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Cablegate: Embassy Santiago Suggestions for Defamation of Religions

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSG #0949 3551941
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 211941Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0471
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
RUEHMU/AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO

UNCLAS SANTIAGO 000949

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM CI
SUBJECT: Embassy Santiago Suggestions for Defamation of Religions
Issue

REF: A. STATE 128320; B. SANTIAGO 166; C. STATE 128322

1. (SBU) In response to Ref A query on engaging Chile on the
question of defamation of religion, Embassy Santiago advises that
Chile has already voted "no" along with the United States on the
defamation of religion issue in the UNGA (Ref B). We believe that
Washington has already found an effective way to reinforce Chile's
position through the Secretary's letter to FM Fernandez and offer
to send U.S. experts to discuss the matter with Chilean
counterparts (Ref C).

2. (SBU) As a general proposition, Chile will take U.S. concerns
into consideration and will look for opportunities to support us
when that coincides with Chile's own interests. However, the
Foreign Ministry currently has just 2-3 Santiago-based foreign
policy professionals engaged on human rights issues. Therefore,
Chile lacks the resources to simultaneously monitor the wide range
of human right issues discussed in multilateral fora, engage with
us on domestic and bilateral issues of interest to the United
States, and absorb our numerous approaches to them on multilateral
human rights issues.

3. (SBU) Thus, our challenge is to develop a strategy that
responds both to Chile's willingness to work with us and their
limited resources to do so. We suggest Washington to identify 2-3
issues in a given year where it would be most fruitful to engage
with Chile, communicate those interests to Chile at the beginning
of the relevant UNGA or other session, and focus subsequent
engagement on those broad areas. Towards that end, putting U.S.
and foreign experts and decisionmakers in direct contact with each
other is critical. Those encounters are even more fruitful when
the U.S. experts not only bring awareness of multilateral issues
and U.S. objectives, but have the regional experience to understand
how those issues mesh with regional and Chilean priorities as well.
SIMONS

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