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Cablegate: Burma: Congratulations to President Bush From Than

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

UNCLAS RANGOON 001435

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL OPDC BM
SUBJECT: BURMA: CONGRATULATIONS TO PRESIDENT BUSH FROM THAN
SHWE

REF: RANGOON 728

1. (U) On November 4, 2004 Embassy Rangoon received a
diplomatic note from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
transmitting a congratulatory letter (unsigned) from Senior
General Than Shwe to President Bush on the occasion of the
latter's re-election. Post will forward the original to
EAP/BCLTV. The text of the note and letter is as follows:

Begin text of diplomatic note:

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Union of Myanmar
presents its compliments to the Embassy of the United States
of America and has the honor to transmit herewith for
information of the embassy a copy of the congratulatory
message from His Excellency Senior General Than Shwe,
Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council of the
Union of Myanmar, to the honorable George W. Bush, on the
occasion of his re-election for the second term as the
President of the United States of America.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Union of Myanmar
avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Embassy of
the United States of America the assurances of its highest
consideration.

Dated November 4 2004

End text.

Begin text of letter from Senior General Than Shwe:

The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States of America
Washington, D.C.

Mr. President,

On behalf of the people of the Union of Myanmar as well as on
my own, it gives me great pleasure in extending to you, Mr.
President, our sincere congratulations on the occasion of
your re-election for the second term of the President of the
United States of America.

Please accept, Mr. President, the assurances of my highest
consideration.

Senior General Than Shwe
Chairman
The State Peace and Development Council of the Union of
Myanmar

2. (SBU) Comment: The letter is an unusual gesture from the
SPDC. We have not received friendly correspondence on any
occasion in recent years. The November 6 edition of the New
Light of Myanmar ran a front page notice about the letter to
President Bush, stating "Senior General Than Shwe sends
felicitations to U.S. President - Yangon, 5 Nov - Senior
General Than Shwe, Chairman of the SPDC of the Union of
Myanmar, sent a congratulatory message to the Honorable
George W. Bush, on the occasion of his re-election as the
President of the United States of America." The then-Deputy
Foreign Minister's June 2004 visit to the chancery to sign
the Reagan condolence book was the last GOB effort to reach
out to the Embassy in any meaningful way (reftel). However,
we don't believe that Than Shwe's letter portends a change in
the regime's bilateral posture. Official media this week
maintained robust coverage of the situation in Iraq with
articles and commentary highly critical of U.S. military
operations. End Comment.
Martinez

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