EO 12958 DECL: 06/19/2017 
REF: A. ACCRA 1275  B. ACCRA 1280
ACCRA 00001437 001.2 OF 002

Classified By: PolChief Scott Ticknor for reasons 1.4 (d) and (e).

1. (C) Summary: On June 13, Polchief and Pol FSN met with Ben 
Botwe, who recently took over from Major General Richardson Baiden 
as the Acting Executive Director of Ghana’s Narcotics Control Board
 (NCB). Botwe is preparing a budget for urgent funding priorities 
and wants to build a stronger relationship with the police. He lacks
 security or law enforcement experience and we question whether he 
has the political weight or support to make an impact in his new job.
 The British continue to be very discouraged by the narcotics 
situation in Ghana. Other governments share these concerns and the
 Mini-Dublin group of donors plans to write to the Minister of 
Interior urging more effective action against narcotics trafficking.
 End summary.

Meeting the New Man at NCB

2. (SBU) Botwe, who only started two weeks ago, said he plans to 
create a three-year strategic plan for counternarcotics. Asked about
 the dimension of the narcotics concern, he said “shipments are 
happening,” although he was not sure why they are coming to Ghana.
 He wants to establish SOPs for handling relations with other 
government agencies and to strengthen Human Resources management. 
He saw the need to strengthen existing programs, rebuild internal 
structures, and work with the media on an anti-drug campaign.

3. (SBU) In the short-term, he will prepare an “immediate needs 
budget” for the Minister of Interior, who he claims has assured him
 additional resources. NCB has just graduated 35 new recruits as
 core field staff but needs additional vehicles and equipment. 
Botwe said the GOG has approved 60 more new recruits before the 
end of 2007. He hopes to work with local authorities to strengthen 
air and sea interdiction as well as intelligence gathering. 
Equipping the navy to do a better job in counternarcotics is a high
 priority, he said.

4. (SBU) Botwe hoped to strengthen the NCB’s relationship with the 
Ghana Police Service and opined that the recent dismissal of over 80
 police officers suspected of narcotics offenses is a healthy 
“purging” of the police system. He thought the NCB should take the 
lead in narcotics intelligence gathering, monitoring, coordination 
and reporting, providing overall direction for counternarcotics 
while also helping other agencies with expertise and capacity
 building. The NCB should participate in operations but it has no 
prosecutorial or arrest authority and its agents are unarmed, he 
said, lamenting that in the past the NCB had taken on too many
police duties. This had created tension with the police, reducing 
the GOG’s ability to conduct sustained raids, he said.

Brief Bio

5. (U) Benjamin Kwame Botwe (47) was the Chief Regulatory Officer
 and Deputy Chief Executive (Drugs Division) of the Food and Drugs 
Board from 2000-2007. Starting in 1988, he held different jobs at
 the Food and Drugs Board, including three years (1997-2000) as
 Principal Enforcement Officer. He holds a Masters in Public 
Administration from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public
 Administration (GIMPA) and a Masters of Science 
(Pharmaceutical Analysis) in Quality and Management.

Other Government Views of Narcotics in Ghana

6. (C) The British remain very concerned about narcotics trends in 
Ghana. A British Embassy official provided PolChief with data from 
Operation Westbridge, a U.K.-supported program to strengthen 
narcotics interdiction at Accra’s airport. He reported that in the
 seven months since the start of this Operation at the end of 
November, 2006 the UK had made 51 seizures of narcotics originating

ACCRA 00001437 002.2 OF 002
from Ghana, totaling 197.5 kilograms of cocaine, 713 kilograms of 
cannabis and 300 grams of heroin. Operation Westbridge is ongoing 
but will now shift from screening passengers to also screening 
freight. Lagos-based British Serious Organized Crime (SOCA) Officer
 John King recently met PolChief after several days of discussions
 with counternarotics contacts in Accra, including the Ministers of
 Interior and National Security. King told PolChief that the U.K. 
recently shared intelligence with the GOG on a vessel coming to 
Ghana from South America suspected to be carrying cocaine. King said 
a vessel left from Tema to provide the suspect ship with fuel and 
water. According to King, however, the Ghana navy failed to find it
 and may not have even tried (although it is not clear to us that 
the navy received the U.K. information). King found Minister of 
Interior Kan-Dapaah dismissive and irritated when King raised 
problems with narcotics at the airport. King concluded that the GOG
 was more indifferent to the narcotics issue than in 2006 and had
 made little progress to tackle this problem in the past year.

