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Cablegate: Aa/S Wood Holds Wide-Ranging Discussions

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


2002HANOI01405 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTO6718

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------------------B715D2 030642Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6639
INFO USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
AMEMBASSY BEIJING
AMEMBASSY SEOUL
AMEMBASSY TOKYO
AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE
NSC WASHDC
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
SECDEF WASHDC//ISA/EA/ABLAGG

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SENSITIVE

FOR IO AA/S WILLIAM WOOD, EAP/BCLTV

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PTER PHUM VM CTERR ETMIN HUMANR DPOL HIV AIDS
SUBJECT: AA/S WOOD HOLDS WIDE-RANGING DISCUSSIONS
-- IN HANOI

REF: HANOI 1332

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: DURING A MAY 20-22 VISIT TO HANOI,
IO AA/S WOOD DISCUSSED COUNTERTERRORISM, THE
INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (ICC), NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
REFORM, THE MONTAGNARDS, MULTILATERAL AFFAIRS, AND THE
MIDDLE EAST WITH GVN AND COMMUNIST PARTY OF VIETNAM
(CPV) OFFICIALS, STUDENTS FROM THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN
AFFAIRS' INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS (MFA/IIR),
AND UN OFFICIALS. VIETNAMESE INTERLOCUTORS WERE
SUPPORTIVE OF THE INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN AGAINST
TERRORISM, BUT SAID IT SHOULD BE CONDUCTED WITHIN THE UN
FRAMEWORK. THE GVN, WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF THE UN, IS
MOVING AHEAD TO PROFESSIONALIZE THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY.
THE GVN IS "STUDYING" THE ICC, BUT APPEARS GENERALLY TO
AGREE WITH THE US VIEW. THE GVN DOES NOT SUPPORT
SUICIDE BOMBINGS IN ISRAEL, BUT HAS "GREAT SYMPATHY FOR
THE PALESTINIANS. VIETNAMESE OFFICIALS APPEALED FOR USG
SUPPORT IN THEIR EFFORTS TO OBTAIN A SEAT ON THE UN
SECURITY COUNCIL IN 2008. END SUMMARY
2. (U) DURING HIS VISIT TO HANOI, IO AA/S WOOD MET
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 01405 01 OF 03 030638Z
WITH NGUYEN SI DUNG, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
(NA) CENTER FOR INFORMATION; PHAM TIEN NHIEN, DIRECTOR,
NORTHWESTERN EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA DEPARTMENT, CPV
COMMISSION ON EXTERNAL RELATIONS; AND WITH MINISTRY OF
FOREIGN AFFAIRS INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS (MFA/IO)
DIRECTOR AMBASSADOR DINH THI MINH HUYEN. IN ADDITION,
AA/S MET WITH EMBASSY HANOI'S COUNTRY TEAM, PARTICIPATED
IN A WORKING LUNCH WITH REPRESENTATIVES FROM UNDP,
UNHCR, AND IMF, AND HELD AN OPEN FORUM WITH 65 STUDENTS
FROM IIR. (NOTE: IIR IS ROUGHLY EQUIVALENT TO THE
DEPARTMENT'S FSI. END NOTE)

---------------------------------------
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY REFORM MOVING FORWARD
---------------------------------------

3. (U) THE NA'S DUNG TOLD AA/S WOOD THE NA HAS A "VERY
COOPERATIVE" RELATIONSHIP WITH UNDP AND IS GRATEFUL FOR
ITS ASSISTANCE IN THE GOOD GOVERNANCE PROJECT. THIS
PROJECT IS HELPING VIETNAM DEVELOP A MORE TRANSPARENT
DECISION-MAKING PROCESS, DUNG CLAIMED. DUNG DESCRIBED
THE NA AS "THE MOST IMPORTANT INSTITUTION OF DEMOCRACY
IN VIETNAM." THE PROJECT IS ALSO SENDING GVN OFFICIALS
ABROAD FOR TRAINING AND TO LEARN HOW LEGISLATURES IN
OTHER COUNTRIES FUNCTION. IMPORTANT ACTIVITIES HAVE
INCLUDED A CD ROM CONTAINING INFORMATION ON VIETNAM'S
LEGAL STRUCTURE AND THE CREATION OF PORTABLE LEGAL
LIBRARIES. THESE EFFORTS ARE INTENDED TO CREATE A MORE
TRANSPARENT GOVERNMENT, DUNG SAID. HE ALSO NOTED THAT,
WHILE ECONOMIC REFORMS ARE THE CORNERSTONE OF THE GVN'S
AGENDA, HE HAS PUSHED THE VIEW THAT POLITICAL REFORMS
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HANOI 01405 01 OF 03 030638Z
ARE A KEY COMPLEMENT TO THIS EFFORT. HE POINTED OUT
THAT, FOR THE FIRST TIME, "THE RULE OF LAW IS
ACKNOWLEDGED" IN THE COUNTRY'S CONSTITUTION. ALSO, THE
CONCEPT OF THE GOVERNMENT'S "LIMITS OF POWER IS
RECOGNIZED."

