Cablegate: Wha a/S Valenzuela Coordinates with French
OO RUEHAG RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHFR #0179/01 0471737
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 161737Z FEB 10 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8318
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZH/HAITI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 PARIS 000179
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/16/2020
TAGS: PREL KPKO EUN HA XL MO SG BR FR
SUBJECT: WHA A/S VALENZUELA COORDINATES WITH FRENCH
PRESIDENCY AND MFA ON HAITI
PARIS 00000179 001.3 OF 003 Classified By: Acting Minister Counselor for Political Affairs Andrew Y oung, Reasons 1.4(b),(d).
1. (C/NF) SUMMARY: In a series of meetings with WHA Assistant Secretary Arturo Valenzuela on February 4, the Elysee and MFA pledged to send more than the 100 already promised gendarmes to Haiti and said that France would consider approaching other "Francophone" countries in Morocco and Senegal to increase troop contributions to MINUSTAH. The MFA committed to supporting and strengthening Haitian state ministries and institutions by training government officials at public administration schools in France. The GOF promised to include regional actors, with particular emphasis on a larger role for Brazil, in donor and coordination meetings on Haiti and was sensitive to the need to include the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean countries in the long-term rebuilding of Haiti.
FUTURE FRENCH ASSISTANCE TO HAITI ---------------------------------
2. (C/NF) On February 4, Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA) Arturo Valenzuela met with Presidential advisor for the Americas Damien Loras to discuss the future of Haiti reconstruction and to thank the French for their close coordination with the U.S. in the relief effort. Noting that President Sarkozy is scheduled to travel to Haiti on February 17, Loras indicated that the Presidency would not only focus on rebuilding the country but would also emphasize investing in future generations of Haitians. Loras said France is fully committed to strengthening Haitian government ministries and public institutions through exchange programs for government officials at elite public administration schools in France such as ENA and other "grandes ecoles." Stressing the need for Haitians to feel ownership in the reconstruction process, Loras and Valenzuela agreed that the U.S. and France must focus on the same theme of inclusion in their respective roles. However, Loras indicated that Paris was not optimistic about reforming the Haitian government, as efforts to curb the corruption were made and failed long before the earthquake. Also in a February 4 meeting, MFA Assistant Secretary-equivalent for the Americas Elisabeth Beton-Delegue said that the GOF plans to invest heavily in a new political generation in Haiti. Director General of Internationalization at the Direction for Global Economy and Development Strategy, Cyrille Pierre added that France has recently launched a project in the countryside to provide jobs for Haitians in the hopes of rebalancing the pre-existing inequalities between the urban and rural sectors. Deputy to Secretary of State for Cooperation Alain Joyandet, Rene Troccaz, noted that Haiti currently has over 400,000 internally displaced persons and the international community must take action to stimulate growth with cash incentives and economic programs to redress this situation.
3. (C/NF) A/S Valenzuela described the Secretary's priorities in Haiti as first focused on the immediate recovery period, followed by the stabilization phase, and finally the long-term development and reconstruction of the country in the aftermath of the earthquake. Drawing from his previous experience as NSC advisor for WHA under the Clinton administration, Valenzuela stressed the current challenge of managing international assistance in the absence of a state and the presence of over 10,000 NGOs threatening to virtually replace the government. The Assistant Secretary noted that the tragedy presented a unique opportunity to try and change the mentality of Haitians in regards to the historical resentment against incorporating the Haitian Diaspora into the rebuilding of a state authority. When asked by the MFA about his impression of Haitian Prime Minister Bellerive, Valenzuela described Bellerive's management of the situation in Haiti and his speech at the January 25 meeting in Montreal as "impressive" and in stark contrast to the nearly silent Haitian President Rene Preval. Valenzuela pointed out that Parliament must be given a chance to operate again, even if they were to struggle, and said the immediate focus should be on the proliferation of tent cities and the urgent need to develop regional areas and local governments, like Cap-Haitien, that were not destroyed.
FRANCE TO SEND OVER 100 GENDARMES TO BOLSTER MINUSTAH --------------------------------------------- --------
4. (C/NF) In response to Valenzuela's request for additional troops to support the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), Loras said France would likely contribute more than the 100 police and gendarmes that they have already committed to Haiti. In his meeting with the MFA, the Assistant Secretary reiterated the need for additional police in Haiti and raised the issue of approaching Morocco and Senegal with the idea of increasing the number of police to bolster the MINUSTAH force in Haiti. Beton-Delegue agreed to
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reach out to Francophone countries with the capacity to send troops to encourage them to support MINUSTAH. Valenzuela noted that the Brazilians represent the largest force in UN stabilization mission, with 1,300 troops, closely followed by Uruguay, with 1,200.
