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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06KINGSTON2328
2006-12-01 19:23:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Kingston
Cable title:  

JAMAICA: CDA'S MEETING WITH PERMANENT SECRETARY

Tags:   PREL  EAID  ETRD  EFIN  KMCA  OAS  MARR  MOPS  JM  XL 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXYZ0006
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKG #2328/01 3351923
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 011923Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY KINGSTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3995
INFO RUCNCOM/EC CARICOM COLLECTIVE
						UNCLAS KINGSTON 002328 

SIPDIS
CORRECTED COPY - CAPTION ADDED
SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT PASS TO USTR (LOPEZ)
DEPT FOR MCC (VANDERBROUK)
DEPT FOR WHA/CAR (DUDDY, BUDDEN), EB/IFD/ODF (CONNELL),
OES/AIAG (AHMAD,NEWTON), CA/PPT (PENN, STAEBEN)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL EAID ETRD EFIN KMCA OAS MARR MOPS JM XL
SUBJECT: JAMAICA: CDA'S MEETING WITH PERMANENT SECRETARY
SAUNDERS

REF: A. KINGSTON 1874


B. STATE 192519

C. STATE 187635

D. STATE 191887

E. STATE 190899

F. KINGSTON 2301



1. (SBU) Summary: In a regular bimonthly meeting with GOJ
Permanent Secretary Douglas Saunders, he and CDA discussed a
range of areas of mutual interest. CDA, accompanied by
econoff, delivered reftel talking points on the Western
Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), the Millennium Challenge
Corporation, the Santa Cruz Ministerial on Sustainable
Development, and the Bamako Conference on Avian Influenza.
They also discussed regional trade possibilities, the
prospects for a permanent Status of Forces Agreement, and the
effect of deportees on crime in Jamaica. End summary.



2. (U) Charge d'Affaires (CDA) and Econoff met on November 30
with Ambassador Douglas Saunders, Permanent Secretary in the
GOJ's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT);
Saunders was accompanied by Undersecretary for Multilateral
Affairs Ambassador Vilma McNish. CDA remarked that we
welcome this close cooperation, and that even since the last
meeting in September (ref. A) a number of issues had arisen.



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


Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative


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





3. (U) Saunders began by noting that the GOJ and the private
sector were finally realizing that the Western Hemisphere
Travel Initiative (WHTI) would not have the dire consequences
that some had predicted. In the current world climate,
safety and security were key factors in one's travel
decision, he said. Tourists who once went further afield
were now coming to the Caribbean, and these people already
had passports. That being said, Saunders asked whether there
would be a further review of the decision to restrict the
January 23 deadline for WHTI to air passengers.



4. (U) CDA took this opportunity to deliver ref. B talking
points. He remarked that the USG was very aware of the
concerns of those in the Caribbean, but that after some
analysis, had discovered that bookings for the first quarter
of 2007 were actually above those from the same period in
2006 (the busiest time of the Jamaican tourist season), and
that the vast majority of those travelers already had
passports. Further, he noted that the GOJ's own data
indicate the overwhelming majority of American tourists
already arrive holding passports. CDA stated that the USG
would assist during this transition period in whatever manner
we can.



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


Central American/Caribbean Action


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





5. (U) Saunders then asked who from the USG would attend the
Caribbean/Central American Action (CCAA) Conference in Miami.
He said that Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller (PSM) was

attending, and that it was likely that Foreign Minister
Anthony Hylton would accompany. CDA stated that Ambassador
Johnson would attend, and that Deputy Assistant Secretary
Patrick Duddy would be there from Washington.



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


Trade Possibilities


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





6. (U) Finally, Saunders followed up on questions he raised
in ref. A about the possibility of reviving the Free Trade
Area for the Americas (FTAA) discussions. In light of the
U.S. mid-term election results, he said, there might be room
to make progress on that, or on an FTA with CARICOM. The
Democrats, Saunders noted, tended to emphasize labor and
environment issues in their trade negotiations. CDA
encouraged CARICOM to be proactive in their discussions with
USTR, but noted that the region was not necessarily ready for
an FTA, alluding to the desire of some states to demand
special and differential treatment. Much would depend, he
said, on attempts to revive the Doha Round, and also the
future of Trade Promotion Authority. He pointed out that the
Trade and Investment Council meeting in October in Washington
had been productive, however, and hoped that we could build
our trade relationship from this.



