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Cablegate: Unga Third Committee Demarche Response: St.

VZCZCXRO3979
RR RUEHGR
DE RUEHWN #0685 3021822
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 291822Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7939
INFO RUCNCOM/EC CARICOM COLLECTIVE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0159

UNCLAS BRIDGETOWN 000685

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/CAR, NEA/I, AND IO/W

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL UNGA PHUM IR XL
SUBJECT: UNGA THIRD COMMITTEE DEMARCHE RESPONSE: ST.
VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES

REF: STATE 108921

1. (SBU) CDA conveyed reftel points to St. Vincent and the
Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and Foreign
Minister Louis Straker in meetings October 26. PM Gonsalves
said he was displeased with the images of abuse displayed
during Iran's recent presidential election, adding that his
June 2009 trip to Tehran showed an apparent lack of religious
diversity. He noted specifically that his desire to learn
more about the Bahai community in Iran was met with a the
response from Iranian president Ahmadinijad that,
occasionally, the Bahai faith was used as cover for Israeli
intelligence officers. With respect to the Third Committee,
Gonsalves said that, in principle, he had no problem with
debate, and that his instinct was to allow an open discussion
of all issues.

2. (SBU) Separately, FM Straker agreed generally with the
points expressed verbally and via non-paper, but reminded CDA
that the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (GOSVG)
was developing relations with Iran. "You know our
situation," he said, alluding to the GOSVG's attempts to
garner financial support from Iran and other countries for
the ongoing Argyle International Airport construction
project. This effort to secure funding -- which had yet to
bear fruit -- prompted the GOSVG to shift its vote on the
substantive Iran resolution from in favor to abstention last
year, and Straker's comment made clear this was not likely to
change as long as there was a chance of securing Iranian
financial support for the government's signature project.

HARDT

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