505 AGREEMENT/PEACEKEEPING: SIGNS OF SUPPORT

Código Fecha Clasificación Origen
08LAPAZ706 31 March 2008 Confidencial Embassy La Paz

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VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLP #0706 0912238
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 312238Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7003
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 7772
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 5118
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 9040
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 6261
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 3461
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 3694
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 5367
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 6085
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 0731
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 1033
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

C O N F I D E N T I A L LA PAZ 000706

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR L/PM MICHAEL COFFEE, PAM/PPA FOR JENNIFER L.
HANLEY, PM/RSAT FOR BERNETA LEE, AND PM/RSAT JEFF BURNETT

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/01/2018
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, KTIA, KPKO, MARR, MOPS, BO
SUBJECT: 505 AGREEMENT/PEACEKEEPING: SIGNS OF SUPPORT

REF: STATE 27763

Classified By: EcoPol Chief Mike Hammer for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (SBU) PolOff and MILGP Commander delivered reftel
diplomatic note March 28 to Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Director of Bilateral Relations Jean Paul Guevara. An
exchange of diplomatic notes constituting an agreement
consistent with Section 505 of the Foreign Assistance Act of
1961 is required before $1.2 million in Global Peace
Operations Initiative (GPOI) funds can be made available for
Bolivian troops in UN Peace Keeping Operations (PKO).
Bolivia supports UN operations in Haiti and the Democratic
Republic of the Congo.

2. (C) Guevara seemed enthused about moving forward with a
505 agreement and about peacekeeping operations in general.
He assured us Bolivian participation in UN peacekeeping
operations had both broad bi-partisan political support and
public support. Guevara said a response via diplomatic note
for the 505 agreement "should not be a problem" and that the
MOD would play the lead role on the agreement. "If the
Ministry of Defense wants it, it will move forward quickly."
He added that Bolivia was disposed to increase PKO if it
could receive more international financial support.

3. (C) Guevara claimed the 505 agreement dipnote would be
considered "completely separately" from an outstanding
request from January 16 for a diplomatic note that would act
as a Status of Forces Agreement, allowing our military TDY
personal to operate in Bolivia. Guevara said that agreement
has been held up "for reasons that have nothing to do with
text or the agreement itself. You have to consider the broad
historical and political context in the country." Although
he would not provide an estimate for a dipnote response on
the status of the U.S. military personnel, Guevara assured
the 505 agreement would not suffer a similar delay for
"political" reasons. Guevara said the reasons for the delay
on the dipnote SOFA were "coming to a close" and said he
would try and provide an estimate for an affirmative dipnote
reply by the second week of April.

4. (C) Vice Minister of Defense Wilfredo Vargas told PolOff
and MILGP Commander March 27 he would work with counterparts
in MFA to get both diplomatic notes approved expeditiously.
Vargas said increases in Bolivian participation in
peacekeeping operations was a matter of ability not will. He
commented that if more U.S. funds could be used to support
Bolivian PKO contributions, the MOD would increase
participation accordingly, including use of Bolivian naval
forces to patrol rivers in Haiti. Separately, the Defense
Committee Chairmen of both houses of Congress echoed
Guevara’s sentiments to us separately, explaining any doubts
that the Morales administration would reduce Bolivia’s role
in peacekeeping were fully extricated during a joint session
in 2007 renewing PKO obligations.

COMMENT


5. (C) Although encouraged by the positive response to a 505
agreement and increased PKO role from the MFA, MOD, and
Bolivian Congress, our optimism for a quick turnaround is
guarded. We were also told the dipnote SOFA would not be a
problem and given an estimate of two weeks for an affirmative
dipnote response. We find it unlikely the Bolivian
government will decline a 505 agreement, thus passing up
significant funds for their armed forces with a minimal USG
footprint. If they do, it would indicate a victory for
hard-line ideologues that hold a political distancing of
Bolivia from the U.S. above more pragmatic concerns, such as
equipping and training their military. End Comment.
GOLDBERG