Search

 

Cablegate: Mfa and Presidency Views On Colombian Hostage

VZCZCXRO3911
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHFR #0149/01 0291317
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 291317Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1812
INFO RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN 2056
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 0470
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 2010
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 1499
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0540
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 2762
RUEHROV/AMEMBASSY VATICAN 0079
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0045

id: 139121
date: 1/29/2008 13:17
refid: 08PARIS149
origin: Embassy Paris
classification: CONFIDENTIAL
destination:
header:
VZCZCXRO3911
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHFR #0149/01 0291317
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 291317Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1812
INFO RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN 2056
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 0470
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 2010
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 1499
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0540
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 2762
RUEHROV/AMEMBASSY VATICAN 0079
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0045

----------------- header ends ----------------

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 000149

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/24/2018
TAGS: PREL PTER PHUM FR CO VZ SP SZ VT
SUBJECT: MFA AND PRESIDENCY VIEWS ON COLOMBIAN HOSTAGE
NEGOTIATIONS FOLLOWING PRESIDENT URIBE'S JANUARY 21 VISIT
TO PARIS

REF: 08 BOGOTA 00267

Classified By: POL M/C Josiah Rosenblatt for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) SUMMARY: MFA A/S for the Americas Daniel Parfait
described an uncertain way forward to secure the release of
FARC hostages following the January 21 visit of Colombian
President Uribe to France. While a determined President
Sarkozy continues to press the MFA for proposals to obtain
Ingrid Betancourt's release, MFA specialists perceive a
negotiated solution in large measure subject to the whims of
an unpredictable FARC that is focused on self-preservation
and continuing the drug trade. During his one-day visit,
Uribe met with Sarkozy and Ingrid Betancourt's family. Uribe
asked Sarkozy to support the Catholic Church's mediation and
thanked the GOF for continuing to support keeping the FARC on
the EU terrorist list. Uribe also asked France, Spain and
Switzerland to restart a European dialogue with the FARC;
however, Parfait expressed doubt these discussions would be
productive given their failure two years ago. Parfait
remains unsure of the best course of action to secure the
release of the hostages, but does credit Hugo Chavez for
securing the release of Clara Rojas and Consuelo Gonzalez as
well as obtaining "proof of life" for Ingrid Betancourt and
other hostages, the two achievements on the hostage front in
recent years. END SUMMARY

HOSTAGES: URIBE'S PROPOSALS - SARKOZY PRESSES FOR A
STRATEGY
--------------------------------------------- ---------------

2. (C) Daniel Parfait, A/S-equivalent for the Americas, met
EUR/WE Office Director Kathy Allegrone and Political Minister
Counselor Josiah Rosenblatt on January 24. Parfait credited
Hugo Chavez with the November 30 "proof of life" and the
January 10 release of Clara Rojas and Consuelo Gonzalez.
When asked about next steps, Parfait said France supports
Uribe's proposal for the Catholic Church to act as a
negotiator. He also noted that Uribe supports the resumption
of the Swiss, Spanish, French mediation effort, but he is not
optimistic that the unpredictable FARC will accept the
proposal. Damien Loras, Americas' Counselor to President
Sarkozy told us on January 24 that the French are wary of
Uribe's offer and believe he might support renewed Swiss,
Spanish and French involvement to limit each country's
ability to maneuver independently. France also supports
Brazil and Argentina playing an unspecified role to promote
the release of the hostages. Parfait acknowledged Sarkozy is
singularly focused on the Betancourt hostage aspect of this
issue, and Loras privately admitted that France has a
"Betancourt problem" - Betancourt's value to the FARC rises
as the media attention and international support for her
increases. In light of this political pressure, Sarkozy
regularly presses the MFA to propose solutions; however,
Parfait acknowledged that France cannot make offers until the
FARC provide an idea of what concessions they want. Parfait
suggested the FARC's primary objective is to stay alive and
to continue drug trafficking.

3. (C) While he had limited detail on the Uribe visit,
Parfait described Hugo Chavez's proposal to remove the FARC
from international terrorist lists as a "surprise." After
suffering international embarrassment when the EU flatly
rejected the idea, Chavez privately walked back his
suggestion and explained to Parfait during a January 13-14
trip to Guatemala that he hoped the EU would consider the
FARC "belligerents" and not "terrorists" if they freed
hostages and stopped kidnapping. France publicly rejected
Chavez's suggestion as long as the FARC does not release its
hostages. Parfait clarified that France would consider
Chavez's suggestion only if the FARC liberated hostages,
stopped kidnapping, and began negotiations.

VENEZUELA
---------
4. (C) Parfait welcomed Chavez's December 3 referendum loss
as "the best thing" that could have happened to the country.
He noted that Chavez's first response to the loss (acceptance
of the vote) was constructive, but his secondary reaction
(i.e. a call for a new referendum) has not been "as good."
Parfait said Chavez's defeat offers the opposition an
opportunity to strive towards greater internal organization
to create better prospects for democracy in Venezuela. Both

PARIS 00000149 002 OF 002


Parfait and Loras commented on Chavez's fascinating
personality saying that he is able to adapt to audiences very
easily and is politically savvy. Parfait called the
diplomatic row between Colombia and Venezuela as the worst in
decades. He expects Colombia's economy will suffer
dramatically as a result.

CUBA
----
5. (C) On Cuba issues, Parfait expects the GOF to continue
to defer to Spain once France takes over the EU Presidency.
During an August visit to Miami, Parfait was impressed by the
thoughtful, pragmatic representatives of the Cuban-American
community he met with. He recommended that they meet with EU
officials, probably on a visit to Brussels. Such contact
could help broaden and inform the EU point of view on Cuba.


Please visit Paris' Classified Website at:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/paris/index.c fm


PEKALA

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: