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Cablegate: Panama: Uighur Demarche Delivered to 1st Vp and Fm

VZCZCXYZ0002
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHZP #1198 1942143
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 132143Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY PANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0821
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 0104
RUEHGT/AMEMBASSY GUATEMALA 0707
RUEHSN/AMEMBASSY SAN SALVADOR 1365
RUEHDG/AMEMBASSY SANTO DOMINGO 0407
RUEHTG/AMEMBASSY TEGUCIGALPA 0397

C O N F I D E N T I A L PANAMA 001198

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/12/2017
TAGS: PHUM PINO PTER PREL PM
SUBJECT: PANAMA: UIGHUR DEMARCHE DELIVERED TO 1ST VP AND FM

REF: (A) STATE 89997 (B) PANAMA 1177

Classified By: Ambassador William A. Eaton. Reasons: 1.4 (b) and (d)

--------------------------------------------- --
Panama: Doubt Uighur Detainees Position Changed
--------------------------------------------- ---

1. (C) Panamanian First VP and FM Samuel Lewis undertook on
July 11 to check to see if Panama's position regarding
acceptance of Uighur detainees from Guantanamo had changed;
"I doubt that it has." Lewis made these comments in response
Ambassador's delivery of REFTEL A demarche. Lewis, who
departed Panama for Brazil on July 12, promised to provide a
more definitive response.

-------
Comment
-------

2. (C) Post assesses that Panama is highly unlikely to
accept Uighur detainees from Guantanamo. As reported REFTEL
B, Panama has serious concerns about its ability, as a small
country, to integrate and support refugees, particularly
Uighur detainees that do not have any community in Panama
upon which they can rely. More fundamentally, Panama, in
general and under the Torrijos Administration in particular,
is loathe to accept refugees. Post will follow up with Lewis
to press our case and to secure a more considered response.
Eaton

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