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Cablegate: Labor Secretary Chao Leads Presidential Delegation To

VZCZCXRO6296
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHTRO
DE RUEHDK #0823/01 1060659
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 160659Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY DAKAR
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8076
INFO RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEHLMC/MCC WASHDC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DAKAR 000823

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/W, AF/RSA, DRL/IL, INR/AA AND S/CPR
LABOR FOR OSEC - BALMER
NSC FOR AF SENIOR DIRECTOR PITTMAN
AID/W FOR AFR/WA AND AFR/SD
PARIS FOR POL - D'ELIA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL OVIP ELAB EAIR PGOV KMCA SG
SUBJECT: LABOR SECRETARY CHAO LEADS PRESIDENTIAL DELEGATION TO
PRESIDENT WADE'S INAUGURATION

DAKAR 00000823 001.2 OF 002


1. SUMMARY: Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao led the presidential
delegation to the second inauguration of Senegalese President
Abdoulaye Wade, as well as the 47th anniversary celebration of
Senegal's independence from France and related events. During the
April 3-5 festivities, Senegal hosted approximately 50 foreign
delegations. Each of the 15 members of the Economic Community of
West African States (ECOWAS) sent a delegation, and many delegations
came from much further afield. In all, at least 20 heads of state
and three heads of government attended. They heard President Wade
present his vision for Senegal and Africa's development, and they
also heard Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi rail against colonialism.
Secretary Chao's visit included a brief bilateral meeting with

SIPDIS
Qadhafi. END SUMMARY.

2. Senegal's Minister of Labor, Civil Service and Professional
Organizations, Abdoulaye Babou, greeted Secretary of Labor Elaine L.
Chao, in her capacity as head of the U.S. Presidential Delegation,
upon her arrival in Senegal on April 3. Other members of the
official delegation included Ambassador Jacobs; the Honorable Louis
Sullivan, former Secretary of Health and Human Services and
President Emeritus of Morehouse College School of Medicine; the
Honorable Bobby Pittman, Jr., Counselor to the President and Senior
Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council; and
Rear Admiral R. Timothy Ziemer, USN, Retired, Coordinator of the
President's Malaria Initiative.

PRESIDENT WADE'S INAUGURATION
-----------------------------
3. On April 3, Secretary Chao joined approximately 25 heads of
state and 25 other heads of delegation for the inauguration ceremony
("Prestation du Serment") of President Abdoulaye Wade following his
February 25 reelection. The Heads of State included the Presidents
of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, Comoros, Republic of the
Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana,
Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Namibia, Nigeria,
Sierra Leone, and Togo. The heads of government included the Prime
Ministers of Ethiopia, Guinea and Morocco. The Vice President of
the French Senate was the most senior European; China sent Han Qide,
the Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's
Congress; The Gambia sent its Vice President; and Laurent
Dona-Fologo represented Cote d'Ivoire.

4. In his inaugural address, President Wade stressed the need to
build a "changed" Senegal. He thanked God, religious leaders, youth
and women for his February 25 victory. Underscoring that "Sopi"
(change) is "on the march," he highlighted that the Government is
devoting 40 percent of the budget to education and 10 percent to
health. He discussed a number of infrastructure projects, including
the proposed Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) industrial platform
at Diamniadio, the new Blaise Diagne International Airport, a new
capital, new port facilities, and iron and phosphate projects.

5. Immediately after Wade's address, Secretary Chao, as one of five
invited speakers, delivered the congratulatory message from
President Bush to the 80,000-plus crowd gathered for the event at
Dakar's Leopold Sedar Senghor (LSS) Stadium. The other speakers, in
order, were the President of France's Senate, Burkinabe President
Blaise Campaore as ECOWAS Chairman, Nigerian President Olusegun
Obasanjo, and Ghanaian President John Kufuor as President of the
African Union. Their remarks focused on democracy, good governance
and African unity.

6. After the ceremonies at the Stadium, Secretary Chao and
Ambassador Jacobs attended a high-level reception at the
Presidential Palace where Secretary Chao personally delivered
congratulations to President Wade on behalf of President Bush and
met other heads of delegation.

INDEPENDENCE DAY
----------------
7. That evening, President Wade's independence day message aired on
national television. Taking pride in the presidential election, he
called for an equally large turnout for the June 3 legislative
elections, which 12 opposition parties, including Rewmi, the
Socialist Party, and the Alliance of Progressive Forces (AFP), have
decided to boycott. In keeping with the theme of the April 4
parade, "women and national defense," Wade devoted much of the
address to veterans, women and youth, again stressing education,
infrastructure and employment. Wade promised to hold a presidential

DAKAR 00000823 002.2 OF 002


council on people with disabilities. (NOTE: In 2006, Wade held two
presidential councils - one on the MCA project and one on street
children. END NOTE.)

A PARADE, LUNCH WITH THE FIRST LADY, AND A CHAT WITH QADHAFI
--------------------------------------------- -------
8. On April 4, Secretary Chao joined President Wade, heads of state
and other heads of delegation to review the parade celebrating the
47th anniversary of Senegal's independence. At the conclusion,
President Wade praised the 393 civilians and 3,451 military
personnel, gendarmes, police, firemen, customs agents, health
professionals, and forestry service professionals who participated,
with 14 aircraft, 187 vehicles, 44 motorcycles and 127 horses. As
the guest of honor at the parade, Qadhafi delivered an
anti-colonialism diatribe that was virtually identical to his speech
a year earlier.

9. After the parade, Secretary Chao joined a select group of heads
of state and heads of delegation at a luncheon hosted by President
Wade at his personal "beach house" near Popenguine, approximately 80
kilometers from Dakar where Secretary Chao presented the White House
gift to President Wade. At this event, Secretary Chao dined with
Mrs. Wade, her daughter Sindiely Wade, and Ms. Denise Etote Duran,
Director for Africa for France's "TV5 Monde." After the lunch,
Secretary Chao held a brief private meeting with Libyan leader

SIPDIS
Qadhafi; notetakers were not permitted at this event. Secretary
Chao departed Popenguine directly for Dakar's LSS International
Airport for an 18:35 "wheels up."

BLAISE DIAGNE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
-----------------------------------
10. DCM represented the USG at the groundbreaking for the new
Blaise Diagne International Airport (BDIA) at Diass, which is
approximately 50 kilometers from Dakar, between Diamniadio and
Popenguine. The new airport which is being financed largely through
taxes on airline tickets is destined to open in 33 months with a
capacity for 3 million passengers per year -- almost twice what
Dakar's LLS International Airport is currently handling and six
times the capacity for which LSS Airport was built. The USD 460
million project has been awarded to Saudi Arabia's Bin Laden Group,
which will construct the airport, and Germany's Fraport, which will
run BDIA. The biggest issue for BDIA, however, may be that the toll
road from Dakar to Diass is unlikely to be completed within 33
months, making travel between BDIA and Dakar difficult.

11. Secretary Chao did not have the opportunity to clear this
message prior to her departure.

12. Tripoli minimize considered.

Jackson

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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