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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
02ROME1511 2002-03-25 15:50:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Rome
Cable title:  

ITALY ON ZIMBABWE: PEER PRESSURE BEST HOPE FOR

Tags:   PREL PGOV PHUM ETTC OPDC SA ZI IT SADC 
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1. (C) MFA'S OFFICE DIRECTOR FOR SOUTHERN AFRICAN AFFAIRS
REPLIED TO OUR RECENT DEMARCHE AND LETTER ON ZIMBABWE. THE
GOI SHARES THE EU POINT OF VIEW THAT CONDEMNATIONS AND
SANCTIONS ARE NECESSARY. HOWEVER, MARINI BELIEVES THAT THEY
WILL PROBABLY PROVE INSUFFICIENT TO FORCE CHANGE. THE ROLE
OF REGIONAL ACTORS IS KEY, AND SOUTH AFRICA POSSESSES
ECONOMIC LEVERS THAT CAN INFLUENCE MUGABE. THE U.S. AND EU
NEED TO CONSULT CLOSELY AND CONVINCE REGIONAL STATES TO PLAY
A CONSTRUCTIVE ROLE. THE EU WILL MONITOR LEGAL AND POLITICAL
DEVELOPMENTS AND CONSIDER ADDITIONAL "SMART SANCTIONS." END
SUMMARY.



2. (U) ON MARCH 14 POLOFF DELIVERED REF B DEMARCHE ON
ZIMBABWE'S ELECTION. POST DELIVERED REF C LETTER TO PM
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 ROME 01511 01 OF 02 252356Z
BERLUSCONI FROM SECRETARY POWELL ON THE CRISIS IN ZIMBABWE
MARCH 6. IN A MARCH 21 MEETING, CONSIGLIERE GIORGIO MARINI,
MFA OFFICE DIRECTOR FOR SOUTHERN AFRICA, PROVIDED THE
FOLLOWING RESPONSE AND INSIGHTS:

ITALY SUPPORTS THE EU POSITION, BUT ...


--------------------------





3. (C) MARINI EXPLAINED THAT THE GOI FULLY SUPPORTED THE
EU POSITION ON ZIMBABWE. RECALLING THE FEB. 18 EU DECISION
TO IMPOSE SANCTIONS, MARINI SAID THE GOI VIEWED THESE
MEASURES AS A NECESSARY RESPONSE TO THE GOZ'S REFUSAL TO GIVE
GROUND ON PRESS AND JUDICIAL FREEDOMS DURING A DIALOGUE WITH
THE EU BASED ON THE COTONOU AGREEMENT. THE EU APPROACH WAS
CALIBRATED TO AVOID WEAKENING THE IMPACT OF INTERNATIONAL
OPPOSITION TO MUGABE'S ACTIONS BY LEAVING AN OPENING TO THOSE
WHO WOULD PAINT IT AS NEO-IMPERIALISM. HOWEVER, MARINI'S
PERSONAL OPINION WAS THAT EU SANCTIONS WERE UNLIKELY TO BRING
ABOUT DEMOCRATIC CHANGE.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PEER PRESSURE


--------------------------





4. (C) WHAT COULD BE MORE EFFECTIVE WOULD BE CONDEMNATION
OF MUGABE'S ACTIONS BY REGIONAL POWERS IN ADDITION TO THE
WEST. MARINI SUGGESTED THAT ZIMBABWE'S DEPENDENCE ON SOUTH
AFRICA FOR OIL AND GAS PROVIDED A KEY LEVER FOR PRESSURE.
SOUTH AFRICA'S IMPORTANCE AS A MARKET FOR ZIMBABWE GAVE IT
FURTHER LEVERAGE.



