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Cablegate: Uruguay: Fm's Take On Haiti, Unasur, and the Pathways Initiative

VZCZCXYZ0003
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMN #0019/01 0401738
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 091738Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0199
INFO MERCOSUR COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS MONTEVIDEO 000019

SIPDIS
WHA/BSC FOR DRUCKER, FRIEDMAN, DASCHBACH
WHA/PD FOR DICKSON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AEMR PREL ASEC KPKO HA UY
SUBJECT: URUGUAY: FM'S TAKE ON HAITI, UNASUR, AND THE PATHWAYS INITIATIVE

REF: MONTEVIDEO 80 AND PREVIOUS

Summary

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1. (SBU) Ambassador Nelson presented a copy of his credentials to
Foreign Minister Pedro Vaz February 8, before completing the
credentialing process with a call on President Tabare Vazquez that
same evening. In a warm meeting, Vaz confirmed Uruguay would send
more peacekeepers to Haiti, explained Uruguay's objectives with
regard to the February 9 UNASUR summit, and expressed Uruguay's
desire for meaningful participation in the Pathways to Prosperity
Initiative, and reiterated Uruguay's intention to seek a seat on
the UNSC in 2015-16.

Haiti

------

2. (SBU) The ambassador thanked Vaz for Uruguay's contributions to
MINUSTAH and to the wider relief effort in Haiti, and noted in a
private aside that U.S. officials have expressed a degree of
concern about stories in the Uruguayan press that questioned the
U.S. role there. Vaz replied that he thinks the problem has more
to do with editors looking for sensational headlines than anything
else, and stressed that both the current and incoming governments
are committed to helping Haiti and appreciate the U.S. role there.
Noting Uruguay's past work on behalf of Haiti and continuing
contributions, including the planned dispatch of an additional 157
troops (reftel), Vaz said that he hopes observers will look past
the headlines to Uruguay's actions, which indicate excellent
cooperation.

UNASUR Summit and Role of the UN

--------------------------------------------- ---

3. (SBU) Vaz told the ambassador that Uruguay has three goals
heading into the UNASUR summit February 9 in Quito: the
reaffirmation of the Haitian government's control of the relief
operation, and the UN's coordination of that effort the promotion
of a plan whereby UNASUR nations pledge a contribution to Haiti of
one U.S. dollar per citizen and the passage of a measure obliging
the UNASUR secretariat to compile a list of all relief supplies
member nations are willing to commit to Haiti. Uruguay is not in
favor of the establishment of a regional mechanism for providing
assistance, as it would simply be a complication. As coordinator
of the Friends of Haiti group at the UN and as an important part of
the MINUSTAH peacekeeping mission, Uruguay believes the UN is the
key to coordination of assistance and reconstruction. Uruguay
wants to be part of the subsequent development effort as well, Vaz
said. Although many countries will be sending heads of state to
the UNASUR summit, Vaz told the ambassador that Uruguay's
representation would be at a much lower level. MFA Vice Minister
Nelson Fernandez is scheduled to attend. Ambassador Nelson asked
Vaz whether Haiti would be the only item on the summit's agenda,
and while Vaz said he did not think there would be time for
anything else, he also cautioned that UNASUR summits were
unpredictable.

Pathways to Prosperity

------------------------------

4. (SBU) The Ambassador reminded Vaz of the upcoming Pathways
ministerial, scheduled for March 3 in San Jose. Vaz indicated that
the timing might make Uruguayan participation difficult, as
Uruguay's new government is sworn in March 1, but he stressed that
Uruguay is interested in making a real contribution to Pathways.
He and the ambassador agreed that Uruguay's success with its
one-laptop-per-child commitment means its natural focus should be
in helping other countries with their own programs

DCM Matthewman
suggested Uruguay organize a seminar for other countries. Perhaps
to demonstrate that Uruguay is not simply a one-trick pony with
regard to Pathways, Vaz mentioned that Uruguay has begun working
with El Salvador on small business incubation.
Nelson

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