Cable 215977

En una cita entre el Canciller ecuatoriano, Fander Falconí, y la Embajadora de los EE.UU en Ecuador, Heather Hodges, se analizaron diversos aspectos de las relaciones bilaterales. Hodges enfatizó el deseo de su gobierno de lograr el  acuerdo llamado gas and go, para permitir a aeronaves con tareas antinarcóticas recargar combustible en aeropuertos ecuatorianos.

id:

215977

date:

7/9/2009 23:35

refid:

09QUITO570

origin:

Embassy Quito

classification:

CONFIDENTIAL

destination:

09QUITO306|09STATE47202|09STATE62142

header:

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB
 
DE RUEHQT #0570/01 1902335
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 092335Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY QUITO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0609
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 8245
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 4213
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 3627
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ JUL LIMA 3298
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL 4463
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

 
----------------- header ends ----------------
 
C O N F I D E N T I A L QUITO 000570 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/09/2019 
TAGS: PREL, SNAR, EAID, SENV, MARR, CVIS, EC 
SUBJECT: FM FALCONI WITH AMBASSADOR ON BILATERAL DIALOGUE, 
GAS-AND-GO 
 
REF: A. STATE 62142 
     B. STATE 47202 
     C. QUITO 306 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Heather Hodges for Reasons 1.4 
(b, d) 
 
1.  (C) Summary:  GOE officials laid out their thinking on 
the Bilateral Dialogue, including a new, so far poorly 
defined, security pillar, in a July 8 meeting with the 
Ambassador.  The Ambassador emphasized the USG desire to move 
forward as soon as possible.  She raised U.S. interest in a 
gas-and-go arrangement to allow U.S. counter-narcotics 
flights out of Ecuadorian coastal airports, a subject with 
which the GOE officials appeared unfamiliar.  Other subjects 
included the draft agreements for USG support to specialized 
police units, the delays in discussing the annual USAID 
agreement, tax exemptions for FOL vehicles, and visas for 
recipients of GOE medical assistance.  End summary. 
 
2.  (U) Meeting participants included Foreign Minister Fander 
Falconi, Coordinating Minister for Internal and External 
Security Miguel Carvajal, MFA Vice Minister for Foreign Trade 
and Integration Ramon Espinel, Government and Police Ministry 
Under Secretary Franco Sanchez, MFA Bilateral Affairs Under 
Secretary Jorge Orbe, and MFA North America Director General 
Ambassador Juan Salazar.  PolCouns accompanied the Ambassador. 
 
3.  (C)  Falconi described his and Minister Carvajal's June 
12 meeting with the Secretary as fruitful and constructive. 
He highlighted the main topics of discussion, including a 
letter he had given to the Secretary outlying a proposal for 
a trade agreement for development. He said immigration issues 
had also been discussed. Falconi mentioned that the two sides 
seemed to share the same vision in regard to using the 
Bilateral Dialogue as a venue to address issues.  He noted 
that his trade proposal had been favorably received and that 
their Ambassador in Washington had sent subsequent reports of 
positive reactions to their proposal.  Falconi also noted 
that during the trip he had taken Minister Carvajal to drive 
by Bethesda/Chevy Case High School, which he attended for 
three years of high school. 
 
NEXT STEPS ON BILATERAL DIALOGUE 
 
4.  (C) The Ambassador emphasized that the USG wants to move 
forward on the Bilateral Dialogue and its working groups 
without losing time.  (Note:  Falconi did not make himself 
available to see the Ambassador on this subject until some 
time after the embassy requested the meeting.  End note.) 
The Ambassador pointed out that officials from the Andean 
Affairs and Economic Policy and Summit Coordination offices 
planned to visit Quito this month to prepare for the 
Bilateral Dialogue.  She said the USG also planned to send 
official(s) for further discussions in August. 
 
5.  (C) Falconi told the Ambassador that the GOE had held an 
internal meeting in preparation for the Bilateral Dialogue 
earlier that day.  Under Secretary Orbe said the GOE would 
like to have four working groups -- security, trade and 
investment, cooperation and technical assistance, and "human 
mobility" (formerly called migration affairs) ) to discuss 
agenda items and how the two sides would move forward on 
"negotiations" (sic).  Orbe suggested that the Bilateral 
Dialogue plenary meeting be held in mid-September. 
 
6.  (C) The Ambassador welcomed Orbe's suggestions.  She 
explained that Embassy turnover and gaps would complicate the 
Embassy's participation in working groups in some areas, 
saying an October plenary meeting would be more realistic for 
the USG.  The Ambassador asked that the MFA provide proposed 
dates in late July for the visit of Washington officials. 
 
GOE PROPOSES NEW SECURITY PILLAR FOR DIALOGUE 
 
7.  (C) The Ambassador asked for more information on the 
security pillar, which would replace the former pillar on 
promotion of human development and reduction of poverty. 
Minister Carvajal replied that the GOE concept of security 
was a broad one, going beyond the traditional subjects.  He 
listed narcotics trafficking, domestic and international 
criminal bands, money laundering, kidnapping, and UNASUR's 
Defense Ministers Council.  He also included trafficking in 
persons (because it exposed Ecuadorians to threats), the 
regional situation (focused on guaranteeing democracy), and 
climate change in the Andean region (because droughts and 
floods were threats). 
 
