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Cablegate: Why an Uribe/Toledo Meeting with President Bush Is

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 LIMA 003926

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR WHA P/DAS SHAPIRO

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/09/2015
TAGS: PREL ETRD PGOV PE CO
SUBJECT: WHY AN URIBE/TOLEDO MEETING WITH PRESIDENT BUSH IS
IN OUR INTEREST

REF: A. LIMA 3888
B. BOGOTA 8415

Classified By: Political Counselor Alexander Margulies. Reason: 1.4(d
).

1. (C) We understand that Peruvian Ambassador Ferrero soon
will call on PDAS Shapiro and U/S Burns to request an October
meeting between Presidents Toledo, Uribe and Bush. According
to Foreign
Minister Maurtua, the two Andean leaders decided during their
September 5 consultations in Bogota (reftels) to visit
Washington together on October 11 or 12 (Toledo will be en
route to a state visit to Madrid). Toledo wants to emphasize
Peru's desire to close Free Trade Agreement negotiations with
the U.S. in October. While the proof of the pudding will be
in the tasting, Toledo has instructed his
negotiating team to show flexibility toward this end. The
appointment of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski as Prime Minister
reinforces the GOP's determination; PPK passionately believes
that Peru's complementary
growth, development and poverty reduction strategies must be
based on free trade, market economics and private investment.

2. (C) Toledo is worried that stretching the FTA
negotiations past October will cause a collision with Peru's
2006 electoral calendar;
an agreement now supported by all major parties could become
politicized. Toledo is not/not seeking to break negotiating
impasses at the Presidential
level. Rather, he is seeking a highly visible sign of U.S.
commitment to refute Peru's FTA skeptics, who argue that our
commitments in the
Middle East and the close CAFTA vote have put the Andean
region on the back burner.

3. (C) Toledo already plans to visit Washington next week,
in-between attendance at the UNGA in New York, where he will
meet with USTR Portman
and with some members of Congress. With the Congress, he
will push for ACI funding for counternarcotics activities in
Peru and build support for
eventual ratification of an FTA.

4. (C) An Uribe/Toledo meeting with POTUS would also
provide us with opportunities to advance significant USG
interests in the region:

-- Encourage increased counterterrorism and counternarcotics
cooperation between Colombia and Peru. Peru already is far
ahead of
other countries in the region in recognizing the threat to
Andean security posed by the FARC and responding to this
through joint military
and intelligence programs with the GOC. It recently signed
off on a CNIES agreement, which will lead to Peruvian
intelligence input for
Colombian and Brazilian air interdiction programs.

-- Develop common approaches to countering the regional
threat posed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Uribe and
Toledo share our concerns
regarding Chavez's attempts to undermine democracy and
reassert state control over the economy in the Andean region.
Their cooperation will
be essential in any effort to identify, limit and roll-back
Chavez's influence and activities.

-- Highlight the success of Peru's pro-market policies and
alignment with the U.S. The GOP is among the minority of
countries on track to
fulfill its Millennium Development goals. It reduced its
extreme poverty rate from 27 to 24 percent last year and the
just-released UN development index
shows that Peru improved from 0.752 (85th out of 159
countries) to 0.762 (79th) on that index. The newly-released
Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom also saw Peru
jump from 2.83 to 2.76 on that scale, an improvement for the
third year in a row.

-- Commend Peru's responsible approach towards democratic
transitions. Toledo has named a technocrat who is trusted by
most of the
opposition as Prime Minister. Both the President and PPK
have described the latter's marching orders as "to avoid
handing over any messes or time
bombs to the next government."
STRUBLE

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