7. (C) These concerns were mirrored in a June 25 Mini-Dublin Group
 meeting, the second such narcotics cooperation meeting held in 
Accra, hosted by the French Embassy and attended by diplomats from
 the U.S., Dutch, Spanish, Italian, British, and German Embassies. 
The French DCM told the group that two weeks ago a French naval vesse
l intercepted a ship loaded with cocaine coming to Ghana from South 
America. Given concerns about narcotics trafficking here, a French 
narcotics liaison officer will be assigned to Ghana starting in 
September, she said. The German official noted that Lufthansa is 
seeing small but increasing quantities of narcotics trafficking on 
its flights out of Ghana. The Germans are also exploring assigning 
a permanent narcotics liaison officer to Accra. The Italian rep 
said their Dakar-based narcotics watcher is reporting a large 
increase of narcotics trafficking from South America through West
 Africa. The group agreed to send a joint letter to the Minister 
of Interior expressing growing concerns about Ghana’s narcotics 


SUMMARY 2004-07-09 08:08: Per reftel request, we interviewed Spanish
officials regarding marine security programs. No single GOS
agency is responsible for marine security. Each regional
port authority is responsible to assure that ports in its
jurisdiction comply with International Ship and Port
Facilities Code (ISPS) protocol. Ports of State (or Puertos
de Estado), loosely affiliated with the Ministry of Public
Works, has been helping ready applicable ports for ISPS
compliance, although it is not directly responsible for any
port security issues. Contacts from the Ports of State
informed us that they were confident preparations for the 1
July deadline would be met, and that they believe the state
of port security in Spain is generally higher than in most
European ports due to Spain,s experience with homegrown
terrorist groups. Spain,s Merchant Marine is responsible
for ISPS and Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations for
applicable ships. Additionally, the USG and GOS are
collaborating on several security initiatives. The
Department of Energy's (DOE) Megaports Initiative continues
to progress, with a DOE team arriving for a familiarization
tour of the Port of Algeciras in late July. The Container
Security Initiative will begin implementation in late July as
well when a USG-owned scanner will be lent to the GOS for use
in Algeciras. END SUMMARY.


2. The ports of Spain are implementing a series of port
security measures to comply with the ISPS. According to
Pedro Roman, Safety and Security Department Manager of
Infrastructures and Port Services Directorate, the ISPS code
only applies to 50 port facilities in Spain, known as Ports
of General Interest (or Puertos de Interes General). They
are designated as such because of their international
importance or volume of traffic. Ports of General Interest
are overseen by the Ports of State of Spain through 27
regional port authorities. According to Roman, only those
Ports of General Interest that receive ships carrying loads
greater than 500 gross tons and/or receive any international
passengers must comply with the ISPS. Each regional port
authority (and not the Ports of State) is directly
responsible for assuring compliance by all ports within its
jurisdiction. Roman reiterated that Spain's ports do not
have a true centralized management structure. Because of
this fact, there is no fully-coordinated port facilities
security plan. The individual port authorities will develop
their own security plans within the context of the ISPS code.

3. The ports that are not Ports of General Interest are
known as Autonomous Ports (or Puertos Autonomos). They
answer to the Ministry of Public Administration. Autonomous
Ports are generally not involved in international trade, with
the exception of specialized businesses such as shipment of
salt to France and Italy. They mostly service local fishing,
transportation, or commercial activities. Per Roman, these
ports are not required to comply with ISPS, and are not being
briefed on its requirements.

Yemen radioactive stocks ‘were easy al-Qaida target’

A senior government official in Yemen warned US diplomats that poor security at the country’s main store of radioactive products could allow dangerous material to fall into the hands of terrorists, according to a leaked US embassy cable.

The official told the Americans that the lone guard standing watch at Yemen’s national atomic energy commission (NAEC) facility had been removed from his post and that its only closed circuit TV security camera had broken down six months previously and was never fixed.

“Very little now stands between the bad guys and Yemen’s nuclear material,” the official warned, in a cable dated 9 January this year sent from the Sana’a embassy to the CIA, the FBI and the department of homeland security as well as the US secretary of state in Washington and others.

Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest nation, has emerged as al-Qaida’s most active base, after Iraq and Afghanistan. It is home to Al-Qaida in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP), the group behind a series of attacks on western targets, including the failed airline cargo bomb plot in October and the attempt to bring down a US passenger jet over Detroit on Christmas Day last year. The Nigerian-born Detroit bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was radicalised in Yemen, according to security sources.

The cable, classified as secret by the US ambassador Stephen Seche, and sent during the immediate aftermath of the Christmas Day bomb, describes how the “worried” official implored the US to help convince the Yemen government “to remove all materials from the country until they can be better secured, or immediately improve security measures at the NAEC facility”.

