Cablegate: Canada Will Support for the Oas Mission in Colombia

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




E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (SBU) Poloff delivered reftel points to Harold Hickman,
Deputy Director in the Inter-American Relations Division of
Foreign Affairs Canada. Hickman said that Canada is
definitely going to provide assistance to the OAS Mission to
Colombia, and it could be substantial. The GOC sent an
inter-agency team to Colombia including a senior CIDA
official, Colombia Desk Officer from FAC, and a member of the
Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (START). The
team came back impressed by the need for cash for the OAS
mission (he said they had around $27 in their bank account),
and with a number of solid proposals from the Canadian
Embassy in Bogota for viable projects.

2. (SBU) The money will be coming from the allocation for
START, which Hickman said is a new concept whereby Foreign
Affairs has its own budget for such programs and does not
have to rely on CIDA. The proposals are awaiting an
inter-agency decision-making process that will play out over
the coming weeks. Hickman said there is some urgency, as the
money, which is substantial, must be spent before the end of
the Canadian fiscal year on March 31. He said he was sure it
would be in the hundreds of thousands, and if they get what
they are looking for, could top a million, making Canada the
largest contributor to the OAS mission.

3. (SBU) Hickman reiterated that some funding was a fairly
sure thing, as the Foreign Minister made a firm commitment to
the OAS SecGen when he was in Canada in September to assist
the mission. He also mentioned that Colombia's Foreign
Minister, Carolina Barco is planning to visit Ottawa December
1st, although the visit may not come off if the country is in
the middle of a federal campaign.

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