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Cablegate: Embassy Dili Response On Great White Fleet Commemoration

VZCZCXRO1235
PP RUEHDT
DE RUEHDT #0358 3121007
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 081007Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY DILI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3753
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHDT/AMEMBASSY DILI 3155

UNCLAS DILI 000358

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

FOR EAP/MTS AND EAP/PD - MCLOUGHLIN
PACOM FOR POLADS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KPAO MARR MASS TT
SUBJECT: EMBASSY DILI RESPONSE ON GREAT WHITE FLEET COMMEMORATION

REF: STATE 00152754

1. (SBU) Embassy Dili is strongly engaged with USPACOM in
developing a robust schedule of ship visits to Timor-Leste. In
conversation with Ambassador, GOTL leaders have recalled U.S.
ship visits in the pre-independence era, and have requested our
help in reviving Dili's status as a regular port of call for
U.S. vessels. We are therefore now in dialogue with Pacific
Command to identify opportunities for ship visits that can
provide training missions to Timor-Leste's own armed forces,
undertake community outreach projects, and extend humanitarian
assistance.


2. (SBU) These are important priorities for us. We do not,
however, see a natural or comfortable association with the
commemoration of the 1908 Great White Fleet circumnavigation.
As important as that historic event was to other countries in
the region, it is not relevant in our local context. The fleet
did not call in Portuguese Timor. We would instead encourage an
approach to Timor-Leste that leads to the strengthening of its
engagement with the U.S. Navy based on its present and future
relationship with the U.S.

KLEMM

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