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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
04DJIBOUTI364 2004-03-11 13:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Djibouti
Cable title:  

DJIBOUTI'S FM ON CAMP LEMONIER LEASE RENEWAL

Tags:   PREL PGOV PINR MOPS MARR DJ 
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					C O N F I D E N T I A L DJIBOUTI 000364 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF, AF/E, AF/RSA
PARIS FOR NEARY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/11/2014
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR MOPS MARR DJ
SUBJECT: DJIBOUTI'S FM ON CAMP LEMONIER LEASE RENEWAL

REF: A. DJIBOUTI 298 B. DJIBOUTI 123

Classified By: Ambassador Marguerita Ragsdale.
Reasons 1.4 (b), (d), and (e).



1. (C) In a meeting with Djibouti's Foreign Minister Ali Abdi
Farah on March 10, Farah contradicted information we reported
(reftel A) that placed authority for negotiations on the Camp
Lemonier base lease renewal within the Ministry of
Presidential Affairs. Farah also denied that Ambassador
Olhaye would be his country's primary interlocutor.



2. (C) According to Farah, negotiations would be "led" by his
Ministry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through what he
called in French a "commission" (committee or commission) of
four persons established for military coordination. The names
of those members are M. Mohamed Ali Hassan, Director of
Bilateral Relations in the MFA, Colonel Abdo Abdi Dembil,
Defense Advisor to President Guelleh, Colonel Osman Soubagleh
of the Djibouti Armed Forces, and Abdourahman Boreh, Economic
Adviser to the President.



3. (C) Actually, the entity about which Farah spoke has been
in existence since October of 2003. This embassy received,
in that time frame, a diplomatic note announcing the
commission's establishment. USLO Chief has met weekly with
the group to coordinate on security assistance issues. Boreh
was not part of the original list and was only added the
first part of January of 2004. He continues to be the most
active interlocutor on military issues. (See Reftel B)



4. (C) Comment: This makes three possibilities, and
counting, for Djiboutian dialogue with the U.S. on base lease
renewal. Despite the denials of Farah, though, we are
hard-pressed to see talks without a role in some manner for
Ambassador Olhaye. He is present in Washington and is
expected to continue his engagement. If the confusion is
indicative of anything, it is that Djibouti's own internal
tensions over who will take charge of renewal talks will add
another hurdle to those we must overcome as we enter what
probably will be tough lease negotiations. End comment.

RAGSDALE