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06USUNNEWYORK1440 2006-08-01 19:09:00 CONFIDENTIAL USUN New York
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DE RUCNDT #1440/01 2131909
O 011909Z AUG 06
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L USUN NEW YORK 001440 



E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/28/2016

Classified By: Amb. John Bolton. E.O. 12958. Reasons 1.4 (b/d)

1. (C) Summary: In a July 26 meeting at USUN with Personal
Envoy for Western Sahara Peter van Walsum, NEA/DAS Gordon
Gray explained current U.S. thinking on Western Sahara:
encouragement of the submission of a robust Moroccan autonomy
plan before the October expiration of the MINURSO mandate and
progress toward a Moroccan-Polisario dialogue. Consistent
with views expressed in our April MINURSO mandate renewal
Explanation of Vote, the U.S. will evaluate progress achieved
by parties by October before committing to another MINURSO
rollover. Van Walsum said that he plans to visit the region
in early September and said he believed that the idea of an
"end point" approach would be unacceptable to the Polisario
if the word "autonomy" were anywhere in a text. He
reiterated his view that the parties had to accept the
reality that the Security Council will not allow the Western
Sahara to become a Chapter 7 issue and that once that is
understood, only two options remain for the parties: direct
negotiation or impasse. The former he thought was preferable
but the latter more likely. Continuing, he said the
prevailing view by those beyond the immediate parties is that
the status quo is the less painful of these two options even
though negotiation would be preferable. Van Walsum said he
is leaning toward advocating a Moroccan-Polisario dialogue,
partly to call Algeria's bluff that it is not a party to the
dispute. Gray said that the Polisario leadership's response
to such a call would be a test of its claim of Sahwari
leadership. End Summary.

2. (C) The Secretary-General's Personal Envoy for Western
Sahara Peter van Walsum met July 26 at USUN with Ambassador
Sanders, NEA/DAS Gordon Gray and NEA/MAG Office Director
William Jordan. Van Walsum was in New York for four days to
renew his contract with the UN and to consult with interested
missions on the progress of his work. The joint USUN/NEA
meeting with van Walsum was arranged both to accommodate
travel schedules and to ensure the delivery of a strong
message to van Walsum who will be visiting the region and
Friends' capitals (Madrid, London and Paris) in the coming

U.S. Seeks Agreement on End Point;
Addressing the Principle of Self-Determination



3. (C) Gray told van Walsum that, following up on its
Explanation of Vote delivered at the adoption of the April
MINURSO rollover, the U.S. is working to seek "agreement on
an end point" in the Western Sahara issue that is acceptable
to all parties and addresses the principle of
self-determination. In pursuit of that goal, the U.S. is
encouraging Morocco to develop a credible autonomy proposal
and is considering how to facilitate the start of a
diplomatic process to achieve a resolution, including how to
get Morocco and the Polisario to engage in dialogue as soon
as possible. That said, the U.S. recognizes that there is a
fair amount of skepticism as to whether Morocco will actually
produce a credible plan.

4. (C) Gray said that the message to be sent to Morocco is
that it must move forward on a robust autonomy plan before
the expiration of the current MINURSO mandate on October 31.
Gray said that the U.S. has informed Morocco that such a plan
must have significant Polisario input to be both robust and
credible. The Moroccans, Gray stated, have said they are
receptive to Polisario input. The question is whether they
will produce a credible plan in a timely fashion. As for the
Polisario, how the Polisario senior leadership responds to
such a plan will be a test of its credibility and will
indicate whether it will stay with the old think or opt to
negotiate a new life for the people it represents. And
working with the Algerians will be difficult, Gray said.
Algerian officials, if pushed, concede that an independent
Sahrawi state is not likely, yet they remain fixated on
process and principle without being creative, though in the
end Algeria might be willing to encourage the Polisario to
engage in a dialogue. Summarizing the U.S. efforts, Gray
said that U.S. believes a solution will be difficult to
achieve but worth the effort. We all know what the solution
is going to look like. The challenge will be to create the
appropriate face-saving process to reach that solution. Gray
encouraged van Walsum in his travels to urge the parties to
action: Morocco on the importance of tabling a robust plan
soon and Polisario (and Algeria) on Polisario engaging in
dialogue with Morocco.

