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Cablegate: A/S Kelly Discussion with Fm Nien: Regional Issues, Bta, Dissidents

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

181032Z May 01

2001HANOI01217 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTO2894

PAGE 01 HANOI 01217 181321Z
ACTION EAP-00

INFO LOG-00 CIAE-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00
NSAE-00 OIC-02 PM-00 P-00 SP-00 SSO-00 SS-00
PMB-00 PRM-01 DRL-02 SAS-00 /005W
------------------ED94D7 181322Z /45
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2918
INFO NSC WASHDC
SECDEF WASHDC
USMISSION GENEVA
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY

UNCLAS HANOI 001217

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR EAP, EAP/BCLTV, DRL, PRM, INR
NSC FOR EAST ASIAN DIRECTORATE
SECDEF FOR ISA/EAP STERN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM VM HUMANR RELFREE
SUBJECT: A/S KELLY DISCUSSION WITH FM NIEN: REGIONAL ISSUES, BTA, DISSIDENTS

REF: HANOI 1208

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 01217 181321Z

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: ON MAY 18, FOLLOWING ARF MEETINGS IN
HANOI, ASSISTANT SECRETARY KELLY MET WITH VIETNAMESE FOREIGN
MINISTER NIEN AND TOOK THE OCCASION TO VOICE STRONG CONCERNS
AT THE REPORTED ARREST ON MAY 17 OF OUTSPOKEN HUE-BASED
CATHOLIC PRIEST NGUYEN VAN LY, AND THE REPORTED SUMMONS OF
UNIFIED BUDDHIST CHURCH OF VIETNAM MONK THICH QUANG DO TO
APPEAR IN A HO CHI MINH CITY COURT ON MAY 18. NIEN NOTED
THESE CONCERNS, INDICATING HE WOULD INFORM COMPETENT
VIETNAMESE AUTHORITIES REGARDING THE U.S. VIEWS. ON OTHER
MATTERS, NIEN QUERIED KELLY ABOUT THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S
POLICY IN THE ASIA PACIFIC REGION, AND SPECIFICALLY THE U.S.
STANCE ON CHINA AND RUSSIA. NIEN SPOKE HIGHLY ABOUT THE
PROGRESS THE U.S. AND VIETNAM HAVE MADE IN RECENT YEARS AND
INDICATED THAT THE RATIFICATION OF THE BTA WOULD BRING THE
RELATIONSHIP "TO A NEW LEVEL." HE BRIEFLY REITERATED THE
LONGSTANDING VIETNAMESE POSITION THAT THE U.S. IS
RESPONSIBLE FOR THE `CONSEQUENCES OF WAR', AS HAD VICE
FOREIGN MINISTER NGUYEN DINH BIN IN A MORE EXTENSIVE
BILATERAL ON MAY 17. NIEN SAID HE LOOKS FORWARD TO THE
VISIT TO HANOI OF THE SECRETARY IN LATE JULY FOR SENIOR
ASEAN/ARF MEETINGS. END SUMMARY

2. (U) ASSISTANT SECRETARY JIM KELLY, ACCOMPANIED BY
AMBASSADOR PETERSON, DAS BOYCE, EAP/RSP DIRECTOR STROTZ AND
OTHERS, MET WITH FOREIGN MINISTER NGUYEN DY NIEN, DEPUTY
DIRECTOR OF THE AMERICAS DESK DOAN XUAN HUNG, DEPUTY
DIRECTOR OF THE POLICY PLANNING OFFICE TRAN DUC MAU, AND
OTHERS FOR A BRIEF BILATERAL MEETING ON MAY 18. THIS
MEETING FOLLOWED A MORE EXTENSIVE BILATERAL UNDERTAKEN THE
PREVIOUS AFTERNOON BETWEEN KELLY AND FIRST DEPUTY FOREIGN
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 01217 181321Z
MINISTER NGUYEN DY NIEN, REPORTED SEPTEL.

3. (SBU) NIEN, NOTING KELLY WAS THE SENIOR MOST U.S.
OFFICIAL TO VISIT HANOI SINCE THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION
ASSUMED OFFICE, ASKED ABOUT U.S. POLICIES IN ASIA AND THE
PACIFIC, ESPECIALLY THE U.S. STANCE TOWARDS CHINA AND
RUSSIA. KELLY RESPONDED THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION WANTS TO
"REACH OUT AND PARTICIPATE" IN SOUTHEAST ASIA AND SECRETARY
POWELL PROVIDED INSTRUCTIONS THAT HE WAS TO PAY PARTICULAR
ATTENTION TO THE MAJOR SOUTH EAST ASIAN COUNTRIES. HE WAS
PLEASED THEREFORE TO HAVE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE
IN THE JUST-CONCLUDED ARF SOM MEETING AND TO HAVE ENGAGED IN
DIALOGUE WITH THE SOUTHEAST ASIAN SENIOR OFFICIALS. IN THAT
REGARD, HE NOTED THAT FRANK DISCUSSIONS HAD TAKEN PLACE IN
THE MULTILATERALS NOT ONLY OVER MATTERS OF AGREEMENT, BUT
ALSO IN AREAS OF DISAGREEMENT.

