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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06MEXICO999
2006-02-23 22:01:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Mexico
Cable title:  

AMLO'S PUTATIVE FOREIGN MINISTER TAKES A CRASH COURSE ON THE U.S.

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  PINR  MX 
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VZCZCXRO7076
RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #0999/01 0542201
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 232201Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9203
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 000999 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/22/2016
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PINR, MX
SUBJECT: AMLO'S PUTATIVE FOREIGN MINISTER TAKES A CRASH
COURSE ON THE U.S.


Classified By: Political Counselor Leslie Bassett for Reasons 1.4 (b)(d
)

1. (C) Summary: Since being named by Democratic Revolution
Party (PRD) presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez
Obrador (AMLO) as his probable Foreign Minister, Jose Maria
Perez Gay says he has been swamped with invitations and
meeting requests. Operating out of his home when he's not on
the campaign trail with AMLO, Perez Gay has made a particular
effort to meet with U.S. academics and institutes, in part to
rectify his self-described serious lack of knowledge about
the bilateral relationship. Perez Gay told us he plans to
create an Under Secretary for Migrants at the Foreign
Ministry (SRE) as well as a separate office to handle the
United States. Stately and courteous, Perez Gay epitomizes
old-school Mexican diplomacy. If he ends up becoming Foreign
Minister, he appears willing to learn -- but he will have a
steep curve. End Summary.

2. (C) On January 31 AMLO indicated that Jose Maria Perez
Gay would be his choice for Secretary of Foreign Relations
(SRE) should AMLO win July's presidential election. Perez
Gay told us 2/21 that since that day he has been inundated
with meting requests and invitations from all over the world.
The ones he's accepting, he added, are from the U.S. Perez
Gay was set to meet separately this week with representatives
of the International Republican Institute, the U.S. Embassy
and former Clinton officials. Perez Gay said he cancelled a
planned February visit to New York, and was now looking
notionally at a visit to Washington sometime in April. While
he has been AMLO's closet foreign policy advisor for months,
Perez Gay says he has no staff, and operates out of his house
when he is not -- as frequently happens -- accompanying AMLO
on the campaign trail.

3. (C) Perez Gay told us he was making a special effort to
engage with U.S. experts on the bilateral relationship
because his own diplomatic and academic experience has
focused almost entirely on Europe. He has made a few brief
visits to the U.S., but understood a much more profound study
of the bilateral agenda was required. He hoped to find time
in the coming months to broaden his knowledge, and said that
if AMLO wins in July the foreign affairs team will make the
U.S. relationship a first priority. He is extremely
interested in making a tour of the U.S. early on (if he
becomes SRE) to get a better sense of the different regions
and migrant communities.

4. (C) Perez Gay was clearly familiar with the current SRE
structure, and indicated changes he would like to make.
Among them, creating a separate office for U.S. affairs, and
reviewing the activities of the 45-plus Mexican consulates in
the U.S. Perez Gay said he was not personally satisfied that
all 45 consulates were providing the services claimed, and in
fact SRE had denied him any detailed information on current
operations in the U.S. His inclination was to review whether
they were all really necessary. He also proposes to create
an Under Secretary for Migrants to help monitor consulate
performance. On migration generally, Perez Gay said he
understood that a bilateral migration arrangement was not
feasible, and looked forward to cooperating with the U.S.
where progress was possible. He said the "whole enchilada"
was a farce, but hoped that the temporary workers program
might pass the U.S. congress in time for a new government to
help facilitate its implementation.

5. (C) On broader issues Perez Gay reiterated what AMLO has
said publicly -- that Mexico does not need to look outside
for problems to solve; it has plenty of internal ones. He
politely discarded any ideas of Mexico participating in blocs
of any kind with Venezuela and Bolivia. Perez Gay was keenly
interested in Middle East developments, and Iran's nuclear
capability. He was less interested in discussing peace
keeping and regional affairs.

6. (C) Comment: Charming and patrician, Perez Gay clearly
reflects the more traditional non-interventionist school of
Mexican diplomacy. He refrained from engaging on any
controversial issues (such as the Sheraton-Cuba incident),
and asked more questions than he directly answered. While
his interest in expanding his knowledge of U.S.-Mexico
relations appears extremely sincere, he admitted to
misplacing materials we had previously provided (and will
provide again). He mentioned Senator Raymundo Cardenas as
someone he would look at for advice regarding the U.S.
While Perez Gay said he hoped to visit Washington in April,
our sense is that he will likely cancel again. Perez Gay
consistently travels with the candidate, and the campaign is
going to only get more intense in the coming months.




MEXICO 00000999 002 OF 002


Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity

KELLY