US embassy cable - 01HANOI1217

A/S KELLY DISCUSSION WITH FM NIEN: REGIONAL ISSUES, BTA, DISSIDENTS

Identifier: 01HANOI1217
Wikileaks: View 01HANOI1217 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Hanoi
Created: 2001-05-18 10:32:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: PREL PGOV PHUM VM HUMANR RELFREE
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

181032Z May 01

2001HANOI01217 - UNCLASSIFIED
 
 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED     PTO2894

PAGE 01        HANOI  01217  181321Z 
ACTION EAP-00   

INFO  LOG-00   CIAE-00  FBIE-00  UTED-00  TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    
      NSAE-00  OIC-02   PM-00    P-00     SP-00    SSO-00   SS-00    
      PMB-00   PRM-01   DRL-02   SAS-00     /005W
                  ------------------ED94D7  181322Z /45    
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2918
INFO NSC WASHDC
SECDEF WASHDC
USMISSION GENEVA 
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 
UNCLAS HANOI 001217 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
STATE FOR EAP, EAP/BCLTV, DRL, PRM, INR 
NSC FOR EAST ASIAN DIRECTORATE 
SECDEF FOR ISA/EAP STERN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PHUM, VM, HUMANR, RELFREE 
SUBJECT: A/S KELLY DISCUSSION WITH FM NIEN: REGIONAL ISSUES, BTA, DISSIDENTS 
 
REF: HANOI 1208 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        HANOI  01217  181321Z 
 
1.  (SBU)  SUMMARY:  ON MAY 18, FOLLOWING ARF MEETINGS IN 
HANOI, ASSISTANT SECRETARY KELLY MET WITH VIETNAMESE FOREIGN 
MINISTER NIEN AND TOOK THE OCCASION TO VOICE STRONG CONCERNS 
AT THE REPORTED ARREST ON MAY 17 OF OUTSPOKEN HUE-BASED 
CATHOLIC PRIEST NGUYEN VAN LY, AND THE REPORTED SUMMONS OF 
UNIFIED BUDDHIST CHURCH OF VIETNAM MONK THICH QUANG DO TO 
APPEAR IN A HO CHI MINH CITY COURT ON MAY 18.  NIEN NOTED 
THESE CONCERNS, INDICATING HE WOULD INFORM COMPETENT 
VIETNAMESE AUTHORITIES REGARDING THE U.S. VIEWS.  ON OTHER 
MATTERS, NIEN QUERIED KELLY ABOUT THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S 
POLICY IN THE ASIA PACIFIC REGION, AND SPECIFICALLY THE U.S. 
STANCE ON CHINA AND RUSSIA.   NIEN SPOKE HIGHLY ABOUT THE 
PROGRESS THE U.S. AND VIETNAM HAVE MADE IN RECENT YEARS AND 
INDICATED THAT THE RATIFICATION OF THE BTA WOULD BRING THE 
RELATIONSHIP "TO A NEW LEVEL."   HE BRIEFLY REITERATED THE 
LONGSTANDING VIETNAMESE POSITION THAT THE U.S. IS 
RESPONSIBLE FOR THE `CONSEQUENCES OF WAR', AS HAD VICE 
FOREIGN MINISTER NGUYEN DINH BIN IN A MORE EXTENSIVE 
BILATERAL ON MAY 17.  NIEN SAID HE LOOKS FORWARD TO THE 
VISIT TO HANOI OF THE SECRETARY IN LATE JULY FOR SENIOR 
ASEAN/ARF MEETINGS.  END SUMMARY 
 
