C O N F I D E N T I A L VILNIUS 000331
FOR IO/RHS, DRL/MLG, EUR/PGI
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/09/2017
TAGS: PHUM PREL LH BO
SUBJECT: LITHUANIA AGAINST BELARUS FOR HRC; MIXED ON BOSNIA
REF: A. STATE 63345
Â¶B. STATE 58036
Â¶C. STATE 64169
Classified By: Political/Economic Section Chief Rebecca Dunham for reas
ons 1.4 (b) and (d).
Â¶1. (C) We delivered ref A and B points to Darius Staniulis,
head of the MFA's Human Rights and NGOs Division, on May 10.
He said the GOL opposes Belarus's bid to become a member of
the HRC. He characterized as "very unlikely" the prospect
that Belarus would succeed, and noted the recent UNGA
resolution against Belarus. He added that the entire EU is
opposed to Belarus's candidacy and France and others are
considering tactics to defeat Belarus, especially in the
second and subsequent rounds of voting. He did caution that
Belarus has made itself "very visible" on Trafficking in
Persons and is positioning itself for a seat on the HRC.
Â¶2. (C) He stressed that Slovenia's successful candidacy is
the GOL's primary goal. He said that a Bosnian candidacy
would be "tricky" and could draw votes away from Slovenia,
because some countries might not vote for both Slovenia and
Bosnia because of their geographical proximity. He said the
GOL would use one of its first round votes for Slovenia and
the other would be for Bosnia or blank. Even with the
knowledge that Bosnia's candidacy is official (ref C),
Staniulis added in a follow-up on May 11 that the GOL's
voting decision about Bosnia will be made at the last minute
based on advice from the EU and EU member states.