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Cablegate: Panama: Ethiopia-Eritrea Demarche Delivered

VZCZCXYZ5745
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHZP #0195 0651702
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 051702Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY PANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1793
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0313

C O N F I D E N T I A L PANAMA 000195

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/05/2018
TAGS: PREL KPKO UNSC PM
SUBJECT: PANAMA: ETHIOPIA-ERITREA DEMARCHE DELIVERED

REF: STATE 21218

Classified By: POLCOUNS Brian R. Naranjo. Reason: 1.4 (b).

"Panama would be open to considering focused measures to
pressure the Government of Eritrea to cease interfering in
the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea," Panamanian MFA DG
for External Affairs Javier Bonagas told POLCOUNS on March 5.
Bonagas -- who was very conversant on the situation in
Eritrea, Ethiopia, and the region -- expressed concern at
continued "arms trafficking" in both Eritrea and Ethiopia,
said that this region of Africa could not suffer additional
instability, and expressed concerns about the regrettable
human rights situation. Bonagas said Eritrea could not be
permitted to continue to "disturb" the situation in the
region. Bonagas said that Panama would support focused
sanctions against Eritrean officials (e.g., travel ban, asset
freeze) and an arms embargo to attempt to pressure Eritrea to
stop interfering with UN operations. Comment: Panama
generally does not like to resort to sanctions and rarely
ever suggests using "pressure" against other countries.
Bonagas' openness to sanctions and pressure with respect
Eritrea highlights Panama's belief that Eritrea is indeed in
the wrong, Eritrea's behavior is unacceptable, and the UNSC
should act to bolster UNMEE.
EATON

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