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


Millennium Challenge Account


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





7. (U) CDA delivered ref. C talking points and noted that
although Jamaica had not been selected as a threshold country
this year, he believed that they were competitive, and that
with sustained attention to the key spheres of ruling justly,
investing in people, and encouraging economic freedom, they
could make significant progress in the year ahead. Saunders
agreed, noting that "perhaps we came to the program too late"
this year. He expressed his personal opinion that Jamaica
was perhaps trying "to do too much at once" and suggested
that they should narrow their focus, as resource constraints
are a perennial problem. He concurred that the MCC
indicators were "things that we want to do anyway," and as
such they should prioritize them in the coming year. He did
highlight Jamaica's progress in the fight against trafficking
in persons. CDA agreed, and reiterated that the USG stands
ready to assist in that battle in any way that we can.



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



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


Santa Cruz Ministerial on Sustainable Development


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



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





8. (U) In delivering ref. D talking points regarding the
Santa Cruz Ministerial on Sustainable Development, Saunders
noted wryly that sometimes politics gets in the way of
progress. He agreed that the "plan of action" is the most
important component of the Ministerial, and that as such
Jamaica's team would be focused on the OAS Integrated Program
on Sustainable Development (PIDS). Econoff left the full
"white paper" text of the U.S. position to be shared with
their team.



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



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


Bamako Conference on Avian and Pandemic Influenza


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



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





9. (U) CDA delivered ref. E talking points concerning the
Bamako Conference on Avian and Pandemic Influenza.
Ambassador McNish stated that she was aware of the
Conference, and noted that the Ministry of Health had
expressed a desire to attend. She said that the problem, as
always, was tight resources.



10. (U) Saunders used this opportunity to ask for the
official USG position on the election of Dr. Margaret Chan to
head the World Health Organization. He noted that Jamaica
had supported Mexican candidate Dr. Julio Frenk. Econoff
said that the election process had been somewhat opaque, and
promised to reply to Saunders question at the earliest
opportunity.



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


Status of Forces Agreement


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





11. (SBU) CDA referred to ref. F, which acknowledged the GOJ
response to the USG request for a permanent Status of Forces
Agreement (SOFA). CDA reminded Saunders that between the
annual "Tradewinds" exercises in the Caribbean, and
especially with the impending Cricket World Cup in March and
April 2007, a SOFA would facilitate closer cooperation.
Saunders said that although the Ministry of National Security
would really take the lead on this issue, he believed that
the GOJ felt that the short term arrangements had been
satisfactory up until this point. There are elements, such
as the International Criminal Court, he said, that may prove
problematic. He agreed, however, that a long-term agreement
was in Jamaica's interests. Saunders said that the
preliminary reply should not be construed as negative, and
indicated a GOJ desire to engage in dialogue on the issue by
late January.



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


Deportees


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





12. (SBU) CDA referenced a study that the GOJ released to the
Embassy regarding the effect of deportees from the United
States, the United Kingdom, and Canada on crime in Jamaica.
The report had not yet been publicly released (it has since
been released to the Jamaica Observer newspaper), but CDA
noted with concern that there were some discrepancies within
the report that made it appear that the crime problem in
Jamaica could be attributed to these deportees. CDA hoped

that the ruling People's National Party (PNP) was not hoping
to use this angle as an election platform, as the USG would
question some of the language and methodology when it was
released. He said the Embassy would have a more detailed
discussion of the issue with the Ministry of National
Security in the near future.



13. (U) Saunders noted that crime would almost certainly be
an election issue, but said that he thought it unlikely that
the PNP would take that approach. (Note: Saunders is a
career diplomat, not a political appointee of the PNP. End
note.) He asked to see a copy of the report, as he had not
yet seen one. CDA left his copy with Saunders for review.
HEG