4. (SBU) ON RUSSIA, KELLY NOTED THE PRESIDENT AND PRESIDENT
PUTIN WILL HAVE OPPORTUNITIES TO MEET AND TALK NOT ONLY AT
THE UPCOMING G-8 IN GENOA, BUT ALSO AT ANOTHER LOCATION IN
EUROPE IN THE COMING MONTHS. ON CHINA, KELLY SAID HE HAD
VISITED BEIJING TWO DAYS EARLIER PURSUING A DIALOGUE WHICH
INCLUDED A DISCUSSION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS. HE SAID THE U.S.
AND CHINA HAVE MANY ISSUES TO DISCUSS AT BOTH THE HIGH AND
WORKING LEVELS BUT THAT HE HOPED THESE CAN BE RESOLVED SOON.
ON NORTH KOREA, KELLY MENTIONED THAT SIMILAR TO THE CLINTON
ADMINISTRATION, THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION WILL SEEK TO IMPROVE
RELATIONS WITH NORTH KOREA. IN THAT REGARD, A REVIEW OF THE
NORTH KOREA POLICY IS ALMOST COMPLETE.

5. (SBU) TURNING TO VIETNAM, KELLY INDICATED THE BUSH
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HANOI 01217 181321Z
ADMINISTRATION WILL CONTINUE ITS POLICY OF ENGAGEMENT. IN
THAT REGARD, THIS ADMINISTRATION ASKED AMBASSADOR PETERSON
TO `HOLDOVER'. NIEN RESPONDED THAT DURING THE AMBASSADOR'S
TENURE IN HANOI, THE TWO COUNTRIES HAD SEEN A NUMBER OF
CONTRIBUTIONS TO BILATERAL RELATIONS. HE NOTED THAT HE HAS
HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR THE FUTURE OF THE RELATIONSHIP. HE
POINTED OUT THE EXCELLENT COOPERATIVE WORK OF THE MIA/POW
PROGRAM AS AN EXAMPLE OF THE "GOOD RESULTS" WHICH CAN FLOW
FROM THE COOPERATIVE EFFORT.

6. (SBU) NIEN SAID THAT THE RELATIONSHIP CAN BE ELEVATED
TO "A NEW LEVEL" AS THE U.S.-VIETNAM BILATERAL TRADE
AGREEMENT IS RATIFIED BY THE U.S. CONGRESS. KELLY RESPONDED
THAT THE ADMINISTRATION IS DETERMINED TO MOVE AHEAD WITH THE
AGREEMENT AS IT IS IN THE INTERESTS OF THE TWO COUNTRIES.
HE NOTED TRADE MATTERS CAN CREATE DOMESTIC TENSIONS; THE
PROCESS OF DEALING WITH TRADE ISSUES NEVER WORKS AS EASILY
AS WE WOULD LIKE. BUT, HE ADDED, WE HOPE THE PROCESS WILL
BE DEALT WITH URGENTLY BY THE CONGRESS.

7. (SBU) KELLY SAID THAT SINCE HE HAD MET WITH VICE FOREIGN
MINISTER BIN THE PREVIOUS EVENING A MATTER HAD COME TO HIS
ATTENTION WHICH MADE "THE ATMOSPHERE FOR THE RELATIONSHIP
MORE DIFFICULT, NOT NECESSARILY FOR THE BTA, BUT IT DOESN'T
HELP THE BTA EITHER." HE REFERRED IN PARTICULAR TO THE
ARREST ON MAY 17 OF DISSIDENT CATHOLIC PRIEST NGUYEN VAN LY
IN HUE FOR VIOLATING THE TERMS OF HIS SURVEILLANCE ORDER AND
A SEPARATE INTERROGATION OF UNIFIED BUDDHIST CHURCH OF
VIETNAM (UBCV) MONK THICH QUANG DO BY AUTHORITIES IN HO CHI
MINH CITY. KELLY SAID HE HOPED THESE PERSONS CAN BE
RETURNED TO THEIR RESIDENCES AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 05 HANOI 01217 181321Z

8. (SBU) NIEN REPLIED THAT THESE INDIVIDUALS HAD VIOLATED
VIETNAMESE LAWS. THE VIETNAMESE GOVERNMENT DID NOT WANT TO
TAKE THE STEPS IT HAD TAKEN. BUT IT HAD TO DO SO, JUST AS
LAWS ARE ENFORCED IN OTHER COUNTRIES. AT THE SAME TIME, HE
SAID HE WOULD TAKE NOTE OF THESE CONCERNS AND MAKE CERTAIN
THEY ARE CONVEYED TO THE COMPETENT VIETNAMESE AUTHORITIES.

COMMENT
------------

9. (SBU) A/S KELLY'S EXPRESSION OF CONCERN OVER THE ARREST
OF FATHER LY AND THE SUMMONING OF BUDDHIST MONK THICH QUANG
DO FOLLOWED UP THE AMBASSADOR'S SIMILAR POINTS MADE THE
PREVIOUS EVENING TO THE MFA'S AMERICAS DESK. (SEE REFTEL)
THESE INCIDENTS ARE INDEED TROUBLING. THE U.S. HAS LAID
DOWN YET ANOTHER MARKER THAT HUMAN RIGHTS CONCERNS CAN,
UNFORTUNATELY, NEGATIVELY IMPACT THE VERY POSITIVE
ENGAGEMENT MOMENTUM IN OTHER AREAS OF THE RELATIONSHIP.
END COMMENT.

10. (U) A/S KELLY DID NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW
THIS MESSAGE BEFORE HE DEPARTED FOR BANGKOK ON MAY 18.

PETERSON

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