Search

 

Cablegate: Ambassador Presses Cambodia to Take Firmer Stand

VZCZCXRO3066
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHPF #1247/01 2740954
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 010954Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
INFO RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN IMMEDIATE
RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 2489
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 2294
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 0390
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 0161
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 0648
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 3174
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON PRIORITY 0097

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PHNOM PENH 001247

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

USUN FOR POLSEC EAP SENIOR AREA ADVISER
USUN PASS TO TDY SHANNON DORSEY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/01/2017
TAGS: PREL PHUM PGOV BM CB
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR PRESSES CAMBODIA TO TAKE FIRMER STAND
ON BURMA

REF: STATE 137644

Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOSEPH A. MUSSOMELI FOR REASONS 1.4 (B, D)

1. (C) SUMMARY: In back-to-back meetings with Acting
Foreign Minister Long Visalo and Prime Minister's Adviser Om
Yentieng, Ambassador delivered reftel demarche, expressing
U.S. gratitude for the strong ASEAN statement on Burma,
noting that more would need to be done to support the Gambari
mission, and calling for a separate RGC statement condemning
the Burmese junta's violent repression of peaceful
demonstrators and promoting reconciliation and reform.
Visalo noted a newly released letter by Singapore's PM to
Than Shwe in Singapore's capacity as ASEAN Chair as evidence
that ASEAN had taken appropriate steps to date. Noting the
serious impact on Burma's neighbors of the military regime's
behavior, Ambassador stressed that the Royal Government of
Cambodia could do more. Visalo took on board USG points and
allowed that if difficulties remained, the RGC might look for
another solution. Senior Adviser Om Yentieng echoed Visalo's
assessment, and noted Singapore had been contacting other
ASEAN members and that PM Hun Sen had telephoned Foreign
Minister Hor Namhong in New York to discuss Burma. Om
Yentieng cited a Cambodia-hosted ASEM conference in Siem Reap
as evidence that Cambodia is supporting criticism of Burmese
military wrongdoing. The Foreign Ministry and Om Yentieng's
office were coordinating messages to the UN Mission as a
follow-up to the Ambassador's demarche. RGC interlocutors
are aware that FM Hor will meet with A/S Hill in the
afternoon of Oct. 1. Given that the FM often takes a more
flexible approach to our strongly stated concerns, we urge
A/S Hill to press even harder for more action by the RGC.
END SUMMARY.

Acting Foreign Minister Willing to Re-Consider
--------------------------------------------- -

2. (C) In a longer discussion reviewing reftel points,
Ambassador told Acting FM Long Visalo that the ASEAN message
was very strong and had sent the right message to the Burmese
military regime. Noting the junta's killing of defenseless
demonstrators and the murder of Buddhist monks, and referring
to the individual statements from the Philippines and
Malaysia on Burma, the Ambassador urged Cambodia to issue its
own separate statement on the situation. Ambassador
pointedly noted that in recent history the only other Asian
regime to brutally kill Buddhist monks and rampage their
monasteries was the Khmer Rouge. Burma could learn from
Cambodia and how it had emerged from a history of conflict
and moved toward a more open democracy. Moreover, Burma's
situation was having a negative impact on regional stability
in such areas as narcotics and trafficking in persons. The
Burmese military regime would listen more attentively to the
bilateral exhortations of individual ASEAN members,
especially from a country like Cambodia that was similarly
situated as a small developing country in the region and
might be considered a trusted neighbor.

3. (C) Long Visalo thanked the Ambassador for his
estimation of Cambodia, but noted that the ASEAN group had
not only devised a strong statement but had given its support
to the work of the SYG's special envoy Ibrahim Gambari, who
was to call for meetings between all political parties in
Burma with the aim of finding a solution. Long Visalo also
noted the September 29 letter from Singapore PM Lee Hsien
Loong in Singapore's capacity as ASEAN chair, which threw the
weight of ASEAN behind the Gambari mission and called for the
release of all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu
Kyi. This should be enough for now, he stated, and Cambodia
would wait for the results of the Gambari visit.

4. (C) When the Ambassador asked the Acting FM to press
Foreign Minister Hor Namhong to be more assertive, Long
Visalo acknowledged that if there was no peaceful resolution
to the Burmese crisis, then it would be very difficult for
ASEAN nations. If the Gambari mission is not successful,
then Cambodia could look for a different approach, he
conceded.


PHNOM PENH 00001247 002 OF 002


Prime Minister's Adviser Only Slightly More Receptive
--------------------------------------------- --------

5. (C) Prime Minister's Adviser Om Yentieng responded to
the demarche with the assessment that the Burmese regime
would not give up power easily, notwithstanding ASEAN's very
strong statement. He also noted Gambari's meeting with ASSK
as one positive development in that mission. Om Yentieng
stated that Singapore had contacted PM Hun Sen directly about
the Burma crisis and that Singapore was in contact with other
ASEAN nations. He noted that PM Hun Sen had also telephoned
FM Hor Namhong in New York to discuss the situation in Burma.
The Foreign Ministry and Om Yentieng's office were
coordinating messages to the UN Mission as a follow-up to the
Ambassador's demarche. Om Yentieng took on board the USG
points and promised to relay our concerns to the PM and to
follow up as needed.

6. (SBU) Commenting on a Cambodia-hosted conference with
ASEM on freedom of expression held Sept. 26-28, Om Yentieng
that many of the participants from 43 nations had used the
occasion to condemn the Burmese regime. A Burmese delegation
was also in attendance, he noted.


Comment: We Need to Keep Pressing
----------------------------------

7. (C) COMMENT: Although the RGC has taken on board our
points and understands the critical situation in Burma, it is
not clear that they are yet prepared to break away from the
ASEAN consensus. Long Visalo is constrained in his role as
Acting Foreign Minister and does not have the ear of PM Hun
Sen, as Hor Namhong sometimes does. Post recommends that A/S
Hill press even harder with FM Hor Namhong to consider
issuing an RGC statement on the Burma situation, in
consideration of our wider and deeper relations. The
Australian Ambassador told Ambassador today that she would
press the PM to make a public statement, noting that its
silence made Cambodia look bad and that it was time for the
RCG to declare its outrage at the Burmese junta's actions.
MUSSOMELI

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

COP24: Rapid Action Urged At Climate Change Conference

Following a year of devastating climate disasters around the globe, from California to Kerala, and Tonga to Japan, the annual UN Climate Change Conference opens with the goal of finalising the implementation guidelines for the Paris Climate Change Agreement. More>>

ALSO:

New Report: Refugees In PNG Being Pushed To The Brink

Refugee Council of Australia and Amnesty International paint a stark picture of a traumatised refugee population hit hard by Australia's recent healthcare and counselling service cuts, as well as continued threats to their safety. More>>

ALSO:

Jamal Khashoggi: UK, France, Germany Join Calls For Credible Investigation

Germany, the United Kingdom and France share the grave concern expressed by others including HRVP Mogherini and UNSG Guterres, and are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness. More>>

ALSO:

MSF Not Wanted: Nauru Government Shows Continued Callousness

The Nauruan Government’s decision to ask Doctors Without Borders to immediately leave shows continued callousness towards asylum seekers desperately seeking a safe place to call home, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman said today. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC