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Cablegate: Canada On 3/17 Oas Ministerial

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id: 145970
date: 3/14/2008 17:01
refid: 08OTTAWA379
origin: Embassy Ottawa
classification: CONFIDENTIAL
destination: 08STATE25971
header:
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OO RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHQU RUEHVC
DE RUEHOT #0379 0741701
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 141701Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7525
INFO RUCNCAN/ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 0441
RUEHGT/AMEMBASSY GUATEMALA PRIORITY 0095
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA PRIORITY 0626
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO PRIORITY 1805
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO PRIORITY 0189
RUEHBH/AMEMBASSY NASSAU PRIORITY 0412
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA PRIORITY 0152
RUEHSJ/AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE PRIORITY 0208
RUEHSN/AMEMBASSY SAN SALVADOR PRIORITY 0848
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO PRIORITY 0719
RUEHDG/AMEMBASSY SANTO DOMINGO PRIORITY 0418

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C O N F I D E N T I A L OTTAWA 000379

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/14/2013
TAGS: PREL PTER CO EC CA
SUBJECT: CANADA ON 3/17 OAS MINISTERIAL

REF: STATE 25971

Classified By: PolMinCouns Scott Bellard, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) Department of Foreign Affairs and International
Trade Director General for Latin America and the Caribbean
James Lambert confirmed to PolMinCouns on March 14 that
Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier planned to attend the March
17 OAS Ministerial meeting in Washington. Lambert noted
Canada's understanding that Deputy Secretary Negroponte would
represent Secretary Rice due to her scheduled travel to
Russia. He expressed appreciation for reftel oral points,
and said that Canada was "on the same page" on its
substantive points, similarly wanting the Ministerial to look
forward, not backward. He noted that it would be especially
unhelpful to do anything to "unravel" the positive
developments from the March 5 OAS meeting and the Rio Group
Summit, while reiterating Canadian support for Colombia
generally. He expressed the hope of avoiding any perceptions
by delegations that the U.S. and/or Canada were
anti-Venezuela. He predicted that a key "tactical question"
will be how OAS eventually responds to whatever conclusions
INTERPOL may draw from its examination of the computers that
the Colombians had seized at the FARC camp, especially if
there were any strong indications of violations of
sovereignty by other states. A key challenge at this
Ministerial and over the next few months will be to maintain
a positive enough atmosphere for Colombia to be able to host
a successful OAS General Assembly in June, he underscored.

2. (C) Lambert and Director of Inter-American Relations and
Regional Policy Heidi Kutz nonetheless expressed some
discomfort about the direction the U.S. seemed about to take
in citing Article 2 of the OAS Charter, indicating Canada's
hope that the Ministerial would more narrowly focus on
"commenting on and validating" the conclusions of Secretary
General Insulza's Commission and on making relevant
recommendations. (Lambert also expressed regret that the OAS
had not accepted Canada's offer to participate on the
Commission, while instead accepting Mexico at the last
minute.) Kutz pointed to a certain remaining "fragility"
within the OAS, and commented that all delegations should
proceed cautiously in order to achieve the most positive
"institutional outcome." Lambert said that, while Canada has
had some points of dissatisfaction with the OAS over the
years, by and large the OAS had proven itself as "up to the
job" in meeting various challenges, and this was the
longer-term trend to encourage. He added that Canada was
looking forward to hosting the OAS Defense Ministers in Banff
in September, and that Canada expected OAS responses to
terrorism and violations of sovereignty to be among the
likely topics.

Visit Canada,s Economy and Environment Forum at
http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/can ada

BREESE

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