Viewing cable 08PANAMA169
Title: PANAMA: KOSOVO STATEMENT RELEASED BY COUNCIL ON

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08PANAMA1692008-02-27 00:31:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Panama
VZCZCXYZ0000
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DE RUEHZP #0169/01 0580031
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 270031Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY PANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1764
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0311
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L PANAMA 000169 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/26/2018 
TAGS: PREL PGOV UNMIK UN UNSC YI EU PM
SUBJECT: PANAMA:  KOSOVO STATEMENT RELEASED BY COUNCIL ON 
FOREIGN RELATIONS 
 
REF: PANAMA 126 
 
Classified By: POLCOUNS Brian R. Naranjo.  Reason:  1.4 (d). 
 
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Summary 
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¶1. (C) Panama "imposes upon itself a position of neutrality 
that favors dialogue between the parties," Panama's National 
Council on Foreign Relations (CONAREX) in its press release 
on February 25.  First VP and FM Samuel Lewis told Ambassador 
February 21 that he would convene this advisory council on 
February 25 to study the issue of recognizing Kosovo, to make 
a recommendation, and to "provide cover" for Panama's 
eventual recognition of Kosovo. CONAREX's statement, however, 
provides little -- if any -- cover for such recognition, but 
rather laments that "actual events did not follow the road" 
to a consensual agreement and notes that "peaceful 
co-existence among human beings above that of 
political-geographic interests."  In light of the violent 
demonstrations in Belgrade and Banja Luka against 
international recognition of Kosovo, Panama is less likely 
now to recognize Kosovo soon.  At a minimum, Panama will 
likely delay recognition until it no longer holds the 
presidency of the UN Security Council (UNSC).  End summary. 
 
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CONAREX Statement 
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¶2. (U) Begin text of unofficial translation: 
 
Council on Foreign Relations Examines the Topic of Kosovo 
 
Panama, 25 February 2008 
 
The First Vice President and Minister of Foreign Relations, 
Samuel Lewis Navarro, called today a National Council of 
Foreign Relations meeting to analyze the situation in Kosovo 
as the result of its unilateral declaration of independence. 
 
The members of the Council praised the position taken by the 
government of Panama to call for caution in the management of 
these sensitive international topics because, since Panama is 
presiding over the UN Security Council, such a position 
"imposes upon itself a position of neutrality that favors 
dialogue between the parties." 
 
"Panama maintains the position of promoting the direct 
dialogue between the parties with the help of European 
facilitators within the framework of the United Nations, 
based on Chapter VII of its Charter, because the solution 
should not only be regional but should be framed with respect 
to the principles of the UN Charter," Lewis Navarro said. 
 
As a result of our posture favoring dialogue, Panama has 
called for several meetings (Note:  ostensibly in the UNSC) 
to analyze Kosovo.  After Kosovo's declaration of 
independence, and upon "urgent" requests from the Russian and 
Serbian delegations, Panama held debates on February 14 and 
also on February 18, explained the Foreign Minister. 
 
The following members attended this XVI National Council on 
Foreign Relations meeting where the Kosovo situation was 
discussed exclusively:  Jorge Eduardo Ritter, Ricardo Arias 
Calderon, Eloy Alfaro, Nicolas Gonzalez Revilla, Gladys 
Bandiera and Juan David Morgan.  Legislator Abraham Martinez 
attended as a special guest. 
 
In a press release, Panama expressed that it would have 
preferred that, under the auspices of the international 
community, Serbia and Kosovo would have found a negotiated 
formula to address their differences.  Panama had acted with 
determination to procure a consensual solution but current 
actions showed that such a path was not followed. 
 
Before this reality, it is necessary that all of us give 
priority to peaceful co-existence among human beings above 
that of political-geographic interests, states the press 
release. 
 
End text. 
 
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Comment 
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¶3. (C) During a stop at the MFA on February 19, DG for 
External Affairs Javier Bonagas told IO visitor Ambassador 
Rees that Panama was unlikely to recognize Panama before it 
stepped down from the UNSC Presidency at the end of February. 
 Ambassador quickly pushed back with Lewis on the same day 
noting that recognition in March would not be "soon after the 
Europeans," as previously promised; Lewis quickly disowned 
Bonagas' remarks, noting that they were his "personal view." 
On February 21, Lewis informed Ambassador that CONAREX would 
be convened to provide advice and more importantly political 
cover for Panama to recognize Kosovo "before the end of 
February."  In retrospect, Bonagas was probably expressing 
Panama's true views very clearly.  CONAREX's lackluster 
statement provides little "political cover" for the FM and 
indeed diminishes the likelihood that Panama will recognize 
Kosovo soon.  The outbreaks of violent demonstrations, 
primarily in Belgrade but also in Banja Luka, have made a gun 
shy Panama even more hesitant to recognize Kosovo soon.  Not 
wishing to upset anybody by recognizing Kosovo, Panama wants 
to wait until it can safely do so without drawing any 
attention.  Embassy will continue to press Panama to 
recognize Kosovo soon. 
ARREAGA