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Cablegate: Panama: Keeping Pressure On the Burmese Regime --

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHZP #1624 2761815
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 031815Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY PANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1252
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0283
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L PANAMA 001624

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/03/2017
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM BM PM
SUBJECT: PANAMA: KEEPING PRESSURE ON THE BURMESE REGIME --
DEMARCHE DELIVERED

REF: STATE 137644

Classified By: POLCOUNS Brian R. Naranjo. Reason: 1.4 (d).

----------------------------
Firm Response on Burma Needed
-----------------------------

1. (C) "Panama supports full-heartedly a very firm response
to the recent developments in Burma," MFA DG for
International Political Affairs Javier Bonagas told POLCOUNS
on October 2. President Torrijos underscored Panama's
dissatisfaction in his September 25 UNGA address by stating,
"We condemn the violation of human rights in Myanmar and the
continued detention of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San
Suu Kyi," Bonagas reminded POLCOUNS. "Panama will be with
the U.S. on this one." During the July visit to Panama by a
Burmese VFM, Bonagas said that Panama underscored the need
for Burma: to quickly move toward political dialogue, to stop
playing games with the international community, and to move
forward with democracy. The Burmese left Panama very
dissatisfied with the results of their diplomatic outreach
effort, Bonagas asserted. Noting that the current situation
in Burma resonated in Panama given Panama's own experience
with military dictatorship, Bonagas said that Panama would
support stronger measures -- including sanctions -- against
Burma. Bonagas added that there was no question in Panama's
mind that the situation in Burma constituted a threat to
international peace and security. Doubting that there would
be any further direct contact with the Burmese regime,
Bonagas concurred fully that the international community need
to emphasis a unified and firm message.

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

2. (C) In the wake of the September 1 election as President
of the National Assembly of governing Revolutionary
Democratic Party (PRD) Deputy Pedro Miguel Gonzalez who is
under federal indictment on five counts in connection with
the 1992 murder of U.S. serviceman Zak Hernandez and with the
U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) under a cloud on
the Hill in the wake of Gonzalez's election, Panama is eager
to highlight that it remains a close friend and strategic
partner of the U.S. Furthermore, the PRD -- the party
founded by military strongman Omar Torrijos (the current
president's father ) and the party of dictator Manuel Noriega
-- is eager not to seem to be giving the Burmese regime a
pass for suppressing human rights and thwarting democracy.
Predisposed to the U.S. position and having bilateral and
domestic reasons to support the U.S. position, Panama should
be a partner in efforts to bring pressure to bear on Burma in
the UNSC.
EATON

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