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Cablegate: Secretary of State for Human Rights Yade's Chief

VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHFR #4083/01 2711234
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 281234Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0516
INFO RUEHPU/AMEMBASSY PORT AU PRINCE PRIORITY 0753
RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON PRIORITY 0068
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1370
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 2742

UNCLAS PARIS 004083

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL SOCI UNSC FR HA BM
SUBJECT: SECRETARY OF STATE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS YADE'S CHIEF
OF STAFF OUTLINES PRIORITIES

1. (SBU) Summary: Pol M/C and Poloff met on September 25
with the Chief of Staff for the Secretary of State for Human
Rights Brigitte Collet and Counselor Pierre Thenard to
discuss Rama Yade,s role and priorities in her newly created
position, Yade,s recent visit to Haiti, her upcoming visit
to Washington, and French support for the Community of
Democracies, biennial Ministerial in Bamako, Mali on
November 15-17, 2007. Collet and Thenard related that Yade's
regional focus would be on Asia and Latin
America, with particular current interest in Burma and Haiti.
Yade was heartened by recent international success in
fighting crime and corruption in Haiti and hoped to expand
opportunities for French/U.S. cooperation on the island
during her visit to Washington on October 3-4. Collet said
France planned to attend the October 1, 2007 meeting of
Ministers held by Mali, the Chair the Community of
Democracies (CD), but was not able to say whether the French
government would be willing to provide additional support
for the government of Mali,s hosting of the biennial
Ministerial in Bamako from November 15-17, 2007. End
Summary.

YADE,S PRIORITIES

2. (SBU) Collet said that Yade,s work portfolio-she is the
first Secretary of State for Human Rights-would be more
oriented toward Asia and Latin America than Africa (which
remains in the domain of the Secretary of State for
Cooperation), with particular thematic emphasis on the rights
of women and children, freedom of speech, and fighting
impunity. Current countries of particular
interest are Burma and Haiti. Collet added that Yade,s
office was at that moment about to issue a press release
condemning the recent crackdown against peaceful protests in
Burma and reaffirming French support for the release of
political prisoners (including, specifically, Aung San Suu
Kyi). Collet also related the French government,s hope that
the U.S would participate in an October 1 conference in New
York focusing on child soldiers, sponsored in cooperation
with UNICEF. Collet acknowledged that the U.S. might be
constrained by juridical considerations and unable to support
some conclusions of participants,but she hoped that such
constraints would not preclude U.S. participation.

HAITI

3. (SBU) Collet related that Yade,s September 14-15 visit
to Haiti had been very positive and that Yade hoped
international cooperation and progress under the auspices of
MINUSTAH would continue. Yade met with President Preval,
other senior government representatives and civil society
members, touring Port au Prince, Cap Hatien, and outlying
areas. Thenard, who accompanied Yade, noted that, while
everything is relative, the domestic situation is currently
better than at any time in the country,s recent history. On
September 15, Yade addressed a group of about 300: "For the
first time in a long while and under the tutelage of
President Preval, hope is being reborn in Haiti. I want to
believe (in that hope) with all my strength and to work by
your side to nurture it. Haiti has returned to the path of
being a state governed by rule of law. The government and
its parliament are the products of free elections, and they
have the full support of the international community,
including (that of) France, which will work at all levels (to
help Haiti)." Collet also suggested the possibility of
Nicolas Sarkozy visiting Haiti at an as-yet unspecified date,
in what would be the first-ever visit to the island by a
French president.

UPCOMING WASHINGTON VISIT

4. (SBU) Thenard said that Yade was eager to continue close
collaboration with the U.S. on Haiti and that she intended to
broach expanding cooperation during her upcoming visit to
Washington on October 3-4. (Thenard mentioned that Haitian
illegal immigrants were a problem in Guadeloupe, Martinique
and French Guyana.) During her visit to Washington, Collet
said that Yade planed to have a series of consultations with
officials from the State Department, the NSC and Congress, to
be facilitated by the French Embassy. Collet also mentioned
possible meetings with a representative of the Dalai Lama and
with Iranian immigrants living in the U.S.

COMMUNITY OF DEMOCRACIES

5. (SBU) Finally, Collet noted that Rama Yade would
represent France at the October 1, 2007 Ministers meeting of
the Community of Democracies (CD) chaired by Mali, on the
margins of the UN General Assembly (UNGA). Collet was not

able to say yet whether the French government would be
willing to provide additional support for the Community of
Democracies, specifically financial and logistical support
for the government of Mali,s hosting of the biennial
Ministerial in Bamako from November 15-17, 2007.
Please visit Paris' Classified Website at:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/paris/index.c fm


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