8.  (C) The Ambassador requested a written explanation of GOE 
thinking on this pillar, noting that the USG planned an 
interagency meeting on the Bilateral Dialogue the following 
week in Washington and that we needed to understand what the 
GOE had in mind so that the officials who planned to visit 
Quito could receive appropriate instructions from other 
offices and agencies.  Carvajal agreed to try to provide 
something in writing. 
 
GAS-AND-GO PROPOSAL 
 
9.  (C) The Ambassador raised USG interest in a gas-and-go 
agreement, stressing that President Rafael Correa had 
responded favorably when she brought up the subject with him 
in January.  She said that she had met once with then MFA 
Under Secretary for Sovereignty Affairs Jaime Barberis on the 
subject, but that it had been on hold since February (when 
two Embassy officials were expelled).  The Ambassador asked 
Falconi to authorize the new Under Secretary of Sovereignty 
Affairs, Claudia Donoso, to resume these discussions with us. 
 
10.  (C) Surprisingly, Falconi and other GOE officials in the 
meeting appeared not to be familiar with gas-and-go.  The 
Ambassador explained the concept and cited other countries 
where we had similar agreements.  Of those in the meeting, 
Minister Carvajal appeared the most skeptical about the idea, 
asking whether this meant U.S. intelligence officers would be 
on the flights and whether the flights would be over land as 
well as water.  The Ambassador responded that the crew would 
not normally be intelligence officers and that the area to be 
covered was the eastern Pacific ocean, not Ecuadorian 
territory.  She noted that FOL flights had never flown over 
Ecuador.  Carvajal promised to raise the issue with President 
Correa.  The Ambassador said she would provide information in 
writing on gas-and-go this week.  (Embassy is providing the 
nonpaper in Ref B.) 
 
AGREEMENTS ON VETTED UNITS 
 
11.  (C) Ministry of Government Under Secretary Sanchez 
raised the agreements under discussion for resuming or 
continuing USG support for specialized police units.  He 
expressed interest in concluding the agreements as soon as 
possible so that funds would be available in the new USG 
fiscal year starting in October.  The Ambassador explained 
that the Embassy had completed translations of the draft 
agreements and that in our view there were only a few points 
that needed further discussion.  She mentioned handling of 
equipment the USG provided if the agreement were terminated, 
protection of information in case of auditing, and slight 
revisions to provisions governing polygraphing. 
 
USAID PROPOSED AGREEMENT AND OTHER ISSUES 
 
12.  (C) The Ambassador flagged the problems that the 
Embassy's USAID mission had encountered with the GOE's Agency 
for International Cooperation (AGECI).  USAID provided AGECI 
on May 5 a draft amendment to its 2007 agreement, which would 
allow expenditure of FY2009 funds during FY2010.  She 
explained that USAID had sought numerous times to communicate 
with the AGECI director to discuss the agreement, but without 
success.  PolCouns pointed out that USAID sought not to 
dictate the text without changes, but rather to begin a 
dialogue on the subject.  (AGECI is part of the GOE's 
National Planning Secretariat; a similar agency used to be 
within the MFA.) 
 
13.  (C) GOE interlocutors in the meeting appeared genuinely 
distressed at the Ambassador's report.  Falconi assured her 
that the MFA would speak to the AGECI director immediately to 
facilitate a response.  The Ambassador warned that if the 
USAID funds were not obligated via such an amendment, 
Washington might remove the funds and use them elsewhere. 
She noted that USAID used to obligate funds directly through 
agreements with contractors, but under the Correa 
administration had worked via agreement with the GOE. 
Falconi appeared to appreciate the coordination. 
 
14.  (C) At the close of the meeting, Director General 
Salazar touched briefly on two other topics.  The first was 
an agreement between the two countries on visa requests by 
 
individuals whose medical care in the U.S. would be funded by 
the GOE.  (The Ambassador made clear to Salazar on the way 
out that the U.S. could not guarantee visa issuance, but 
could take into account the GOE commitment to pay medical 
costs.)  The second was the status of Embassy and MFA efforts 
to obtain tax exemptions for vehicles the Forward Operating 
Location in Manta planned to donate to local charities and 
GOE entities.  The Ambassador described this as 95 percent 
resolved. 
 
COMMENT 
 
15.  (C) Some of the issues that Carvajal proposed for 
consideration under the Bilateral Dialogue's new security 
pillar already figured on the agenda under the previous four 
pillars, but several other issues did not.  Once we get a 
better description of the new topics that Carvajal suggested 
under the security pillar, we will have a better idea of 
whether they would be best managed as part of the Bilateral 
Dialogue or through other channels.  The GOE officials' lack 
of knowledge about the gas-and-go proposal appeared to be 
genuine, but was startling. (Note: Correa even mentioned his 
commitment to the Ambassador on television during his Feb 7 
outburst against our ICE employee whom he was expelling.) 
This illustrates once again Correa's tendency to make 
decisions without consultation with staff and the poor 
communication within the government and even ministries. It 
also demonstrates the GOE's limited ability to track USG 
priority issues, let alone move the ball forward. 
 
HODGES 
 
=======================CABLE ENDS============================