The cable revealed that the facility holds large quantities of radioactive material used by hospitals, local universities for agricultural research and in oilfields. The international community fears radioactive isotopes could be used to make a dirty bomb – a device combining simple explosives with radioactive materials, which it would disperse over a wide area.

The isotopes are not explosive themselves, unlike nuclear material such as uranium. Although unlikely to kill a large number of people, such a device could cause tremendous damage and disruption by creating large no-go areas contaminated by radioactivity.

International experts said today the lack of security at the Yemen facility would be a “high priority” for the US government. Told of the cable’s revelation of the type of materials and the amount stored in Yemen’s NAEC facility, Matthew Bunn, a former White House science adviser who specialises in nuclear threat and terrorism, said: “Holy cow. That’s a big source.

“If dispersed by terrorists it could make a very nasty dirty bomb capable of contaminating a wide area,” said Bunn, an associate professor at Harvard University’s John F Kennedy school of government, who compiles an annual assessment of the nuclear terrorism threat titled Securing the Bomb.

Such a bomb would be “enough to make a mess that would cost tens of billions of dollars in cleanup costs and economic disruption, with all sorts of controversy over how clean is clean, how will people go back there”, he said.

“It’s the type of thing that the US programme have been working on securing all over the world. The global threat reduction initiative (GTRI) in the department of energy has two missions: one, to get rid of enriched uranium and two, to improve security on radioactive facilities so that dirty bombs cannot be used.

“The location in Yemen is obviously of particular concern given terrorism, given Al-Qaida in the Arab Peninsula headquartered there, also the spotty effectiveness of the government.

“I would think it would be a high priority to do something about it.”

While a dirty bomb has never been detonated, terrorists have been accused of plotting such attacks.

A Briton, Dhiren Barot, admitted plotting to build a radioactive bomb in the UK and was convicted in 2006.

The leaked US cable revealed that, in the days following the official’s warning over security and probably as a result of US diplomatic pressure, the radioactive material was moved to a more secure facility and the remainder of it was likely to follow.

In a section of the cable titled Comment, it read: “Post will continue to push senior ROYG (Republic of Yemen Government) officials to increase security at all national atomic energy commission facilities and provide us with a detailed accounting of all radioactive materials in the country.”

A spokesman for the US state department said: “We decline to comment on any cable. A team from the US department of energy visited Yemen in February and continues to work with the government on security upgrades at relevant sites as part of its global threat reduction initiative.”

The US national nuclear security administration declined to comment on the cable or any action taken as a result of it.

A spokesman added: “I am not going to comment on upgrades to any specific sites. I can say that we have programmes to co-operate with more than 100 countries around the world to secure vulnerable nuclear material, improve security at nuclear facilities, and prevent nuclear smuggling. We are working day and night to prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear material, no matter the source.”


Friday, 26 February 2010, 06:33
S E C R E T NEW DELHI 000367 
EO 12958 DECL: 10/01/2020 
Classified By: Ambassador Tim Roemer. Reason: 1.4 (b,d).
1. (S) Summary: In a February 23 meeting, FBI Director 
Robert Mueller told Indian Home Affairs Minister P. Chidambaram
 that the USG would continue to cooperate with the GOI in 
providing information on the David Headley case and other 
cases involving terrorism directed at India. Chidambaram 
requested direct access to Headley, even if such access
produces no information, as well as access to Headley’s 
spouse, who he said was in Chicago. Chidambaram asked whether
 a GOI official could monitor Headley’s interrogation and 
submit questions “in real time.” Chidambaram said he had “a 
feeling in my bones that Headley was not acting here alone,”
 but conceded that he had no evidence to support his supposition
 that Headley formed sleeper cells in India, one of which may have
 been involved in the February 13 Pune bombing. Mueller assented 
to Chidambaram’s request for expedited FBI lab assistance regarding
 forensic cyber and voice recognition analysis. Chidambaram 
complained that Pakistan had “done damn near nothing” to prosecute
 Mumbai terror suspects, and Mueller said he would press the 
Pakistanis to take action during an upcoming visit to Islamabad.
 End Summary.
2. (S) Director Mueller opened the 20-minute meeting by 
expressing satisfaction over increasingly close bilateral

