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Cablegate: Media Reaction; Us Expectations Over Argentine Presidential

VZCZCXYZ0002
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #1239/01 1771425
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 261425Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8507
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001239

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
WHA/EPSC
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; US EXPECTATIONS OVER ARGENTINE PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTIONS; DARFUR; ZOELLICK HEAD OF THE WORLD BANK; 06/26/07


1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

Today's key international opinion stories include the analysis by US
commentators of Mauricio Macri's victory in the Buenos Aires mayoral
race; the outcome of the Paris Conference on Darfur; and the
confirmation of Robert Zoellick as head of the World Bank.

2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS

- "US expectations over Kirchner's retreat"

Hugo Alconada Mon, Washington-based correspondent for
daily-of-record "La Nacion," comments (06/26) "Mauricio Macri's
election victory was received with interest in the circles in this
city that follow Latin American issues. They wonder now whether
President Nestor Kirchner's retreat could alter the government's
plans for October (elections) - not the government's eventual
triumph but who will run as a candidate for the official party.

"This (referring to Macri's victory) is very positive. Now will he
or she run as a candidate?,' a high-ranking member of the US Senate
Foreign Relations Committee told 'La Nacion,' in reference to the
President's re-election or First Lady and Senator Cristina
Fernandez's presidential candidacy.

"In the USG official's view, 'while it is a local election, its
implications for October are important. This is why we closely
follow it.' The source also wondered whether 'the election was a
referendum on the Kirchner administration' and whether it could be
understood as a 'victory of Macri over Kirchner' rather than over
his competitor Daniel Filmus.

"According to Wall Street Eurasia Group political analysis
consulting company, the response is 'no.' Analyst Daniel Kerner told
'La Nacion' 'it would be risky to exaggerate the importance of this
election'... 'It has clearly been a local election.'

"... For its part, the Department of State kept silent, just as it
did following the 17 presidential elections held during the last 18
months all over Latin America. It will do the same during the rest
of the year when elections are held in Guatemala, Argentina, Jamaica
and Trinidad and Tobago.

"... Analysts from the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, a progressive
think tank in this city, included Kirchner among the 'populist'
leaders in the region along with Lula, Evo Morales, Hugo Chavez and
Rafael Correa, among others. They convey a positive quality to the
term."

- "A bleeding wound with no solution at hand"

Oscar Raul Cardoso, international analyst of leading "Clarin,"
opines (06/26) "The continuing massacre in Sudan is today the
toughest argument to be faced by those who maintain that a
harmonious and peaceful co-existence between Islam and the West is
possible...

"There have been more than 200,000 dead in Sudan since 2003 and some
2,500,000 refugees, and those to be held responsible for it are
nomad militias who invoke the Koran, the 'janjaweed', who operate in
Darfour in favor of the interests of the Khartoum-based ruling
dictatorship...

"The 36 million Sudanese are still worse off than Iraqis, Afghans
and Palestinians... Just a few in the international community seem
to give a damn about their fate.

"French President Nicholas Sarkozy says to have turned the Sudanese
tragedy into one of his main foreign priorities and yesterday's
conference is likely to have increased the prestige the French
president gained following the recent EU summit held in Germany...

"Nonetheless, Sudanese will have very little to be grateful about.
Sudan's oil still has a stronger voice than the outcry of victims.

"There has not even been any direct, outright criticism of President
Omar Al-Bashir's regime and much less, an attempt to impose
sanctions. China appears as the huge international protector of the
Sudanese regime.

"... The only positive outcome of the Paris conference was France's
commitment to increasing its financial aid by some 13 billion
dollars while the EU is assessing whether to assist with 40 billion
dollars, half of it for peacekeeping forces and half of it for
humanitarian aid. None of this will be enough. The question is how
long the massacre will last and how long the international community
will continue to ignore it."

- "Robert Zoellick is a long-distance runner with political
ability"

Business-financial "BAE" (06/26) reports "Robert Zoellick, who was
confirmed yesterday as the new head of the World Bank, is a
long-distance runner that is used to marathon negotiations and to
moving swiftly along the corridors of power. Yesterday, the World
Bank's Executive Council announced that it has agreed to Zoellick's
nomination, which was proposed by the White House May 30.

"... His critics say that he lacks personal charm, that he has some
tendency to intrigue and that, while he is pragmatic, he has done
the utmost all through his life to defend the US hegemonic position
in the world."

To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
classified website at:
http://www.state.sqov.gov/p/wha/buenosaires

WAYNE

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