5. (C) ASKED WHY HE THOUGHT MBEKI HAD EVENTUALLY SUPPORTED
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 ROME 01511 01 OF 02 252356Z
THE COMMONWEALTH'S EXPULSION OF ZIMBABWE, MARINI CITED UK AND
U.S. PRESSURE AND SOUTH AFRICA'S KEY ROLE IN THE NEW ECONOMIC
PARTNERSHIP FOR AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT (NEPAD). ONLY WHEN HIS
"BACK WAS TO THE WALL" WAS MBEKI WILLING TO OVERCOME DOMESTIC
PRESSURES AND OPPOSE MUGABE. THE SITUATION WAS COMPLICATED
FOR THE GSA, BECAUSE, ON THE ONE HAND, MUGABE HAD STOOD WITH
THE ANC AGAINST APARTHEID IN SPITE OF HIS PERSONAL RIVALRY
WITH MANDELA FOR THE LEADERSHIP OF SOUTHERN AFRICAN
DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY (SADC). ON THE OTHER HAND, SOUTH
AFRICA WANTED TO HEAD OFF A CIVIL WAR ON ITS BORDER CAUSED BY
POLITICAL OUTRAGE, IN ORDER TO AVOID AN INFLUX OF REFUGEES.
FURTHERMORE, MBEKI WANTED TO MAINTAIN AN UNTARNISHED
LEADERSHIP ROLE IN NEPAD, SINCE HE RECOGNIZED THAT THE KEY TO
AFRICA'S FUTURE WAS WESTERN PARTNERSHIP AND INVESTMENT.



6. (C) PER REF A, MARINI CALLED FOR CLOSE U.S.-EU
COORDINATION THAT INCLUDED NIGERIA AND SOUTH AFRICA. SUPPORT
OF AFRICAN AND LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES IN THE UNHCR COULD
ALSO PROVE IMPORTANT.



7. (C) MARINI PROVIDED A DRAFT COPY OF A REPLY FROM
BERLUSCONI TO SECRETARY POWELL THAT HAD NOT YET BEEN CLEARED
BY THE PM'S OFFICE. IT SAYS THAT BERLUSCONI SHARES U.S.
CONCERNS AND VIEWS ON THE LEGITIMACY OF THE ELECTION AND IS
PLEASED WITH THE RECENT COMMONWEALTH DECISION TO SUSPEND
ZIMBABWE. AN EU TROIKA WILL CONSULT WITH SADC COUNTRIES TO
IMPRESS UPON THEM THE NECESSITY TO STAND UP FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTO0475

PAGE 01 ROME 01511 02 OF 02 252356Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 ACQ-00 CA-01 CEA-01
CIAE-00 CIP-00 COME-00 CTME-00 INL-00 USNW-00 DODE-00
DOEE-00 DOTE-00 WHA-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EAP-00 EB-00
EUR-00 EXIM-01 E-00 FAAE-00 VC-00 FRB-00 H-01
TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 ITC-01 LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00
AC-01 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00
PC-01 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 SSO-00
SS-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 VO-03 R-00 EPAE-00
IIP-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-02 G-00 SAS-00
SWCI-00 /017W


--------------------------

7A5F78 252356Z /69
R 251550Z MAR 02
FM AMEMBASSY ROME
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 2929
INFO AMEMBASSY ABUJA
AMEMBASSY GABORONE
AMEMBASSY HARARE
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY LUANDA
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA
AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK
USEU BRUSSELS 2603
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 ROME 01511 02 OF 02 252356Z

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 ROME 001511

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/22/2007
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM ETTC OPDC SA ZI PGOV PHUM ETTC OPDC SA ZI IT SADC ITPREL SADC
SUBJECT: ITALY ON ZIMBABWE: PEER PRESSURE BEST HOPE FOR
DEMOCRACY

AND DEMOCRACY.

EU'S NEXT STEPS DEPEND ON MUGABE


--------------------------





8. (C) ASKED WHAT THE EU PROPOSED NOW, MARINI POINTED TO
THE CONCLUSIONS OF THE BARCELONA EUROPEAN COUNCIL (MARCH
15-16), WHICH STATE THAT THE EU "RESOLVES TO MONITOR
DEVELOPMENTS CLOSELY ... AND WILL CONSIDER POSSIBLE
ADDITIONAL TARGETED MEASURES" AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT OF
ZIMBABWE. THE EU WILL MONITOR THE ACTIONS TAKEN AGAINST
ARRESTED OPPOSITION LEADER TSVANGARAI AS WELL AS WHETHER
MUGABE FORMS A UNITY GOVERNMENT. POTENTIAL FUTURE EU STEPS
INCLUDE PLACING SANCTIONS ON THE SPOUSES AND CHILDREN OF THE
HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSERS SANCTIONED IN THE FEB. 18 DECISION.
SEMBLER

CONFIDENTIAL

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2002ROME01511 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL