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06BANGKOK4742 SURAKIART ON HIS UNSYG CANDIDACY

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“73705”,”8/4/2006 9:45″,”06BANGKOK4742″,

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,””,

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SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR P, EAP, EAP/MLS, IO

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/03/2016

TAGS: PREL, PGOV, TH

SUBJECT: SURAKIART ON HIS UNSYG CANDIDACY

 

Classified By: AMBASSADOR RALPH L. BOYCE. REASON 1.4 (B,D)

 

1. (C) Summary. In a lunch meeting on August 3, Deputy

Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai briefly explained to

Ambassador the message he hopes to deliver next week in his

conversation with Under Secretary Burns. In a last ditch

effort to boost his candidacy, Surakiart plans to highlight

the quiet, but effective, role that he and Thailand have

played in supporting the United States. End Summary.

 

STRAW POLL, WHAT STRAW POLL?

—————————–

 

2. (C) DPM Surakiart\’s relentless crusade to replace UNSYG

Kofi Annan continues undaunted despite the shaky results of

the July 24 UN Security Council straw poll where Surakiart

reportedly received seven votes of encouragement, three votes

of discouragement and five votes of no opinion, finishing

third in a field of four. Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA)

officials interpreted these totals as signs that Surakiart

remains a serious candidate for the top job, even as some

media outlets have called for the DPM to abandon his efforts

after this major \”snub.\” Indeed, both Surakiart supporters

and detractors have combed every statement made by UN member

states on the UNSYG selection process as \”proof\” of their

position.

 

I WANNA BE A FRIEND OF YOURS.. AND A LITTLE BIT MORE

——————————————— ——-

 

3. (C) During lunch Surakiart said that his main pitch to U/S

Burns will be to remind him of the many quiet ways that

Thailand (read: Surakiart) has been a faithful ally of the

US. Among other things, he will mention the RTG\’s

willingness to send troops to both Afghanistan and Iraq even

given the problems in Southern Thailand; the RTG decision to

sign an Article 98 agreement; and other areas in which the

Thai have quietly cooperated with the USG in

counter-terrorism efforts. (Note: Surakiart will decline to

mention his initial opposition, when he was Foreign Minister,

to authorizing the U.S. military to deploy its humanitarian

relief mission out of Utapao in December 2004 following the

Indian Ocean tsunami. It was PM Thaksin who gave the U.S.

the green light. End note.)

 

4. (C) Surakiart reiterated his belief that the US should

play a strong leadership role at the UN. He said that if he

were to become UNSYG, he could be counted on to take US

interests into account.

 

5. (C) Comment: Surakiart was quick to point out that he

finished third, not fourth, in the UNSC straw poll. He shows

absolutely no signs of reconsidering his candidacy and will

maintain that he remains the firm ASEAN consensus candidate.

BOYCE

Written by thaicables

July 13, 2011 at 5:09 am

Posted in Confidential

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