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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05YEREVAN521 2005-03-24 11:17:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Yerevan
Cable title:  

CHR-61: FM OSKANIAN SUGGESTS "LIMITED OPTIONS" ON

Tags:   PHUM PREL CU AM CHR 
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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 YEREVAN 000521 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR DAS KENNEDY, DRL/MLA, WHA/CCA, IO/SHA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/24/2015
TAGS: PHUM PREL CU AM CHR
SUBJECT: CHR-61: FM OSKANIAN SUGGESTS "LIMITED OPTIONS" ON
BELARUS

REF: A. A) EUR 3/23 E-MAIL

B. B) STATE 49957

C. C) YEREVAN 449

Classified By: Ambassador John M. Evans for reasons 1.4 (b,d)

SUMMARY
-------



1. (C) Per instructions in ref A, Ambassador Evans met with
FM Vartan Oskanian March 24 to ask the GOAM to rethink its
position on a no-action motion on Belarus at the UN
Commission on Human Rights. Oskanian said the GOAM would
give "serious consideration" to our request given the
emphasis the USG was placing on the issue. He characterized
the situation, however, as one of "limited options." He said
that the issue posed a problem of "mutual solidarity as
Belarus traditionally sides with our causes (read:
Nagorno-Karabakh) in international fora." Oskanian is aware
that DAS Kennedy will likely call him today on the issue and
pledged to raise the issue with President Robert Kocharian
personally. On Cuba, Oskanian indicated that the GOAM
position had not changed. Oskanian's advisors said that he
had personally reviewed the draft resolution we delivered
earlier this week and told Armenia's mission in Geneva that
"Armenia will be with the USG" on the Cuba vote. End Summary.



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-
OSKANIAN SUGGESTS NOT MUCH LATITUDE ON BELARUS


--------------------------

-



2. (C) Per instructions in ref A, Ambassador Evans met with
FM Vartan Oskanian March 24 to ask the GOAM to re-think its
position on a no-action motion on Belarus at the UN
Commission on Human Rights. Oskanian said the GOAM would
give "serious consideration" to our request and pledged to
raise the issue with President Robert Kocharian personally.
He noted the particular emphasis the USG was placing on the
issue this year. He characterized the situation, however, as
one of "limited options." He said that the issue posed a
problem of "mutual solidarity as Belarus traditionally sides
with our causes (read: Nagorno-Karabakh) in international
fora."



3. (C) The Ambassador made the additional point that debate
on important issues like this should not be stifled by
no-action motions and noted Armenia's stated opposition -- at
least in principle -- to no-action motions in the past.
Oskanian suggested that had Armenia been more consistent in
staying away from no-action motions at UNCHR, the GOAM could
at a minimum justify abstaining on the no-action motion on
procedural grounds. Oskanian tasked his staff to make an
inventory of previous no-action motions and present him the
information before taking the issue to President Kocharian.



4. (C) MFA International Organizations Chief Valery Mkrtumyan
told us following the meeting that the MFA had received
reports that the UNCHR Special Rapporteur on Belarus was
making "problematic" statements regarding the issue of
national identity in Belaurs that appeared to undermine the
integrity of his report. He said that the GOAM's sense was
that such language, or at least the rumors about such
language, could strengthen Belarus's case for a no-action
motion.



--------------------------


STILL WITH US ON CUBA


--------------------------





5. (C) On Cuba, Oskanian indicated that their position had
not changed. Oskanian's advisors said that he had personally
reviewed the draft resolution we delivered earlier this week
and told Armenia's mission in Geneva that "Armenia will be
with the USG" on the Cuba vote. MFA Senior Advisor Salpi
Ghazarian (Amcit) told Poloff that "we heard the message" on
Cuba. While she would not comment on the prospect of
co-sponsoring, she assured us that we could count on the
GOAM's support but also suggested that USG and GOAM officials
in Geneva continue to touch base on the issue during the
lead-up to the voting to ensure "full information sharing" as
things progress.



--------------------------


COMMENT


--------------------------





6. (C) It was clear from Oskanian's comments that, before our
demarche, he and his staff as well as the GOAM mission in
Geneva did not feel a sense of urgency on the Belarus issue.
Our meeting and the promise of a call from Washington appears
to have changed that perception. Oskanian clearly views
Belarus's conditional support for "Armenia's" issues
including Nagorno-Karabakh as a serious limitation. Engaging
the Armenians on purely procedural grounds appears to leave
us some room for dialogue.
EVANS