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Cablegate: Ethiopia On Country-Specific Unga Resolutions:

VZCZCXRO0576
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHTRO
DE RUEHDS #2720 3211529
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 171529Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6847
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA IMMEDIATE 0001
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 7984

UNCLAS ADDIS ABABA 002720

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DRL-MLGA, IO-RHS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL UNGA ET
SUBJECT: ETHIOPIA ON COUNTRY-SPECIFIC UNGA RESOLUTIONS:
DEFAULT MODE IS ABSTENTIONS

REF: SECSTATE 116265

1. (SBU) Ambassador Grum Abay, chief of MFA's Directorate of
International Organizations, told pol/econ counselor and
deputy on November 17 that the ministry has not instructed
the Ethiopian Mission to the United Nations how to vote on
any of the three country-specific UNGA resolutions or their
related no-action motions. On the Iran votes, Grum said
Ethiopia's New York mission had been instructed to seriously
consider the U.S. and Canadian positions, Canada having
demarched Grum earlier this week. He said he would call the
Ethiopian PermRep today to again convery U.S. resolve. He
said MFA is giving the New York mission discretion to react
to changes in the text and other pertinent developments. He
admitted, however, that blanket guidance had been delivered
at the beginning of UNGA that reminded the mission that
Ethiopia had abstained on these three country-specific votes
last year.

2. (SBU) On Burma, Grum said only, "That's a long way away
for us." On North Korea, he said he doubted that Ethiopia's
minimal relations with DPRK would be a significant factor in
the New York mission's deliberations.

3. (SBU) COMMENT. Grum's contention that Ethiopia's UN
mission has discretion on how to vote on these matters is a
bit disingenuous. The blanket guidance delivered to the
Ethiopian UNGA team creates at least an expectation for this
year's votes. We doubt the New York Ethiopians will
seriously consider any vote but abstentions on Burma and
DPRK. On Iran, however, MFA and Ethiopia's New York office
are in communication and a combination of U.S. and Canadian
pressure, along with the prospect of a close vote, could ease
Ethiopia's move into the "no" on no-action and "yes" on the
resolution columns. END COMMENT.
MEECE

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