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Cablegate: National Assembly President Cordero's Meeting With

INFO LOG-00 EEB-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 WHA-00
PERC-00 DS-00 EAP-00 VCI-00 H-00 TEDE-00 INR-00
LAB-01 L-00 MOFM-00 MOF-00 VCIE-00 NSAE-00 ISN-00
NIMA-00 PA-00 PM-00 ISNE-00 FMPC-00 SP-00 SSO-00
SS-00 NCTC-00 SCRS-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-00
NFAT-00 SAS-00 FA-00 SWCI-00 /001W

O R 122343Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY QUITO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0322
INFO CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
AMEMBASSY CARACAS
AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL
AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
AMEMBASSY LIMA
AMEMBASSY QUITO
SECDEF WASHINGTON DC

C O N F I D E N T I A L QUITO 000949


DEPARTMENT PLEASE PASS USTR BENNETT HARMAN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2019/11/12
TAGS: PREL EINV MARR PHUM EAID EC
SUBJECT: National Assembly President Cordero's Meeting with
Ambassador

CLASSIFIED BY: H...


id: 234454
date: 11/12/2009 23:43
refid: 09QUITO949
origin: Embassy Quito
classification: CONFIDENTIAL
destination:
header:
INFO LOG-00 EEB-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 WHA-00
PERC-00 DS-00 EAP-00 VCI-00 H-00 TEDE-00 INR-00
LAB-01 L-00 MOFM-00 MOF-00 VCIE-00 NSAE-00 ISN-00
NIMA-00 PA-00 PM-00 ISNE-00 FMPC-00 SP-00 SSO-00
SS-00 NCTC-00 SCRS-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-00
NFAT-00 SAS-00 FA-00 SWCI-00 /001W

O R 122343Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY QUITO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0322
INFO CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
AMEMBASSY CARACAS
AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL
AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
AMEMBASSY LIMA
AMEMBASSY QUITO
SECDEF WASHINGTON DC


----------------- header ends ----------------

C O N F I D E N T I A L QUITO 000949


DEPARTMENT PLEASE PASS USTR BENNETT HARMAN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2019/11/12
TAGS: PREL EINV MARR PHUM EAID EC
SUBJECT: National Assembly President Cordero's Meeting with
Ambassador

CLASSIFIED BY: Heather Hodges, Ambassador; REASON: 1.4(D)

1. (C) Summary: National Assembly President Cordero indicated he
shared some of the Ambassador's concern about the GOE's decision to
terminate the BIT and promised to discuss it with President Correa.
He disowned the report by the former head of the International
Relations Commission alleging thousands of deaths caused by the
FOL, and said that the Assembly would responsibly manage the issue.
He blamed the executive branch for the delay in approving 14 laws
the Constitution said must be passed by October 14, and promised a
response to USAID's assistance proposal. End Summary.


Bilateral Investment Treaty Termination
---------------------------------------

2. (C) In a November 6 meeting, the Ambassador raised USG concern
over the GOE decision to cancel the U.S.-Ecuador Bilateral
Investment Treaty (BIT) (Ref A). National Assembly President
Fernando Cordero responded that termination of 13 such agreements
is now being debated by the International Relations Commission
headed by Fernando Bustamante, based on the constitutional
requirement. He argued that the terminations would have no
immediate effect. The Ambassador countered that in fact the effect
on potential new investors would be immediate. Cordero expressed
concern about this possibility, calling the GOE's decision
inappropriate and highlighting the need for renegotiation before
termination.

3. (C) The Ambassador pointed out that the MFA had told her that
under a new investment agreement, the U.S. would be expected to
direct investment to areas targeted under the GOE's National
Development Plan. Cordero termed this a strange idea. He promised
he would discuss concerns over termination of the BIT with
President Correa the following week. Cordero noted that the
Assembly had ten business days starting on November 9 to consider
the GOE's intention to terminate the agreements. He indicated that
he thought a solution would be possible.


FOL Report
----------

4. (C) The Ambassador then turned to the allegations by the
International Relations Commission of the Legislative Commission
that the U.S. Forward Operating Location (FOL) in Manta had caused
the sinking of many boats and thousands of deaths (Ref B). She
emphasized that there was no basis for such allegations. (Note:
The Legislative Commission was the interim legislative body, now
replaced by the National Assembly.) Cordero replied that the
Legislative Commission had not made any pronouncement on this
issue, that instead the then head of the International Relations
Commission issued a report on a personal basis. He said the report
had been submitted to the Prosecutor General's office and that the
legislature's role had ended there.

5. (C) The Ambassador noted that there may had been boardings of
fishing boats based on suspicion of their carrying illicit drugs,
and that boardings were done in coordination with Ecuadorian
authorities. She stressed that the incidents were too complicated
to treat politically and were best handled by the Prosecutor
General's office. She pointed out that International Relations
Commission president Fernando Bustamante had told her that he
planned to continue the investigation of the FOL. Cordero said the
disadvantage of the International Relations Commission was that it
handled primarily treaties and had little role in formulating laws
(the implication being that the Commission had nothing else to do,
so was attracted to investigating the FOL). He assured the
Ambassador that any investigation would be responsibly managed.


Timeline for Key Laws; USAID Assistance Proposal
--------------------------------------------- ---

6. (C) Seeking to explain the National Assembly's failure to pass
11 of 14 laws that the Constitution required be approved by October
14, Cordero placed the blame on the Executive, saying that four of
the draft laws did not reach the Assembly until a month after it
convened on July 31, which did not leave the Assembly enough time.
He said eight of the laws were now already under consideration by
the plenary, and two of those were now undergoing the second
plenary debate. Cordero explained that the Assembly had carefully
planned to have adequate time to pass all required laws by the new
deadline it had set of February 2010.

7. (SBU) USAID's Sergio Guzman thanked Cordero for his assistance
in appointing a point of contact for USAID and explained that his
office had sent over a proposal for possible areas of assistance.
USAID is now waiting for the Assembly's comments. Cordero seemed
aware of the proposal and promised that the Assembly would get back
to USAID the following week.


CHRITTON

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

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