FRENCH PROPOSE PREPARATORY MEETING BEFORE DONORS' CONFERENCE --------------------------------------------- ---------------
5. (C/NF) Cooperation Ministry Deputy Troccaz previewed that Ambassador for Reconstruction Pierre Dusquene plans to organize a working-level conference on Haiti in Santo Domingo before the March or April summit. The prepatory meeting would be focused on the experience of civil servants already on the ground in Haiti. Although he did not respond directly to the prepatory meeting proposal, Valenzuela stressed that the U.S. did not wish to hold a group meeting comprised only of countries from the North but preferred more inclusive and global meetings set in the South.
CALL FOR A REGIONAL RESPONSE TO HAITI -------------------------------------
6. (C/NF) At a lunch hosted by the DCM with French think tanks specializing in Latin America on February 4, Valenzuela focused on the need for a regional response to Haiti. Reiterating the need to rebuild Haiti in a process that heavily involved regional actors and the Caribbean countries at a speech at the Institut des Ameriques (IDA) on February 5, the Assistant Secretary judged that the long-term process of reconstruction would take at least 10 years and would require working with the UN to manage the aid donations while implementing state building in conjunction with Haitian officials. Valenzuela remarked to the MFA that U.S. policy before the disaster was centered on a strategic plan aimed at reforming Haitian political structures while the current approach represents a shift in focus on developing the Caribbean as a whole, to include the Dominican Republic and Jamaica in the discussion. Valenzuela spoke of the need to align the respective roles for the international community with what they could do, distinguishing between large donor countries like Japan, who has already pledged $70 million, with others who are more capable of supplying human resources. A/S Valenzuela said he would also promote roles for the Inter-American Development Bank as well as the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM).
SARKOZY: BETTING ON BRAZIL --------------------------
7. (C/NF) In discussions of a regional approach to reconstruction, Loras said France would like to see a larger role for Brazil, even at the expense of France's role at the table. Loras stressed that the GOF wants to encourage Brazil to take on more action on the international stage and become more of a global stakeholder. Calling Brazilian diplomacy a mirror of old South versus North foreign policy values, Loras emphasized that the western world needs to be "united" among emerging countries in the face of growing influence by the Chinese. Loras suggested that Lula is eager to join the U.S. and France on many multilateral issues but is being "lured" by China, which in 2009 was Brazil's leading trade partner. Highlighting the strong personal chemistry between the two presidents, Loras said that Sarkozy has "bet on Brazil" and succeeded in sowing the roots of a lasting Franco-Brazilian relationship, making him confident that France's closest ties in Latin America would continue regardless of who succeeded Lula. Loras indicated that the GOF was disappointed by Brazil's decision to host an Ahmadinejad visit but were not surprised, as Lula does not fully understand the internal issues in Iran and believed that he could act as mediator as he has done with Palestine. Loras added that there is a faction in Brasilia that wants Brazil to have nuclear power and wishes to leave their options open, with an eye to a possible arms race with Argentina. Valenzuela recognized the enormous progress in Brazil under Lula, who has succeeded in consolidating reforms by turning them into a national project. However, he raised concerns and frustration on climate change and Brazil's naive decision to engage with Iran. Both Valenzuela and Loras concurred that the ground is set for discussion and potential persuasion of Brazil to align more closely with the U.S. and France.
8. (C/NF) COMMENT: Although the MFA was eager to meet with and coordinate the relief and reconstruction effort with A/S Valenzuela, his French interlocutors could only provide a general idea of the GOF's plans in the rebuilding of Haiti, relying heavily on Valenzuela to provide insight from the U.S. perspective on how best to proceed. (Note: Secretary of State for Cooperation and the lead for the French emergency response Alain Joyandet was campaigning and Ambassador for Reconstruction Pierre Dusquene was in Haiti at the time of the visit.) The controversy over Joyandet's heated remarks regarding the U.S. response to Haiti were completely absent
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in the bilateral discussions and press availabilities, demonstrating that the concerted efforts at the highest levels of the French government to quell the gaffe were indeed successful. Even though Sarkozy initially announced an international conference led by the U.S., France, Canada, and Brazil, it appears that the Elysee may now be backing off from inserting France into such a prominent role in the donors' conference, instead choosing to rally behind Lula and placing their closest ally in the region in the international spotlight. Although Sarkozy may still attend the summit on Haiti, France is likely to try to position themselves in a key background role over the next few months. END COMMENT.
9. (U) A/S Valenzuela has cleared this cable. RIVKIN