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Cablegate: Vietnam Refuses to Condemn Russia's Recognition of Abkhazia

VZCZCXRO0513
OO RUEHHM
DE RUEHHI #1002 2411035
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 281035Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8371
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH IMMEDIATE 5061
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0225

UNCLAS HANOI 001002

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

FOR IO/UNP MOORE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UNSC PREL CG RS VM
SUBJECT: VIETNAM REFUSES TO CONDEMN RUSSIA'S RECOGNITION OF ABKHAZIA
AND SOUTH OSSETIA

REF: STATE 92371

1. (SBU) On August 28, the Ambassador spoke with Vice FM Pham Binh
Minh to urge that Vietnam's PermRep publicly and forcefully condemn
Russia's August 26 decision to recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Per reftel, the Ambassador stressed that the Security Council, if
it meets in special session, should call upon Russia to revoke its
recognition of the two separatist regions and reaffirm in strong
terms Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty. Russia must
implement President Sarkozy's six-point plan, as clarified in the
French President's subsequent letter to President Saakashvili, and
begin cooperating with the OSCE, EU, and UN to deploy an
international mechanism to bring stability to the region, the
Ambassador emphasized.

2. (SBU) VFM Minh responded that while Vietnam has been in favor of
international mediation and supports the Sarkozy plan, his
government would not condemn Russia. In Vietnam's view, the crisis
was initiated by Saakashvili's decision to move into South Ossetia,
at the cost of civilian life. Russia's decision, Minh continued,
was moreover a direct consequence of the U.S.-led movement to
recognize Kosovo, which Vietnam had opposed. The Ambassador
rejected any comparison with Kosovo, emphasizing that until June of
this year, Kosovo had been administered by the UN according to UNSC
resolutions and that Kosovo's independence was the result of a long,
complicated process of negotiation, led by the UN. None of these
aspects applied in the case of South Ossetia or Abkhazia, the
Ambassador told Minh.

MICHALAK

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