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Cablegate: Swiss Reaction to Call for Freezing

VZCZCXYZ0009
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSW #0655 3581630
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 231630Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY BERN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5555

C O N F I D E N T I A L BERN 000655

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/CEN (A.KRAAIMOORE) AND EUR/CE (Y.SAINT-ANDRE)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/23/2018
TAGS: EAID PGOV PREL NU SZ
SUBJECT: SWISS REACTION TO CALL FOR FREEZING
NON-HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TO NICARAGUA FOLLOWING
FRAUDULENT ELECTIONS

REF: SECSTATE 132044

Classified By: Acting POL/E Counselor Chris Buck; reasons 1.4(b) and (d
).

1. (SBU) Poloff shared reftel talking points with Nora
Kronig, Regional Coordinator for Central and South America at
the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (EDA), and
Mathias Domenig, South American Desk Officer for EDA, on
December 22. In response to the USG call to freeze
non-humanitarian assistance to Nicaragua following the
fraudulent municipal elections of November 9, Kronig said
that Switzerland had been concerned about the elections and
that the GON should have allowed international observers to
monitor them. She added that, because Switzerland now holds
the rotating presidency of the Donors Group of Nicaragua, the
GOS had sought dialogue with the GON regarding this issue.
She did not offer results of this attempt for dialogue.

2. (SBU) Kronig stated that the allocation of Swiss budget
support to foreign countries, including Nicaragua, was
decided at the Federal Council (Executive Cabinet) level, and
that policy recommendations in this regard were prepared by
the EDA in collaboration with the Swiss State Secretariat for
Economic Affairs (SECO).

3. (C) Given the high-level at which budget support decisions
are made, Kronig was therefore unable to give a definitive
answer regarding whether the GOS would freeze
non-humanitarian assistance to Nicaragua. Off the record,
however, Kronig said that she saw this step as unlikely,
noting that the GOS prefers to address such problems through
direct dialogue with the recipient country. Kronig added
that the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
also has a program focused on Nicaragua, and that she did not
personally think that assistance would be halted by SDC
either.

4. (U) Kronig said that she would advise poloff of the
coordinated GOS response to reftel demarche once available,
noting that she would not likely have an answer before
January 2009.
CARTER

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