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Cablegate: Mfa On Asean Phuket Meeting --

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


2002HANOI00430 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTO7136

PAGE 01 HANOI 00430 270810Z
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 LAB-01
VCE-00 DCP-01 NSAE-00 SCT-00 TEST-00 USIE-00 ASDS-01
IIP-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /005W
------------------6C4B58 270811Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5603
INFO AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS HANOI 000430

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV, EAP/RSP, AND S/CT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PREL VM TH ASEAN CTERR
SUBJECT: MFA ON ASEAN PHUKET MEETING --
- VIETNAM WANTS ASEAN "TERRORISM FREE"

REF: A. BANGKOK 1461 B. FBIS SEP20020225000071

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: FM NIEN MADE A STRONG PITCH FOR A
"TERRORISM-FREE" ASEAN REGION WITHIN 15 YEARS AT THE RECENT
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 00430 270810Z
PHUKET INFORMAL DISCUSSIONS. THE FOREIGN MINISTERS AGREED
IN PRINCIPLE ON STRENGTHENING COUNTER-TERRORISM EFFORTS
THROUGH ENHANCED LAW ENFORCEMENT COOPERATION, IMPROVED
INFORMATION SHARING, AND OTHER MULTI-LATERAL EFFORTS SUCH AS
CONTINUED MONITORING OF SUSPECT FINANCIAL TRANSFERS AND THE
TRANSIT OF SUSPECT INDIVIDUALS WITHIN AND THROUGH THE
REGION. FM NIEN ALSO LINKED THE REDUCTION OF TERRORIST
THREATS TO THE NEED FOR POVERTY ALLEVIATION. END SUMMARY.

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2. (SBU) TERRORIST FREE ZONE: ACCORDING TO MFA ASEAN
DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL LE CHI DUNG, FOREIGN MINISTER NGYUEN DY
NIEN AT THE FEBRUARY 21 ASEAN FOREIGN MINISTERS' MEETING IN
PHUKET URGED HIS COLLEAGUES TO STRIVE TO ERADICATE TERRORISM
WITHIN ASEAN OVER THE NEXT 10-15 YEARS. FM NIEN PUSHED FOR
SUCH A BENCHMARK SO THAT ALL THE ASEAN MEMBERS HAD A COMMON
LONG-TERM GOAL TOWARD WHICH TO STRIVE WHEN COMBATING
TERRORISM, DUNG CLAIMED, NOTING THAT VIETNAM WANTS FUTURE
ASEAN COUNTER-TERRORISM EFFORTS TO BE MULTILATERAL IN FOCUS.
DUNG ADDED THAT FM NIEN ENVISIONED THE FOREIGN MINISTRIES OF
ASEAN MEMBERS LEADING THE COORDINATION OF FUTURE COUNTER
TERRORIST EFFORTS. FM NIEN ALSO REPORTEDLY SUGGESTED THAT
ASEAN MEMBERS' NATIONAL POLICE FORCES COOPERATE IN SHARING
INFORMATION AND TACTICS THAT HAVE PROVEN SUCCESSFUL IN
COMBATING TERRORISM WITHIN THEIR OWN COUNTRIES. IN RESPONSE
TO A QUESTION, DUNG WAS CAREFUL TO STATE THAT THIS WOULD NOT
NECESSARILY INVOLVE SHARING OF INTELLIGENCE, BUT RATHER
SHARING USEFUL AND PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE.

3. (SBU) IMPLEMENTATION: VIETNAM FORESEES NEW CONCRETE
COUNTER-TERRORISM MEASURES TO MATERIALIZE BY THIS SUMMER,
DUNG NOTED. DURING UPCOMING ASEAN MEETINGS IN BRUNEI AND
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 00430 270810Z
KUALA LUMPUR, SPECIALISTS WILL COME TOGETHER TO DISCUSS
FUTURE LAW-ENFORCEMENT AND MFA COOPERATION IN GREATER
DETAIL. DUNG EXPRESSED VIETNAM'S HOPE THAT, DURING THESE
MEETINGS, STRONGER CONCRETE MEASURES WILL BE AGREED UPON IN
ORDER TO BEGIN IMPLEMENTATION.

4. (SBU) POVERTY ALLIEVIATION: HOWEVER, FM NIEN'S PRIMARY
FOCUS FOR COMBATING INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM CENTERED ON
POVERTY ALLEVIATION, ACCORDING TO DUNG. FM NIEN ARGUED THAT
MANY OF THE RANKS OF TERRORIST CELLS FOUND IN OTHER ASEAN
STATES, NOTABLY INDONESIA AND MALAYSIA, WERE FILLED WITH THE
POOREST SEGMENTS OF SOCIETY. HE ALSO REPORTEDLY ARGUED THAT
THE PEOPLE ATTRACTED TO TERRORISM WERE DRAWN TO THESE GROUPS
DUE TO LACK OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES AS WELL AS
DISGRUNTLEMENT WITH THEIR GOVERNMENTS DUE TO THEIR POOR
ECONOMIC STATUS. DUNG SAID THAT FM NIEN HAD ARGUED THAT THE
BEST MEANS OF COMBATING TERRORISM WAS TO IMPROVE ECONOMIC
OPPORTUNITIES FOR THESE POTENTIAL RECRUITS/MILITANTS, AND,
IN SO DOING, LIMIT THE APPEAL OF TERRORISM. DUNG CLAIMED
THAT FM NIEN FIRMLY BELIEVES THAT IMPROVED ECONOMIC
OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE POOREST PEOPLES OF ASEAN, COMBINED
WITH A COORDINATED LAW ENFORCEMENT APPROACH, WILL LIMIT THE
GROWTH OF TERRORISM WITHIN ASEAN.

5. (SBU) COMMENT: FM NIEN'S FOCUS ON IMPROVING THE
ECONOMIC SITUATION OF ASEAN'S POOREST CITIZENS SHOULD NOT BE
SURPRISING, GIVEN THAT VIETNAM HAS BEEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF
SHAPING THE DISCUSSIONS ABOUT SHRINKING THE "DEVELOPMENT
GAP" AMONG ASEAN MEMBER STATES. VIETNAM'S APPARENT
WILLINGNESS WITHIN ASEAN TO SPEAK OUT FORCEFULLY ON COUNTER-
TERRORISM IS NONETHELESS A WELCOME DEVELOPMENT.
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HANOI 00430 270810Z
BURGHARDT

UNCLASSIFIED

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