A/S SHANNON’S AUGUST 27 MEETING WITH PRESIDENT KIRCHNER

Código Fecha Clasificación Origen
08BUENOSAIRES1221 2 September 2008 Confidencial Embassy Buenos Aires

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C O N F I D E N T I A L BUENOS AIRES 001221

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/02/2018
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PHUM, BL, PA, AR
SUBJECT: A/S SHANNON’S AUGUST 27 MEETING WITH PRESIDENT
KIRCHNER

Classified By: Ambassador E. Anthony Wayne for reasons 1.4 (B)
and (D).

1. (C) Summary: In a frank and friendly fifty-minute
conversation, President Fernandez de Kirchner shared her
views with A/S Shannon on Paraguay and Bolivia. She said
she would work to support President Lugo and agreed to work
quietly with us on Bolivia. She shared plans for her travel
to NYC for the UNGA and indicated she would like to attend
Secretary Rice’s breakfast if her schedule permits. She also
expressed her support for the ongoing U.S.-Argentina policy
consultation process. End Summary.

2. (C) On August, 28, A/S Shannon and Ambassador Wayne met
for fifty minutes with Argentine President Cristina
Fernandez de Kirchner (CFK), Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana,
and Ambassador to Washington Hector Timerman.

Paraguay


3. (C) A/S Shannon explained that he was traveling to
Paraguay later in the day and would be meeting with
President Lugo and his ministerial team. CFK said she had
had a good visit to Paraguay for Lugo’s inauguration. She
said that Lugo had many evident good qualities, but he faces
many challenges to bringing positive changes to Paraguay
after so many years of rule by the Colorado Party. A/S
Shannon agreed, noting that this could be a period of
historic change and that the USG wanted to support a positive
evolution in the situation. CFK said Argentina would
work hard to support the new leader.

Bolivia


4. (C) After brief exchanges on the Olympics, the U.S.
electoral campaign, and the economic situation in the United
States, discussion turned to Bolivia. A/S Shannon recounted
his last visit to Bolivia and subsequent developments which
indicate that President Morales believes that the USG is
working against him, despite our efforts to convince him
otherwise. CFK said that the referendum results were a
very strong show of support for Morales, even in opposition
provinces. She suggested one way to build confidence with
Morales would be for the USG to come out against anti-democratic
acts by any of the prefects or their supporters. CFK said
she understood problems created by the "cocaleros," but
noted that Morales had won the popular vote with a large
majority.

5. (C) A/S Shannon noted that Evo had harmed himself in
the United States with constant anti-U.S. rhetoric,
alienating many previously sympathetic members of Congress, for
example.

Nevertheless, the USG will work to support Bolivia’s
territorial integrity, progress for its people and its democratic
institutions. We want to continue to work closely with the
three "Friends of Bolivia" (Argentina, Brazil and Colombia)
to support a peaceful and democratic way forward. CFK said
that she recognized the situation in Bolivia was very tough
and the level of poverty makes change very difficult. In
solving these challenges, the USG can play a very important
role. Evo is not an easy person, CFK confided, noting
Argentina’s problems in getting natural gas delivered from
Bolivia. We all need patience, she said. CFK said Argentines
would cooperate with the USG on Bolivia, but we need to be
careful that it not look like a "political operation" against
the government, given Evo’s suspicions. CFK noted that she
wants Argentina to work to improve relations with and among
all countries in the region and to help replace bilateral
struggles and fights with frank discussion and the finding
of solutions.

Summit of the Americas


6. (C) A/S Shannon briefed CFK on our approach to the
next Summit of the Americas in April 2009. She said she
looked forward to working with us to make the Summit
successful.

Visit to New York for UNGA


7. (C) CFK said she was looking forward to her visit to
New York City during the UNGA in September. In addition to
her UN speech and meetings, CFK will visit NASDAQ, lunch
with high-tech CEOs, and join an event with others (including
Evo Morales) at the New School. She will participate in the
Clinton Initiative and in a charity event with Shakira, which
will also include the Presidents of Mexico and El Salvador.
CFK will also have an event with the Council of the Americas,
participate in a meeting organized by Ron Lauder and the
World Jewish Congress, and meet with the Council on Foreign
Relations.

8. (C) A/S Shannon raised the invitation from Secretary
Rice to participate in a Women Leaders breakfast on
September 25. Ambassador Wayne said he understood
President Bachelet had accepted. CFK said (twice) she
didn’t see a problem attending and asked Foreign Minister
Taiana and Ambassador Timerman to confirm that it would be
possible for her to attend.

Anti-Semitism Declaration


9. (C) Ambassador Timerman recounted his participation
in a meeting with President Chavez and WJC leader Lauder
where Chavez said he was willing to sign a declaration with
CFK and President Lula pledging to make South America a
region free of anti-Semitism. Subsequently, a tentative
date of September 6 in Brazil had been proposed for signing
the statement, but Lula had just signaled he could not do it
September 6. CFK added that she would still travel to
Brazil September 7 at Lula’s invitation.

U.S.-Argentine Consultations


10. (C) A/S Shannon briefed CFK on plans for a further
round of bilateral consultations in Washington in November
and the notion of using these to help keep relations on a
steady basis. CFK expressed her full support for this
process.

11. (U) This cable was cleared by A/S Thomas A. Shannon.
WAYNE