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Cablegate: Bahamas Government Seeks Support for Future Un

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

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 NASSAU 000384

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/24/2014
TAGS: BF HA PGOV PREL SMIG
SUBJECT: BAHAMAS GOVERNMENT SEEKS SUPPORT FOR FUTURE UN
SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING ON HAITI

REF: A) NASSAU 211 B) NASSAU 212 C) NASSAU 263 D)
NASSAU 322 E) NASSAU 364

Classified By: Charge Abdelnour Zaiback for reasons 1.5 (B) and 1.5 (D)

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SUMMARY
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1) (C) On February 24, Acting Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Permanent Secretary Marilyn Zonicle separately demarched each
UN Security Council member with representation in The Bahamas
for support for a possible UN Security Council meeting on
Haiti that may be requested by Jamaica Prime Minister
Patterson as early as Thursday. The original plan was to
request the Security Council to meet on February 25 on Haiti,
however, President Aristide asked that the meeting be
deferred for 24 hours while he pursued the ongoing
negotiations. For its part, The Bahamas seeks the active
support of the U.S. as the "most important" member of the
Security Council as it engages on a full scale diplomatic
press to achieve peace in Haiti. If diplomacy fails, The
Bahamas believes that military assistance will be essential,
and is willing to contribute troops to a multinational effort
to maintain law and order. END SUMMARY

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FOREIGN MINISTER MITCHELL ON STAND BY TO NEW YORK
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2) (C) Anticipating that Prime Minister Patterson would make
the request for the Security Council to hold a special
session on Haiti tomorrow, FM Mitchell had already packed his
bags and made plans to fly to New York tonight. Patterson
and CARICOM delayed making the request for the session only
because Aristide convinced them that the opposition and
rebels could still agree to CARICOM's peace plan. However,
as the situation on the ground in Haiti continues to
deteriorate, Zonicle anticipates that Mitchell will fly to
New York tomorrow for a requested Security Council special
session on Thursday.

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SIX TALKING POINTS FOR PROJECTED SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING
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3) (C) Follows are the six talking points presented to Charge.

i) (C) Pending the outcome of the OAS/CARICOM-sponsored
negotiations between the Government and the Opposition in
Haiti, the CARICOM countries may request the convening of an
emergency meeting of the Security Council to address the
matter, considering the deteriorating situation in that
country and the inability of the Haitian National Police
(HNP) to deal with the insurgency.

ii) (C) An open debate in the Security Council would allow it
to pronounce on the matter and would provide Haiti with the
opportunity to request military/police assistance, and,
perhaps, increased humanitarian assistance, as may be
necessary. Haiti is reluctant to take the matter to the
Security Council before the current political negotiations
have been exhausted and wishes to avoid the matter being
dealt with on "parallel tracks" by OAS/CARICOM and the UN.

iii) (C) While France has indicated a willingness to send
military assistance to Haiti, the specter of French troops in
Haiti at this time is a very sensitive issue, particularly as
France is the former colonizer and Haiti is currently
"celebrating" the 200th anniversary of discarding that yoke.
A joint dispatch under the UN banner would be more palatable.

iv) (C) With the United Nations, CARICOM Ambassadors are
seeking the support of the Group of Latin America and the
Caribbean (GRULAC) for the initiative and a meeting of the
GRULAC to discuss the matter is being convened Wednesday
afternoon. Brazil and Chile, the two members of GRULAC on
the Security Council have indicated their support for the
initiative. Other member of the GRULAC that have voiced
strong support are Mexico and Venezuela.

v) (C) Beyond the GRULAC, CARICOM Ambassadors are in touch
with Canada and France, as well as with President of the GA,
Ambassador Colin Granderson of the CARICOM Secretariat, and
the other Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs in
seeking to garner support for the initiative and move it
forward, as appropriate.

vi) (C) It has been said, although not officially announced
that, Ambassador Reggie Dumas, of Trinidad and Tobago, has
been appointed as the Special Advisor on Haiti by the UN
Secretary-general. Perhaps, the stigma of a direct request
from Haitian authorities for military assistance could be
alleviated by having the request channeled through the
Special Advisor.

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BAHAMAS VIEW ON OUTSIDE INTERVENTION CLARIFIED
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4) (C) Charge and Political Chief sought clarification on
Mitchell's vision for outside intervention. In recent days
Mitchell has made several statements that international
support for Haiti's police was crucial, including "to disarm
the rebels if they did not disarm themselves." Zonicle
relayed that the first priority of The Bahamas is the
principles in the CARICOM proposal, most notably reinforcing
the ability of the Haitian police to maintain law and order.
However, if this fails, Zonicle reiterated Mitchell's oft
stated plea of late, that "law and order must be restored."
Zonicle volunteered that The Bahamas was prepared to
contribute troops, "perhaps as many as 100." While the
preferred mechanism is the United Nations, Zonicle confirmed
Mitchell's view that any outside intervention would be
preferable to continued and increased chaos.

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BAHAMIAN AMBASSADOR TO CARICOM SEEKS INSIGHTS ON RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN OPPOSITION AND REBELS
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5) (C) Ambassador to CARICOM Leonard Archer sought Charge's
insight on the relationship between the rebels and the
opposition, but in the exchange of views it became clear that
all sides knew about the same. Several rebel leaders have
connections with the former military. While the opposition
may currently feel that they are the beneficiaries of rebel
activity, they may soon learn that "the enemy of my enemy is
not always my friend." Archer is an experienced diplomat who
has studied Haiti at length.

- - - -
COMMENT
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6) (C) As reported reftels, The Bahamas is seized on the
Haitian crisis. It is certainly Foreign Minister Mitchell's
dominant preoccupation. It is also clear that The Bahamas
regards U.S. leadership and engagement on Haiti as crucial to
any peaceful outcome. As has also become increasingly
explicit in Mitchell's recent statements, while The Bahamas
and CARICOM lobby for peace, they have concluded that a
peaceful outcome without international intervention is
increasingly unlikely.
WITAJEWSKI

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