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Cablegate: Panama: Additional Kosovo Recognition Demarche

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHZP #0255 0881458
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 281458Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY PANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1861
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHOU/AMEMBASSY OUAGADOUGOU 0003
RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR 0015
RUEHDG/AMEMBASSY SANTO DOMINGO 0414
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 0332
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0005
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 0016
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0316
RUEHPS/USOFFICE PRISTINA 0007

C O N F I D E N T I A L PANAMA 000255

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/SCE, WHA/PPC, WHA/CEN, AND IO/UNP

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/27/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV UNAUS UNMIK YI EU MY PM UV
SUBJECT: PANAMA: ADDITIONAL KOSOVO RECOGNITION DEMARCHE
DELIVERED

REF: STATE 30452

Classified By: Ambassador William A. Eaton. Reason: 1.4 (d).

---------------------------
Panama working through SICA
---------------------------

1. (C) "We are working with the Central American Integration
System (SICA) to see if we pull together several of our
neighbors to join Panama in recognizing Kosovo," First VP and
FM Samuel Lewis told Ambassador March 26 in response to
reftel demarche. "Panama has no problem recognizing Kosovo,
but we could not do so while Panama still held the presidency
of the UN Security Council," Lewis added. While it would not
be possible to get all SICA members to agree to recognize,
Lewis said he believed that Panama could bring most SICA
members along. (Note: The following countries are SICA
members: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala,
Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The Dominican Republic is
an associated state. Spain, Mexico, and Taiwan are
observers.) Lewis said, "I will work this issue myself."

-------------------------------------
Spanish Diplomacy Against Recognition
-------------------------------------

2. (C) Lewis asserted that Spanish diplomacy had been
effective in dissuading Latin American countries from
recognizing Kosovo. "The Spanish argue: what do you get out
of recognizing Kosovo? That's an effective message for
countries with close ties to Spain when Kosovo is half-way
around the world," Lewis explained. Lewis said Spanish
diplomacy on this matter was driven out of concern for its
own Basque and Catalan separatist challenges.

-------
Comment
-------

3. (C) Panama has been stalling since February 16 when Lewis
told Ambassador it would recognize Kosovo "soon, but after
the Europeans." Reftel statistics noting that three-fourths
of the EU, half of Serbia's and Kosovo's neighbors, all G-7
members and that the pace of recognition had been faster than
for Bangladesh, Croatia, Macedonia, Eritrea or East Timor had
a significant impact. Given Panama's reluctance to date to
blaze a path forward on Kosovo recognition, it remains to be
seen whether Lewis will indeed carry out effective diplomatic
efforts to bring along multiple Central American countries
(and possible the Domincan Republic) to recognize Kosovo.
EATON

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