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08BANGKOK2343 AMBASSADOR AND THAI FM TEJ DISCUSS POTUS VISIT, PREAH VIHEAR, PSI, LAO HMONG, AND OTHER ISSUES

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“164490”,”8/1/2008 10:25″,”08BANGKOK2343″,

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,

“08BANGKOK2276|08BANGKOK2294|08STATE72078|

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FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK

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INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 8928

RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 0949

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RUEHCHI/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI PRIORITY 5517

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“C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02

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SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR PHU

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/01/2018

TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PINR, PREF, PARM, KJUS, UNSC, UNGA, ASEAN,

TH, CB

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR AND THAI FM TEJ DISCUSS POTUS VISIT,

PREAH VIHEAR, PSI, LAO HMONG, AND OTHER ISSUES

 

REF: A. BANGKOK 2294 (MFA ON TEMPLE TALKS)

B. BANGKOK 2276 (TEJ APPOINTED)

C. STATE 79734 (PROTECTING LAO HMONG)

D. STATE 72078 (63RD UNGA)

 

BANGKOK 00002343 001.2 OF 002

 

Classified By: Ambassador Eric G. John, reason: 1.4 (b) and (d).

 

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) The Ambassador and newly-appointed Foreign Minister

Tej Bunnag agreed in a July 31 courtesy call that all

arrangements were proceeding smoothly for the upcoming visit

to Thailand of President Bush. Tej expressed appreciation

for USG assistance in preventing the UN Security Council from

formally considering Thai-Cambodian tension over the Preah

Vihear temple. He said the RTG hoped to ensure quick Thai

ratification of the ASEAN Charter. Tej took on board points

the Ambassador made on Lao Hmong, PSI, and the Viktor Bout

extradition case. Tej confirmed he and Prime Minister Samak

would travel to New York for the upcoming UNGA. End Summary.

 

POTUS VISIT

———–

 

2. (C) The Ambassador on July 31 paid a courtesy call on

newly-appointed Foreign Minister Tej Bunnag. The Ambassador

and Tej agreed that arrangements for the upcoming visit of

President Bush were proceeding smoothly. The Ambassador

expressed regret that it had proven logistically impossible

to arrange an audience with King Bhumibol during the upcoming

visit.

 

PREAH VIHEAR

————

 

3. (C) Tej explained how, on hearing of his impending

appointment as Foreign Minister, he rushed home from overseas

and hurried to prepare for talks with his Cambodian

counterpart on the situation in the vicinity of the Preah

Vihear temple. He thanked the Ambassador for USG assistance

in preventing this situation from coming formally before the

UN Security Council.

 

ASEAN

—–

 

4. (C) The Ambassador asked Tej\’s plans for Thailand\’s term

as ASEAN Chair. Tej said the government would seek

Thailand\’s parliamentary ratification of the ASEAN Charter as

soon as possible. He did not indicate he was aware of any

specific objections legislators might have to the Charter,

but he quipped that \”everything is a political problem now.\”

He looked forward to the Charter coming into force, noting

that this would help to put ASEAN \”firmly on the world map.\”

He predicted ASEAN would move toward integration in a fashion

similar to Europe\’s. The Ambassador stressed USG support for

ASEAN, highlighting for Tej the recent appointment of EAP DAS

Marciel as Ambassador for ASEAN Affairs.

 

PSI

 

5. (C) The Ambassador raised the Proliferation Security

Initiative, urging that the Thais participate as soon as

their political situation might allow. Tej acknowledged the

Ambassador with a nod but offered no verbal reply.

 

BOUT EXTRADITION

—————-

 

6. (C) The Ambassador thanked Tej for the RTG\’s assistance in

the arrest of Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout,

emphasizing that this case remained important at the highest

levels of the U.S. Government. The Ambassador explained that

the Embassy was tracking the case as it moved through

 

BANGKOK 00002343 002.2 OF 002

 

Thailand\’s courts. Tej acknowledged the USG\’s interest.

 

LAO HMONG

———

 

7. (C) Conveying ref C\’s points, the Ambassador emphasized

USG concern over the disposition of Lao Hmong in Thailand and

the need for a transparent screening process that meets

international standards. The Ambassador explained that the

USG would work with the Thais on resettlement abroad of Lao

Hmong who merit refugee status. Tej said the USG and RTG had

worked together on refugee matters for more than three

decades, and the USG would receive good cooperation from all

concerned RTG agencies.

 

UNGA PLANS

———-

 

8. (U) Tej confirmed that he, Prime Minister Samak, and

advisor Manaspas Xuto would travel to New York for the

upcoming UNGA. Samak would arrive in the U.S. following a

visit to Europe. Tej indicated the MFA had not yet been able

to finalize its UNGA preparations. (Post will continue to

seek information on the Thai UNGA delegation, per ref D

instructions.)

 

COMMENT

——-

 

9. (C) An experienced diplomat, Tej appears to be well suited

for the role of Foreign Minister and someone with whom we can

work easily. He related to the Ambassador that his parents

had first met in Washington, D.C., and he said that,

consequently, he considered himself \”very attached

sentimentally\” to the United States, and particularly to

Washington.

JOHN

 

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Written by thaicables

July 18, 2011 at 6:51 am

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