Ambassador Sobel Visits Chamber of Deputies Foreign Relations and National Defense Committee

Código Fecha Clasificación Origen
07BRASILIA1990 16 October 2007 No clasificado Embassy Brasilia

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SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, ECON, BR
SUBJECT: Ambassador Sobel Visits Chamber of Deputies Foreign
Relations and National Defense Committee

1. (U) Summary. Ambassador Sobel met with members of the Chamber
of Deputies Foreign Relations and National Defense Committee on
October 2 for a wide-ranging discussion that included the
U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum, Burma, Cuba, Darfur, Iran, Haiti, tourism,
and other topics. Members expressed interest in discussing Burma,
Cuba, and Iran with their U.S. counterparts. End summary.

CEO Forum


2. (U) Meeting with the Committee just nine days before the first
U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum and the visit of Commerce Secretary Carlos
Gutierrez and National Economic Council Director Allan Hubbard,
Ambassador Sobel said the CEO Forum could be an important part of
the U.S. Brazil bilateral relationship and encouraged the Committee
to invite Brazilian CEOs to explain what the Brazilian business
sector would like to accomplish in the CEO forum. He said the
atmosphere in Washington is very favorable to expanding contacts and
engagement with Brazil.

Congressional Exchanges


3. (U) Chairman Vieira da Cunha welcomed the Ambassador’s
confirmation of a visit by members of the House Western Hemisphere
Affairs Subcommittee, currently scheduled for Nov 25-Dec. 1, and
said the committee, too, is interested in fostering bilateral
congressional exchanges.

Burma, Cuba, Iran, Darfur, Haiti


4. (U) In that context, Deputy Gabeira said he would like to see
the two committees develop a relationship to discuss regional issues
such as Burma, where he favors sanctions that would be narrowly
targeted at the military regime. Gabeira also noted his interest
talking with his American counterparts about Cuba transition and
Iran. Gabeira expressed concern that Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad is seeking to expand his support base through closer
relations with Venezuela and Bolivia. Chairman Vieira da Cunha said
the Committee had recently heard from two Brazilian MINUSTAH
commanders and members would like to visit Haiti.

NATO


5. (U) The Ambassador spoke of possible Brazilian affiliation with
the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and the NATO Global Partnership;
Gabeira agreed that this was a good idea. He added that Brazil must
address the challenge of Darfur, where it has been invited to play a
greater role. Gabeira asked the Ambassador what response he had
received from the GOB on his recent speech proposing Brazilian
membership in the NATO Global Partnership. Ambassador said he was
encouraged that FM Celso Amorim had told a European ambassador he
would like to learn more about it.

Tourism


6. (U) Gabeira noted that he and other deputies have been trying to
encourage more U.S. visitors to Brazil by eliminating or greatly
reducing the USD 100 visa fee and to enable online visa applications
so applicants will not have to travel to a Brazilian consulate.
(Note: The Chamber has not yet considered legislation on visa fee
reduction. Legislation to abolish visas for American tourists has
also been introduced in the Chamber and Senate but has not been
brought up for a vote; passage is uncertain. End note.) Ambassador
said he has been working with U.S. airlines to increase flights to
Brazil, particularly to the northeast, and Institutional Relations
Minister Walfrido Mares Guia and Tourism Secretary Marta Suplicy are
both very engaged on tourism.

Participants


7. (U) Brazil
Carlos Eduardo Vieira da Cunha, chairman (PDT, Democratic Labor
Party, governing coalition; Rio Grande do Sul)
Fernando Gabeira (PV, Green Party, governing coalition; Rio de
Janeiro)
Colbert Martins (PMDB, Brazilian Democratic Movement Party,
governing coalition; Bahia)

BRASILIA 00001990 002 OF 002

Iris de Araujo (PMDB, Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, governing
coalition; Goias)
William Woo (PSDB, Brazilian Social Democracy Party, opposition; Sao
Paulo)
Claudio Cajado (DEM, Democrats, opposition; Bahia)

U.S.
Ambassador Sobel
Stephen Liston, political counselor
Dale Prince, political officer (notetaker)

SOBEL