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Cablegate: Public Outreach Reinforces Mission Public

VZCZCXRO4733
RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #6045 3392115
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 052115Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9797
INFO RUEHWH/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS
RUEAHLA/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USNORTHCOM
RHMFIUU/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0103
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS MEXICO 006045

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/MEX, INR, INL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON MX
SUBJECT: PUBLIC OUTREACH REINFORCES MISSION PUBLIC
DIPLOMACY ON BEHALF OF BROAD POLICY OBJECTIVES

1. (U) Summary: The Deputy Secretary built a robust public
diplomacy element into his October 29-30 visit to Mexico
City. Two TV interviews and a round table with senior print
and broadcast leaders (reported septel) substantially
buttressed ongoing mission efforts to build public support
for the Merida Initiative. During an October 30 breakfast
event with the Mexican Council of International Affairs
(Comexi) led by former Foreign Minister Francisco Solana,
Deputy Secretary Negroponte offered a tour d,horizon of U.S.
foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East and Latin
America. End Summary

2. (U) Following an introduction by PRI Senator Rosario
Green in which she asked the Deputy to outline U.S. foreign
policy objectives and questioned U.S. engagement in the
Western Hemisphere, Negroponte underscored the unchanging
principles behind our foreign policy and gave context to the
impact of September 11, 2001. He discussed our concerns and
efforts regarding the War on Terror, Iraq, and Middle East
peace, and emphasized the engagement of the Bush
administration in the Western Hemisphere, despite news
headlines being elsewhere.

3. (U) Assistant Secretary Shannon underscored the point
by outlining the strategic importance of the region for the
United States and the challenge we collectively face linking
democracy and development. He said we are using our trade
policy, foreign assistance, and demographic linkages to
advance a positive agenda, and singled out Brazil and Mexico
as the region,s key players.

4. (U) Audience questions spanned the spectrum from
immigration, the so-called border &wall8, NAFTA, and the
Merida Initiative to Cuba, Iran, and Venezuela. Negroponte
stressed the importance of the U.S.-Mexico partnership, was
hopeful about Congressional support for the Merida
Initiative, and was frank about the prospects for immigration
reform during an election season. He said reopening NAFTA to
negotiation would be a bad idea, and agreed that more needs
to be done to facilitate trade and movement along the border.


5. (U) With regard to Cuba, Negroponte referenced
President Bush,s recent speech and said the imminent passing
of Fidel Castro should be an opportunity for a democratic
opening. Iran is an adversary to everything we are trying to
accomplish in the Middle East and South Asia, he explained.
The U.S. does not know how much substance is behind
Venezuela,s efforts to build relations with Iran and
believes the Chavez ®ime8 will eventually fall under its
own weight, but also takes seriously Chavez,s efforts to
import the Iran issue into the hemisphere and recognizes that
high oil prices will prolong his survival. Shannon added
that we are not interested in an ideological battle, but
rather in the ability of governments and institutions to
deliver the promise of democracy and development to all
citizens of this hemisphere.


Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity and the North American
Partnership Blog at http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/nap /
GARZA

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