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Cablegate: Investment Minister Encouraging On Renegotiating

VZCZCXYZ0007
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHEG #2692 2421455
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 301455Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6747
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS CAIRO 002692

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

USTR FOR E. SAUMS AND J. KALLMER.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EFIN ETRD EG
SUBJECT: INVESTMENT MINISTER ENCOURAGING ON RENEGOTIATING
BIT

REF: SAUMS-BUZBEE E-MAIL 25 JUNE 2007

Sensitive but Unclassified, not for Internet distribution.

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: GOE experts on bilateral investment
treaties (BIT) are currently analyzing a USG proposal to
update the US-Egypt BIT and plan to be ready for a technical
discussion during a visit to Washington in late October,
Minister of Investment Mahmoud Mohieldin told visiting USTR
Director for the Middle East Edmund Saums on Aug. 30. END
SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) USTR's Edmund Saums, visiting Cairo to discuss a
range of US-Egyptian trade issues, sought Mohieldin's
response to a USG non-paper comparing the language in the
existing treaty to a model BIT updated in 2004. The current
treaty was signed in 1986 and entered into force in 1992. In
a meeting with Saums, DCM, Treasury Attache and econoff,
Mohieldin characterized his response to the USG proposal to
examine the possibility of a new BIT as positive in
principle, although he cautioned that he was not prepared to
comment on substantive issues. Mohieldin made similar
assurances to the Ambassador in a phone conversation last
week.

3. (SBU) The Ministry's legal and investment experts are
evaluating the current treaty and the issues raised in the
USG non-paper. The GOE wants to determine, he said, "what's
in it for us."

4. (SBU) Mohieldin cautioned that private-sector advocates
would have a role to play in commenting on a draft treaty
later in the process, but urged that discussions over a BIT
update remain in government-to-government channels for now.

5. (SBU) Mohieldin will be traveling to Washington in the
GOE delegation to the IMF-World Bank meetings Oct. 20-22. He
suggested that appropriate USG experts meet with GOE experts
at that time for an initial discussion on their findings
before the two sides determine whether to move forward.

6. (SBU) COMMENT: Post views Mohieldin's encouraging
response as an invitation to strengthen our economic dialogue
and looks forward to supporting this initiative.

6. (U) Saums has cleared on this cable.
RICCIARDONE

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