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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05HANOI2763
2005-10-20 10:14:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Hanoi
Cable title:  

VIETNAM ON ENHANCED PARTNERSHIP: GO SLOW

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  VM  ASEAN  APEC 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 002763 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV VM ASEAN APEC
SUBJECT: VIETNAM ON ENHANCED PARTNERSHIP: GO SLOW

REF: STATE 192644

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 002763

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV VM ASEAN APEC
SUBJECT: VIETNAM ON ENHANCED PARTNERSHIP: GO SLOW

REF: STATE 192644


1. (SBU) Summary and Comment: The GVN responded rapidly to
the U.S. draft Declaration on a U.S.-ASEAN Enhanced
Partnership. Vietnam feels that Busan is coming up much too
soon to allow ASEAN and the United States to reconcile the
two competing draft declarations (ASEAN has one, completed
during an ASEAN meeting in Kuala Lumpur last week) of the
Enhanced Partnership declaration. The Foreign Ministry
believes that the U.S.-preferred "ASEAN Seven" formulation
will not prevail in the face of ASEAN's commitment to
consensus and universality. The MFA representative made a
strong pitch that the declaration should wait until the
"ASEAN-U.S. Summit" in November 2006 in Hanoi, an event that
Vietnam has proposed but that we have yet to accept. It was
clear from our conversations with the MFA in the last two
days that the GVN is fixated on the ASEAN-U.S. Summit's
being held in Vietnam next year at the time of the APEC
summit. That might be a possible bit of leverage to use to
convince the GVN to support the signing of the Enhanced
Partnership declaration in Busan. End Summary and Comment.


2. (SBU) Poloff met with ASEAN Section Chief Vu Ho October
19 to deliver reftel points and the draft Declaration on the
U.S.-ASEAN Enhanced Partnership. Vu Ho complained that the
United States did not provide enough time to review a
document that was ultimately going to have to receive the
Prime Minister's approval, but agreed to shepherd it through
the GVN as quickly as possible to try to generate some
comment before the USG's October 20 deadline.


3. (SBU) On October 20 MFA's Deputy Director General for
ASEAN Nguyen Tien Minh met with Charge and Poloff to deliver
Vietnam's initial reaction to the draft declaration. He
said that Vietnam "welcomes" the U.S. proposal, and is glad
to see that the U.S. draft coincides with the release of an
ASEAN draft declaration, which was just completed during the
ASEAN Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) in Kuala Lumpur the
week of October 17. The United States and ASEAN members
"have the same will and intention," he said.


4. (SBU) At the SOM, the officials present discussed the
importance of enhanced and accelerated relations with the
United States, Minh said. The ASEAN Secretariat had drafted
a declaration to be presented to the United States at the
Informal Coordination Mechanism (ICM) meeting in Hawaii.


5. (SBU) Minh said that in reviewing the U.S. draft, he was
surprised that the United States is proposing to sign the
declaration in Busan during the APEC summit. The time
remaining before the summit is "too short" to achieve
agreement and consensus on the declaration text, he opined,
and noted that for ASEAN, the signing of the declaration
would require the presence of all members, not just the
seven who are part of APEC.


6. (SBU) In addition to the declaration, holding a U.S.-
ASEAN summit is also very important, Minh said. "It would
have great significance, and both the summit and the
declaration signing should happen together." He noted that
Assistant Foreign Minister Nguyen Trung Thanh had proposed
in the August ASEAN-U.S. meeting in Washington that an ASEAN-
U.S. summit occur on the margins of the APEC summit in Hanoi
in November 2006. "That would give us the time to craft a
good, mutually acceptable declaration," he stated. In
addition, the November 2006 date would be auspicious because
it falls close to 2007, the year when ASEAN and the United
States will celebrate the 30th anniversary of relations.


7. (SBU) Busan, he said, would not work for this
declaration. There is too much to accomplish too soon, and
the lack of participation of Burma, Cambodia and Laos would
be a problem for ASEAN. It would be such a problem, he
predicted, that should ASEAN agree to a signing at Busan, it
would fly in the leaders of the three non-APEC economies to
ensure that ASEAN is represented completely. He recalled
that ASEAN had canceled its participation in he ASEM
Economic Ministers' meeting in the Netherlands this year
because Holland imposed an EU-mandated visa ban on high-
level Burmese officials. "This should demonstrate how
committed ASEAN is to universality and consensus," he said.

8. (SBU) Privately, and not for the consumption of other
ASEAN members, Minh stressed how beneficial for U.S.-Vietnam
bilateral relations it would be for the signing to occur
during an ASEAN Summit held in Hanoi during the 2006 APEC
Summit. "This would be very significant for both of our
countries." He also promised to discuss the issue with the
Vietnamese delegation in Hawaii led by Deputy Director
General for ASEAN Nguyen Hong Cong.

BOARDMAN