 cooperation. Characterizing the information produced by
 interrogations of David Headley as among the most important 
intelligence the USG has gleaned in the past 6 - 8 months, 
the Director assured Chidambaram that we would continue to 
pass such information in a timely manner to India. Noting that 
the process of Headley’s proffer of evidence is nearing a 
critical stage, Mueller observed that Headley has expressed 
hatred toward India and may “clam up” if his guilty plea is 
tied in any way to cooperation with the GOI.
3. (S) After thanking Mueller for the “outstanding cooperation”
displayed by the USG, Chidambaram stated that he understood from 
his discussions with Attorney General Holder that the GOI cannot
 use any information provided by the USG at this time in Indian 
prosecutions. He noted, however, that GOI investigators had 
developed information on their own through examination of 
Headley’s computer and emails. Chidambaram insisted that the
 GOI have access to Headley: “we must be able to say we had 
access, even if Headley did not speak.” He also requested access
 to Headley’s spouse, Shaiza, who he said is in Chicago so GOI
 investigators can question her on the meaning of her alleged 
message to Headley that she “saw your graduation.” 
Director Mueller said he would look into both requests. 
In reply to Chidambaram’s observation that the “worst outcome
 would be a light sentence of 2 or 3 years for Headley,” Mueller
 stated that Headley is looking at a considerably longer sentence.
4. (S) Chidambaram informed Mueller that the GOI would soon send
 a number of Letters Rogatory to the USG in relation to the Headley
 case, and Mueller responded that we would welcome such documents.
 Returning to the issue of access to Headley, Chidambaram asked
 whether GOI personnel could monitor and pass questions “in real
 time” to USG personnel conducting Headley’s interrogation. 
Mueller replied that he would look into this possibility. 
Chidambaram again thanked the USG for providing information 
and assistance, but asked whether GOI requests could be handled 
more promptly. The Home Minister asked for increased cooperation 

in three areas: 1) cybser security; 2) forensic cooperation; and

 3) some financial initiatives and cooperation.
5. (S) Chidambaram confided that “I have a feeling in my
bones that Headley was not acting alone” in India and expressed 
frustration over what he characterized as Headley’s false claim
 that he had no accomplices in India. The Home Affairs Minister
 conceded he had no evidence to support his working hypothesis that
Headley formed sleeper cells in India, one of which may have
 perpetrated the February 13 Pune bombing. He noted that the GOI
 would not file formal charges against Headley until the trial of
 Mumbai defendant Mir Kasab is finished for fear that Kasab would
 use the Headley charges as a way to delay conclusion of his own 
trial. Chidambaram complained that Pakistan had “done damn near 
nothing” to prosecute Mumbai-related terror suspects, but added 
that the GOI would present a list of terror suspects to Pakistani
 officials when the two sides meet for talks in New Delhi on 
February 25. Mueller said he was traveling to Pakistan and would
 press the Pakistanis for increased cooperation. ROEMER



REF: A. STATE 85047

Classified By: Ambassador PRFannin for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) SUMMARY. Executives with Forbes Energy met with the
Ambassador regarding the company,s planned USD 700 million
sugarcane ethanol project straddling the Dominican
Republic-Haiti border. They said that while they have
already obtained all needed permits for the project, which
will be based in Manzanillo, Montecristi, Dominican Republic,
they continue to face unnecessary delays and moving goalposts
that they interpret as prompts for bribes from government
officials. They also described two overt solicitations from
high-level officials for cash payments. The project is
currently held up due to delays in finalizing a negotiated
land swap with a state entity; the Ambassador has sent a
letter to the top official of this entity requesting a status
update. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) On August 28, the Ambassador met with Forbes Group CEO
Lucien Forbes, Director of External Relations Josh Fenton,
and Chief Legal Counsel D. Edward Wilson . Also present were
DCM Bullen, EconChief, PAO, EconOff and FCSO. The meeting
followed a July 31, 2008 meeting between the company and WHA
Assistant Secretary Shannon (ref A).

3. (U) The Forbes executives said that the company has been
working since 2006 to establish operations in the northern
border region to produce ethanol from sugarcane stock
primarily for export to the U.S. market. Initially, the
plant would denature Brazilian &wet8 ethanol for the United
States. Subsequently, the company will produce ethanol from
locally-grown sugarcane stock for the domestic and export
markets as well as generate 50 MW of electricity from bagasse
(sugarcane waste) for sale to the Dominican electricity grid.
The major part of the project will operate under the Special
Duty-Free Zone tax incentive regime. The local affiliate of
the company, Forbes Energy Dominicana, S.A., has already
received a 20-year renewable permit for a duty-free zone.
The executives said that this will be one of the largest
private investments ever in the country and the largest
commercial venture of its kind in the world.

