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06RABAT1979 2006-10-20 17:24:00 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Rabat
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1. (SBU) Immediately following intensive meetings in DC
(October 11-13) to discuss the government of Morocco's (GOM)
autonomy plans for the Western Sahara (reftels A, B), the
delegation headed to various capitals. The delegation went
to Paris, where they were met by President Jacques Chirac.
The fact of this visit and French support for Morocco was
widely reported in the press. According to press and an
October 20 meeting with MFA International Organizations Chief
Nasser Bourita, Foreign Minister Benaissa, accompanied by
Environment Minister Mohamed El Yazeghi, went on to Moscow
where they met with FM Lavrov and NSC head Ivanov
Minister-Delegate Taieb Fassi Fihri, was dispatched to London
at the end of the week with Mohamed Laenser, Minister of
Agriculture. JED Chief and Palace intimate Mansuri went to
Latin America, stopping in Peru and Argentina. Abass El
Fassi, Minister and the Secretary-General of the Istiqlal
political party and Ambassador to Geneva Loulichki went to
Beijing; Nabil Benabdallah, the Minister of Communication,
traveled to Ghana and the Democratic Congo, at the same,
although he was not part of the DC delegation.

2. (C) Bourita told Polcouns the messages carried by the
delegations were different. The delegations were much more
open with the U.S. France and the U.K., sharing Morocco's
aspirations and difficulties in its search for a negotiated
settlement. With the others, they were mostly in a defensive
mode, attempting to stave off unfriendly amendments to the
resolution, like insertion of a human rights mandate for
MINURSO. The Russians, like most interlocutors, were mostly
in a listening mode and looked to see how discussions
unfolded in New York. Bourita specifically noted that Morocco
appreciated the movement in the U.S.-tabled UNSCR draft of
the mention of a negotiated solution from the preamble to an
operative paragraph.

2. (C) Comment: Using this international lobbying system is
"business as usual" for the GOM. Throughout 2005 and the
first part of 2006, members of the GOM traveled extensively
throughout Central and South America and sub-Saharan Africa
to garner support. The work of the delegations got easier by
midweek with the tabling of the U.S. draft, but the goal of
staving off unfavorable amendments remains important for
them. End Comment.
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