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Cablegate: Tfgg01: Costa Rica Supports Draft Unsc Resolution

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSJ #0662 2261557
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 131557Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9999
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SAN JOSE 000662

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR WHA/CEN AND IO/UNP JMARIZ.

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/13/2018
TAGS: UNSC GE PREL PBTS PGOV CS
SUBJECT: TFGG01: COSTA RICA SUPPORTS DRAFT UNSC RESOLUTION
ON GEORGIA, BUT BELIEVES IT COULD BE STRONGER

REF: STATE 86130

Classified By: Political/Economic Counselor David E. Henifin for reason
1.4(d).

1. (C) On August 12, we delivered reftel demarche to Adriana
Murillo and Juan Salas of the MFA's UNSC team, and to Antonio
Alarcon, COS to FonMin Bruno Stagno. Alarcon assured us that
the GOCR supported the resolution, and he understood the
importance of unified Council action in the face of a likely
Russian veto. He was not aware of the latest vote count,
however. Alarcon (as is his custom) said he would confer
with Minister Stagno and get back to us ASAP with any fresh
information.

2. (C) The MFA working-level response was (typically) more
caveated. Murillo told us that "in principle" Costa Rica
agreed with the second draft version of the French
resolution, but that the GOCR was waiting to see if and/or
how the text changed. She and Salas stopped short of making a
firm commitment to supporting the resolution "as is." Murillo
cautioned about both sides bandying around words like
"genocide" -- words that cannot be taken lightly, in her
view. She confirmed, however, that Costa Rica had pronounced
publicly that it supported an immediate cease-fire, a return
to a pre-August 7 status, refugee protection, and protection
of the civilian population (the latter on the part of the
Georgians as well as the Russians). Murillo added that if a
Russian veto of the resolution were certain, then the text
could be made much stronger, and, in that case, Costa Rica
would want to offer amendments that would deal primarily with
protection of civilians above all. Murillo said that the GOCR
was therefore waiting to see Russia's point of view, and
asked us to inform the MFA as soon as we knew Russia's
position.

3. (C) COMMENT: We have seen this bifurcated GOCR reaction
before -- clear support from the MFA front office, but a more
nuanced approach at lower levels. Costa Rica seems
determined to take every opportunity to make its mark on
Council action, especially when human rights-related issues
are involved. Although we are ready to push (again) on the
GOCR here, USUN may want to lean heavily and soon on the
Costa Rican Mission in New York to prevent Costa Rican
perfectionism from becoming an enemy of the good enough in
this case.
CIANCHETTE

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