wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07YAOUNDE1178
2007-09-27 06:50:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Yaounde
Cable title:  

CAMEROON: AMBASSADOR MEETS WITH SENIOR

Tags:   CM  PGOV  PREL  KMCC 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO9286
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHTRO
DE RUEHYD #1178 2700650
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 270650Z SEP 07 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8175
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE 0013
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
						UNCLAS YAOUNDE 001178 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

EUCOM FOR J5-A AND POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CM PGOV PREL KMCC
SUBJECT: CAMEROON: AMBASSADOR MEETS WITH SENIOR
PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR


UNCLAS YAOUNDE 001178

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

EUCOM FOR J5-A AND POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CM PGOV PREL KMCC
SUBJECT: CAMEROON: AMBASSADOR MEETS WITH SENIOR
PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR



1. (SBU) Summary: In a September 25 courtesy call by the
Ambassador, Secretary General to the President (and close
Biya confidant) Laurent Esso described Cameroon's "sincere
and deep" friendship with the United States and highlighted
some of the country's historical challenges. While conceding
that "everything cannot be perfect," he praised what he saw
as the significant harmony in Cameroonian society. End
summary.

U.S.-Cameroon Relations
--------------


2. (SBU) Esso praised strong U.S. support for Cameroon.
America's friendship is "sincere and deep", even if we don't
agree on all issues, Esso stated. He pointed to President
Biya's presence in the White House in 2003 on the day
President Bush ordered U.S. military action to remove Saddam
Hussein, describing it as a "mark of confidence" in our
relationship and a sign that Cameroon stands with the United
States when it matters most. Esso affirmed that President
Biya shares this view. The Ambassador told Esso she intended
to continue strengthening our bilateral relationship,
especially engaging the new government following the
September 7 Cabinet reshuffle. She mentioned specifically
that we hoped to work with the government on a way forward on
the Millennium Challenge Account.

Development Challenges
--------------


3. (SBU) Esso highlighted Cameroon's historical
difficulties as a developing country, noting the impact of
colonialism, the unpredicted departure of its first
president, Ahmadou Ahidjo, and the lack of a blueprint for
Cameroon to follow in meeting many of its challenges over the
years. He hoped Cameroon's friends would understand the
country's difficult situation, especially in managing its
national diversity, and would understand that "everything
cannot be perfect." Despite its challenges and what Esso
depicted as exaggerated press reporting, he saw Cameroon as
enjoying significant harmony between Muslims and Christians
and among people along both sides of the Cameroon-Nigeria
border. (Note: Then-Justice Minister Esso was Cameroon's
lead advocate in the International Court of Justice in the
Bakassi case. End note.)

Comment
--------------


4. (SBU) This was yet another in a series of overwhelmingly
positive calls by a newly arrived Ambassador, but it was
perhaps the most important so far. Esso, a former Foreign
Minister and Defense Minister, went out of his way to
underline Cameroon's (and Biya's) desire for a warm and
growing relationship with us. He also emphasized the
"difficulty" running a country like Cameroon -- once even
saying it was more difficult than running the U.S. Biya,
although in his mid-70s, is not a man in a hurry. Esso was
asking us to understand and support the President's
deliberative (some would say glacial) pace of reform. Esso
was non-responsive when the Ambassador mentioned MCA, but
Biya will, at some point, need to comprehend that MCA funds
will be hard to come by if reforms here continue to move
slowly relative to many other African countries.
GARVEY