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Cablegate: Canada Seeks Ortega Meeting to Deliver Strong

VZCZCXRO6356
PP RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHMT RUEHQU RUEHVC
DE RUEHOT #1595 3642201
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 292201Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8917
INFO RUCNCAN/ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHMU/AMEMBASSY MANAGUA PRIORITY 0086

C O N F I D E N T I A L OTTAWA 001595

SIPDIS

WHA/CEN FOR A.KRAAIMOORE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/29/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV EAID NU CA
SUBJECT: CANADA SEEKS ORTEGA MEETING TO DELIVER STRONG
MESSAGE

REF: A. OTTAWA 1590
B. STATE 132044

Classified By: PolMinCouns Scott Bellard, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) Canada shares U.S. concerns over the flawed
November municipal elections (reftels), but will not
contemplate cutting its annual aid worth about C$11 million
or canceling official visits, according to Department of
Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) Nicaragua
desk officer Sande Ewart. He added that, with "Ortega
thumbing his nose at the United States's $64 million in aid
money," Canada found it unlikely that suspending its aid
disbursements would achieve anything positive.

2. (C) Ewart explained that Canada instead seeks to use
the January 13 visit to Nicaragua by Minister of State for
the Americas Peter Kent to highlight Canadian concerns over
the flawed November municipal elections. Canada's Embassy
in Costa Rica, which also covers Nicaragua, has been
seeking a meeting for Kent with President Ortega, so far
without success. Ortega's staff appears to wish to block
the meeting on principle, Ewart noted, because they want
him to meet only with other heads of government. If Kent
does meet with Ortega, Ewart said that he would stick
closely to the language in Canada's recent OAS "strong"
statement on the elections, which underscored Canada's
emphasis on good governance (one of the three pillars of
Prime Minister Harper's Americas strategy). Ewart
emphasized that Canada was keen to get its message across
directly to Ortega, but admitted that DFAIT also wants Kent
out of Nicaragua before the January 15 inauguration of the
supposed victors in the flawed municipal elections.


Visit Canada?s Economy and Environment Forum at
http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/can ada

WILKINS

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