2.  (U) ASSISTANT SECRETARY JIM KELLY, ACCOMPANIED BY 
AMBASSADOR PETERSON, DAS BOYCE, EAP/RSP DIRECTOR STROTZ AND 
OTHERS, MET WITH FOREIGN MINISTER NGUYEN DY NIEN, DEPUTY 
DIRECTOR OF THE AMERICAS DESK DOAN XUAN HUNG, DEPUTY 
DIRECTOR OF THE POLICY PLANNING OFFICE TRAN DUC MAU, AND 
OTHERS FOR A BRIEF BILATERAL MEETING ON MAY 18.  THIS 
MEETING FOLLOWED A MORE EXTENSIVE BILATERAL UNDERTAKEN THE 
PREVIOUS AFTERNOON BETWEEN KELLY AND FIRST DEPUTY FOREIGN 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        HANOI  01217  181321Z 
MINISTER NGUYEN DY NIEN, REPORTED SEPTEL. 
 
3.  (SBU) NIEN, NOTING KELLY WAS THE SENIOR MOST U.S. 
OFFICIAL TO VISIT HANOI SINCE THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION 
ASSUMED OFFICE, ASKED ABOUT U.S. POLICIES IN ASIA AND THE 
PACIFIC, ESPECIALLY THE U.S. STANCE TOWARDS CHINA AND 
RUSSIA.  KELLY RESPONDED THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION WANTS TO 
"REACH OUT AND PARTICIPATE" IN SOUTHEAST ASIA AND SECRETARY 
POWELL PROVIDED INSTRUCTIONS THAT HE WAS TO PAY PARTICULAR 
ATTENTION TO THE MAJOR SOUTH EAST ASIAN COUNTRIES.  HE WAS 
PLEASED THEREFORE TO HAVE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE 
IN THE JUST-CONCLUDED ARF SOM MEETING AND TO HAVE ENGAGED IN 
DIALOGUE WITH THE SOUTHEAST ASIAN SENIOR OFFICIALS.  IN THAT 
REGARD, HE NOTED THAT FRANK DISCUSSIONS HAD TAKEN PLACE IN 
THE MULTILATERALS NOT ONLY OVER MATTERS OF AGREEMENT, BUT 
ALSO IN AREAS OF DISAGREEMENT. 
 
4.  (SBU) ON RUSSIA, KELLY NOTED THE PRESIDENT AND PRESIDENT 
PUTIN WILL HAVE OPPORTUNITIES TO MEET AND TALK NOT ONLY AT 
THE UPCOMING G-8 IN GENOA, BUT ALSO AT ANOTHER LOCATION IN 
EUROPE IN THE COMING MONTHS.  ON CHINA, KELLY SAID HE HAD 
VISITED BEIJING TWO DAYS EARLIER PURSUING A DIALOGUE WHICH 
INCLUDED A DISCUSSION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS.  HE SAID THE U.S. 
AND CHINA HAVE MANY ISSUES TO DISCUSS AT BOTH THE HIGH AND 
WORKING LEVELS BUT THAT HE HOPED THESE CAN BE RESOLVED SOON. 
ON NORTH KOREA, KELLY MENTIONED THAT SIMILAR TO THE CLINTON 
ADMINISTRATION, THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION WILL SEEK TO IMPROVE 
RELATIONS WITH NORTH KOREA.  IN THAT REGARD, A REVIEW OF THE 
NORTH KOREA POLICY IS ALMOST COMPLETE. 
 
5.  (SBU) TURNING TO VIETNAM, KELLY INDICATED THE BUSH 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        HANOI  01217  181321Z 
ADMINISTRATION WILL CONTINUE ITS POLICY OF ENGAGEMENT.  IN 
THAT REGARD, THIS ADMINISTRATION ASKED AMBASSADOR PETERSON 
TO `HOLDOVER'.  NIEN RESPONDED THAT DURING THE AMBASSADOR'S 
TENURE IN HANOI, THE TWO COUNTRIES HAD SEEN A NUMBER OF 
CONTRIBUTIONS TO BILATERAL RELATIONS.  HE NOTED THAT HE HAS 
HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR THE FUTURE OF THE RELATIONSHIP.  HE 
POINTED OUT THE EXCELLENT COOPERATIVE WORK OF THE MIA/POW 
PROGRAM AS AN EXAMPLE OF THE "GOOD RESULTS" WHICH CAN FLOW 
FROM THE COOPERATIVE EFFORT. 
 
