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Cablegate: Media Report - Secretary Rumsfeld's Meeting with Chilean

VZCZCXYZ0005
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSG #1607 2072036
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 262036Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9677

UNCLAS SANTIAGO 001607

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR R/MR, I/PP, WHA/BSC, WHA/PDA, INR/IAA, PM, INL

STATE FOR INR/R/MR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR KPAO OPRC PTER PGOV PREL CI
SUBJECT: MEDIA REPORT - SECRETARY RUMSFELD'S MEETING WITH CHILEAN
DEFENSE MINISTER


1. Summary: July 26 Santiago dailies reported extensively on
Defense Minister Vivianne Blanlot's meeting with Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld. Articles quoted Blanlot as stating that the Secretary did
not ask Chile to support Guatemala, but indicated it "would be
incomprehensible" for Chile to vote for Venezuela. "La Nacion" said
the Secretary had "officially" asked Chile to vote for Guatemala and
"La Tercera" stated that the U.S. had "intensified" pressure.
Blanlot emphasized that the vote would not affect the relationship
with the United States. Reports also noted that both officials
discussed Chile's ratification of the International Criminal Court
(ICC) and resulting sanctions. On line "La Tercera" ran President
Bachelet's reaction, noting that Chile does not respond to pressure
and would make decisions in the country's best interest. There were
no editorial comments. End Summary.

2. Conservative, influential newspaper-of-record "El Mercurio"
(circ. 116,807): Defense Minister Vivianne Blanlot said Venezuela is
"not an option for unity," because several South America, Caribbean,
and Central American countries do not favor its candidacy. News
agencies reported that Secretary Rumsfeld had asked Chile to support
Guatemala's candidacy during his meeting with Blanlot.

2. Conservative, independent "La Tercera" (circ. 102,000) front-page
headline, "U.S. Intensifies Pressure for Chile Not to Vote for
Venezuela in United Nations." "Defense Minister Blanlot said
Secretary Rumsfeld did not ask Chile to support Guatemala, but did

SIPDIS
say 'it would be incomprehensible' for Chile to vote for
Venezuela.... Rumsfeld's message reinforces the pressure launched
by Secretary Rice...on April 21 in Washington."

3. Government-owned editorially independent "La Nacion" (circ.
3,800) front-page headline: "Pentagon Asks Chile to Vote for
Guatemala for the UN Security Council." "International news
agencies reported that Secretary Rumsfeld officially asked Chile to
support Guatemala. Blanlot underscored that the vote by no means
implies a change in relations with the United States.... In 2005
Venezuela lobbied for Jose Miguel Insulza's candidacy in the OAS,
and this would be the right moment to pay back the favor...but
Blanlot said that 'the decision about who will occupy a seat in the
Security Council is not about favors.' Meanwhile, the White House
has made La Moneda aware of the inconvenience of favoring Chavez."


"La Nacion": Defense Minister Vivianne Blanlot said Chile's vote in
the UNSC does not in any way imply a change in the tone of the
relationship with the Bush administration.
4. "La Tercera online": President Bachelet responded to the concern
expressed by Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to his Chilean counterpart
Vivanne Blanlot over possible Chilean support for Venezuela's
candidacy to the UNSC. "In the past, present, and in the future,
Chile has had an independent foreign policy. The country has not
accepted pressure from any side or of any kind, and during my
government that will not change. Therefore any decision regarding
the ICC, the Security Council or any aspect of foreign policy...will
be made considering the interests of the country and the region."

5. Conservative, independent "La Tercera" (circ. 102,000): Blanlot
and Rumsfeld also discussed Chile's eventual ratification of the
International Criminal Court (ICC). Blanlot said the U.S.
understands Chile's effort to ratify the ICC, but does not
understand why La Moneda is unwilling to sign a bilateral agreement
to grant U.S. soldiers immunity from the court's jurisdiction. "I
explained that our view is that this treaty must apply to everyone,
and that it makes no sense to start leaving some outside (its
jurisdiction); that it is a matter of principle."

6. Conservative, influential newspaper-of-record "El Mercurio"
(circ. 116,807): Blanlot confirmed to Secretary Rumsfeld that Chile
would ratify the ICC without Article 98, despite the automatic
sanctions that will result.

KELLY

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