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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03ROME208
2003-01-16 16:13:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Rome
Cable title:  

MFA EAST AFRICA DIRECTOR AND NSC AFRICA DIRECTOR

Tags:   PREL  KE  DJ  ER  ET  SO  IT  UN 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L ROME 000208 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/16/2008
TAGS: PREL KE DJ ER ET SO IT UN
SUBJECT: MFA EAST AFRICA DIRECTOR AND NSC AFRICA DIRECTOR
EXCHANGE VIEWS

CLASSIFIED BY: POL M C TOM COUNTRYMAN FOR REASON 1.5 (D)

C O N F I D E N T I A L ROME 000208

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/16/2008
TAGS: PREL KE DJ ER ET SO IT UN
SUBJECT: MFA EAST AFRICA DIRECTOR AND NSC AFRICA DIRECTOR
EXCHANGE VIEWS

CLASSIFIED BY: POL M C TOM COUNTRYMAN FOR REASON 1.5 (D)


1. (C) SUMMARY: MFA EAST AFRICA DIRECTOR PAOLA IMPERIALE
AND NSC AFRICA DIRECTOR MATTHEW MCLEAN EXCHANGED VIEWS ON A
BROAD RANGE OF EAST AFRICA ISSUES. THE TWO DISCUSSED SUPPORT
FOR THE NEW GOVERNMENT IN KENYA, POLICY REGARDING SOMALILAND,
THE ROLES OF DJIBOUTI AND ERITREA IN THE GWOT, AND THE
REGIONAL FOOD CRISIS. END SUMMARY.

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 ROME 00208 170922Z
--------------
KENYA: SUPPORTING THE NEW GOVERNMENT
--------------


2. (C) AT THE REQUEST OF MCLEAN, IMPERIALE AND HE MET
SATURDAY, JANUARY 11 FOR AN INFORMAL DISCUSSION OF EAST
AFRICA POLICY. ON KENYA, IMPERIALE MENTIONED THAT THE
ITALIAN PARLIAMENT HAS A PROJECT TO PROVIDE TECHNICAL ADVICE
TO THE KENYAN PARLIAMENT. MCLEAN AGREED THAT TECHNICAL
ASSISTANCE, GOOD GOK POLICY, AND PROGRESS AGAINST CORRUPTION
SHOULD PRECEDE A FULL AID PACKAGE.

-------------- --
SOMALILAND: "AUTONOMY WOULD BE VERY DANGEROUS"
-------------- --


3. (C) DISCUSSING HOW TO HELP SOMALILAND ABSENT PROGRESS
IN THE SOUTH, IMPERIALE EXPLAINED THE GOI VIEW THAT
OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZING SOMALILAND AUTONOMY "WOULD BE VERY
DANGEROUS." MOST IMPORTANTLY, SOMALILAND HAD "VOTED AWAY"
ITS RIGHT TO SOVEREIGNTY, AND UNDOING THE REFERENDUM WITHOUT
THE AGREEMENT OF A RECOGNIZED CENTRAL GOVERNMENT WOULD SET A
DANGEROUS PRECEDENT. FORMAL RECOGNITION WOULD CREATE
DIFFICULTIES IN THE SUDANESE PEACE PROCESS, BECAUSE ARAB
STATES WOULD FEAR THAT THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WOULD
THEREFORE APPROVE SOUTHERN SUDAN'S SECESSION OR AUTONOMY.
FURTHERMORE, SOMALIA HAD HUGE DEBTS. WHO WOULD BE
RESPONSIBLE FOR THEM IN THE EVENT OF FINANCIAL AUTONOMY? IN
ANY CASE, SOMALILAND WAS NOT AS DEMOCRATIC AS IT MIGHT AT
FIRST APPEAR. NEVERTHELESS, IMPERIALE CONCLUDED, THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY'S FAILURE TO PUSH SOMALILAND TO
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 ROME 00208 170922Z
PARTICIPATE IN THE PEACE PROCESS ALREADY CONSTITUTED "DE
FACTO RECOGNITION."

-------------- --------------
DJIBOUTI AND ERITREA: MINOR PARTNERS IN THE GWOT
-------------- --------------


4. (C) IMPERIALE SAID DJIBOUTI'S PRESIDENT WANTED TO BE
INVITED TO ROME BUT IMPLIED IT WAS A LOW PRIORITY FOR THE
GOI. MCLEAN SUGGESTED THE PRESIDENT STOP IN ROME ON THE WAY
TO HIS UPCOMING VISIT TO WASHINGTON. IMPERIALE ASKED WHETHER
THE USG WAS PLANNING TO INCREASE ITS SECURITY PRESENCE IN
DJIBOUTI. MCLEAN SAID THAT DJIBOUTI DID NOT HAVE THE
CAPACITY TO ABSORB A MUCH GREATER PRESENCE.


5. (C) IMPERIALE NOTED THAT ALTHOUGH ONLY ERITREA
IMPRISONED JOURNALISTS, MAKING IT LOOK MORE OPPRESSIVE THAN
ETHIOPIA, THERE WAS NO MORE PRESS FREEDOM IN ETHIOPIA BECAUSE
THE PRESS THERE WAS ENTIRELY GOVERNMENT OWNED. MCLEAN SAID
THAT BECAUSE OF THE IMPRISONED FSNS, THE USG WANTED TO GO
SLOWLY ON BUILDING TIES TO ASMARA BUT ALSO HAD TO CONSIDER
THE POSSIBILITY THAT ERITREAN ASSETS WOULD BE OF VALUE IN THE
GWOT.

-------------- --
AFRICA FOOD CRISIS: GOI FOCUSES ON EAST AFRICA
-------------- --


6. (C) IMPERIALE SAID THAT THE GOI WAS TRYING TO RAISE THE
PROFILE OF THE EAST AFRICAN FOOD CRISIS TO THE LEVEL OF
ATTENTION THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN FOOD CRISIS HAD RECEIVED.
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 ROME 00208 170922Z
ETHIOPIA'S ONE-PARTY STATE AND GOVERNMENT OWNERSHIP OF LAND
DISCOURAGED PRIVATE INVESTMENT, AND MCLEAN AND SHE AGREED ON
THE NEED FOR A LONG-TERM SOLUTION: AGRICULTURE REFORM IN
ETHIOPIA. IMPERIALE SAID THAT WHEN MELES CAME TO ROME IN
LATE FEBRUARY OR MARCH, THE GOI WOULD TRY TO GET HIM TO "GIVE
UP HIS COMMUNIST IDEAS."


7. (C) WITH REGARD TO SECURITY ISSUES, IMPERIALE NOTED THAT
THE COUNTRIES OF THE REGION DID NOT SHARE INTELLIGENCE
BECAUSE OF RACIAL SUSPICIONS. ("ETHIOPIANS CONSIDER
THEMSELVES HISTORICALLY SUPERIOR," SHE SAID.) FINALLY, THE
ETHIOPIANS "ATTACH GREAT IMPORTANCE TO AMERICAN INVOLVEMENT
IN THE ELDORET PEACE PROCESS FOR THE SECURITY OF THE REGION."


8. (U) NSC DIRECTOR MCLEAN DID NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO
CLEAR THIS CABLE.
SKODON

CONFIDENTIAL

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2003ROME00208 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL