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Cablegate: Opposing Unga Resolutions with Anti-Israel Bias

VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNM #1112 3291403
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 241403Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4709
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0199

UNCLAS NIAMEY 001112

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL UNGA IS PA NG
SUBJECT: OPPOSING UNGA RESOLUTIONS WITH ANTI-ISRAEL BIAS

REF: SECSTATE 123081

1. Ambassador delivered reftel talking points on 11/24 to
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary General (SG) Dan
Maradi, in the absence of Foreign Minister Mindaoudou (out of
the country), and left as an aide-memoire a list of the
one-sided resolutions (reftel, paragraph six). With regard
to the three committees cited in reftel, Ambassador informed
the SG that the Government of Niger (GON) voted in favor of
resolutions sustaining the three committees that consume
resources and make no useful contribution to the Middle East
peace process and the two-state solution. Ambassador then
noted USG appreciation for the GON's movement closer to the
USG position on a human rights related resolution on Iran
(from "no" to abstention), its abstention on the motion to
adjourn for a human rights related resolution on Myanmar
(despite its inadvertent vote of "no" in the subsequent vote
on the draft human rights resolution itself) and its
abstention again this year on a human rights related
resolution on DPRK. Ambassador emphasized that in the
absence of supporting the U.S. position on draft UN
resolutions, that it would be helpful for the GON to abstain
or absent itself on votes.

2. SG Maradi responded that he recalled discussing the
various human rights related resolutions (Iran, Myamar and
DPRK) with the DCM (in his capacity as Acting Charge) some
weeks ago. He said he wasn't aware the GON had made an error
in its vote on the second Myamar resolution, but he believed
corrections to votes could be made within 24 hours. (Note:
Ambassador responded that it is unfortunate the announcement
didn't change the official record. End note.) With regard to
the many resolutions criticizing Israel, the SG reminded the
Ambassador that the GON does not have diplomatic relations
with Israel. He added that Niger's geography makes it
difficult not to vote with certain neighboring countries, but
stated he would phone the Nigerien Ambassador to the U.N.
today (11/24) to discuss whether there is a way for Niger to
be helpful in reducing the number of resolutions critical of
Israel, such as through abstaining or absenting itself from
such votes.


ALLEN

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