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Cablegate: Demarche Response:"Defamation of Religions" Vote

VZCZCXRO7704
RR RUEHDU RUEHJO
DE RUEHSA #2493 3381320
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 041320Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0471
INFO RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 7400
RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN 1468
RUEHJO/AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG 9755
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0640

UNCLAS PRETORIA 002493

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM SF
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE RESPONSE:"DEFAMATION OF RELIGIONS" VOTE
AT UNGA

REF: A. STATE 122639
B. PRETORIA 488
C. PRETORIA 561
D. PRETORIA 1860
E. PRETORIA 2038
F. PRETORIA 2168
G. PRETORIA 2207


Poloff left messages with counterparts at the Department of
International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) inviting any
comments on the resolution prior to the upcoming UNGA vote
(ref A). No response was received, most likely because the
topic has been at the heart of lengthy past discussions with
DIRCO by both post and Department (IO/DRL) visitors (refs
B-G), and the USG and SAG are each well acquainted with the
stances of the other. The SAG is an unwavering supporter of
the resolution, which has its roots in the Durban Review
Conference on racism and xenophobia held here in South
Africa. Given the country's apartheid history, this
resolution is dear to the SAG, which sees it as a defense
against prejudice rather than (in the U.S. view) a threat to
freedom of speech.

GIPS

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