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Cablegate: Ambassador's Meeting with President Correa On

VZCZCXYZ0924
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHQT #0216 0632328
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 032328Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY QUITO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8581
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 7397
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 3851
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 2925
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ MAR LIMA 2444
RUEHMU/AMEMBASSY MANAGUA 0491
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA 0909
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL 3364

id: 144050
date: 3/3/2008 23:28
refid: 08QUITO216
origin: Embassy Quito
classification: CONFIDENTIAL
destination:
header:
VZCZCXYZ0924
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHQT #0216 0632328
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 032328Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY QUITO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8581
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 7397
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 3851
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 2925
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ MAR LIMA 2444
RUEHMU/AMEMBASSY MANAGUA 0491
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA 0909
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL 3364


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

C O N F I D E N T I A L QUITO 000216

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/03/2028
TAGS: PREL PTER MOPS EC CO PE BR VE NU
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S MEETING WITH PRESIDENT CORREA ON
COLOMBIAN MILITARY OPERATION


Classified By: Ambassador Linda Jewell for reason 1.4 (D)

1. (C) Summary: Meeting with the Ambassador on March 3,
President Correa expressed outrage at President Uribe for
bombing his country, saying he expected the international
community to condemn unprovoked aggression. He said the GOE
had no relationship with the FARC, and accepted the
Ambassador's statement that the Manta FOL had not supported
the Colombian military operation. Correa plans to visit all
countries bordering Colombia in the coming days to seek
solidarity for its position. The Foreign Minister departs
March 3 to attend OAS sessions on the incident scheduled for
March 4. End Summary

2. (C) The Ambassador met with President Correa at his
request late in the afternoon of March 3. Foreign Minister
Salvador also participated. Correa expressed anger that
Uribe had "stabbed me in the back." He recalled their
conversation just last week when they discussed the
possibility of Correa visiting a bioethanol facility in
Colombia, saying that Uribe had to have known at that time
what was planned and did not say a word to Correa about it,
deliberately deceiving him. Correa feels that this deception
continued in Uribe,s first phone call about the incident,
when he indicated that the attack happened when in hot
pursuit of FARC targets. Correa believes evidence now
demonstrates that the action was a premeditated bombing of
Ecuadorian territory against targets that were sleeping.

3. (C) Correa expressed unhappiness with the Department
deputy press spokesman's remarks, calling them "tepid." He
said he expected the United Stated, and the international
community, to support international law and condemn
"unprovoked aggression."

4. (C) Correa considered it unfair to say that the GOE had
not supported efforts against terrorism. He cited the arrest
of Simon Trinidad in 2004 and recent Ecuadorian military
operations against FARC camps in northern Ecuador. Correa
assured the Ambassador that the GOE has no relationship with
the FARC. He repeated this several times and specifically
asked that it be conveyed to Washington. He said he had
authorized Minister Larrea to try to obtain release of ten
hostages held by the FARC, including the three Americans, as
a humanitarian effort, but that he was in no way supporting
the FARC's cause.

5. (C) Countering what had been the subject of some local
speculation, the Ambassador assured Correa that the U.S.
Forward Operating Location (FOL) in Manta, Ecuador, had not
provided intelligence nor had any role in the Colombian
military,s operation. Correa thanked her and said he
believed her. He asked that she also believe him that the
GOE has no relationship with the FARC. He thought that the
issue of Larrea,s contacts with the FARC was being used to
distract from the issue of the incursion.

6. (C) Correa informed the Ambassador that he would be
visiting all countries bordering Colombia, starting with Peru
on March 4. He also mentioned Brazil, Venezuela, and
Nicaragua. (Panama will presumably be included, although it
was not mentioned.) Meanwhile, FM Salvador departs the
evening of March 3 to attend OAS meetings on the situation in
Washington on March 4.

JEWELL

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

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