6.   (SBU) NIEN SAID THAT THE RELATIONSHIP CAN BE ELEVATED 
TO "A NEW LEVEL" AS THE U.S.-VIETNAM BILATERAL TRADE 
AGREEMENT IS RATIFIED BY THE U.S. CONGRESS.  KELLY RESPONDED 
THAT THE ADMINISTRATION IS DETERMINED TO MOVE AHEAD WITH THE 
AGREEMENT AS IT IS IN THE INTERESTS OF THE TWO COUNTRIES. 
HE NOTED TRADE MATTERS CAN CREATE DOMESTIC TENSIONS; THE 
PROCESS OF DEALING WITH TRADE ISSUES NEVER WORKS AS EASILY 
AS WE WOULD LIKE.  BUT, HE ADDED, WE HOPE THE PROCESS WILL 
BE DEALT WITH URGENTLY BY THE CONGRESS. 
 
7.  (SBU) KELLY SAID THAT SINCE HE HAD MET WITH VICE FOREIGN 
MINISTER BIN THE PREVIOUS EVENING A MATTER HAD COME TO HIS 
ATTENTION WHICH MADE "THE ATMOSPHERE FOR THE RELATIONSHIP 
MORE DIFFICULT, NOT NECESSARILY FOR THE BTA, BUT IT DOESN'T 
HELP THE BTA EITHER."  HE REFERRED IN PARTICULAR TO THE 
ARREST ON MAY 17 OF DISSIDENT CATHOLIC PRIEST NGUYEN VAN LY 
IN HUE FOR VIOLATING THE TERMS OF HIS SURVEILLANCE ORDER AND 
A SEPARATE INTERROGATION OF UNIFIED BUDDHIST CHURCH OF 
VIETNAM (UBCV) MONK THICH QUANG DO BY AUTHORITIES IN HO CHI 
MINH CITY.   KELLY SAID HE HOPED THESE PERSONS CAN BE 
RETURNED TO THEIR RESIDENCES AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 05        HANOI  01217  181321Z 
 
8.  (SBU) NIEN REPLIED THAT THESE INDIVIDUALS HAD VIOLATED 
VIETNAMESE LAWS.  THE VIETNAMESE GOVERNMENT DID NOT WANT TO 
TAKE THE STEPS IT HAD TAKEN.  BUT IT HAD TO DO SO, JUST AS 
LAWS ARE ENFORCED IN OTHER COUNTRIES.  AT THE SAME TIME, HE 
SAID HE WOULD TAKE NOTE OF THESE CONCERNS AND MAKE CERTAIN 
THEY ARE CONVEYED TO THE COMPETENT VIETNAMESE AUTHORITIES. 
 
COMMENT 
------------ 
 
9.  (SBU) A/S KELLY'S EXPRESSION OF CONCERN OVER THE ARREST 
OF FATHER LY AND THE SUMMONING OF BUDDHIST MONK THICH QUANG 
DO FOLLOWED UP THE AMBASSADOR'S SIMILAR POINTS MADE THE 
PREVIOUS EVENING TO THE MFA'S AMERICAS DESK.  (SEE REFTEL) 
THESE INCIDENTS ARE INDEED TROUBLING.  THE U.S. HAS LAID 
DOWN YET ANOTHER MARKER THAT HUMAN RIGHTS CONCERNS CAN, 
UNFORTUNATELY, NEGATIVELY IMPACT THE VERY POSITIVE 
ENGAGEMENT MOMENTUM IN OTHER AREAS OF THE RELATIONSHIP. 
END COMMENT. 
 
10.  (U) A/S KELLY DID NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW 
THIS MESSAGE BEFORE HE DEPARTED FOR BANGKOK ON MAY 18. 
 
PETERSON 

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