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Cablegate: Spain Supports Continued Pressure On Burma

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UNCLAS MADRID 001934

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

EAP/MLS FOR AARON COPE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM BM EUN
SUBJECT: SPAIN SUPPORTS CONTINUED PRESSURE ON BURMA

REF: STATE 137644

1. (U) Poloff delivered reftel demarche and background
materials separately on October 2, to Fernando
Fernandez-Arias, Spanish Deputy Director General for Human
Rights, and Jose Luis Garcia Galan, Deputy Director General
for Southeast Asia, and thanked them for the several
statements already issued by Spain and the EU on the matter.
Fernandez-Arias replied that he was in the process of sending
instructions to Geneva for a Spanish intervention at the
UNHRC that would be fairly severe on Burma. Additionally, he
was waiting for greater details on a possible trip to Rangoon
by Spain's Special Ambassador for Human Rights Silvia
Escobar, accompanying an EU delegation. He agreed that
continued pressure is necessary.

2. (U) Garcia-Galan agreed with Poloff and said that the
U.S. has been crystal clear in its position on Burma during
these recent developments. He appreciated U.S. recognition
of Spain's statements of condemnation, and he added that
Spain would remain committed to the EU position which would
be elaborated fully at the October 15 GAERC. He also told
poloff that Ambassador Escobar had sought a Burmese entry
visa and been denied in Geneva.

3. (U) Fernandez-Arias called Poloff October 3 to follow up
that Escobar had not gained a visa and the mission would be
delayed. He expected that the issue would be discussed in
Brussels at the upcoming EU COPS and GAERC meetings, where
decisions would be made on whether to send an EU delegation.

4. (U) The Spanish foreign ministry issued a communique on
September 26 warning against any violent repression of the
peaceful demonstrations. The declaration also expressed
solidarity with the Burmese people and full support for all
international efforts for a peaceful solution. On October 2,
Jose Blanco, Party Secretary of the ruling Spanish Socialist
Workers Party also issued a public condemnation calling for
an end to repression and steps toward democratization of
Burma. At a joint press conference with Russian President
Putin September 28, President Zapatero expressed his support
for the arrival of democracy in Burma.
LLORENS

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