4. (U) REFORMING THE BUDGET PROCESS IS A KEY COMPONENT
OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REFORM, ACCORDING TO BUI DUC
THU, NA DEPUTY DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMY AND
BUDGET. HE ADMITTED THE PRESENT STRUCTURE IS
"CUMBERSOME AND NOT VERY GOOD." ALSO, THE PRESENT
SYSTEM IS TOO TOLERANT OF CORRUPTION. THU DISCUSSED THE
GVN'S PLANS TO DEVOLVE MORE BUDGETARY RESPONSIBILITY TO
THE PROVINCIAL LEVEL. ALSO, PLANS ARE UNDERWAY TO
REVISE THE BUDGET LAW TO DEFINE MORE CLEARLY
RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY. THESE IMPROVEMENTS
WILL REQUIRE ENHANCED CAPACITY AMONG NA MEMBERS AND
PROVINCIAL PEOPLE'S COUNCILS, THU CONCLUDED.

5. (U) IN CONCLUDING THE MEETING, DUNG EXPRESSED
SUPPORT FOR THE INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN AGAINST TERRORISM
AND SAID HE HOPED THE USG WOULD SUPPORT VIETNAM IN ITS
BID FOR ELECTION TO THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL IN 2008.

--------------------------------------------- ------
UN OFFICIALS DISCUSS HUMAN RIGHTS, MONTAGNARDS, HIV
--------------------------------------------- ------

6. (SBU) AT A LUNCHEON HOSTED BY DCM PORTER, UNDP

UNCLASSIFIED

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OCS-03 OIC-02 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PER-00 PM-00
PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 SSO-00 SS-00 STR-00
TEST-00 TRSE-00 T-00 USIE-00 USSS-00 ASDS-01 R-00
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SWCI-00 /014W
------------------B715E6 030643Z /38
R 030624Z JUN 02
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6640
INFO USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
AMEMBASSY BEIJING
AMEMBASSY SEOUL
AMEMBASSY TOKYO
AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE
NSC WASHDC
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
SECDEF WASHDC//ISA/EA/ABLAGG

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SENSITIVE

FOR IO AA/S WILLIAM WOOD, EAP/BCLTV

COUNTRY REPRESENTATIVE AND UN RESIDENT COORDINATOR
JORDAN RYAN TOLD AA/S WOOD THAT, HAVING RETURNED TO
HANOI FOR A SECOND TOUR (HIS FIRST TOUR WAS 1993-1996),
HE WAS STRUCK BY THE DIFFERENCES. SPECIFICALLY, HE
NOTED THAT, DURING HIS FIRST TOUR, THERE WAS ALMOST NO
DISSENT AND TOPICS SUCH AS HUMAN RIGHTS WERE NOT
DISCUSSED OPENLY. THERE IS STILL A LONG WAY TO GO, BUT
AT LEAST THE TOPIC IS ON THE GVN'S AGENDA. MR. RYAN IS
WORKING FOR MORE COLLABORATION AMONG THE UN "FAMILY" IN
VIETNAM AND POINTED TO THE RECENT MEETING AMONG UNICEF,
UNDP, AND UNFPA AS A SIGN OF PROGRESS.

7. (SBU) IN RESPONSE TO A QUESTION FROM AA/S WOOD,
RYAN ALSO SPOKE ABOUT THE SERIOUS HIV/AIDS PROBLEM AND
THE CONNECTION WITH INTRAVENOUS DRUG USE. HE
COMPLIMENTED THE USG FOR ITS HELP THROUGH USAID AND CDC,
BUT LAMENTED THE FACT THAT THERE ARE TWO "COMPETING"
ORGANIZATIONS WITHIN THE GVN'S MINISTRY OF HEALTH. RYAN
SAID THAT STATISTICS INDICATED 1.3 PERCENT OF NEW ARMY
RECRUITS ARE HIV-INFECTED. ABOUT 60 PERCENT OF HIV
CASES ARE RELATED TO DRUG INJECTING. MR. RYAN SAID MORE
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 01405 02 OF 03 030639Z
HIGH LEVEL COMMITMENT FROM THE GVN IS NEEDED.

