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Cablegate: March 17 Letter From President Portillo To

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

UNCLAS GUATEMALA 000746

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINR GT IZ
SUBJECT: MARCH 17 LETTER FROM PRESIDENT PORTILLO TO
PRESIDENT BUSH ON IRAQ

1. (U) President Alfonso Portillo sent President Bush a
letter on March 17 (delivered by the Guatemalan Embassy in
Washington to the White House and Department of State) saying
that Guatemala stands by the United States during the current
difficult international situation. Following is the
Embassy's translation of the text of the Portillo letter:

2. (U) Begin text:
Guatemala, March 17, 2003
Mr. George W. Bush
President of the United States of America

Mr. President:

I have the honor to address you to express my solidarity
(with you) during this difficult moment in the international
situation. My government shares your concern over the
persistence of international actors that represent a serious
risk to international peace and security, as well as the need
for the community of nations to act with determination to
confront these risks.

Of those risks, the most virulent is terrorism, while so
violently has attacked your country as well as many others in
the world. All of the nations and peoples of the world have
an obligation to act in concert to prevent, attack and, if
possible, eradicate this threat.

At the same time, we remember the need to maintain the great
achievements that humanity has gradually built over the past
century, in particular, the multilateral organizations such
as the United Nations, which are the best guarantee that we
will continue to build a world founded on the values of
democracy and peace.

Mr. President, permit me to repeat my desire that our nations
conserve their friendship and shared visions for better
societies.

(complimentary closing)
Alfonso Portillo (signed)
end text.

3. (SBU) Comment: Like his public statements, in which
Portillo has not wanted to comment on his position on
hostilities with Iraq but has wanted to appear on the side of
the U.S., the letter to President Bush is another attempt by
Portillo to have it both ways.
HAMILTON

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