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Cablegate: Panama: Somalia and Piracy Demarche Delivered

VZCZCXYZ3070
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHZP #0197 0652240
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 052240Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY PANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1795
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0314

C O N F I D E N T I A L PANAMA 000197

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/E, AF/RSA, IO/UNP, EBB/TRA/OTP, OES/OA, L,
WHA/PPC, AND WHA/CEN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/05/2018
TAGS: KCRM PBTS PREL UN UNSC IMO XA XW SO PM
SUBJECT: PANAMA: SOMALIA AND PIRACY DEMARCHE DELIVERED

REF: STATE 18101

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

(C) "Panama is very interested in working through the UN
Security Council to combat piracy, not only in Somalia, but
also throughout the world," Panamanian DG for External
Affairs Javier Bonagas told POLCOUNS on March 5. Bonagas
noted that Panama had the world's largest maritime fleet,
with an estimated 7,000 Panamanian-flagged vessels, crossing
the world's oceans at any time. "Our vessels have been the
victims of piracy off of Somalia and in the Straits of
Malacca." Bonagas said that Panama had contemplated focusing
on piracy during its February UNSC presidency, but decided
against doing so as Panama did not want to "draw special
attention to Panama or Panamanian-flagged vessels." Post
believes that Panama would be highly interested in joining a
UNSC effort to combat piracy that is specific to Somalia as
it provides an opportunity to enhance protection for its
extensive fleet without having to draw a spotlight to itself.
EATON

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