4. (U) The project would also impact Haiti. While the ethanol
and electricity production will all take place in the
Dominican Republic, Forbes plans to either cultivate land
that it buys or else buy feedstock from Haitian producers
directly across the border from its Dominican assets. Forbes
said he aims to make the project fully operable with an
entirely Haitian-Dominican workforce within five years of


EO 12958 DECL: 09/19/2016 

Classified By: Ambassador Ralph L. Boyce, reason 1.4 (b)(d)

1. (C) I met with General Sonthi privately directly after he
 addressed the diplomatic corps this afternoon.
He thought the session had gone well (see septel for details;
 I doubt most of the Western diplomats, at least, will share 
his assessment).

2. (C) I began by asking Sonthi about the audience with the
 King last night. Who had attended? He said Privy Council
 President Prem Tinsulanonda had brought him, Supreme Commander 
Ruangroj and Navy Commander Sathiraphan in to meet the King. 
Sonthi stressed that they had been summoned to the palace; he 
had not sought the audience. He said the King was relaxed and 
happy, smiling throughout. He provided no further details.

3. (C) Turning to the US reaction, I reminded him of our
 conversation, August 31, when I told him any military action 
would result in immediate suspension of assistance programs such 
as IMET, FMF and numerous others. I told him he could expect us 
to announce such a measure shortly. He understood.  I added that 
the restoration of such assistance could only come after a 
democratically elected government took office. In the meantime,
 I stressed that the coup group needed to make every effort to
 demonstrate a sincere intention to return to civilian rule as 
soon as possible. His announcement today that an interim 
constitution and civilian government would be installed within 
two weeks was a good example. I reiterated these points several

4. (C) Sonthi responded by saying the military had truly acted 
in order to improve Thai democracy, not destroy it. The prevailing 
situation had become untenable. Had Thaksin only been willing to
 announce publicly that he would not return as Prime Minister, this 
action could have been avoided. But his unwillingness to do publicly
 what he had repeatedly told many privately had led people to fear
 that his true intention was to seek a renewed mandate and return 
to power. Thus the military had acted. But they did not seek 
sustained political power and would return to barracks as soon 
as possible. The sooner the better, I repeated. I told him to 
expect fairly broad international criticism, as military coups 
were generally seen as a thing of the past.

5. (C) Was he going to seize Thaksin,s assets? No, he stated 
flatly. Would Thaksin and his family and colleagues be allowed
 to return to Thailand? Yes, unconditionally. What is the officially
 approved English rendition of the coup group,s title? &Council for
 Democratic Reform Under Constitutional Monarchy,8 or CDRM.

6. (C) Why had the military chosen to act at this particular point
 in time? Smiling slightly, he leaned forward. &Thaksin was at his
 weakest and we were at our strongest.


CLASSIFIED BY: Rafael Foley, Pol Chief.
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)
1. (SBU) Summary: Pope Benedict addressed the opening of the
World Food Summit urging leaders to care for the world's hungry
and protect the environment. Similarly, at the UN General
Assembly, the Vatican nuncio stressed the need for a
comprehensive international energy policy that protects the
environment and limits climate change. Meanwhile Vatican
officials remain largely supportive of genetically modified
crops as a vehicle for protecting the environment while feeding
the hungry, but -- at least for now -- are unwilling to
challenge bishops who disagree. End Summary.

2. (U) In remarks at the opening of the World Food Security
Summit in Rome on November 16th, Pope Benedict devoted over one
third of his speech to the link between food security and
environmental degradation. The Pope stressed that states have
an obligation to future generations to reduce environmental
degradation. Citing the probable link between environmental
destruction and climate change, he stated that protecting the
environment requires "change in the lifestyles of individuals
and communities, in habits of consumption and in perceptions of
what is genuinely needed." Benedict urged the international
community to promote development while safeguarding the planet.

3. (SBU) The Pope also stated that access to "sufficient,
healthy and nutritious" food is a fundamental right upheld by
the Catholic Church. Linking development with use of
agricultural technologies (i.e., biotechnologies), Benedict
stressed good governance and further infrastructure development
as essential to increasing food security over the long-term.
(Note: Benedict's mention of agricultural technologies is a
small but significant step towards more vocal Vatican support
of biotechnologies. End Note)

4. (C) In a separate meeting November 11, Poloff spoke with
Monsignor James Reinert, the point person on food security and
biotechnology at the Vatican's Council of Justice and Peace - a
Vatican think tank on social issues . Reinert said the Vatican
agrees that countries must be empowered to increase domestic
agricultural production and that genetically modified crops
(GMOs) have a role in this process, but not everybody in the
Church is comfortable with them. The Vatican cannot force all
bishops to endorse biotechnology, he said, particularly if their
opposition has to do with concerns over protecting profits
oflarge corporations who hold the patents for the crops, versus
feeding the hungry. In the Philippines, he noted, bishops
strongly protested GMOs in the past. (Note: South African
Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier's November 16 comments to a news
agency that "Africans do not need GMOs, but water" is another
example of specific Church leaders skeptical about the potential
benefits of new biotechnologies. End note.).

