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Viewing cable 09STATE100988, U/S OTERO,S SEPTEMBER 23 MEETING WITH BOLIVIA

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09STATE100988 2009-09-28 20:08 2010-12-03 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Secretary of State
VZCZCXRO6332
OO RUEHAO RUEHCD RUEHGA RUEHGD RUEHHA RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHMT RUEHNG
RUEHNL RUEHQU RUEHRD RUEHRG RUEHRS RUEHTM RUEHVC
DE RUEHC #0988/01 2712115
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O P 282056Z SEP 09
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ IMMEDIATE 3337
INFO WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7925
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 STATE 100988 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/28/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV SNAR BL
SUBJECT: U/S OTERO,S SEPTEMBER 23 MEETING WITH BOLIVIA 
FOREIGN MINISTER CHOQUEHUANCA 

Classified By: U/S Maria Otero (G). Reason: 1.4 (b) and (d) 


1. Classified by U/S Maria Otero (G). Reason: 1.4 (b) and 
(d) 

2. (U) September 23, 2009; 11:00; New York, USA. 

3. (U) Participants: 

U.S. 
U/S Maria Otero 
WHA A/S Thomas Shannon 
Laura Pena 
Barbara Rocha (Notetaker) 

Bolivia 
Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca 
UN Charge Pablo Solon 

4. (C) SUMMARY. Under Secretary Otero reaffirmed Secretary 
Clinton,s commitment to improve relations with Bolivia, 
noting her own interest in finding ways to be helpful to the 
bilateral dialogue process. Foreign Minister Choquehuanca 
and Charge Solon expressed frustration with slow progress and 
the decisions on Andean Trade Preference Program (ATPA) and 
the narcotics certification. U/S Otero and A/S Shannon 
expressed disappointment at Bolivia,s decision to terminate 
USAID,s democracy programs. Both sides committed to setting 
a date for a second round of talks in Washington in the first 
half of October. END SUMMARY. 

-------------------------------------- 
BILATERAL DIALOGUE: SLOW AND DIFFICULT 
-------------------------------------- 

5. (C) Under Secretary Otero opened the meeting by 
reaffirming Secretary Clinton,s commitment to improve 
relations with Bolivia and noting her own interest in finding 
ways to be helpful to the bilateral dialogue process, given 
her Bolivian background. 

6. (C) Foreign Minister Choquehuanca stressed the importance 
of building mutual trust and said Bolivia would always be 
open to dialogue. He appreciated our first round of talks 
(held in May, in La Paz) as a first step in overcoming 
differences and establishing a relationship of mutual 
respect. He did complain there had been no progress since 
then, and that the decisions to remove Bolivia from the 
Andean Trade Preference program (ATPA) and to flunk Bolivia 
in the narcotics certification were not constructive. He 
noted Bolivia,s new alliances with Brazil, Argentina, and 
Paraguay to combat drug trafficking and affirmed that, 
despite difficulties, they are ready for a second round of 
talks. Choquehuanca said the Bolivian government cancelled 
USAID democracy programs &en el marco del dialogo8 and that 
they look forward to discussing pending assistance issues and 
finalizing a bilateral framework agreement. 

7. (C) U/S Otero welcomed their commitment to advancing the 
dialogue as &good news8 but expressed disappointment in 
Bolivia,s decision to terminate USAID democracy programs. 

8. (C) Charge Solon said they feared a new &golpe8 to the 
dialogue process in December when ATPA legislation is 
renewed. He warned the consequences for the bilateral 
relashionship would be grave if Bolivia is not included. 
Solon said the clock is ticking, and if we do not move fast 
the dialogue will become increasingly difficult and the U.S. 
Congress will eventually put Bolivia in a category where it 
doesn,t belong. He said what they need from us is a 
concrete proposal on what steps we will take to advance the 
dialogue process. 

9. (C) Solon recalled the advances of the first round of 
talks, especially how close we were in reaching agreement on 
principles to guide our development cooperation. Yet, from 
the four elements of their framework agreement proposal 
(political relations, development cooperation, 
counternarcotics, and trade) our counter-proposal was weakest 
in the area of development cooperation, a step backward. 

-------------- 
MOVING FORWARD 
-------------- 


STATE 00100988 002 OF 002 


10. (C) A/S Shannon noted that although we understand there 
may be another &golpe8 to the dialogue process in December, 
we are working with Congress to look at trade preferences 
more broadly. Noting that we face obstacles on both sides, 
A/S Shannon pointed out that our Congress sees the Bolivian 
government,s decision to expel parts of our mission and to 
terminate USAID democracy programs as punitive actions, and 
justifying engagement becomes an obstacle for us. To that 
end, it would be useful for us to know if we should expect 
further measures before December. 

11. (C) Choquehuanca said what we need is to set a date and 
focus on it. Choquehuanca said the first half of October is 
preferable because Bolivia is hosting the ALBA summit October 
16-17. A/S Shannon said we would present them with a set of 
potential dates by next week. 

------------------------------- 
WTO Health Services Commitments 
------------------------------- 

12. (C) Finally, Charge Solon raised the WTO health services 
commitments issue pending in Geneva. He said no one opposes 
Bolivia,s withdrawal from the commitments except the United 
States. He asked for our assistance in resolving this issue 
in a satisfactory manner and avoiding arbitration. 
CLINTON