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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05DJIBOUTI9 2005-01-02 14:37:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Djibouti
Cable title:  

DJIBOUTI TO HOST COMESA SUMMIT IN 2006; RWANDA IN

Tags:   ETRD EFIN ECON EAID PREL PGOV EAGR DJ RW 
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					UNCLAS DJIBOUTI 000009 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD EFIN ECON EAID PREL PGOV EAGR DJ RW
SUBJECT: DJIBOUTI TO HOST COMESA SUMMIT IN 2006; RWANDA IN

2005.

REF: A. DJIBOUTI 08

B. 2004 DJIBOUTI 958



1. (U) In the Ambassador's January 2 meeting with Djibouti's
Minister of Commerce and Industry, Saleban Omar Oudine
(reported Ref A), the Minister told the Ambassador that
Djibouti and Rwanda have switched dates for hosting the
annual Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
summit. Djibouti will now host the summit in 2006 (vice
2005), and Rwanda will host the summit in 2005 (vice 2006).
The reason for the change rests in Djibouti's inability to
provide adequate infrastructure, especially hotels, in time
for this year's summit.



2. (U) The Minister said he believed the decision to switch
the dates was a "wise" one, because it would be difficult for
Djibouti to focus on the necessary infrastructure
improvements as both presidential and regional elections are
slated to take place in the spring of 2005. Post notes the
decision despite backroom politicking by Djibouti to host the
summit before Rwanda (reftel B). Oudine added that the
inability to show off the Dorale port and the Djibouti Free
Zone, which are slated to become fully operational this
summer, was "disappointing."



3. (U) The Minister highlighted the popularity of the new
Dorale port in other COMESA countries. At a recent conference
in Kampala, several Ugandan businessmen expressed interest in
using the Free Zone for imports and exports. Oudine did not
specify the businesses, but hypothesized they would likely
use Uganda airways as the transport link for cargo between
Uganda and Djibouti. He said this is an attractive option
because companies currently using the Port of Mombassa for
imports and exports lose about 20 percent of their product
annually due to graft and damage.



4. Minimize considered for Bujumbura and Khartoum.
RAGSDALE