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Cablegate: Mfa Secstate Kao Kim Hourn Discusses Burma With

VZCZCXRO8543
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHPF #0102 0230650
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 230650Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 2270
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0071

UNCLAS PHNOM PENH 000102

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR D, P, EAP/MLS, DRL, S/WCI; NSC FOR LPHU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KJUS PHUM PTER KWMN BM CB
SUBJECT: MFA SECSTATE KAO KIM HOURN DISCUSSES BURMA WITH
DAS MARCIEL

REF: PHNOM PENH 74

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Deputy Assistant Secretary Scot Marciel
paid a courtesy call January 18 on Kao Kim Hourn, Secretary
of State in charge of ASEAN Affairs at the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs. The conversation focused on ASEAN and the
situation in Burma. Kao Kim Hourn offered his candid
perceptions of the current situation in Burma, noting Aung
Sang Suu Kyi should be treated as a partner in an inclusive
process that proceeds on a defined timeline --which could
perhaps evolve from the roadmap. Noting that more dialogue
should be pursued, he said Cambodia could serve as a model as
it had experience making a transition from conflict. DAS
Marciel stressed the need for Cambodia and other neighbors to
press the Burmese regime to welcome UN advisor Gambari and to
move toward a genuine dialogue. The Deputy Chief of Mission,
Control Officer Jennifer Spande, and SGSO Judy Moore
(notetaker) accompanied DAS Marciel. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) Kao Kim Hourn outlined the Cambodian process for
ratification of the ASEAN Charter, which will soon commence
in the National Assembly. He said the cabinet endorses the
charter and expects Cambodia to be the second or third
country to ratify it.

3. (U) Kao Kim Hourn stated that Cambodia's position on the
proposed ASEAN human rights body had been established by
Prime Minister Hun Sen in late 2006: Cambodia supported
national human rights bodies and would create one of its
own, and Cambodia supported creation of an ASEAN human rights
body. He noted potential difficulty in defining powers
granted the human rights body and distinguishing the
respective roles of the ASEAN body and national human rights
commission.

Burma - Situation Complicated
-----------------------------

4. (SBU) Kao Kim Hourn recognized the lack of progress in
Burma's political situation. He said that the Cambodian role
is not an easy one, but perhaps Cambodia could act as a model
of how to progress for Burma. While the ongoing process (the
roadmap) should be respected, there must be a timeline for
moving forward. He also said that the process must be
inclusive and that Aung San Suu Kyi should be treated as a
partner.

5. (SBU) DAS Marciel reiterated that the U. S. does not want
instability in Burma, and that without political change the
present situation could get worse. He said that Aung San Suu
Kyi cannot represent others when she herself remains in
isolation. He emphasized that ASEAN nations must weigh in
with the regime to press for approval of an early visit by UN
envoy Gambari and for tangible progress toward a genuine
dialogue.

6. (SBU) Kao Kim Hourn pointed out that elections are key to
the democratic process. He offered his personal idea of
finding a way forward for Burma through an international
conference styled on the Paris Peace process for Cambodia,
also pulling in countries such as China and India which were
supportive of the regime. He suggested that one or more
ASEAN representatives might visit Burma to evaluate the
current situation. Kao Kim Hourn intimated one area of
concern is that other governments, views are not being
conveyed by Burmese officials to General Than Shwe.

7. (SBU) Kao Kim Hourn also proposed the notion of future
political asylum or exile for General Than Shwe as a means to
allow the process to move forward. He acknowledged that
Cambodia, as one of the newer ASEAN members, has relatively
close ties to Burma. He reiterated that elections are key to
moving toward democracy and indicated holding elections is
the only way to overcome the perception that a country lacks
international legitimacy.

8. (SBU) DAS Marciel cleared this cable.
MUSSOMELI

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