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Cablegate: Chile On the Sidelines On South Ossetia/Abkhazia

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FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3716
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION PRIORITY 3528
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RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 0419
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SANTIAGO 000843

SIPDIS

PASS TO WHA/CEN BERT KRAAIMOORE, EUR/SCE SEIJI SHIRATORI,
WILLIAM TOMLYANOVICH

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/15/2018
TAGS: MOPS PREL GG NU RU KV CI
SUBJECT: CHILE ON THE SIDELINES ON SOUTH OSSETIA/ABKHAZIA
ISSUE

REF: A. STATE 96677
B. SANTIAGO 779

Classified By: Acting Pol/Econ Chief Tim Stater for reason 1.4 (b).

1. (C) Poloff delivered Ref A demarche to Eduardo Schott,
MFA Deputy Director for European Affairs, on September 15.
Schott reiterated the position he elaborated on August
27--Chile has no plans to recognize either South Ossetia or
Abkhazia (Ref B). Schott was unconcerned by Nicaragua's
recognition of the two regions, saying that Nicaragua was
isolated in its action but had the right to make its own
foreign policy decisions. He maintained that Nicaragua's
action would have little bearing on decisions by other Latin
American countries as to whether or not to recognize Abkhazia
and South Ossetia, and that Cuba and Venezuela were the only
countries in the region he thought might extend recognition.
Given this assessment, Schott thought it was unnecessary for
Chile to publicly express concern over the action or discuss
it with Nicaragua. Finally, Schott added that the current
crisis in Bolivia is the central concern of the region, so
that other Latin American countries are distracted from
events in the Republic of Georgia.

2. (C) Schott went on to say that it was no surprise that
Kosovo's independence was being used to justify other
independence movements. Concerns that recognizing Kosovar
integrity would lead to additional bids for independence were
a central factor in Chile's decision not to recognize Kosovo,
he said. Schott acknowledged Poloff's points that Kosovo was
a categorically different situation given the UN-sanctioned
international administration and security guarantees, but
said that nonetheless the situations were similar enough that
some actors could claim--justifiably or not--a Kosovo
precedent.
SIMONS

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