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Cablegate: Ecuador - Information On Security Dialogue

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C O N F I D E N T I A L QUITO 000947

SIPDIS
PM AND WHA/PPC

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2019/11/10
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR MASS EC
SUBJECT: Ecuador - Information on Security Dialogue

REF: STATE 112900; QUITO 885; QUITO 570; 08 QUITO 1128

CLASSI...


id: 234188
date: 11/10/2009 22:18
refid: 09QUITO947
origin: Embassy Quito
classification: CONFIDENTIAL
destination: 08QUITO1128|09QUITO570|09QUITO885|09STATE112900
header:
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DE RUEHQT #0947/01 3142218
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FM AMEMBASSY QUITO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0318
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHMFISS/COGARD INTELCOORDCEN WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/SECNAV WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/USSOUTHAF DAVIS MONTHAN AFB AZ
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RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0123
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RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC


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C O N F I D E N T I A L QUITO 000947

SIPDIS
PM AND WHA/PPC

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2019/11/10
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR MASS EC
SUBJECT: Ecuador - Information on Security Dialogue

REF: STATE 112900; QUITO 885; QUITO 570; 08 QUITO 1128

CLASSIFIED BY: Andrew Chritton, Charge d'Affaires; REASON: 1.4(A),
(B), (D)

1. (SBU) Embassy Quito responds to the questions in Ref A, as
follows:

2. (SBU) Does the United States currently have an established
security dialogue with your country?

Answer. The U.S. and Ecuador have a Bilateral Dialogue mechanism
to discuss a range of issues of bilateral interest, including four
pillars: Security, Trade and Investment, Technical Assistance, and
Migratory Issues. The discussion of security so far has been
limited primarily to law enforcement-related issues. However,
under the Security pillar, "Security Cooperation in the Northern
Border Region" was included in 2009 to allow for a discussion of
military to military assistance and cooperation in Ecuador's
northern border region.

3. (SBU) When was the dialogue or mechanism first established? By
what means was it established? Is the frequency of such meetings
controlled through a binding agreement, or is this dialogue
regulated by an informal understanding?

Answer. The USG and GOE agreed to a Bilateral Dialogue mechanism
in 2008, and held its first plenary in Quito on November 24, 2008
(Ref D). On July 8, 2009, Coordinating Minister of Internal and
External Security Miguel Carvajal requested (Ref C) that security
be added as a pillar to the agenda for the second plenary, which
took place on November 10, 2009, in Washington. The USG agreed and
negotiated the content of the Security pillar with the GOE.

4. (SBU) When did the group last meet? Does the USG or host
government have a set schedule or any general expectations
regarding the frequency of this exchange? When is the next
scheduled meeting?

Answer. Although there is no formal agreement on the schedule for
Bilateral Dialogue meetings, the GOE stated during planning
meetings that it would like the Bilateral Dialogue to meet annually
in plenary, and working groups to meet more frequently to explore
opportunities for cooperation and plan for plenary meetings.

5. (SBU) Does the USG or host government hold any expectations as
to the level of leadership hosting the exchange?

Answer. Plenary meetings to date have been led by an Assistant
Secretary or DAS for the USG and an Under Secretary for the GOE.

6. (C) PM would also be interested in Post's brief, honest
assessment regarding the overall utility of the dialogue. Are new
issues frequently broached, or has the dialogue devolved into a
stagnant exchange of power point slides? If necessary, please use
classified communication to convey this honest assessment.

Answer. The Bilateral Dialogue is a relatively new mechanism, and
to date the plenary meetings have had extensive agendas that
allowed both countries delegations to express only very brief
statements on each topic. Military cooperation with the U.S. has
been a sensitive topic with the GOE, which has been critical of
U.S. military presence at the Forward Operating Location at Manta
(now closed) and in Colombia following negotiations of the
U.S.-Colombia Defense Cooperation Agreement. The GOE is generally
very testy on any subject that it might perceive as an affront on
its sovereignty. It has publicly asserted the need to diversify
its military relations with other countries (lessening dependence
on the USG) and has been extremely skittish with regard to military
to military relations with the U.S. (Ref B). While we do not
expect significant security-related decisions to be taken at the
Bilateral Dialogue, the Dialogue is useful as an education
mechanism and one that keeps open the lines of communication.
CHRITTON

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

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