8. (SBU) VU AN SON, UNHCR HANOI OFFICER-IN-CHARGE,
TOLD AA/S WOOD THAT UNHCR REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE ASSADI
HOPES TO VISIT THE CENTRAL HIGHLANDS NEXT MONTH. THE
905 MONTAGNARDS WHO FLED VIETNAM ARE BEING PROCESSED FOR
RESETTLEMENT IN THE U.S. AMBASSADOR BURGHARDT NOTED
REPORTS THAT THE CAMBODIAN GOVERNMENT RECENTLY SEALED
THE BORDER AND TURNED BACK ABOUT 200 MONTAGNARDS. SON
SAID UNHCR WAS CONCERNED ABOUT SUCH REPORTS AND NOTED
THE FIGURE HE HEARD WAS 500. SON OPINED THAT ULTIMATELY
THE BEST SOLUTION IS TO IMPROVE LOCAL ECONOMIC AND
SOCIAL CONDITIONS.

-------------------------------------------
CPV: AGAINST TERRORISM, NOT SURE ABOUT ICC
-------------------------------------------

9. (SBU) DIRECTOR NHIEN TOLD AA/S WOOD THE CPV'S VIEW
IS CLEAR: "WE FIGHT TERRORISM IN ANY FORM." HOWEVER,
THE CPV ALSO BELIEVES ANY OPERATIONS AGAINST TERRORISTS
SHOULD BE "IN ACCORDANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE
UN FRAMEWORK." NHIEN SAID VIETNAM HAS BEEN PLEASED TO
ASSIST THE USG. THE GVN HAS RESPONDED ON A TIMELY BASIS
TO REQUESTS FROM THE US EMBASSY REGARDING LISTS OF
TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS AND BANK ACCOUNTS THAT COULD BE
POTENTIALLY USED BY TERRORISTS. FORTUNATELY, NO
TERRORIST ACTIVITY HAS BEEN FOUND YET, HE SAID. NHIEN
NOTED THAT THE ISSUE OF TERRORISM CUTS BOTH WAYS, AND HE
APPEALED TO AA/S WOOD TO CARRY THE MESSAGE BACK THAT THE
GVN ALSO WANTS THE USG TO DEAL STRONGLY WITH WHAT HE
UNCLASSIFIED

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TERMED "TERRORIST US-BASED GROUPS WORKING AGAINST
VIETNAM." AA/S WOOD SAID HE WOULD CONVEY THIS MESSAGE
BACK TO THE DEPARTMENT. NHIEN ALSO MADE A PITCH FOR
AA/S WOOD'S ASSISTANCE IN PREVENTING THE CONSTRUCTION OF
A MONUMENT IN WESTMINSTER, CALIFORNIA THAT WOULD FLY THE
FLAG OF THE FORMER REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM. AA/S WOOD SAID
HE WOULD ALSO CONVEY THIS CONCERN TO WASHINGTON,
ALTHOUGH HE REMINDED NHIEN THAT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IS
GUARANTEED TO ALL AMERICANS.

10. (SBU) CONCERNING THE ICC, AA/S WOOD EXPLAINED THE
USG'S CONCERNS AND ASKED FOR VIETNAM'S SUPPORT FOR
ARTICLE 98 AGREEMENTS AS AN ALTERNATIVE PROCESS. NHIEN
DID NOT COMMENT DIRECTLY ON ARTICLE 98 SUPPORT, BUT
ADMITTED THAT, WHILE THERE HAVE BEEN INTERNATIONAL
TRIBUNALS IN THE PAST, HE WAS NOT VERY FAMILIAR WITH NOR
DID HE FULLY UNDERSTAND THE ICC CONCEPT.

---------------------------------------------
LIVELY EXCHANGE AT IIR ON MULTILATERAL ISSUES
---------------------------------------------
11. (U) ABOUT 65 IIR STUDENTS HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO
ENGAGE AA/S WOOD ON A RANGE OF MULTILATERAL ISSUES,
INCLUDING (1) THE POSSIBILITY OF AN INTERNATIONAL
TRIBUNAL IN CAMBODIA; (2) WHY THE U.S. REFUSED TO SIGN
ON TO THE ICC; (3) THE RESPECTIVE ROLES OF THE UN AND
THE U.S. IN AFGHANISTAN; (4) THE FUTURE SIZE OF THE UN
SECURITY COUNCIL; (5) HOW TO DEFINE TERRORISTS AND

