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Cablegate: Bahrain: Urgent Demarche On Unesco Cultural

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

191142Z Oct 05

UNCLAS MANAMA 001530

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

PARIS FOR USDEL UNESCO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD PHUM SCUL BA UNESCO
SUBJECT: BAHRAIN: URGENT DEMARCHE ON UNESCO CULTURAL
DIVERSITY VOTE

REF: A. STATE 192656

B. MANAMA 1502
C. MANAMA 1454
D. MANAMA 1370

Sensitive but unclassified; please protect accordingly. Not
for Internet distribution.

1. (SBU) Pol/Econ chief October 19 delivered Ref A urgent
demarche on the UNESCO cultural diversity convention vote to
MFA Director for International Organization Affairs Ghassan
Shaikho. Shaikho said his office was currently in the midst
of contacts with the Bahraini mission in Paris and GCC and
Arab delegations concerning the vote. Bahrain had not yet
decided how it was going to vote. He welcomed the concept of
expressing Bahrain's concerns about the possible impact of
the convention on international trade and the free flow of
information in Bahrain's explanation of vote, to be issued
either before or after the vote.

2. (SBU) Shaikho emphasized that Bahrain shares the United
States' concerns about possible UNESCO interference in trade
issues. According to his information, the United States
viewed the matter as a trade issue whereas the other side
viewed it as a response to globalization and the protection
of local cultures. He thought the U.S. was at a disadvantage
because it had entered the debate only after the draft text
of the convention had been issued. He thought there might be
some "constructive ambiguity" in the text of the convention
that could work either for or against the U.S. position,
depending upon the interpretation of those charged with
implementing it.

MONROE

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