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Cablegate: Georgia Seeks Latin American Allies On Territorial Integrity

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSJ #0973 3312012
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 272011Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0069
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0001
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI 0001
RUEHSJ/AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0002

UNCLAS SAN JOSE 000973

SENSITIVE, SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL CS GG
SUBJECT: Georgia seeks Latin American allies on territorial integrity

1. (SBU) As part of its campaign to prevent additional Latin
American countries from recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia, a
delegation from Georgia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs visited Costa
Rica November 16-18. MFA Head of the Americas Department Otar
Berdzenishvili told us that Georgia was reaching out to Latin
American countries, because Russia had been working hard to
persuade them to recognize the break-away regions. He said his
delegation had made its case to representatives from the UN
missions of 14 Latin American countries in New York the week of
November 8. They were now visiting Costa Rica, Argentina, and
Cuba, and they hoped to visit other Latin American countries in the
coming months. As part of its efforts to engage with Latin
America, Berdzenishvili reported that Georgia planned to open an
embassy in Brazil and establish some sort of diplomatic
representation elsewhere in Latin America.

2. (SBU) Berdzenishvili said Georgia was confident of Costa Rica's
support for its territorial integrity, commenting that the Costa
Rican ambassador to the UN had spoken passionately on Georgia's
behalf two years ago. They were visiting Costa Rica at this time
simply for scheduling reasons; the GOCR was available to receive
them, while other Latin American governments had their calendars
full. That said, since Georgia does not have a presence here, he
requested that the U.S. embassy help keep Georgia on the mind of
the GOCR after the visit.

3. (U) During the visit, Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister
Alexander Nalbandov and Costa Rican Deputy Foreign Minister Edgar
Ugalde signed a memorandum of understanding that provides a legal
basis for political consultations in bilateral and multilateral
fora. According to Costa Rican MFA Political Director Alejandro
Solano, Costa Rica has MOUs of this nature with 70 countries. The
Georgian delegation also met with Costa Rica's trade promotion and
tourism ministries in hopes of expanding contact in both areas.
BRENNAN

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