5. (U) Comment: The Vatican is publicly stressing in various
fora the need to care for the environment in the run-up to the
Copenhagen Climate Change Summit. Pope Benedict places caring
for the environment ("the creation") as a central social,
economic and moral issue to his papacy. The Pope's proposal to
curb environmental degradation is for people everywhere to
reject excessive materialism and consumerism. In the Vatican's
view, unsustainable lifestyles in developed countries--and not
population growth worldwide--is to blame for global warming.
Vatican officials claim that the planet has the capacity to feed
and sustain its expanding population, provided resources are
properly distributed and waste controlled. Until recently,
Vatican officials often noted that the countries that released
most of the greenhouse gases were not the world's most populous.
As China and India industrialize and release more greenhouse
gases, however, the Vatican may find it more difficult to blame
climate change on lifestyles only. Even as this happens,
however, the Vatican will continue to oppose aggressive
population control measures to fight hunger or global warming.

6. (SBU) While the Vatican's message on caring for the
environment is loud and clear, its message on biotechnologies
is still low-profile (ref. b). Quietly supportive, the Church
considers the choice of whether to embrace GMOs as a technical
decision for farmers and governments.


C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 000932 



EO 12958 DECL: 04/03/2018 

Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns. Reason: 1.4 (d).

¶1. (C) Summary: In separate conversations recently,
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Metropolitan Kirill criticized
the decision to recognize
Kosovo’s independence and sharply condemned plans for Ukraine
 to move closer to NATO. Solzhenitsyn, who is partially
paralyzed by a stroke,
 but remains alert and very engaged in current events, as his
 April 2 Izvestiya article on the Holodomor demonstrated,
 joined Kirill in voicing his
concerns about poverty and the widening gap between rich and
poor in Russia. Kirill again expressed optimism about prospects
for better relations
with Roman Catholic Pope Benedict and described his intention
 to attempt to jump-start an ecumenical dialogue under the
auspices of the UN and, in the United States, via
the National Council of Churches. Both Solzhenitsyn and
 Kirill were optimistic about prospects for Russia under Medvedev.
 End summary.

Solzhenitsyn on Town Hall Democracy, Medvedev, Kosovo,
Ukraine and NATO

¶2. (C) In a recent meeting, writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
received the Ambassador at his home outside Moscow.
Solzhenitsyn, who will turn 90 this December has been in
declining health for some time. A stroke has left his left
arm paralyzed and his hand gnarled, but Solzhenitsyn’s
legendary energy was undiminished, and he was alert,
 spoke clearly, and, as the conversation showed, actively
 engaged with the events of the day. With Solzhenitsyn was
 his wife Natalya, who followed the conversation carefully,
 and did not hesitate to contradict her husband when she thought
it necessary.

¶3. (C) As he had in a 2007 Der Spiegel interview, Solzhenitsyn
 positively contrasted the eight-year reign of Putin with those
of Gorbachev and Yeltsin, which he said had
“added to the damage done to the Russian state by seventy years
of Communist rule.” Under Putin, the nation was re-discovering
 what it was to be Russian, Solzhenitsyn thought,
 although he acknowledged that many problems remained; among
them poverty and the widening gap between rich and poor.

¶4. (C) Solzhenitsyn enthusiastically told the Ambassador of
the need to develop grassroots democracy through instruments
of local self-government. Recalling his time in
 the United States, Solzhenitsyn called the Vermont town hall
 meetings he had witnessed the “essence of democracy.” Putin’s
 decision, following Beslan, to have governors
 appointed instead of elected had been a “mistake,” Solzhenitsyn
thought. He also dismissed the on-again, off-again conversations
in Russia about the need to construct a  genuine party system as
 Solzhenitsyn thought it was necessary to elect officials directly,
 so that they could be held accountable for their actions.

¶5. (C) President-elect Medvedev struck Solzhenitsyn as a “nice,
 young man.” Solzhenitsyn had not met him, but he guessed he was up
 to the “enormous challenge of repairing the damage done to Russian
 citizens during the Soviet period.” His reference to the Soviet
 period caused Solzhenitsyn to worry that young Russians did not
sufficiently appreciate the dangers of Soviet communism.
It was essential, as well, that Russia re-assure the former
Soviet states that it fully appreciated how “deformed”
 the Soviet system was, and was aware of the crimes, like the
Holodomor, it had committed against Soviet citizens.
(Note: on April 2, Solzhenitsyn joined the debate here
about the famine in Ukraine in a brief article published in
 Izvestiya. In it, he recalls the 1921 famine that stalked
 the Urals and rejects the notion that the 1932 - 1933
 famine was a an act of “genocide” against the Ukrainian people.
 Solzhenitsyn’s article sparked a mini-controversy here,
 with Father Gleb Yakunin taking Solzhenitsyn to task
 for “attacking the first CIS state that condemned the
communist genocide.”)

