Eap/Anp Director Mcgann's September 12-13 Meetings

DE RUEHWL #0704/01 2690451
O 260451Z SEP 07





E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/26/2017

Classified By: DCM David J. Keegan; Reason 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) Summary. Following the successful US-NZ Partnership
Forum (reftel), ANP Director McGann visited Wellington on
September 12-13 for discussions with MFAT and MOD officials
covering a range of bilateral issues with an emphasis on the
Pacific Islands. On Guam, McGann urged MFAT officials to be
realistic in how New Zealand can best help Pacific Island
economies benefit from the Guam project and to work closely
with Australia. McGann previewed the USG strategy on Fiji
for the UNGA and relayed USG thinking on the upcoming Pacific
Island Forum. MFAT Deputy Secretary James McArthur and
McGann discussed prospective high-level visits and McArthur
updated McGann on Cuban activities in the region. On
security issues, McGann offered that the bilateral
cooperation is moving from being circumstantial to one of
more routine coordination. The MOD's International Defense
Relations head Paul Sinclair agreed the threats to stability
in the southern Pacific are internally driven and will
continue to pose a long-term demand on GNZ security assets.
MOD officials lauded the recent visits by BGen Toolan and
DASD Clad, noting that they represented the most substantive
defense/security discussions in over two decades. End

MFAT: Guam, PIF, Maritime Cooperation

2. (C) While in Wellington, EAP/ANP Director McGann met
with MFAT Deputy Secretaries Alan Williams and John McArthur,
Americas Division Director Carl Worker and Deputy Director
Elizabeth Halliday, and other staff members of the Pacific
Islands and Americas Divisions. In his September 12
meetings, EAP/ANP Director Steve McGann encouraged NZ to
approach the Guam relocation project in realistic terms. The
contracting for the base relocation would likely go to large
firms; subcontracting is probably a better fit for NZ
companies. McGann predicted there will be an entire service
industry needed to support the construction project, an
influx of 20,000 new workers of varying skill levels -- many
of whom will need training. Guam lacks a public
transportation system and one will be needed. All of these
areas are targets of opportunity for New Zealand as well as
the Pacific Islands. The USG is committed to seeing the Guam
relocation project provide a Pacific-wide boost to island
residents in terms of skills training and income through
remittances. The key will be to make those populations
"labor ready," and McGann encouraged New Zealand and
Australia to help in this area. He noted that by October,
the USG will better understand the labor sectors needed.
Alan Williams and McGann discussed the risks associated with
labor mobility for many of the Pacific Islands, which may
lose to Guam some of the skilled workers that they can least
afford to lose. Finally, McGann welcomed the news that the
GNZ plans to send a NZ business delegation to Guam in early

3. (C) On the Pacific Island Forum (PIF), MFAT DepSec Alan
Williams outlined GNZ thinking regarding the proposed
Regional Institutional Framework (RIF). He prefaced his
remarks by noting that PM Clark will stay for the post-Forum
dialogue, to show high-level GNZ interest in advancing more
substantive discussion on PIF issues. MFAT officials
deplored the "silo mentality" of government agencies around
the islands, noting that respective governing councils need
to work together. The benefits of regionalisation cannot be
realized in the absence of a more integrated framework.
McGann said the USG philosophically supports the RIF
initiative; the "Pacific way" of slow moving consultations
does not provide for timely results. Both the Forum and
other institutions require active support from key countries
to help strengthen their initiatives. Within the USG, there
remain concerns within various agencies that some sectors
(e.g., environment) may be weakened. How the RIF is rolled
out in Tonga will be important to Washington perceptions.
Williams responded that the RIF will take time to implement,
requiring legal and technical work. PM Clark is willing to
invest the political capital to move it to the "next stage;"
the GNZ would like the USG to be comfortable with the

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proposal and supportive.

4. (C) McGann raised the issue of maritime law enforcement
in the southern Pacific, highlighting USG satisfaction with
GNZ cooperation. He explained that the original USG efforts
to translate a Caribbean-style model to the Pacific had been
too ambitious. The US Coast Guard was instrumental in
helping to develop a different model that was based on
information sharing. The structure and relevant officials
would be the same for law enforcement purposes, search and
rescue, and protection of fisheries. McGann credited the GNZ
for helping to push the process and recognized that the
French have also been supportive. DepSec Williams noted that
he had heard very encouraging reports from the August Quad
plus one meeting in Washington. McGann said that law
enforcement cooperation in the Pacific on a multilateral
basis will facilitate greater bilateral interoperability
between the USG and GNZ. Williams responded that the model
is supportive of the GNZ's Project Protector and
sustainability of migratory tuna stocks, which are essential
for economic stability and development for the Pacific

5. (C) On a different aspect of regional law enforcement,
MFAT's Mike Shaw added that the Pacific islands were slow to
respond to the international requirements outlined in various
UN Security Council resolutions. Relevant UN agencies have
since visited the region and recognized the challenges these
requirements posed for small island nations with limited
personnel. For that reason, the Pacific Island region was at
the bottom of the compliance list, and Shaw pointed out that
USG and GNZ recognition of the problem has helped advance PI
understanding of their obligations. Shaw said that the level
of sophistication, report writing, and legislative drafting
has improved as a result.


