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Cablegate: Chile Response to Community of Democracies Demarche

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P 171641Z SEP 08
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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3722
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RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 0423
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TAGS: PHUM PREL KDEM CI IN SF
SUBJECT: CHILE RESPONSE TO COMMUNITY OF DEMOCRACIES DEMARCHE

REF: STATE 97313

1. (SBU) Poloff delivered reftel points to Jaime Acuna,
Deputy Director of the MFA's Office of Multilateral Affairs,
and Olivia Cook, Third Secretary, of the same office, on
September 16. Chile agreed that, in principle, individual
countries should not be allowed to block country-specific
statements. However, Acuna felt that the best approach to
resolving this issue would be to improve or clarify the
process by which the Convening Group makes decisions.

2. (SBU) Chile would not feel comfortable publicly
criticizing nations who block country-specific resolutions.
Acuna noted that he had just returned from a posting to South
Africa and that the country is an "authentic democracy" and
should be allowed to make its own foreign policy decisions.
He also noted that both South Africa and India were large
countries with a major influence on world events, in
comparison to small Chile. Finally, Acuna stated that
conserving Convening Group unity should be a major goal.

3. (SBU) Chile is eager to support the Community of
Democracies (CD) and expects to participate in the democracy
and development working group. Due to the size of the
country and its diplomatic corps, Chile finds it difficult to
second officials to international organizations such as the
CD Secretariat or UN Democracy Fund. Cook noted that Chile
had contributed to Democracy Fund efforts to publish the
Diplomat's Handbook in the past. Acuna said that Chile would
"definitely" make a contribution to either the Secretariat or
the Democracy Fund in 2009, but he was uncertain which
organization Chile would support and said that the
contribution might not be very large.
SIMONS

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