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Viewing cable 05BRASILIA574, BRAZIL: AMBASSADOR'S DEMARCHE ON ARAB SUMMIT AND

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05BRASILIA574 2005-03-03 17:05 2011-02-06 00:12 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Brasilia
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BRASILIA 000574 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/03/2015 
TAGS: PREL PTER KPAL KSUM XF XM BR
SUBJECT: BRAZIL: AMBASSADOR'S DEMARCHE ON ARAB SUMMIT AND 
IMPROVING USG-GOB COORDINATION 
 
REF: A. STATE 35934 
        B. STATE 18160 
        C. BRASILIA 432 
        D. BRASILIA 564 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN J. DANILOVICH. REASON: 1.4 (B)(D) 

1. (C) Ambassador delivered ref A demarche late on 2 March to Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, chief of staff to Foreign Minister Amorim. (Note: Ambassador had planned to demarche Acting FM Guimaraes, but the meeting was postponed by Guimaraes until 8 March; Ambassador will reiterate key reftel points in that meeting as well. End note.) 

2. (C) Patriota was clearly prepared for the content of the demarche, having received reports from Ambassador Abdenur of his meeting at the NSC on 25 February with DNSA Abrams and Senior WHA Director Shannon, and Patriota appeared tense and defensive. Indeed, Ambassador had progressed through only a few of the demarche points when Patriota interrupted and said there was no need to go further, that the GOB knew the sense of the USG position and the GOB's response remained the same as that provided earlier by Abdenur: i.e., Brazil is an independent country that has "no need to ask permission" of the United States in carrying out foreign policy initiatives, and it will not start now. He added that the GOB believes Brazil plays a constructive role in global affairs, including in the Middle East. Patriota said the purpose of Amorim's Middle East trip was delivery of Lula's invitations to Arab capitals for the planned South America-Arab summit, Patriota said, adding that Amorim will visit Israel in June, that Brazil had heard no complaints from the their Ambassador in Israel, and that the GOB was not aware of offical protests from the Israeli Government, although he acknowledged there had been reports in Brazil's media of Israeli discontent. 

3. (C) Patriota said that the USG should be prepared for additional GOB statements about the Middle East, and referred specifically to a May meeting in Capetown between Brazil, India and South Africa at which those governments (the IPSA group) may announce their intention to form a "support group" for the Quartet in the peace process. Patriota insisted Brazil is playing a "balanced role" and offered to brief the Ambassador on private conversations between Amorim and Arab leaders, including his meeting in Damascas where he "urged the Syrians to comply with UNSC resolution 1559." Ambassador rejoined that Brazil had not supported 1559, but perhaps would next try to claim credit for Syria's decision to withdraw. Patriota said that, despite Amorim's private counsel to the Syrians to withdraw, the GOB would not publicly join the U.S.-French statement calling for Syrian withdrawal because the GOB has concerns that France, as the former colonial power, intends to fill any void left by Syria. 

4. (C) Ambassador told Patriota that the USG is not trying to impose terms or tell the GOB to seek U.S. permission for initiatives. However, he stated clearly that the peace process is at a delicate pass, with a window for possible success that is unprecedented in recent years. The USG is taking a leading role, Secretary Rice is engaging directly, and therefore the GOB needs to coordinate with the U.S. more effectively. Amorim's trip had created confusion and sent mixed signals, and it pointed up the danger that a "rear guard support group" such as Brazil wants to establish could inadvertently become "a rear guard sabotage group." Returning to the summit question, Ambassador stressed that there is concern about both the timing and apparent lack of precise focus, with a risk that the meeting could become a broad brush affair, with a rambling agenda of items on UN reform, non-proliferation, Iraq, terrorism, none of which mesh with the GOB's stated intention of addressing social and economic issues, and some of which could prove detrimental to Middle East peace discussions. On that point, Ambassador asked Patriota whether there had been progress in meetings in Cairo between Brazil and Arab representatives in revising the draft summit statement. 

5. (C) Patriota would not be drawn out on the issue of the Cairo discussions, saying only that "progress was being made." Patriota reiterated Brazil's intent to seek balance, but said the GOB ultimately could not control what delegations say. He noted that Arab delegations had told the GOB that they welcome the summit as an opportunity to express themselves in a "alternative forum," since they feel they are being "demonized" in other international meetings. Patriota confirmed that Iraq and Somalia will be invited to the summit, but that the Arab League, not the GOB will issue those invitations. Ambassador also asked about the possibility of invitations for observers (i.e., meaning for himself), and Patriota said that is being considered. 

6. (C) In closing, Ambassador reiterated the importance of enhanced coordination. As an apparent result of Ambassador's comments, Patriota spoke immediately following the meeting by phone with FM Amorim, and then relayed the following points from Amorim back to Ambassador the same evening: 

-- Amorim had nothing to add with reference to his trip or the summit, but said he wants to demonstrate GOB willingness to be cooperative and consultative; 

-- In that regard, Amorim passed on that, per a request made by the NSC's Abrams and Shannon to Ambassador Abdenur, President Lula had told Venezuelan President Chavez during meetings this week in Uruguay that Chavez needs to tone down his rhetoric; 

-- Brazil is planning to organize a meeting on Brazilian territory between Chavez, Colombian President Uribe and Spanish representatives (NFI). That meeting's timing could conflict with FM Amorim's planned visit to Washington on 31 March, for which he has sought a meeting with Secretary Rice. 

-- On that question, Amorim -- apparently in response to Ambassador's appeal for better coordination -- said he seeks a longer and more substantive discussion with the Secretary than would be possible in the half-hour meeting currently scheduled for 31 March. For that reason, and because of the possible conflict with the Chavez-Uribe-GOS meeting noted above, Amorim said he may seek a meeting with the Secretary on a different date, possibly in early April, and he requested that Mission keep him apprised of the possibilities of a stopover by the Secretary in Brazil en route to the Community of Democracies summit. 

7. (C) Comment. The candid and direct conversations seen in both this demarche and the earlier NSC meeting with Abdenur seem to have registered with the GOB both our continuing, intense concern about the South America-Arab summit and our frustration that our communication with the GOB on key issues has been, too often, reactive and driven by events. A more deliberate and strategic approach could produce benefits for both sides, move the ball forward on shared goals, and limit damage on issues where we may have to agree to disagree. Indeed, Amorim seems to have taken our concern to heart, and he is now going us one better by seeking a very substantial first meeting with the Secretary. 

DANILOVICH