INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Chile Seeks Clarification On Sept 24 Trade And

Published: Wed 13 Aug 2008 08:49 PM
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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3594
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UNCLAS SANTIAGO 000747
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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD CI
SUBJECT: CHILE SEEKS CLARIFICATION ON SEPT 24 TRADE AND
PROSPERITY MEETING
1. Ambassador Juan Pablo Lira, Director General of the
Ministry Foreign Affairs, requested a meeting with Ambassador
Simons on August 12 to discuss the invitation for President
Bachelet to attend the Leaders' Meeting on Trade and
Prosperity, to be held Sept. 24 in New York. Lira was
accompanied by Ambassador Carlos Applegren, Director of the
MFA's North America Office, and a notetaker. Ambassador
Simons was accompanied by E/Pol Counselor and Poloff.
2. Lira explained that he wanted to gather additional
information about the proposed meeting in advance of Foreign
Minister Foxley discussing the invitation with President
Bachelet August 13. The Chileans were looking for more
details about the meeting--who was invited, who had accepted,
what was the format, etc. In addition, the MFA officials
sought clarification of the phrase "promoting security in our
hemisphere," which was included in Department's talking
points, and whether this indicated that defense issues would
be included in the meeting as well. The Ambassador clarified
that this meeting was for Western Hemisphere countries with
FTAs with the U.S., would be conducted in a roundtable
format, and would deal with security only in the sense of the
social and economic security that economic growth can bring
to a region.
3. The Ambassador encouraged Bachelet to attend the meeting,
emphasizing that it would be a good opportunity for Chile to
show solidarity with other Latin American countries who are
following free trade principles, and would also be a useful
signal to the two U.S. presidential candidates that Latin
American leaders think that free trade is important.
Attending would be a useful reflection of Bachelet's own
hallmarks of free trade and reducing inequality. Lira
promised to report Bachelet's decision as soon as possible.
SIMONS
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