|04DJIBOUTI1074||2004-08-09 13:48:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Djibouti|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
1. (U) Summary: Congressman Donald Payne and HIRC Ted Dagne
met with Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali Abdi Farah, 9
August 2004 during a visit to the Horn of Africa region.
PolOff and Charge Robert Gribbin accompanied Payne to
meetings with the Minister, President Guelleh (septel), and
French Ambassador Philip Selz (septel). Payne discussed the
situation in Darfur, development and the Global War on Terror
with the Minister. End Summary.
2. (U) Payne met first with Director of Bilateral Relations
at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mohamed Ali Hassan.
Hassan told Congressman Payne that Djibouti has seen
strengthened relations with the USG in the recent years. He
commended civil affairs actions in the remote regions of
Djibouti saying it is important to connect with the American
military and have interaction in daily life. Hassan said it
was good to see expanded political, economic and social
relations, as well as the return of USAID's development
programs. Hassan said that much of this was due to the work
of the Djiboutian Embassy in Washington and the American
Embassy in Djibouti. Payne agreed that Djibouti's Ambassador
Olhaye had been very effective in lobbying for legislation
that was reflective of the needs of African nations and that
he was well respected and active in his capacity as
representative to the United Nations.
3. (SBU) Hassan discussed briefly the impact the recent shift
in attention to smaller countries in Africa has had on
relations with the United States. He commented that the
level of activity and number of seminars specific to African
problems has increased and has shown a greater interest in
African nations. Hassan noted that the translation of
documents into French allowed a greater number of Francophone
Africans to more clearly understand the issues and objectives
of American foreign policy. Hassan also commented that the
American military presence in Djibouti has increased the
level of interest Djiboutians have in working and interacting
with Americans and learning English.
4. (U) Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali Abdi Farah, spoke in
Somali and French using Hassan as translator for the
Congressman. Farah emphasized the appreciation the GODJ has
for American actions to support and advance relations with
Africa, especially its friendship with Djibouti. He
commented that relations with the U.S. are excellent and GODJ
is grateful for the significant assistance in health, human
resources and education. Farah also commended the USAID
assistance targeted at making Djibouti a center for cattle
distribution in the region, which he said would reinforce
Djibouti's economy and advance its role in the region.
5. (C) Farah stated that the GODJ was grateful for the
efforts made and will of the USG to fight against terrorism.
He stated that it was a blind terrorism and it is necessary
to fight against it. GODJ feels that it does not show the
right face of Islam, is a danger to humanity and considers
the terrorist criminals that must be fiercely fought. He
also expressed Djibouti's determination to continue its
support for the Global War on Terror.
6. (C) When queried by Payne on suggestions to alleviate the
problems in Darfur, Farah replied that as a member country of
IGAD Djibouti was one of four countries to intervene in the
Southern conflict and work towards an signed peace agreement.
He said now that the crisis in Darfur has happened, the
countries of IGAD have taken it as a serious problem. He
stated that the American government, the international
community and now the Arab League are trying to move forward
and pressure the Sudanese government to stop the genocide in
Darfur. Farah stated that at an Arab League Foreign
Ministers meeting, the League requested that the Government
of Sudan put a stop to the situation in Darfur. He was very
clear that this is a new action for the Arab League to take
and said it was a positive step in the right direction.
Farah also stated that the African Union has made a decision,
which must be implemented, to send African intervention
forces. He said it was important to maintain pressure on the
Sudanese government. Payne agreed that it is a positive sign
for the Arab League to make a statement on the issue.