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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07SINGAPORE1911
2007-10-18 11:02:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Singapore
Cable title:  

ASEAN ENVOY CONCEPT -- SINGAPORE PREFERS TO KEEP

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  PHUM  SN  BU  ASEAN 
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VZCZCXRO2878
OO RUEHDT RUEHPB
DE RUEHGP #1911 2911102
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 181102Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4249
INFO RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0302
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0098
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SINGAPORE 001911 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

EAP/MLS FOR AARON COPE
EAP/MTS FOR MICHAEL TAYLOR

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/18/2017
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM SN BU ASEAN
SUBJECT: ASEAN ENVOY CONCEPT -- SINGAPORE PREFERS TO KEEP
THE FOCUS ON BACKING GAMBARI

REF: A. STATE 142628


B. SINGAPORE 1893

Classified By: DCM Daniel Shields; reason 1.4 (b) and (d).

C O N F I D E N T I A L SINGAPORE 001911

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

EAP/MLS FOR AARON COPE
EAP/MTS FOR MICHAEL TAYLOR

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/18/2017
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM SN BU ASEAN
SUBJECT: ASEAN ENVOY CONCEPT -- SINGAPORE PREFERS TO KEEP
THE FOCUS ON BACKING GAMBARI

REF: A. STATE 142628


B. SINGAPORE 1893

Classified By: DCM Daniel Shields; reason 1.4 (b) and (d).


1. (C) MFA Permanent Secretary Bilahari Kausikan called DCM
in to the MFA October 18 to provide a formal response to Ref
A request for views on the possibility of ASEAN's designating
a high-level envoy to Burma. Kausikan said that, as
promised, Singapore had carefully considered the idea. The
conclusion reached was that Singapore, rather than pursuing
the ASEAN envoy concept, would focus on supporting the
efforts of UN Special Advisor Gambari and the United Nations.
Singapore had based its decision on its impression that
Gambari was "not enthusiastic" about additional channels to
Burma and that Burma "categorically" had decided to deal
exclusively with Gambari. Asked to clarify the latter
conclusion, Kausikan said that Burma's Deputy Foreign
Minister had "volunteered" this view to Singapore's
Ambassador to Burma, Robert Chua.


2. (C) The DCM asked if Ambassador Chua had used the
opportunity to press Burma to stop detaining and arresting
people, to immediately release political prisoners including
Aung San Suu Kyi and to begin a genuine dialogue with
opposition leaders leading toward a transition to civilian
democratic rule. Kausikan said it was not that kind of a
meeting; Chua and the Deputy Foreign Minister ran into each
other at an event they both attended. Kausikan added that
Burma seems upset with Singapore for having pushed ASEAN into
making a tough statement on Burma. At the Soe Win funeral,
Than Shwe shook the hand of Singapore Senior Minister of
State for Foreign Affairs Balaji Sadasivan but did not say
anything to him, Kausikan said.


3. (C) Kausikan said Singapore planned to use the opportunity
of upcoming ASEAN summit meetings to press for change in
Burma. ASEAN had already begun circulating various draft
texts for the meetings calling on Burma to change its
behavior. Burma had objected, but ASEAN would go forward on
this. Kausikan said it was necessary for all the summit
venues (ASEAN, ASEAN Plus 3, and East Asia Summit) to
"pronounce themselves" on Burma. He predicted there would be
"robust" discussions of Burma "at least among the original
ASEAN members." If Laos, Cambodia or Vietnam refused to
support tough final statements on Burma, Singapore would
simply proceed with a Chairman's statement that captured the
views expressed. Kausikan predicted that the statements that
emerged would be similar in tone to the ASEAN Chair Statement
of September 27 and the UNSC Presidential Statement of
October 11.


4. (C) Regarding latest developments in Burma, Kausikan said
the situation appears calm on the surface, but arrests are
continuing. Singapore understands that India has met with
Aung San Suu Kyi at the permanent secretary level. In
an indication of the regime's continuing inability to manage
the economy, there are rumors of an ongoing reshuffle of
economic officials, he said.

Visit Embassy Singapore's Classified website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/singapore/ind ex.cfm
HERBOLD

Visit Embassy Singapore's Classified website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/singapore/ind ex.cfm
HERBOLD