US embassy cable - 03TEGUCIGALPA862

TFIZ01: HONDURAN FM PEREZ-CADALSO GIVES AMB LETTER OFFERING TROOPS FOR POST-WAR IRAQ

Identifier: 03TEGUCIGALPA862
Wikileaks: View 03TEGUCIGALPA862 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Tegucigalpa
Created: 2003-04-08 23:11:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL PGOV PTER MOPS PHUM AORC KTIA KAWC IZ HO
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.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 TEGUCIGALPA 000862 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR TFIZ, PM, IO, S/CT, S/WCI, DRL, NP, EB, AND L 
STATE FOR WHA, WHA/CEN, WHA/USOAS, AND WHA/PPC 
PARIS FOR POL AND UNESCO OBSERVER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/08/2013 
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PTER, MOPS, PHUM, AORC, KTIA, KAWC, IZ, HO 
SUBJECT: TFIZ01: HONDURAN FM PEREZ-CADALSO GIVES AMB LETTER 
OFFERING TROOPS FOR POST-WAR IRAQ 
 
REF: A. USUN NEW YORK 915 
     B. STATE 88308 
     C. TEGUCIGALPA 835 
     D. TEGUCIGALPA 827 
     E. TEGUCIGALPA 826 
     F. TEGUCIGALPA 824 
     G. STATE 59891 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Larry Palmer; Reasons 1.5 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (C) Summary.  Ambassador met April 7 with Honduran 
Minister of Foreign Affairs Guillermo Perez-Cadalso at the 
FM's request.  Perez-Cadalso gave Ambassador a letter 
offering to provide Honduran troops for post-war humanitarian 
needs in Iraq, contingent on congressional approval of such a 
deployment, which he said should not be a problem.  The FM 
reiterated that the GOH had given instructions to oppose any 
UNGA debate on Iraq and that the Honduran UN PermRep's 
instructions were to "follow" AMB Negroponte.  Perez-Cadalso 
told Ambassador that, thanks to the USG's assistance in 
providing Spanish-language texts, the GOH now had all that it 
needed to proceed with signing and/or ratifying the five UN 
and two OAS counterterrorism conventions/protocols still 
outstanding.  The FM gave Ambassador a copy of draft remarks 
that President Maduro plans to give during the Central 
American presidents meeting with the President April 10. 
Perez-Cadalso also said that Maduro was hoping to have a 
30-minute meeting with the President on the margins of the 
Council of the Americas meetings April 28-29 in Washington. 
The FM said the GOH hoped there would be a final decision on 
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Hondurans prior to the 
April 10 meeting.  End Summary. 
 
2. (U) Ambassador and PolOff met April 7 with Honduran 
Minister of Foreign Affairs Guillermo Perez-Cadalso Arias at 
the MFA to discuss Iraq and other key issues.  The meeting 
was a follow-up to the Ambassador's April 1 meeting with the 
FM (ref F) and the Ambassador's March 28 meeting with 
Honduran President Ricardo Maduro (ref E). 
 
UN PermRep Instructions are "Follow Negroponte" 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
3. (C) FM Perez-Cadalso started the meeting by telling 
Ambassador that he had spoken with Honduran UN PermRep Manuel 
Acosta Bonilla about Acosta Bonilla's March 26 statement 
during the United Nations Security Council open debate on 
Iraq.  The FM said that Acosta Bonilla told him that he was 
trying to speak to the future of post-war Iraq. 
Perez-Cadalso said that Acosta Bonilla had attended USUN's 
meeting with the members of the Coalition of the Willing and 
made his remarks in keeping with what he thought USUN wanted 
Coalition members to focus on in their statements.  The FM 
said that Acosta Bonilla was friends with U.S. PermRep 
Negroponte and had been working closely with him in NY. 
Perez-Cadalso said that Acosta Bonilla's instructions were to 
"follow Negroponte." 
 
Honduras Will Oppose Iraq Debate in UNGA and UNESCO 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
4. (C) As previously reported, the MFA has instructed its 
missions at the UN and UNESCO to oppose UNGA debate on Iraq 
(ref D) as proposed by the Arab League via the Non-Aligned 
Movement (ref A), and at the UNESCO Executive Board (ref C) 
as proposed by some countries (ref B).  The FM reiterated to 
the Ambassador that the GOH will vote against any proposed 
UNGA debate on Iraq. 
 
FM Presents Letter Offering Post-War Troops 
------------------------------------------- 
 
5. (C)  As promised (ref F), the FM gave Ambassador a letter 
formally offering Honduran participation in post-war "phase 
IV" operations in Iraq, saying that both President Maduro and 
Minister of Defense Frederico Breve had approved the offer. 
The letter details the GOH offer to participate in the 
humanitarian aspects of the reconstruction of Iraq, including 
sending troops who specialize in demining and peacekeeping 
troops.  Ambassador thanked Perez-Cadalso for the support of 
the GOH.  The letter notes that any foreign deployment of 
Honduran troops must be approved by congress according to the 
Honduran Constitution.  Perez-Cadalso said he did not think 
that congressional approval would be a problem.  Note:  Post 
does expect the GOH to seek congressional approval until 
after the war is over and the USG had made a more specific 
request for Honduran troops.  End Note.  Post has faxed this 
letter to WHA/CEN and CENTCOM.  An informal translation of 
the letter is in paragraph 12. 
 
