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Cablegate: Tfpm02: Meeting with Sc President On Panama

O 201853Z DEC 89
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6358
INFO CONTADORA COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY PANAMA IMMEDIATE
UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L USUN NEW YORK 03978

E.O. 12356: DECL:OADR
TAGS: PREL XK UNSC OAS PM
SUBJECT: TFPM02: MEETING WITH SC PRESIDENT ON PANAMA

REF: STATE 403831

1. (CONFIDENTIAL - ENTIRE TEXT)

2. SUMMARY. AMB PICKERING MET WITH SC PRESIDENT
(COLOMBIA) DEC 20 TO ASK THAT A LETTER SETTING FORTH THE
REASONS FOR U.S. ACTIONS IN PANAMA AND A COPY OF
PRESIDENT BUSH'S STATEMENT BE CIRCULATED AS OFFICIAL UN
DOCUMENTS. PICKERING ALSO ARGUED AGAINST PREMATURE
ACTION BY THE SECURITY COUNCIL, SUGGESTING THAT THE SC
WAIT TO SEE WHAT ACTION THE OAS WOULD TAKE. END SUMMARY.

3. AMBS PICKERING AND WATSON, TOGETHER WITH POL AND
LEGAL COUNSELORS, MET WITH SC PRESIDENT ENRIQUE PENALOSA
(COLOMBIA) MORNING DEC 20. PICKERING DELIVERED TO
PENALOSA COPIES OF PRESIDENT BUSH'S STATEMENT MADE
7:20AM DEC 20 AND A LETTER SETTING FORTH THE REASONS FOR
U.S. ACTION IN PANAMA. HE ASKED THAT BOTH BE CIRCULATED
AS OFFICIAL SC DOCUMENTS. PENALOSA AGREED.

4. PENALOSA SAID HE NEEDED U.S. ADVICE REGARDING THE
NICARAGUAN REQUEST FOR AN IMMEDIATE MEETING OF THE
SECURITY COUNCIL. HIS OWN INCLINATION WOULD BE TO HOLD
INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS OF THE WHOLE COUNCIL AT 11:00AM,
THEN FOLLOW WITH AN OPEN MEETING WHERE THE U.S., THE
NICARAGUANS AND OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES DELEGATIONS
COULD MAKE STATEMENTS. HE DID NOT ANTICIPATE THE
COUNCIL TAKING ANY IMMEDIATE ACTION, BUT OVER THE NEXT
FEW DAYS THAT HE WOULD REMAIN IN CLOSE CONTACT WITH THE
MEMBERS, SEE HOW THE SITUATION DEVELOPS, AND DETERMINE
IF A FURTHER MEETING AND ANY OTHER ACTION IS NECESSARY.
PENALOSA ALSO SUGGESTED THAT MAYBE THE LATIN MEMBERS OF
THE COUNCIL COULD PREPARE A PROPOSAL. PICKERING
INDICATED IT WAS PREMATURE TO CONSIDER SUCH AN APPROACH.

5. PICKERING STRESSED THAT IT IS IMPRACTICAL TO HAVE
CONSULTATIONS OF THE WHOLE COUNCIL SO EARLY. A NUMBER
OF QUESTIONS NEEDED TO BE CONSIDERED. HE SAID THE
DEMOCRATICALLY-ELECTED GOVERNMENT OF PANAMA HAD
APPOINTED A NEW PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE AND THAT HIS
CREDENTIALS WOULD BE PRESENTED TO THE SYG VERY SHORTLY.
THE U.S. FEELS STRONGLY THAT THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE
NORIEGA REGIME SHOULD NOT SPEAK IN THE COUNCIL AND THAT
THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE DEMOCRATIC
GOVERNMENT OF PANAMA SHOULD BE SEATED.

6. PICKERING ALSO SAID THAT THE OAS WAS CONSIDERING THE
ISSUE. HE ARGUED THAT SINCE THE OAS IS THE REGIONAL
FORUM FROM WHICH, UNDER ARTICLE 52 OF THE CHARTER, THE
SECURITY COUNCIL SHOULD TAKE ITS LEAD. HE SUGGESTED
THAT PENALOSA MAY WANT TO GET IN TOUCH WITH THE
COLOMBIAN AMBASSADOR AT THE OAS IN ORDER TO LEARN FOR
HIMSELF WHAT STEPS THE OAS WAS PLANNING TO TAKE.

7. PICKERING CONCLUDED BY SUGGESTING THAT PENALOSA
CONSULT WITH INTERESTED MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL
BILATERALLY AND SCHEDULE ANOTHER MEETING WITH THE U.S.
LATER IN THE DAY TO DISCUSS THE POSITIONS OF THE MEMBERS
OF THE COUNCIL. PICKERING EMPHASIZED THAT IT WOULD BE
PREMATURE TO RUSH AHEAD WITH CONSULTATIONS OF THE WHOLE
THIS MORNING.

8. PICKERING NOTED THAT PRESIDENT BUSH HAD SPOKEN BY
TELEPHONE WITH PRESIDENT BARCO (WHO SAID HE WOULD TRY TO
BE HELPFUL), PRIME MINISTERS MULRONEY AND THATCHER AND
OTHER LEADERS. HE ALSO SAID THAT PRELIMINARY REPORTS
INDICATE THAT A NUMBER OF COUNTRIES ARE READY TO
RECOGNIZE THE NEW GOVERNMENT.

9. COMMENT. IN AN EFFORT TO DELAY SC CONSIDERATION OF
THE ISSUE AND ALLOW THE PERMREP OF THE DEMOCRATIC
PANAMANIAN GOVERNMENT TO PRESENT HIS CREDENTIALS, USUN
IS ATTEMPTING TO PROLONG THE PERIOD OF BILATERAL
CONSULTATIONS. AT OUR REQUEST, THE UK, FRENCH, AND
CANADIAN DELEGATIONS HAVE ALSO REQUESTED BILATERAL
CONSULTATIONS WITH THE SC PRESIDENT. END COMMENT.

MINIMIZE CONSIDERED.


PICKERING

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