6. (C) On Fiji, Alan Williams said that the GNZ was not
totally surprised at the reimposition of martial law. There
had been increased paranoia on the part of Bainimarama,
economic deterioration, lessening of popular support, and the
continued legal action by the former PM. Most senior judges
resigned en masse and tribal chieftains have called for
reconciliation. Williams added that the GNZ has seen no
signs of genuine commitment to the March 2009 election date,
although he added that there is a census underway with
Australian support. Williams remarked that the GNZ would
like to incentivize the election process but will not throw
away money on a process which goes nowhere. The reimposition
of martial law was seen by the GNZ as Bainimarama trying to
shore up support in the military. MFAT officials warned that
there exists an alliance between the leaders of the Solomon
Islands and Fiji within the PIF that could be problematic.
Fundamentally, however, the international community needs to
address the coup culture in Fiji. There will be
opportunities to press Fiji in the near term, said Williams.
The EU is considering a process linking financial
disbursements to benchmarks; NZ is worried that the EU may go
soft. With the PIF coming up, there needs to be affirmation
of the need to return Fiji to democracy, and the UNGA is
another venue for pressuring Bainimarama. Finally, Williams
mentioned the upcoming Kampala Heads of Government from
Commonwealth countries as a third opportunity, although
Pakistan may be problematic.

7. (C) McGann said that the USG view matches that of New
Zealand; Fiji is moving in the wrong direction and
Bainimarama has shown no indication he will hold elections as
promised. McGann outlined USG thoughts for handling Fiji at
UNGA, where Bainimarama will try to buy more time and skirt
the PIF process. McGann said that A/S Hill will not/not meet
with Bainimarama in Tonga; PDAS Davies will meet with
Bainimarama in New York, and US Burns will meet with PI
leaders (but not Bainimarama) in New York. The USG also
plans to chair an Arias-style meeting of the UNSC on Fiji in
mid-November. This forum would include the 15 Security
Council members, non-UNSC members, interested delegates,

WELLINGTON 00000704 003 OF 005

international organizations as well as NGOs, and will be
geared to increase pressure on Bainimarama. For the November
meeting, McGann indicated that the USG would welcome GNZ
representation from Wellington. MFAT Deputy Secretary John
McArthur said that the USG strategy for handling Fiji will be
welcomed by FM Peters.

8. (C) Williams mentioned Bainarama's proposal to form a PI
peacekeeping force for UN operations with Fiji to do the
training. McGann noted that the USG has supported continued
Fiji participation in UNAMI and Lebanon; however, the USG has
said no to future deployments and rejected a Fiji offer to
send troops to Iraq. The regional PKO proposal has merit and
the USG could entertain a PI force minus Fiji.


9. (C) McGann and DepSec McArthur discussed Cuba's request
to open a diplomatic mission in New Zealand, and Cuban
assistance efforts in the Pacific region. McArthur explained
that the Cuban FM has been on a charm offensive, and the
Cuban government has a request for agrement in with MFAT.
The GNZ delayed a response until after the US-NZ Forum, he
said, adding that the GNZ will respond by September 21.
Cuba, he continued, looked to establish a mission either in
Australia or New Zealand. In choosing New Zealand, the Cuban
FM reportedly told the GNZ that Australia was "unfriendly"
and working on behalf of the USG at UNGA. Cuba has an odd
history of people-to-people programs in New Zealand, such as
an agreement with Maori University where there have been
2,000 graduates of a Cuban-taught course. New Zealand will
watch the Cubans closely, indicated McArthur, and work
closely with relevant USG agencies. In Timor Leste, the
medical corps outside Dili is Cuban, and the Cubans have
shown interest in other parts of the Pacific. McGann
responded that the USG has no concerns about Cuba providing
humanitarian medical assistance; it's what comes with it that
raises Washington concerns.