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INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 A-00 ACQ-00 CA-01 CCO-00
CG-00 CIAE-00 COME-00 CTME-00 USNW-00 DOEE-00 DOTE-00
SRPP-00 DS-00 EAP-00 EB-00 OIGO-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00
UTED-00 VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 INSE-00 IO-00
L-00 VCE-00 M-00 AC-01 DCP-01 NRCE-00 NSAE-00
OCS-03 OIC-02 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PER-00 PM-00
PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 SSO-00 SS-00 STR-00
TEST-00 TRSE-00 T-00 USIE-00 USSS-00 ASDS-01 R-00
PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00
SWCI-00 /014W
------------------B715EC 030644Z /38
R 030624Z JUN 02
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6641
INFO USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
AMEMBASSY BEIJING
AMEMBASSY SEOUL
AMEMBASSY TOKYO
AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE
NSC WASHDC
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
SECDEF WASHDC//ISA/EA/ABLAGG

UNCLAS SECTION 03 OF 03 HANOI 001405

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SENSITIVE

FOR IO AA/S WILLIAM WOOD, EAP/BCLTV

E.O. 12958: N/A

TERRORISM; (7) THE ROLE OF IMF-MANDATED ECONOMIC REFORMS
IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES; AND (6) THE ROLE OF THE
INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE RELATED TO US ACTIONS IN
NICARAGUA IN 1986.

--------------------------------------------- ---------
MFA/IO: AGAINST TERRORISM, SUPPORTIVE OF PALESTINIANS
--------------------------------------------- ---------

12. (SBU) MFA/IO DIRECTOR HUYEN TOLD AA/S WOOD THAT,
WHILE THE GVN IS AGAINST TERRORISM AND SUPPORTS THE
INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN, ALL ACTIVITIES DIRECTED AGAINST
TERRORISM "SHOULD CONFORM WITH THE UN CHARTER AND
INTERNATIONAL LAW." HUYEN SAID THE GVN HAS RATIFIED
"FIVE" TERRORIST CONVENTIONS AND WOULD LIKE TO RATIFY
"THE MAJORITY, IN THE NEAR FUTURE." (NOTE: PER THE
GVN'S UNSCR 1373 SUBMISSION, THE GVN HAS ONLY RATIFIED
FOUR AND IS NOW CONSIDERING A FIFTH. END NOTE) HUYEN
ALSO REQUESTED USG SUPPORT FOR ACTIONS AGAINST "THOSE
VIETNAMESE AND OTHER GROUPS PLOTTING TERRORIST
ACTIVITIES AGAINST VIETNAM FROM THE U.S." AA/S WOOD
UNCLASSIFIED

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TOLD HUYEN SAID THE USG WILL NOT TOLERATE ANY FORM OF
TERRORISM ANYWHERE. HE ALSO EXPRESSED APPRECIATION FOR
VIETNAM'S PLEDGE OF USD 300,000 IN MATERIAL ASSISTANCE
FOR AFGHAN RECONSTRUCTION.

13. (SBU) CONCERNING THE MIDDLE EAST, HUYEN SAID
VIETNAM IS "VERY WORRIED." VIETNAM DOES NOT SUPPORT
SUICIDE BOMBING, BUT UNDERSTANDS THOSE PALESTINIANS
UNDER OCCUPATION ARE ACTING "OUT OF DESPAIR-THEY HAVE NO
OTHER MEANS." HUYEN FURTHER STATED "WE CONDEMN ALL
VIOLENCE THAT KILLS PEOPLE." SHE URGED THE USG TO
CONTINUE ITS EFFORTS TO "ACCELERATE THE PEACE PROCESS"
AND BRING ABOUT A TWO-STATE SOLUTION-"THE ONLY WAY TO
SOLVE THE PROBLEM," SHE OPINED. AA/S WOOD ASKED HUYEN
TO RESIST UNBALANCED POSITIONS ON MIDDLE EAST
RESOLUTIONS.

14. (SBU) ON THE ICC, HUYEN SAID THE GVN'S VIEW IS
THOSE WHO COMMIT CRIMES NEED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.
HOWEVER, THE ICC CONCEPT IS "NEW TO US AND WE ARE
STUDYING IT." SHE NOTED VIETNAM'S CONCERN OVER POSSIBLE
SOVEREIGNTY ISSUES CONCERNING THE ICC.

15. (U) AA/S WOOD HAS CLEARED THIS MESSAGE. PORTER

UNCLASSIFIED

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