Viewing cable 07LISBON2443
Title: PORTUGUESE RESPONSE ON OCTOBER COMMUNITY OF

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07LISBON24432007-09-20 15:39:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Lisbon
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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6275
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RUEHPA/AMEMBASSY PRAIA 0227
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RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1490
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LISBON 002443 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR G (FERRARO) AND DRL/MLGA (PAZ) 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KDEM PHUM PREL PGOV PO
SUBJECT: PORTUGUESE RESPONSE ON OCTOBER COMMUNITY OF 
DEMOCRACIES MEETING 
 
REF: SECSTATE 129764 
 
This is an action request.  Please see para 7. 
 
 ¶1. (SBU) Summary: Portuguese MFA Deputy Director General for 
Foreign Policy Antonio Ricoca Freire concurred with the U.S. 
priorities for the October meeting (reftel) and reported that 
Portugal would probably be represented by its Ambassador in 
Washington due to Minister Amado's other commitments.  Ricoca 
Freire outlined Portugal's thoughts on assisting Mali with 
the Convening Group (CG) Ministerial, working with the new 
Secretariat, identifying a new leader after Portugal's 
 
SIPDIS 
leadership ends in 2009, and expanding the CG to include new 
members. End summary. 
 
¶2. (U) Ricoca Freire underscored Portugal's interest in 
sending high-level participation to the October 1 meeting but 
admitted that, given other EU commitments at that time, 
Minister Amado would not be able to attend.  He added that 
Secretary of State Cravinho was also scheduled to lead an 
 
SIPDIS 
interfaith dialogue, and predicted that the Portuguese 
Ambassador de Vallera would most likely represent Portugal at 
the meeting. 
 
¶3. (U) Turning to issues of institutional infrastructure, 
Ricoca Freire offered Portugal's thinking on how it could 
best support the Community of Democracies (CD).  Portugal has 
already offered Mali logistical assistance through the 
Portuguese embassy in Dakar.  The MFA agreed to assist with 
one of the following tasks: (1) renting vehicles for the 
November Ministerial, (2) providing computers, printers, and 
faxes for the office, or (3) funding the cost of a few 
interpreters.  Ricoca Freire had not received a response. 
For Portugal's upcoming Chairmanship of the Convening Group, 
the MFA plans to dedicate two or three people to CD issues 
full-time.  The GOP also has set aside a special budget for 
consultation trips to Warsaw, Washington DC, New York, and 
Geneva over the next two years.  Ricoca Freire confirmed 
Portugal's support for the newly-established Secretariat but 
underscored his hope that the body would become the 
institutional memory rather than a political force within the 
Community of Democracies. 
 
¶4. (U) Portugal's role in leading the inter-regional working 
group has officially passed to Romania, according to Ricoca 
Freire.  He said the Portuguese MFA sent a diplomatic note to 
Mali to confirm the transfer.  Romania has begun to lead the 
group and will report on its activities in Bamako. 
 
¶5. (SBU) Ricoca Freire asked to coordinate with the USG on 
two issues that the Portuguese plan to raise, either during 
the October 1 meeting or at the Bamako Ministerial: CG 
Chairmanship after 2009 and strategies to encourage new 
participation in the CG.  Thus far, Portugal has been unable 
to identify a nation interested in becoming the 2009-2011 CG 
Chair.  He confided that the GOP was disappointed by other CG 
members' lackluster responses and underscored his 
government's hope that a candidate would come forward before 
the Bamako Ministerial.  If no nation volunteered, it would 
make it difficult to work on projects beyond the two year 
horizon, and would look bad overall, he said.  The Portuguese 
embassy in DC has approached Mexican, Italian, Czech, and 
Mongolian diplomats as potential successors but has not yet 
received any commitments.  India, South Africa, and Cape 
Verde are not interested at this time.  Ricoca Freire 
requested U.S. support for the Portuguese embassy's efforts 
in order to get a firm commitment from one nation before 
November. 
 
¶6. (SBU) Ricoca Freire further related Portugal's interest in 
 
LISBON 00002443  002 OF 002 
 
 
creating a rotation schedule for the Convening Group so that 
new members from each region could join and participate.  He 
suggested that five members would volunteer to rotate in 
every two years to replace one other representative from the 
region, assuming no objection from the sitting CG.  By 
establishing this rotation process, Ricoca Freire predicted 
that the CG would benefit from fresh input, would be an 
all-new body every six years, and would become more flexible 
as an institution.  He added that the Secretariat and other 
ten CG nations could assist by providing institutional 
knowledge and continuity.  Portugal would like to get the 
U.S. reaction before presenting this concept publicly. 
 
¶7. (SBU) ACTION REQUEST: Post requests Department's views on 
Portugal's proposal to rotate Convening Group members as 
outlined in para 6.  Post also seeks guidance on how to best 
respond to the GOP's request for assistance in identifying a 
nation to serve as CG Chair for 2009 as per para 5.  Post 
appreciates the Department's assistance with these requests. 
 
Hoffman