¶6. (C) Solzhenitsyn repeated to the Ambassador his objection to
 independence for Kosovo. Why, he asked rhetorically, should the
Serbs be held responsible for the sins of Milosevic?
 He was critical of plans to move Ukraine closer to NATO, although
 he didn’t belabor the point. The more significant moment, he
 thought, was the reaction of the United States
after 9/11, when Putin attempted to extend a helping hand. He
 cooperated in paving the way for U.S. bases in Central Asia and
joined other foreign leaders in extending Russia’s condolences to
 the American people. Solzhenitsyn hoped  for a time when that
 spontaneous gesture by Putin would be fully reciprocated.

¶7. (C) Solzhenitsyn told the Ambassador that he continues to work
actively in the archives, and it was clear from the topical
references sprinkled throughout his conversation that he followed current events actively.


DE RUEHBM #0576 0951604
P 051604Z APR 06




E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/05/2026 

REF: A) BUCHAREST 0536 B) 2005 BUCHAREST 2550 

Classified By: DCM Mark Taplin, Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 

1. (U) On April 5, Embassy received by mail a letter from 
Theodora Bertzi, Secretary of State for the Government of 
Romania,s (GOR) Romanian Office for Adoptions (ROA), dated 
March 29 and including the final report of the GOR Working 
Group established in June 2005 to audit pending petitions by 
foreign families to adopt Romanian orphans and abandoned 
children. Post has faxed the letter to EUR/NCE and CA/OCS/CI. 

2. (U) The report shows that none of the 1,092 children 
identified in the pending petitions will be available for 
inter-country adoption, ostensibly for the following reasons: 

-- 41 reintegrated into biological family 

-- 12 integrated within extended family 

-- 227 adopted by Romanian families 

-- 17 adopted by other foreign families by the rules of the 
adoption moratorium (2001-04) 

-- 8 under legal guardianship in Romania 

-- 12 reached or will soon reach age 18 

-- 47 petitioned after a February 6, 2004 emergency ordinance 
suspended even exceptional approval of intercountry adoptions 
during the moratorium 

-- 2 died 

-- 6 not found in GOR,s database of orphans or abandoned 

-- 90 had petitions withdrawn by the foreign families (1 from 
the U.S.) 

-- 132 in process of final domestic adoption 

-- 415 not adoptable, protected within substitutive (sic) 

-- 83 not adoptable, placed in the protection system (their 
biological family did not consent to adoption before Court or 
the Court did not approve the opening of the domestic 
adoption procedure). 

3. (C) Comment: The Working Group had been expected to issue 
its report by the end of March, and Bertzi had announced 
publicly in December 2005 that none of the cases would be 
approved for inter-country adoption. However, the utterly 
non-transparent process of the Working Group and the opaque 
quality of the report suggest some of the children may in 
fact remain in non-permanent situations in which their 
welfare is not being adequately protected. Post believes we 
should continue to press the GOR to open up the Working 
Group,s "conclusions" for a transparent, objective 
international review and to establish a legal framework that 
would allow inter-country adoption for appropriate pending 
cases. We will provide Department with our updated 
recommendations soon. End comment. 



