Cablegate: Gvn Leaders Urge Burma's Pm to Pursue Reconciliation;

DE RUEHHI #1932/01 3180738
R 140738Z NOV 07




Department for EAP/MLS

E.O. 12958: N/A

REFS: HANOI 1723; HANOI 1840

HANOI 00001932 001.2 OF 002

1. (SBU) Summary. On November 9, Burma's Prime Minister Thein Sein
arrived in Hanoi for introductory meetings with GVN leaders.
According to Vietnamese officials, PM Sein's message focused on the
Burma regime's cooperation with the UN, its progress on restoring
order and its plans to transition to a civilian-run government. GVN
leaders reportedly urged PM Sein to pursue a process of
reconciliation that includes Aung San Suu Kyi and other groups and
to continue cooperation with the UN. They also explicitly offered
their own experience of "national reconciliation and global
integration" as an example for Burma to consider. End Summary.

A Routine Visit in the "ASEAN Tradition"

2. (SBU) On November 13, Poloff met with MFA Asia II Department
Assistant Director Pham Hung Tam to discuss Burmese Prime Minister
Thein Sein's November 9-10 visit to Hanoi. PM Sein was accompanied
on the visit by his Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Commerce, and
Planning and Economic Development. The invitation to visit was
offered during GVN Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's August visit to
Burma. PM Sein's Hanoi visit was also consistent with the ASEAN
"tradition" of visits by new prime ministers to other ASEAN members,
explained Tam. PM Sein's schedule consisted of a working session
with PM Dung and a courtesy call on President Nguyen Minh Triet.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem and
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat, who is
the GVN chairman of the Vietnam-Burma Joint Commission, both
attended the meeting between the two Prime Ministers.

Burma PM Highlights "Progress" and Steps Ahead
--------------------------------------------- -

3. (SBU) According to Tam, the main topic of the meetings was the
current situation in Burma. PM Sein reported that the situation is
"stable" and that the Burmese government is cooperating fully with
UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon and his special envoy Ibrahim Gambari. PM
Sein noted that the Burmese government had complied with the UN's
five conditions: the lifting of martial law; the withdrawal of
troops to their military bases; the release of 2,800 detainees (the
remaining 100 detainees continue to be held pending prosecution for
crimes); the resumption of a dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi; and the
resumption of dialogue with all opposition forces who recognize the
authority of the Burmese government. A mechanism has been set up
for weekly meetings between Aung San Suu Kyi and her designated
Burmese government interlocutor. PM Sein also stated that the
Burmese government is trying to implement its seven-step roadmap to
democracy. It has set up a commission to draft a new constitution,
the product of which will be subject to public comment before being
submitted for a referendum. Once the new constitution is adopted,
PM Sein said a civilian government will be formed and the military
will "withdraw from the scene."

GVN Urges Inclusive Dialogue; Cooperation with UN
--------------------------------------------- ----

4. (SBU) Tam reported that, in response, GVN leaders called for the
Burmese regime to work towards national reconciliation and offered
their support for a process of dialogue that includes the
participation of Aung San Suu Kyi. They specified that any such
process must meet the demands of all concerned parties. GVN leaders
also observed that, while points of view might differ among ASEAN
members, Burma should consider that ASEAN has an important role in
Burma's reconciliation process. The GVN supports the Burmese
government's cooperation with the UN Secretary General to date and
urges further cooperation. Tam noted that the GVN side stressed
that, in the past, Vietnam has also been the "victim" of an embargo,
and as a result does not support the use of embargos as an effective
solution to "political problems," since they increase the suffering
of the general population.

5. (SBU) According to Tam, GVN leaders also offered two aspects of
Vietnam's experience as examples that could be useful for Burma.
First, "national solidarity" needs to be taken into account in the
process of reconciliation. Second, Vietnam has actively pursued a
policy to "deeply integrate" into the region and the world in order
to aid in national development. In light of Vietnam's UN Security
Council seat, PM Sein expressed the hope that the two countries
would assist each other within the UN framework. The GVN response
was that, "as a neighboring country, Vietnam looks forward to this
cooperation," said Tam.

Burma's Approach to Regional Cooperation

6. (SBU) PM Sein said Burma will "do its best to prepare" to sign
the ASEAN Charter at the upcoming summit, reported Tam. Burma also

HANOI 00001932 002.2 OF 002

wants to participate within the CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Burma and
Vietnam) forum and the Strategic Economic Cooperation
Conference-ACMECS (Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong), which includes the
above four countries plus Thailand. (Note: The fourth CLMV summit
meeting and the third ACMECS conference, planned for Hanoi from
October 23-26, were cancelled by the GVN, reportedly due to the
bridge collapse and flooding disasters. End note)

Bilateral Issues Received Less Attention

7. (SBU) Bilateral cooperation in the form of political, economic,
agricultural, trade and telecommunications initiatives were
discussed as a follow-up to discussions held during PM Dung's August
trip. Tam noted that no concrete results were achieved. The two
sides agreed to a goal of USD 100 million in two-way trade within an
unspecified time period. No documents were signed during the visit.
The two sides agreed to hold a meeting of their bilateral joint
commission next year in Burma. The Burmese PM also extended an
invitation for President Triet to visit Burma, which according to
Tam is typical of such visits. The invitation was accepted, but Tam
stressed there is no timing in mind.


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