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Cablegate: Mauritius Wants Continued Bilat Dialogue On Human Rights

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPL #0203 1640909
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 120909Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY PORT LOUIS
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 4039

UNCLAS PORT LOUIS 000203

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

AF/E FOR MARIA BEYZEROV
DRL/MLGA FOR LYNN SICADE
IO/RHS FOR AMY OSTERMEIER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCRM KWMN PHUM PREF SMIG MP
SUBJECT: MAURITIUS WANTS CONTINUED BILAT DIALOGUE ON HUMAN RIGHTS
COUNCIL ISSUES DESPITE USG ROLE CHANGE

REF: STATE 61034

1. (U) On June 11, 2008, Post delivered ref demarche to Ms.
Shafeenaaz Nurmahomed, Second Secretary of Multilateral Affairs for
the Mauritian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Nurmohammed understood
the stance of USG, but asked for clarification between the new
stance and the "limited observer" stance USG has had until now.
POLOFF distinguished the two by saying that USG will no longer
participate in Human Rights Council (HRC) sessions unless vital USG
interests are at stake.

2. (U) The discussion between Nurmahomed and POLOFF highlighted the
inefficiency of the HRC through demarche points that had regional
relevance for GOM (such as the lack of attention to human rights
issues in Zimbabwe) or historical resonance in our bilateral
relationship (such as the lack of action on country specific
resolutions for Iran, Belarus, and North Korea). Nurmahomed said
that the points made in the demarche, including the U.S. role change
in the HRC, would be communicated to the HRC delegation in Geneva
the same day. Nurmahomed did not seem surprised by this change of
status and asked to keep the bilateral dialogue open to resolutions
debated in the Council even though the U.S. will no longer
participate in sessions.

3. (SBU) COMMENT: Post believes that Mauritius remains receptive to
US viewpoints on the HRC and that through increased bilateral
engagement we can still influence Mauritian behavior in the HRC.
According to Mr. Joyker Nayeck, First Secretary at the Foreign
Ministry, after receiving our demarche on the proposed OIC
'Defamation of Religions' amendment to the Freedom of Expression
resolution for the last session of the HRC, Mauritius changed its
vote from 'Yes' to 'Abstention.' Likewise, Post continues to push
(up to the Prime Minister level) to improve the low UN voting
coincidence between the US and Mauritius. Human Rights issues seem
like the logical starting place, because it is where we share the
highest percentage of voting coincidence (14.3 percent,) where
Mauritius is the most outspoken (i.e. Human Rights situation in
Burma), and seemingly where we could gain the most ground by
encouraging Mauritius to make more exceptions to their policy of not
voting on country-specific resolutions. END COMMENT.

CABRERA

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