Defense/Security Meetings

10. (C) McGann discussed a range of security issues with
MFAT Deputy Secretary John McArthur, Paul Sinclair, head of
the International Defense Relations Branch at the MOD, and
Wayne Higgins, Director of the Defense Policy and Planning
Unit within Paul Sinclair's office. Sinclair reviewed the
substance of the BGen Toolan and DASD Clad meetings, and
Sinclair reiterated GNZ desire for a better relationship with
PACOM, while noting GNZ capacity constraints. McGann
observed that USG-GNZ security cooperation within the Pacific
is central to the bilateral relationship, and the key will be
to sustain current momentum. Sinclair stated that the recent
visits to New Zealand have been the most substantive
discussions with DOD since the mid-1980s. McGann said that
the USG appreciates the resource and personnel limitations of
the NZ armed forces, but urged the GNZ to find more
opportunities to say "yes," particularly on high-profile
issues of importance to the USG. MFAT Deputy Secretary
McArthur agreed that the GNZ needs to go the extra mile,
particularly on the defense side. Paul Sinclair assured
McGann that the GNZ commitment in Afghanistan will be
maintained, and that the GNZ is considering strengthening
their non-military contribution towards the police. New
Zealand may also lift its diplomatic contribution and is
examining NZAID's role. McGann reinforced A/S Hill's
suggestion that the GNZ provide training assistance to the
Afghan National Army.

11. (C) MFAT Deputy Director for International
Security/Disarmament Paul Ash reviewed New Zealand's recent
Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) efforts, emphasizing
that the GNZ values PSI on its own merits but also for
exchanges on counterproliferation issues in general. He
noted that the GNZ is trying to persuade some Pacific islands
to adopt the PSI Statement of Principles. New Zealand has
found the PSI exercises useful and believes they will be
helpful to other countries in the region. Mike Shaw added

WELLINGTON 00000704 004 OF 005

that New Zealand was pleased to be participating in the PSI
exercise hosted by Japan, and was glad that the USG supported
GNZ inclusion.

12. (C) On peace support operations, Ash echoed MOD
officials regarding the increased tempo of operations, the
long-term constraints represented by the Solomon Islands,
Timor Leste, Afghanistan, and the implications for governance
as well as security. Ash said that New Zealand would welcome
more dialogue on lessons learned from similar types of
interventions and operations. Regarding the Solomon Islands
in particular, Ash shared his pessimism as the SI
government's agenda runs counter to that of the international
community and RAMSI. McGann reported on his conversations
with Taiwanese officials with respect to the SI. Paul
Sinclair said that interventions for peace support are long
term; any expectation that they can be done quickly is
unrealistic, citing Tonga as an example. McGann observed
that there are no external threats to the Pacific islands,
only internal threats to stability -- Sinclair agreed.

13. (C) Americas Desk Director Carl Worker said New Zealand
remains keen to promote an alliance of
civilizations/interfaith dialogue initiative to counter
radicalism within the region. Although the Pacific region's
Muslims are generally moderate, there is potential for
change. The GNZ sees its initiative as a means to engage
large blocs of moderate leaders in a softer manner, which is
a better fit for a small country like New Zealand. Paul Ash
noted that New Zealand has engaged in this type of work
domestically, now it is time to extend it further into the
region. McGann welcomed the GNZ work in this area,
particularly in how it may apply to Southeast Asia.


14. (C) McGann, Carl Worker, and MFAT Deputy Secretary John
McArthur discussed timing for a possible FM Winston Peters
visit to Washington. Although the dates keep slipping for a
Peters visit to North Korea, McGann offered that a swing
through Washington after such a visit could be useful and
that there are other offices in Washington besides the State
Department where Peters could have productive meetings. The
FM could also present a speech before the Asia Society; such
a visit would continue the positive bilateral momentum but
not cloud the electoral processes underway in both countries,
offered McGann. Worker noted that the FM has not made plans
to be in New York for the UNGA; if Peters had not met with
the Secretary in Sydney, he would have gone to New York.
Both Worker and McArthur encouraged greater law enforcement
cooperation, adding that DHS visits have been very useful and
the GNZ is willing to increase engagement. Worker said that
the GNZ would also be receptive to greater engagement and
discussion with USG counterparts on internal disaster
management and relief work.

Trilateral PIF Lunch

15. (C) Over lunch, McGann and DCM joined DepSec Williams
and Patrick Coles from Australia,s Department of Foreign
Affairs and Trade to review Pacific Island issues before the
PIF meeting in October. McGann invited Australia and New
Zealand to send representatives to New York for a meeting of
the Core Partners. He stressed that there was a need for the
Post Forum Dialogue to focus on real issues facing the
Pacific Islands, including regional architecture and Fiji.
Both Coles and Williams responded that their countries would
be eager to participate in the proposed Core Partners
meeting. Coles urged that the partners take a maximalist
approach in their ambitions for the RIF, while recognizing
that there were significant financial and legal questions
remaining to be resolved. McGann responded that the U.S.
philosophically favors RIF, but we need to see the details.
We must keep the focus on achieving greater efficiency within
existing resources.

16. (U) EAP/ANP Director McGann has cleared this message.

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