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Cablegate: Panama: June 23 Meeting On Zimbabwe

VZCZCXYZ0003
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHZP #0510 1751855
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 231855Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY PANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2203
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L PANAMA 000510

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/23/2018
TAGS: PREL PHUM KDEM UNSC ZI PM
SUBJECT: PANAMA: JUNE 23 MEETING ON ZIMBABWE

REF: STATE 66915

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

------------------------------------------
Panama Supports UNSC Engagement on Zimbabwe
-------------------------------------------

1. (C) "Panama fully supports (UK PM) Gordon Brown's recent
statement regarding the violence in Zimbabwe," Panamanian MFA
UNSC Advisor Janio Tunon told POL Fellow on June 23. Now
that the opposition had pulled out of the upcoming elections,
MFA UNSC Team ExecSec Thays Noriega told POLCOUNS that it was
even more important for the UNSC to take action so that
Mugabe "could not be rewarded for collapsing the opposition."
Panama supported a PRST on Zimbabwe, both Tunon and Noriega
said, but was interested in hearing what South Africa would
have to say in private before the June 23 public meeting.
Panama intended to make a national statement as well, both
confirmed. Noting that the Human Rights Council was in no
position to deal effectively with the growing conflict in
Zimbabwe, Noriega said that it was all the more critical that
the UNSC act. Noriega said Panama would support making
Zimbabwe an agenda item for the Council.

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

2. (C) Noriega is the youngest daughter of former Panamanian
dictator Manuel Antoinio Noriega, currently under preventive
detention in Florida pending resolution of a French
extradition request. In this case, the daughter's
condemnation of Mugabe's tactics against Zimbabwe's
opposition -- tactics her own father might have used -- was
particularly striking. Her off the cuff remark that the HRC
could not be expected to respond effectively as the UNSC
might was also particularly revealing.
EATON

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