Van Walsum's Travel Plans, Strategy


5. (C) Discussing his work and travel plans, van Walsum said
that not only had he received no replies to a June 19 letter
(not made public) to the four parties (Algeria, Morocco,
Polisario, and Mauritania). In his meetings with both the
Algerian and Moroccan ambassadors in New York in the last few
days, however, the letter had not been mentioned at all. Van
Walsum said he plans to visit Morocco and Algeria in early
September and then consult in Friends' capitals, beginning
with Madrid, thereafter. Morocco has already greenlighted
his visit, and he is hopeful that Algiers will approve as
well. He said that Algiers, piqued by the April MINURSO
report that repeated van Walsum's unwelcome ideas, had
refused to receive him in June. He said that he will meet
Polisario Presidential Adviser Mohamed Khaddad in the Hague
on August 2.

6. (C) Van Walsum asked what U.S. intentions were vis-a-vis
a renewal of the MINURSO mandate in October. Gray replied
that it has been difficult to explain to Congressional
critics that MINURSO is fulfilling its mandate and that the
U.S. senior leadership has not yet made a decision. But it
should not be assumed that the U.S. will agree to a rollover
in October. Ambassador Sanders agreed, adding that the view
that MINURSO may be more of a hindrance than a help in
reaching a solution to the Western Sahara issue is not
limited to Capitol Hill. Van Walsum asked whether a U.S.
decision to terminate MINURSO would occur in any case or only
were it determined that no progress was being made. Gray
said that the hope is that Morocco will have a plan, adding
that a "chess master once said that the threat is stronger
than the execution." NEA/MAG Office Director Jordan
confirmed that we are looking for some sign of progress. It
is not that anything specific must occur, but something that
will lead to forward movement must occur.

7. (C) Van Walsum said he believed the Polisario would not be
able to accept an "end point" approach, that whenever the
word "autonomy" appears, the Polisario refuses to discuss it.
He said it will be difficult to get to an end point if you
are not allowed to discuss the word "autonomy." Van Walsum
said that he believes he can succeed in convincing the
parties -- arguing step by step -- of only one thing: first
the reality that the Western Sahara issue will remain a
Chapter 6 issue -- that the Security Council will not it
allow to drift into a Chapter 7 situation; and secondly, that
being the case, that only two options remain for the parties
-- a continuation of the impasse or direct negotiations. Van
Walsum said Morocco is already convinced of this view and
that the Polisario and Algeria may eventually be convinced,
despite their current adherence to the view that the Security
Council is bound by international law to implement UNGA
Resolution 1514(XV) -- on the granting of independence of
colonial countries and peoples -- as it applies to Western
Sahara through Chapter 7 measures.

8. (C) Van Walsum said that once the parties agree on his
conclusions then the challenge will be to get them to agree
that dialogue is better than impasse (which van Walsum
contends is the preference of most of the Friends). Then the
Security Council may say that there will be no preconditions
but to sit down and that a political solution must provide
for self-determination. Van Walsum said that he is thinking
now of accepting the Algerian position that Algeria is not a
party to the issue, as they have been insisting despite their
obvious interests and actions. He said he may not mention
them at all when he makes his pitch for dialogue. Jordan
noted that the Polisario has never demonstrated its ability
to act as a party independent of Algeria and that acceptance
of a Moroccan-Polisario dialogue will be a test of its claim
to act as a valid interlocutor on behalf of the Sahrawi. Van
Walsum said that he envisaged that once a Moroccan-Polisario
dialogue began, we could say that it would be left to them to
negotiate a role for the Mauritanians and Algerians. In the
meantime, van Walsum said, he preferred the shock treatment
of ignoring Algeria and calling their bluff.