Thursday, 13 August 2009, 08:54
EO 12958 DECL: 08/13/2034 
Classified By: Political Counselor Andrew K. Covington,
 Reasons 1.4 (b)  and (d)
¶1. (S) Summary: On August 12, Mongolian Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and Trade (MFAT) Deputy Director for Asian
 Affairs J. Sukhee briefed poloff on the annual Mongolia-DPRK
consultations that concluded on August 11. MFAT State
 Secretary Tsogtbaatar led the Mongolian side, and the
North Koreans met with President Elbegdorj on the sidelines
of the consultation. Sukhee noted DPRK delegation head Vice
 Foreign Minister Kim Yong Il spent much time on the nuclear
 issue and little on the bilateral relationship with Mongolia.
 Key themes on the part of the DPRK were the lack of criticism
of the United States, indications that the DPRK is seeking
bilateral talks with the USG on normalization of relations,
 that the recent travel of former President Clinton to
 Pyongyang has greatly improved the prospects for such talks,
that Mongolia would be an appropriate venue for these talks,
 and that the Six Party Talks are no longer an option. End Summary.
¶2. (S) Poloff met with MFAT Deputy Director for
Asian Affairs J. Sukhee on August 12 to discuss Mongolia’s
 annual bilateral consultations with the DPRK. Sukhee was
present at the consultations and has been involved with
Korean affairs as a diplomat since 1985. Sukhee was candid
 in his meetings with poloff, referring repeatedly and openly
to his handwritten notes from the DPRK consultations.
¶3. (S) Sukhee indicated that VFM Kim met with MFAT
State Secretary Tsogtbaatar for the consultations
and also held a separate meeting with President Elbegdorj
on the margins Monday. The Mongolian Deputy Foreign Minister
 was to lead this latter meeting but was unable due to an
obligation. Sukhee said the meetings were notable for several
 reasons: the DPRK delegation did not read from a prepared script,
 they were not aggressive and made no criticism of the United States,
 and they criticized China and Russia “three or four times”
for supporting recent UN Resolutions aimed at the DPRK.
What follows in paras 4 through 12 is Sukhee’s description
 to poloff of the DPRK’s statements during the course of the
¶4. (S) VFM Kim said the DPRK is spending too much on
 weapons rather than on its children, but that the
current reality dictates that they cannot get away
from weapons for now. Kim said the DPRK is not a threat
and was only interested in self-protection.
The Mongolian side expressed concern that a nuclear
DPRK could lead to a nuclear ROK, Japan, Syria, and Iran,
and urged that the Mongolian nuclear-free model could serve
as an example. Kim stated the United States would not allow Japan
 or the ROK to go nuclear and that the DPRK is committed to peace
 and denuclearization.
¶5. (S) The Mongolians offered the example of the
Soviet Union and the United States during the Reagan-Gorbachev era,
 when the two allowed for nuclear inspections, leading to improved
 trust and a reduction in the number of warheads.
 The Mongolians stated that if they were in the DPRK’s place now,
 they would allow inspections, which would lead to mutual
confidence and improved relations. The DPRK side offered no
reaction to the suggestion.
¶6. (S) The DPRK side said what is most important is for
 the United States and the DPRK to come up with a “common language,”
 a “non-aggression agreement,” and establishment of diplomatic
 relations. Kim stated if the sides can take such measures,
then denuclearization will be possible and easy, and that relations
 with Japan and the ROK will normalize thereafter.
¶7. (S) The Mongolian side counseled that recent “provocations”
(this is Sukhee’s word to poloff; another word may have been used
in the consultations) such as the missile test meant that the
 present situation was very fragile, and that the DPRK should
be careful not to present the wrong signal. Kim agreed that the
DPRK must be careful and must build confidence.
The Mongolians stated that even if one has peaceful intentions,
 one can be seen as provocative.
¶8. (S) Regarding former President Clinton’s recent travel to
the DPRK to secure of the release of the two journalists, Kim
 said this action had been prepared for a long time, meaning
the groundwork for such a visit was already in place because
of the progress the United States and the DPRK made during the
Clinton presidency. Kim said forward motion stopped during the
 Bush Administration but was now able to proceed because
of President Clinton’s recent involvement in a personal capacity,
 because President Obama is of the same party, and because
former First Lady Clinton is now the Secretary of State.
 The North Koreans were expecting a dialogue with the United States
 to start soon as an extension of President Clinton’s visit.
¶9. (S) Kim asked the Mongolians to support a U.S.-DPRK
dialogue (Sukhee described Kim as “enthusiastic” at this point),
 and he stated “there are no eternal enemies in this world.”
¶10. (S) Kim took a “very hard line” on the Six Party Talks
according to Sukhee, stating that the DPRK will never return
to the talks, that the talks were dead, but that the door has
 not closed on an opportunity for negotiations.
During discussion of the Six Party Talks, Kim criticized
Russia and China for their support of recent UN resolutions
 aimed at the DPRK. Kim said Japan and the ROK were natural
allies of the United States during the talks, and that Russia
 and China ended up supporting the other three, so that the DPRK
 felt it was five against one. Kim stated the real intention of
 the Six Party Talks was to destroy the DPRK regime, and that at
 present the DPRK wants to talk only to the United States.
¶11. (S) Sukhee also provided insight into Kim’s meeting with
 Elbegdorj on August 10: Kim refrained from criticizing the
 United States and stated the DPRK would be happy if the GOM
could support a U.S.-DPRK dialogue “in the international arena
” Kim said to Elbegdorj, “We are telling you all this because
 Mongolia understand us.” Kim reiterated the notion that there
is a “good personal understanding” between former President
 Clinton and DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il.