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Cablegate: Education Secretary Spelling's Meeting with President Of

VZCZCXRO5505
RR RUEHCN RUEHVC
DE RUEHGH #0678 2950710
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 220710Z OCT 07
FM AMCONSUL SHANGHAI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6378
INFO RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 6861
RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF EDUCATION WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SHANGHAI 000678

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/CM
DEPT OF EDUCATION FOR ROBIN GILCHRIST

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV SOCI CH US
SUBJECT: EDUCATION SECRETARY SPELLING'S MEETING WITH PRESIDENT OF
ICELAND


(U) This cable is sensitive but unclassified and for official
use only. Not for distribution outside of USG channels or via
the Internet.

1. (SBU) On October 3, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret
Spellings held a short bilateral exchange with President of the
Republic of Iceland Olafur Grimsson on the margins of the
Special Olympics Global Policy Summit on the Well-being of
People with Intellectual Disabilities. The meeting was at
President Grimsson's request, in his capacity as an
international board member of Special Olympics. Grimsson was
accompanied by Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver.

3. (SBU) Speaking on behalf of the international board members
of Special Olympics, Grimsson thanked Secretary Spellings and
President Bush for their support for the organization. He said
that, as the Chinese have recently discovered through hosting
the summer games, association with the Special Olympics is a
very good investment in international goodwill. Grimsson noted
that although Special Olympics is an international organization,
it is inseparable from America, with its headquarters in the
United States and its close association with the Kennedy-Shriver
family. Grimsson said it is among the best manifestations of
what the United States represents and while not a U.S.
"propaganda machine," Special Olympics is perhaps the only such
global organization with such close ties to the United States.

4. (SBU) Given the unique global impact of the Special
Olympics, Grimsson urged the Administration and Congress to
provide stronger long-term support for the organization.
Shriver echoed those sentiments. Specifically, he asked that
Special Olympics received the full funding allowed under the
Sports Empowerment Act. He also complimented Secretary
Spellings for her announcement, in her remarks earlier that day
at the Global Policy Summit, to commit USD 1.5 million to create
a center to help colleges and universities develop and expand
programs for students with intellectual disabilities. He
described this as an important step.

5. (SBU) Secretary Spellings thanked President Grimsson for his
comments and said she will convey his thanks, and request for
additional support, back to the President and the U.S. Congress.

6. (U) Participants

U.S. Side: Secretary Spellings, Consul General Kenneth Jarrett,
Susan Berchelmann (Department of Education), and notetaker
Joshua Harman.

Iceland Side: President Grimsson and two staff assistants.

Special Olympics: Chairman Timothy Shriver.

7. (U) This message was cleared by the Spellings's delegation.

KJARRETT

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