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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06RABAT734 2006-04-21 11:27:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Rabat
Cable title:  

WESTERN SAHARA: MOROCCANS NERVOUS ABOUT IMPENDING

Tags:   MO PBTS PHUM PREL 
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1. (C) Deputy FM Fassi Fihri telephoned the Ambassador late
afternoon April 20 to express concern about the contents of
the SYG's report on the Western Sahara, soon to be released,
as well as impending action on the Western Sahara by the UN
Security Council. Fassi Fihri understood that the Security
Council would likely pursue a six-month rollover, and that
the SYG report would call for a dialogue with the parties,
with Algeria and Mauritania participating as neighboring
states. He understood the SYG's report on Morocco was
negative, particularly in the area of human rights, but that
the report would call for a solution not to be imposed.
Fassi Fihri said Morocco was concerned about the report given
that Morocco needed time to do its "homework," i.e., carry
out its process of internal consultations regarding the
autonomy proposal. He also felt that the report was very
one-sided, failing to mention anything about unhelpful
speeches and comments from the Polisario and the GOA.



2. (C) Fassi Fihri believed Ambassador Bolton was in
Washington and was perhaps discussing reducing the rollover
period from six months. Ambassador Bolton had met with
Moroccan PermRep Sahel this week, Fassi Fihri said, and had
suggested that the rollover would be either six or nine
months. Fassi Fihri reiterated his points made to the
Ambassador during their April 17 meeting (reftel), insisting
the Moroccan autonomy project was "irreversible." Morocco
needed time for domestic consideration of the issue, he said.
Right now, he said, Morocco was focused on getting through
the end of April, after which the situation should ease.
Being taken to task for human rights violations would be a
catastrophe for Morocco, he said.



3. (C) Fassi Fihri was also very concerned at the prospect
that the SYG could not ask the Security Council to consider
autonomy for the Western Sahara because no country recognized
Morocco's sovereignty over the territory. He understood the
Algerian PermRep had met with UNSYG Annan and that the GOA
and Polisario very happy with the direction in which things
were moving.



4. (C) In light of this, Fassi Fihri said Morocco hoped it
could count on its friends to avoid negative language in the
resolution, which would play very badly in Morocco, including
in the press. He reiterated that the Moroccans had taken
good notes from their recent meetings in Washington; they
knew what had to be done: meet with the Polisario and work
hard on their autonomy proposal. Fassi Fihri closed by
hoping that the Ambassador was aware of the two-hour
television program on CORCAS the night of April 17, in which
CORCAS President Khali Henna had taken questions from
journalists and stated publicly that CORCAS was committed to
incorporating differing points of view, including reaching
out to the Polisario. The Ambassador said he was aware of
the program.



5. (C) The Ambassador received a second call from Fassi
Fihri at 1030 local time on April 21, asking for his
availability for a meeting at the MFA with the P-5,
presumably to reiterate the points made in his phone call the
previous day. The meeting is tentatively scheduled for 1300
local (0900 EDT). Post will report septel.
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Visit Embassy Rabat's Classified Website;
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/rabat
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Riley