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Cablegate: Positive On Asean Counterterrorism Initiatives

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

UNCLAS HANOI 000381

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV; EAP/RSP; S/CT

E.O. 12958: NA
TAGS: PTER PREL VM ARF ASEAN CNARC
SUBJECT: POSITIVE ON ASEAN COUNTERTERRORISM INITIATIVES

REF: Hanoi 1947

1. (U) According to Ministry of Foreign Affairs ASEAN
Department (MFA/ASEAN) expert Nguyen Thanh Huy, the GVN "is
fully committed" to the international struggle against
terrorism and will accede to ASEAN's "Agreement on
Information Exchange and Establishment of Communication
Procedures" signed last May by Indonesia, Malaysia, and the
Philippines. "It is only a matter of time" until Vietnam
accedes, he claimed, while declining to predict exactly
when. He added that deliberations within the GVN leadership
are "nearing completion," however.

2. (U) Huy praised the three-day security conference held
in January in Manila at which the Philippines, Cambodia,
Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand agreed to form a joint
committee to boost multilateral cooperation against
terrorism and "other transnational crimes." Huy also
pointed to a January police conference in Indonesia,
attended by GVN Ministry of Public Security Director General
Major General Truong Huu Quoc, at which officials pledged to
strengthen counterterrorism cooperation and establish
special counterterrorism task forces in ASEAN member
countries. Vietnam "is looking forward" to hosting the
third annual senior conference on transnational crime,
scheduled for June 2003 in Hanoi, he added.

3. (U) Huy claimed that, while the GVN leadership believes
Vietnam is a less likely terrorist target than some other
ASEAN members, events such as September 11 and Bali have
clearly demonstrated that the terrorist forces "have a long
reach."

4. (SBU) COMMENT. Huy is a focal point for
counterterroism issues within MFA/ASEAN (and, as a result,
we are considering him as a potential IV grantee). We
understand that he has written extensively on ASEAN
counterterrorism initiatives within the MFA. It is
encouraging that such helpful views regarding the
seriousness of the war on terrorism and the imperative of
regional cooperation appear to be circulating among the
leadership.
BURGHARDT

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