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Cablegate: Spain: Fm Moratinos On Equal Treatment For

VZCZCXRO8234
PP RUEHLA
DE RUEHMD #2029 2971605
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 241605Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3686
INFO RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA PRIORITY 3144

UNCLAS MADRID 002029

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

G/DRL/IRF FOR JACK CRODDY AND NANCY HEWETT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV KIRF SP
SUBJECT: SPAIN: FM MORATINOS ON EQUAL TREATMENT FOR
MORMONS, JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES

REF: A. 10/19 IRF MEMO
B. 10/19 U/S DOBRIANSKY-AMB. AGUIRRE TELCONS
C. 10/19 U/S DOBRIANSKY LETTER TO AMB. AGUIRRE

1. (SBU) Per refs, Ambassador Aguirre discussed GOS action
on the official status of certain religions with Foreign
Minister Moratinos on October 24. Ambassador Aguirre
stressed that it was important to the USG and the U.S. Senate
that the GOS provide equal treatment for all religions with
"notorio arraigo" status. He said the issue was one of basic
religious freedom, and he asked for Moratinos' assurance that
the GOS would address the issue. The Ambassador also noted
that U/S Dobriansky had called Ambassador Westendorp into the
Department to discuss the issue.

2. (SBU) Moratinos apologized for being unavailable
previously due to his recent trip to Lebanon, and he said he
understood and appreciated the importance of the issue to the
USG. Moratinos said he had not received a report from
Ambassador Westendorp and allowed that he was not very
familiar with the details of the issue. He noted that the
MOJ has the lead, and he promised to call Justice Minister
Bermejo to relay U.S. concerns. Moratinos said he would
direct his Special Ambassador for Religious Freedom to follow
up with the Justice Ministry and to get an answer for
Moratinos. The Ambassador thanked Moratinos and noted the
issue might be on the agenda at the early November meeting
between Moratinos and Secretary Rice.

3. (SBU) In Moratinos' absence, the Ambassador had
previously spoken with Deputy FM Bernardino Leon on October
22. Leon had relayed much the same message, that the
Ministry of Justice has the lead on religious matters but
that the MFA would closely follow the development of the
issue and keep the USG informed.

4. (SBU) COMMENT: Post will continue to work this issue
with the Ministry of Justice and with the MFA, including at
an upcoming meeting between the DCM and the Deputy Minister
of Justice. END COMMENT.
AGUIRRE

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