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Cablegate: Energizing Asean in the Arf

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

081033Z Dec 00

2000HANOI02665 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ3700

PAGE 01 HANOI 02665 081040Z
ACTION EAP-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00
DS-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00 VCE-00
AC-01 NSAE-00 ACE-00 IRM-00 USIE-00 IIP-00 DSCC-00
NFAT-00 SAS-00 /001W
------------------A8F883 081040Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1467
INFO AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
ASEAN COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS HANOI 002665

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV, EAP/RSP, INR/EAP/SEA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL VM ASEAN
SUBJECT: ENERGIZING ASEAN IN THE ARF

REF: A) STATE 227617; B) STATE 222865

1. THIS IS AN ACTION MESSAGE. SEE PARA SIX.

2. POLOFF PRESENTED REF A POINTS TO MFA ASEAN DEPARTMENT
EXPERT PHAM MINH THU ON 8 DECEMBER. THU WAS NOT PREPARED TO
RESPOND TO POLOFF'S QUESTIONS IN MORE THAN GENERALITIES. HE
SAID OVERALL ASEAN AGREES WITH ARF VIEWS ON ENHANCING THE
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 02665 081040Z
POSITION OF THE ARF CHAIR, WITH THE AIM OF STRENGTHENING
ASEAN'S ROLE IN THE ARF. ANY ENHANCEMENTS, HOWEVER, MUST BE
UNDERTAKEN ACCORDING TO ALREADY-AGREED GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF
THE ARF.

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3. ON MOVEMENT TOWARD PREVENTIVE DIPLOMACY, THU REPEATED
THE WELL-WORN MANTRA THAT PROGRESS MUST MOVE AT A PACE
COMFORTABLE TO ALL. IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER, THU NOTED,
THAT THE ARF IS, FIRST AND FOREMOST, A FORUM FOR DIALOGUE ON
POLITICAL AND SECURITY ISSUES, THE MAIN PURPOSE OF WHICH IS
TO BUILD MUTUAL CONFIDENCE. THE MAJORITY OF ARF MEMBERS
AGREE THAT THE ARF NEEDS TO MOVE FORWARD, BUT THE UNRESOLVED
ISSUE REMAINS HOW TO ACHIEVE PROGRESS WITHOUT UPSETTING
MUTUAL CONFIDENCE LEVELS, WHICH THU DESCRIBED AS STILL
INADEQUATE.

4. THU OFFERED THAT ALL ARF MEMBERS HAVE BEEN ASKED TO
SUBMIT THEIR VIEWS ON THE ROLE OF THE ARF CHAIR, THE
REGISTRATION OF EXPERTS AND EMINENT PERSONS, AND STEPS
TOWARD PREVENTIVE DIPLOMACY TO THE ARF CHAIR BY 15 JANUARY.
THU EXPECTED HIS DEPARTMENT TO HAVE MORE CONCRETE COMMENTS
TO OFFER IN LATE JANUARY. EMBASSY WILL REVISIT REFTEL
ISSUES WITH THE MFA AT THAT TIME.

5. COMMENT: THIS MEETING FOLLOWED A WELL-ESTABLISHED
PATTERN IN DISCUSSIONS WITH THE VIETNAMESE ON THE ARF.
DESPITE VIETNAM'S OSTENSIBLE LEADERSHIP OF THE ARF THIS
YEAR, ANY CONSENSUS TO MOVE FORWARD MORE VIGOROUSLY ON ARF
OBJECTIVES WILL PROBABLY FIND VIETNAM AT THE TAIL END OF THE
QUEUE, BEING DRAGGED. END COMMENT.

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 02665 081040Z
6. ACTION REQUEST: PER REFTELS A AND B ON INVITING
VIETNAMESE AND OTHER OFFICIALS TO OBSERVE MULTILATERAL
ORGANIZATIONS, EMBASSY WEIGHED IN WHEN DEPARTMENT FIRST
RAISED THE IDEA SOME MONTHS AGO. OUR VIEW STILL IS THAT IT
COULD POTENTIALLY BE VERY BENEFICIAL, AS LONG AS IT IS
OFFERED IN A WAY WHICH DOES NOT MAKE VIETNAM FEEL SINGLED
OUT FOR REMEDIAL TREATMENT. IN ORDER TO GET A FIRMER FIX ON
WHETHER THE IDEA IS PRACTICAL, EMBASSY WOULD LIKE TO FLOAT
THE IDEA IN MORE DETAIL WITH MFA COUNTERPARTS. WE REQUEST
POINTS WHICH WE MAY USE WITH THE GVN.

PETERSON

UNCLASSIFIED

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