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Cablegate: Gnz to Deliver Strong Points to Fiji's Bainimarama

VZCZCXRO7306
OO RUEHMJ RUEHPB
DE RUEHWL #0924/01 3271732
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 231732Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3521
INFO RUEHSV/AMEMBASSY SUVA IMMEDIATE 0534
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 4619
RUEHMJ/AMEMBASSY MAJURO PRIORITY 0095
RUEHPB/AMEMBASSY PORT MORESBY PRIORITY 0614
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC PRIORITY
RHHJJAA/JICPAC HONOLULU HI PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 WELLINGTON 000924

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR D (FRITZ), EAP/FO, EUR/RPM, AND EAP/ANP
NSC FOR VICTOR CHA
SECDEF FOR OSD/ISD JESSICA POWERS
PACOM FOR J01E/J2/J233/J5/SJFHQ

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/21/2016
TAGS: ASEC PREL PGOV FJ NZ
SUBJECT: GNZ TO DELIVER STRONG POINTS TO FIJI'S BAINIMARAMA

REF: STATE 190257

Classified By: DCM David J. Keegan. Reasons: E.O. 12958, 1.4
(b) and (d).

1. (C) The GNZ MFAT has prepared strongly worded points,
which it has passed to the British Defence Attache Nigel
Lloyd (DA), who will convey them to Commodore Bainimarama at
a private lunch with Bainimarama on November 23 at the DA's
residence. (The points are repeated below at para 3).
Foreign Minister Winston Peters, who had originally planned
to deliver the points, will be unable to do so personally
before November 24, as he will be on travel in Auckland.

2. (C) MFAT has also informed Poloff that they are
approaching the President of the UN Security Council, UN
Peacekeeping, the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, and
the EU to encourage them to press on Bainimarama to abandon
his stated plans to remove the Fijian government in early
December. MFAT is also seeking the assistance of the British
DA's wife to emphasize to Bainimarama's wife that should
there be a coup, the Commodore and she would no longer be
able to travel to New Zealand to visit their grandchildren.
MFAT indicates that GNZ's strategy is to focus on the
consequences of a coup to both Fiji and to Bainimarama
personally.

3. (C) Begin talking points for Foreign Minister Peters's
discussion with RFMF Commander Frank Bainimarama:

-- I gather you are down here on a private visit for your
grand-daughter's first communion - a significant family
occasion. I hope you enjoy your visit.

-- You have stated publicly that you are planning to make
certain demands of the Fiji government when you get back, and
that if those demands are not met that you will take steps to
remove them on 4 December.

-- I would counsel you very strongly against taking such
steps. You need to understand that there would be serious
consequences if you do go ahead.

-- New Zealand unconditionally supports the rule of law, and
the right of a democratically elected government to govern
without coercion -- and there is no question that the Fiji
government is democratically elected. We would not be able
to stand back and let that happen without responding.

-- We would be obliged to take steps to underline our utter
disapproval of any unconstitutional action and we would do so
in close collaboration with our friends, the Australians, the
British, the Americans and the region.

-- From a military perspective this would include suspension
of all defence ties. That would include any training or
assistance with peacekeeping activities, regionally and
internationally. The MAP programme would be discontinued.

-- We would moreover encourage like-minded countries to take
similar steps, and seek international condemnation of your
actions, including in the UN Security Council and the
Commonwealth. We would urge the Commonwealth and the Forum
to take the strongest possible steps to register the
unacceptability of such actions.

-- New Zealand's relationship with any government installed
as a result of a coup would be correspondingly restricted.

-- You need to understand that if you do something stupid
you will not be able to operate around the Pacific. Neither
we, Australia, Britain nor the United States would be able to
work with you, or offer any assistance.

-- Your reputation and that of the RFMF would suffer
irreparable damage both within the region and as a
participant in international peacekeeping operations.
Without the support and training of the Australian and New
Zealand defence forces Fiji's deployment in international
peacekeeping operations would become very difficult.

WELLINGTON 00000924 002 OF 002

-- We are considering the level of our travel advisory in
the light of the threats you have been making. Upgrading our
travel advisory would have a significant impact on tourist
flows to Fiji and significantly affect Fiji's economy.

-- There would also be personal implications for you and
your family. We would ban you, as well as others associated
with a coup, and possibly your family, from entering New
Zealand.

-- The Government permitted your entry to New Zealand on the
basis that yours was a private visit. That does not sit well
with the public threats against the Fiji Government that you
have been making since arriving in New Zealand. Consistent
with the purpose of your visit we require you to make no
further public statements during your stay.

End points.

4. (C) Embassy Wellington has sought to contact Bainimarama
through his personal assistant Ben Naliva, who said
Bainimarama is on "private leave and does not want to be
disturbed." When told that Washington regards the
conversation as extremely important and reminded that
Bainimarama has spoken to the NZ press so his visit is no
longer private, Naliva said he would check. A half hour
later he called to again say the Commodore was not available.
Naliva did not answer any of our follow-up calls.
Ambassador McCormick has discussed the matter with Minister
Peters, who has admitted he's had trouble getting an
appointment as well and encouraged us to be persistent. We
continue to work with MFAT and our defense attache to
identify a way to deliver reftel demarche to Bainamarama.
McCormick

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