S E C R E T OTTAWA 003656
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/13/2015
TAGS: MOPS PREL PTER KAWC PHUM PREF PINR CA
SUBJECT: CANADA: RESETTLEMENT OF CERTAIN REFUGEES
REF: (A) OTTAWA 003638 (NOTAL) (B) STATE 215194 (NOTAL)
Classified By: POLITICAL M/C BRIAN FLORA. REASON 1.4 (B) AND (D).
Â¶1. (U) This is an action message. See para 5.
Â¶2. (S) On December 13, Political Minister Counselor and
polmiloff raised the matter of Uighur resettlement with Tony
Burger, Assistant Secretary of the Global Affairs Secretariat
at the Privy Council Office (Burger reports to Jonathan
Fried, Senior Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister). Also
present were a member of Burger's staff and PCO Assistant
Secretary for Social Development Joan Atkinson, whose
responsibilities include refugees. DCM subsequently discussed
Uighurs with Jonathan Fried on the margins of another event.
Â¶3. (S) As none of our interlocutors was aware of USG's
earlier approaches on Uighurs, including the October
demarche, they could not give us a definitive response. We
provided background and left prior demarche points. Atkinson
confirmed that the side MOU to Safe Third would be the
appropriate vehicle for USG to request resettlement of
Uighurs in Canada. She and Burger requested the following
-- In light of their alleged past terrorist activities, do
any of the Uighurs meet conditions for protection under the
Geneva Convention? (This would be important for justification
to the public)
-- Canada would like information on any "serious" negative
responses from the countries USG has approached, i.e.
refusals based on a substantive concern.
-- Do any of the 15 have connections to (proscribed)
organizations in China?
Â¶4. (S) In his discussion with DCM, Fried did not say "no,"
but he did convey that taking in the Uighurs would be very
difficult for the government in the current campaign climate.
The impact on Canada's relationship with China was a strong
consideration, he said. Another concern was that these
individuals were "terrorists," albeit not directed against
the U.S. and its allies. (NOTE: Atkinson had noted that
unlike U.S. law, Canadian law does not "differentiate" among
terrorists based on putative target. END NOTE).
Â¶5. (S) ACTION REQUEST: DCM's discussion ended with a request
from Fried that security assurances regarding the Uighurs
(i.e. information to support why Uighur detainees are not a
threat to the U.S. and its allies) be conveyed to Canada via
ROAL channels. Department's assistance in coordinating this
request is appreciated.
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