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Cablegate: Gvn Elaborates On Upcoming Human Rights Dialogue

VZCZCXRO1696
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHHI #0611 1440939
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 230939Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7885
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH PRIORITY 4765
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 7124
RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS HANOI 000611

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS, DRL/AWH AND DRL/IRF

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL PGOV VM

SUBJECT: GVN ELABORATES ON UPCOMING HUMAN RIGHTS DIALOGUE

SUMMARY
-------

1. (SBU) In a May 23 meeting with Poloffs, the MFA handed over an
18-person list of the GVN delegation to the May 29 United States -
Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue (HRD) in Hanoi and elaborated on the
agenda sessions that the GVN will lead. Assistant Foreign Minister
Doan Xuan Hung, previously a diplomat at the Vietnamese Embassy in
Washington, will lead the GVN Delegation and has participated in a
prior HRD. We are pleased that Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Binh
Minh, who led the GVN HRD Delegation to Washington in 2007, will
host lunch for the USG Delegation. The MFA reiterated its hope that
a "successful" Human Rights Dialogue will ensure a "successful"
visit of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to the United States this
summer and one "not distracted too much by human rights issues."
End Summary.


AFM HUNG SERVED AT WASHINGTON EMBASSY
-------------------------------------


2. (SBU) The United States - Vietnam annual Human Rights Dialogue
will take place on Thursday, May 29 at the Government Guest House in
downtown Hanoi. Poloffs met with MFA interlocutors on May 23 to
review the proposed agenda and discuss the sessions that Vietnam
will lead. After a 15 minute opening during which each head of
delegation is expected to introduce members of their respective
delegation, GVN delegation head and MFA Assistant Foreign Minister
(AFM) Doan Xuan Hung will present a 30 minute "scenesetter." MFA
interlocutors told us that Hung will review the past bilateral HRDs,
as both Hung and DRL A/S Kramer are leading the HRD for the first
time. (Note. MFA told us that AFM Hung was previously a
Minister-Counselor at the GVN Embassy in Washington and participated
in the 2002 bilateral HRD. End note.) Hung will note the
developments and Vietnam's progress since last year's HRD. Hung may
also note the GVN's stance on core Human Rights issues, although MFA
did not elaborate on this and said his remarks would remain
"general."


ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS "JUST AS IMPORTANT"
--------------------------------------------- ----


3. (SBU) During the morning session on "Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights and their Implementation," the GVN will make the
point that economic, social and cultural rights are "just as
important" as civil and political rights. They will also speak to
Vietnam's work under the United Nations International Convention on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Vietnam is currently
preparing its national report to the United Nations on compliance
with the Convention.


WATCH OUT FOR RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE SESSION
-----------------------------------------

4. (SBU) The GVN will also lead a 30-minute afternoon session on
"Religious Tolerance." Our MFA interlocutors told us that,
concerning religious freedom, "there are two sides of the coin" and
that if you "want religious freedom, there must be tolerance first."
They said the GVN would discuss religious freedom in the global
context and hinted that they would raise their perception of the
United States record. Although they did not say it, we expect the
GVN could raise critically the case of United States - Islamic
relations and Guantanamo Bay, the current situation of the
Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and
possibly the 1990s case of the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas.
They have done this in other meetings, although very
diplomatically.


MFA SEEKING TO PROTECT PM ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN PREP FOR US VISIT
---------------------------------------------


5. (SBU) MFA interlocutors spoke eagerly about the Prime Minister's
pending official visit to the United States and the need for this
dialogue to "set the proper tone" for that visit. The GVN wants the
HRD to be "successful" so the Prime Minister's visit will be
"successful." It was clear they also hope to "remove obstacles" on
human rights, as we know the Prime Minister does not wish his United
States visit to be dominated by human rights issues.

MICHALAK

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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