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04DJIBOUTI1543 2004-12-03 07:27:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Djibouti
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					C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DJIBOUTI 001543 



E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/03/2014

REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D).

1. (C) In a meeting with President Ismail Omar Guelleh
December 2 on other matters (reviewed septels), Ambassador
also sought Guelleh's views on regional Horn of Africa
developments. Topics covered included the new Ethiopian
five-point peace proposal, Eritrean isolation and meddling in
Darfur, Libya as regional spoiler, the new Somalia
transitional president and the future of Somaliland.
Pol/Econ accompanied Ambassador as notetaker. Guelleh was
joined by his Minister of the Presidency, Osman Ahmed.




2. (C) On Meles's new five-point proposal to end its conflict
with Eritrea, Guelleh noted that it very heavily used the
term "in principle." Meles had told him, Guelleh said, the
hardest part of his work was done in putting forward the
five-point plan. Now, he can look towards getting demarcation
implemented. However, Guelleh said, while getting
demarcation implemented, it is important to open the door for
discussion on how to solve the problem of Badme being now
divided into two parts. There might be human tragedies along
the border that need resolution, and it would be crucial to
determine who is responsible. The two leaders must talk
directly, he said, despite the fact that Eritrea has
denounced the five-point proposal outright. He urged the
U.S. to play a critical role because of its friendly
relationship with both Ethiopia and Eritrea. Eritrea's
Isaias is very isolated, Guelleh said. A third party--
Libya-- one of the few friends Isaias has remaining in the
region, had entered the mix. The U.S. should put pressure on
Libya to assist with peace efforts because of that close
relationship, Guelleh said.

3. (C) Guelleh said he thought Isaias was now meddling in
Darfur, arming rebels in an effort to de-stabilize Sudan. He
said he believed this meddling is at the behest of Libya, as
the arms being provided are of Libyan origin. He
re-emphazied that it is important for the U.S. to put
pressure on Libya. He also remarked that Isaias's actions
had no logic. "He has enough problems in Eritrea that he
needs to solve rather than looking elsewhere," Guelleh said.
Guelleh was firm in his opinion that it would not be wise to
give Isaias the impression that his behavior and actions
against peace are condoned.




4. (C) Ambassador asked Guelleh for his perspective on the
current government in Sudan, and what impact a change in
leadership might have on the country's future. Guelleh
stated that in his opinion, Bashir had changed focus. He had
abandoned old friends, mentors and policies because he wanted
to seek greater normalcy for his country. This is one reason
Bashir has been open to genuine dialogue between North and
South, Guelleh assessed, and had worked to remove extremists
from his army and administration. Guelleh also commented
that he did not see any other leader currently on the scene
in Sudan that could lead the country. If elections were held
today, Bashir would likely be elected by the majority of the
people, Guelleh surmised. He cautioned again, however, about
Libya. He said Qaddafi has long had an interest in
de-stabilizing Sudan, Chad, and the Central African Republic
and continues that policy.


Somalia and Abdillahi Yusuf


5. (C) Guelleh noted that Yusuf had begun to form his
government and that he appeared to be selecting other
warlords. He then said he wanted to watch the reactions of
Somalis in the diaspora. He did not think they would like
Yusuf very much. He said the approach to peace during the
Arta Conference that Djibouti had hosted in 2000 was to keep
the warlords out and to engage civil society. That did not
work, Guelleh said, but it would take time to see if Yusuf's
plan of engaging warlords would fare better.

6. (C) Guelleh said it was critical that the U.S. support
Yusuf. He could not succeed without that support. If the
Europeans see the U.S. supporting Yusuf, they would respond
in kind. He said it was unfortunate that the U.S. refused to
permit Yusuf to travel to New York. Ambassador noted that
the U.S. position has been that it wants Yusuf to concentrate
first on building a government and that building a government
could then be followed by perhaps addressing other issues
such as support for an African Union peacekeeping force in




7. (C) Asked about the future of Somaliland and Djibouti's
view of Somaliland, Guelleh said the international community
must push Somaliland to create a climate suitable for talks
with its brethren in the south. Ambassador noted the
firmness of FM Edna Ismail on Somaliland remaining an
independent entity. Guelleh said Somaliland must be
persuaded to rejoin the Somalia body, perhaps in the form of
a federation, but to rejoin all the same. (Comment: The idea
of a federation has long been put forward by Djibouti but it
is unclear what form it would take. End comment) He said
Somaliland has, to its credit, been stable, yet that
stability has been the result of it being comprised of a
single tribe. "We cannot encourage the idea of secession," he
said. If we give Somaliland the green light to go its
separate way, many countries will follow suit. Guelleh
confirmed that this was also the position of the African

8. (U) Khartoum and Tripoli minimize considered.