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Cablegate: Italy: Colombia Needs to Be Better Understood

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

id: 13967
date: 2/13/2004 16:24
refid: 04ROME561
origin: Embassy Rome
classification: CONFIDENTIAL
destination: 04ROME427|04ROME561
header:
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


----------------- header ends ----------------

C O N F I D E N T I A L ROME 000561

SIPDIS


DEPT FOR WHA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/13/2014
TAGS: PREL CO IT HUMAN RIGHTS
SUBJECT: ITALY: COLOMBIA NEEDS TO BE BETTER UNDERSTOOD

REF: ROME 00427

CLASSIFIED BY: POL M/C TOM COUNTRYMAN FOR REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D)

1. (C) SUMMARY. IN THE ITALIAN MFA'S VIEW, COLOMBIA'S
PRESIDENT URIBE RETURNED TO BOGOTA WITH MIXED RESULTS FROM
HIS EUROPEAN VISIT. HIS ADDRESS TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
WAS NOT WELL RECEIVED DUE TO CONTINUED EUROPEAN INSISTENCE ON
BETTER PERFORMANCE ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND RULE OF LAW ISSUES.
ALTHOUGH HE WAS ABLE TO PRESENT THE REALITIES OF COLOMBIA'S
PROBLEMS AND EXPLAIN GOC POLICIES, HE DID NOT GAIN THE
SUPPORT HE DESIRED FOR A DONORS CONFERENCE AND GREATER
FUNDING AND COOPERATION FROM THE EUROPEANS. IN ITALY, URIBE
WAS BETTER RECEIVED, GAINING COMMITMENTS FOR FUNDING IN
SPECIFIC PROGRAMS, RECOGNITION FOR HIS EFFORTS AND SUPPORT
FOR GREATER BILATERAL COLLABORATION AND PARTNERSHIP. END
SUMMARY.

2. (C) DANIELE RAMPAZZO, MFA SOUTH AMERICA OFFICE DIRECTOR,
STATED THAT, ALTHOUGH URIBE MAY NOT HAVE ACHIEVED TANGIBLE
RESULTS IN BRUSSELS, HE DID ACHIEVE ONE OF HIS PRIMARY GOALS
BY GIVING GREATER EXPOSURE TO COLOMBIA'S SITUATION,
PRESENTING THE REALITIES OF COLOMBIA'S CHALLENGES AND
EXPLAINING THE GOC'S POLICIES. RAMPAZZO FELT THAT URIBE'S
FAILURE WITH THE EUROPEANS WAS MORE A RESULT OF A LACK OF
UNDERSTANDING ON THE PART OF THE EUROPEANS RATHER THAN ERRORS
COMMITTED BY URIBE. EUROPEANS ARE SWAYED BY MEDIA AND PUBLIC
OPINION WHICH, IN RAMPAZZO'A OPINION, DO NOT ACCURATELY
REPRESENT THE REALITIES OF COLOMBIA'S PROBLEMS AND POLICIES.
FURTHERMORE, RAMPAZZO FELT THAT THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT WAS
NOT PREPARED TO RECEIVE URIBE WHICH WAS EVIDENCED BY THE
DIVISIONS AMONG THE PARLIAMENTARIANS.

3. (C) ALTHOUGH THE ITALIANS SHARE THE GENERAL EUROPEAN
CONSENSUS THAT THE URIBE GOVERNMENT HAS TO SHOW GREATER
PROGRESS AND ASSURANCES IN HUMAN RIGHTS AND RULE OF LAW
ISSUES, THE ITALIANS HAVE A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE
COLOMBIAN SITUATION DUE TO CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL
SIMILARITIES. DUE TO THIS UNDERSTANDING, ITALY APPRECIATES
THE CHALLENGES FACED BY THE URIBE GOVERNMENT, UNDERSTANDS THE
NEED FOR STRONG GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND PREFERS TO TAKE AN
APPROACH OF PARTNERSHIP AND COLLABORATION RATHER THAN
CONDEMNATION, RAMPAZZO STATED. ALONG WITH THE UK, SPAIN AND
TO A LESSER DEGREE FRANCE, ITALY BELIEVES THAT THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SHOULD APPROACH COLOMBIA AS A PARTNER
IN ITS FIGHT AGAINST DRUGS AND TERRORISM AND PROVIDE THE
ENCOURAGEMENT AND COLLABORATION NEEDED TO ENSURE GREATER
DEMOCRACY AND RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND RULE OF LAW.

4. (C) RAMPAZZO STATED THAT ITALY RECOGNIZES URIBE'S EFFORTS
AND BELIEVES HE IS THE BEST HOPE FOR COLOMBIA EVEN IF THE GOC
IS STILL NOT IN LINE WITH INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS. URIBE'S
VISIT MAY HAVE BEEN OVERSHADOWED BY PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY
HEAD ABU ALA'S CONCURRENT VISIT, BUT URIBE NEVERTHELESS HAD
THE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET WITH GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS,
PARLIAMENTARIANS AND ECONOMIC LEADERS AND SUCCESSFULLY
ADVANCED THE BILATERAL RELATIONSHIP. RAMPAZZO REPORTED THAT
ITALY IS COMMITTED TO ONGOING FUNDING A NUMBER OF PROGRAMS
THROUGH THE UN, INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND BILATERALLY
INCLUDING 250,000 EURO THROUGH UNODC FOR AN ALTERNATIVE CROPS
AND FOREST RANGER PROGRAM, 1.14 MILLION EURO THROUGH IOM FOR
A SOCIAL REINTEGRATION OF CHILD SOLDIERS PROGRAM, 20,000 EURO
THROUGH THE OAS FOR A DEMINING PROGRAM AND 10-15,000 EURO IN
SUPPORT OF THE SRSG FOR COLOMBIA. IN ADDITION TO THIS
FUNDING, ITALY IS WORKING BILATERALLY ON ECONOMIC COOPERATION
BETWEEN SMALL AND MID-SIZE COMPANIES IN TARGETED SECTORS SUCH
AS TEXTILES, FASHION AND JEWELRY.
SEMBLER



NNNN
2004ROME00561 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL


=======================CABLE ENDS============================

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