Embassy Gives MFA Material on Iraqi War Crimes 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
6. (SBU) Ambassador gave the FM a copy of the video on the 
1988 massacre of Kurds in Halabja with chemical weapons. 
PolOff had previously given MFA DG for Foreign Policy AMB 
Mario Fortin written material on Iraqi human rights abuses 
and war crimes April 3.  The Ambassador emphasized that the 
President's "bold move" in Iraq was bringing the liberation 
of the people of Iraq.  Ambassador noted that he and other 
top EmbOffs would be meeting with key figures in the Honduran 
media April 8 to discuss the war in Iraq. 
 
FM: GOH Has All it Needs on Counterterrorism Conventions 
--------------------------------------------- ----------- 
 
7. (SBU) Perez-Cadalso told Ambassador that the GOH now had 
all it needed on the counterterrorism conventions/protocols 
and thanked the USG for its assistance in providing 
Spanish-language texts of the two OAS and five UN CT 
conventions/protocols that the GOH has yet to sign and/or 
ratify.  PolOff noted that he had accompanied the French DCM 
April 3 to give a joint G-8 demarche to AMB Fortin on the 
importance of signing and/or ratifying these 
conventions/protocols (ref G).  Both Fortin and the FM noted 
the symbolism of the USG and GOF doing a joint demarche.  The 
FM told Ambassador that the MFA would now begin the 
signature/ratification process and was working with Casa 
Presidencial to forward for congressional approval the CT 
conventions pending with the President's office.  Note: 
Since the Ambassador's April meeting with the FM (ref F), 
Post has provided the MFA with Spanish-language texts of the 
two ICAO and two IMO outstanding CT conventions/protocols. 
Post thanks the Department, Embassy London, U.S. Mission 
Vienna, and the U.S. Mission to ICAO for their assistance in 
obtaining these texts.  End Note. 
 
FM Gives AMB Draft Text of Maduro's CAFTA Meeting Remarks 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
 
8. (SBU) The FM gave Ambassador a copy of the April 7 version 
of President Maduro's draft remarks for the Central American 
presidents meeting with the President April 10.  The text 
appears to be very similar to what WHA/CEN faxed Post 
earlier.  Post has faxed these draft remarks to WHA/CEN.  The 
FM said that he and President Maduro are traveling to 
Washington April 9. 
 
Maduro Hopes to Meet With the President in Late April 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
 
9. (SBU) Perez-Cadalso said that the GOH was working to set 
up a half-hour meeting between President Maduro and the 
President on the margins of the April 28-29 Council of the 
Americas 33rd Washington Conference at the State Department, 
where Maduro is scheduled to be a speaker and the President 
is tentatively scheduled to give the keynote address.  The FM 
said that such a meeting would allow Maduro to raise 
bilateral issues that will not be raised in the CAFTA meeting 
with the President. 
 
TPS - FM Asks if Decision Will be Made Prior to April 10 
--------------------------------------------- ----------- 
 
10. (SBU) Perez-Cadalso asked Ambassador if the USG will have 
a decision on the GOH's request for an extension of Temporary 
Protected Status (TPS) for Hondurans prior to the April 10 
meeting between the President and the Central American 
presidents.  Ambassador said that he would ask Washington. 
 
GOH Becoming More Active Coalition Participant 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
11. (C) Comment.  Post is pleased that the GOH seems to be 
taking a more active role as a member of the Coalition of the 
Willing, both with the formal offer of troops for post-war 
Iraq, and with the strong instructions to their missions at 
the UN and UNESCO to oppose debate on Iraq.  This was also 
the first time in recent memory that a senior GOH official 
raised the issue of the outstanding counterterrorism 
conventions/protocols.  In the past it has always been USG 
officials demarching GOH officials to take action.  Post 
intends to hold the GOH to its word that it now has all that 
it needs as far as Spanish-language texts and will move to 
sign and/or ratify the outstanding conventions/protocols. 
End Comment. 
 
Text of Letter Offering Troops for Post-War Iraq 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
12. (SBU) Begin text of informal translation of FM 
Perez-Cadalso letter to Ambassador: 
 
Tegucigalpa, M.D.C. 
April 3, 2003 
 
Mr. Ambassador: 
 
I have the honor to address Your Excellency and request your 
good offices to convey to your government the disposition of 
the Government of Honduras to make the following offer: 
 
1. Once the war against Iraq is over, with the expected 
triumph of the coalition forces, Honduras could participate 
in the humanitarian efforts tending to the reconstruction of 
that country in two specific areas, providing: a) personnel 
trained in demining work, and b) personnel trained in 
peacekeeping operations. 
 
2. It is understood that, in the event this offer were to be 
accepted, the deployment of the mentioned military personnel, 
by constitutional mandate, has to be authorized by the 
National Congress acting upon a request from the Executive 
Power. 
 
I take this opportunity to reiterate to Your Excellency the 
assurances of my highest esteem and consideration. 
 
/s/ 
 
Guillermo Perez-Cadalso Arias 
Minister of Foreign Affairs 
 
Excellent Mr. 
Larry Palmer 
Ambassador of the United States of America 
Tegucigalpa 
 
End text of informal translation of FM Perez-Cadalso letter 
to Ambassador. 
Palmer 

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