Cablegate: U/S Dobriansky,S September 25 Meeting With

DE RUEHC #1820/01 2821851
P 091835Z OCT 07




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 136038

This cable is Sensitive but Unclassified. Please handle

1. (U) September 25, 2007; 1700; New York City, United

2. (U) Participants:

Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Dobriansky
NEA Senior S&T Advisor Lawson (Notetaker)

Foreign Minister Abdulrahman Shalgam
Ambassador Ali Aujali
Deputy Permanent Representative Mubarak
Sofiane Belkheir (Notetaker)


3. (SBU) In an expansive hour long discussion, U/S
Dobriansky and FM Shalgam agreed that it is in both
governments' interest to broaden the scope of U.S.-Libya
cooperation beyond its current level. U/S Dobriansky
informed the FM that the U.S. is ready to move forward with a
Science and Technology (S&T) agreement and suggested that we
could consider making this agreement a deliverable for a
proposed visit by the Secretary. FM Shalgam immediately
embraced the idea. He then noted Libya's interest in further
expanding cooperation and, as appropriate, developing
agreements to cover many additional areas, mentioning
specifically education and cultural affairs, youth exchanges,
media/journalist exchanges, energy, environment, double
taxation, investment, and civil aviation. The U/S and the FM
agreed to focus efforts on the S&T agreement and a cultural
agreement in the run up to a possible visit by the Secretary.
The FM expressed the hope that the Secretary could visit
Libya in late October in conjunction with the high level
meeting on Darfur that Libya will host on October 27. End

Science and Technology Agreement

4. (SBU) U/S Dobriansky began the meeting by noting that the
USG is interested in building on her July 2006 visit to Libya
and OES A/S McMurray's November 2006 follow-up visit during
which discussions on U.S.-Libya science and technology (S&T)
cooperation began. She went on to say that the USG believed
a good way to move the S&T dialogue forward would be to
negotiate and conclude a U.S.-Libya S&T agreement. The U/S
stated that the USG is ready to negotiate such an agreement
and could send a negotiator to Libya at the Libyan
Government's earliest convenience. She suggested that an S&T
agreement might be one deliverable for a possible visit to
Libya by the Secretary.

5. (U) FM Shalgam enthusiastically embraced the U/S's
suggestion. He noted that there is a great need to
strengthen Libya's S&T human resource capacity and
rehabilitate its research laboratories. The FM said that Dr.
Ahmad Fituri, Director of the MFA,s Americas Division, would
be the Libyan coordinator for the negotiations and that they
would welcome a visit by the U.S. negotiating team in the
near future. The FM instructed Ambassador Aujali to
facilitate the issuance of visas in Washington for the U.S.

6. (U) The FM said it was important for Libya that the S&T
agreement be promptly implemented. Senior Advisor Lawson
described how the U.S. typically implements such agreements.
He noted that once an agreement is signed, the coordinators
designated by each side begin consultations to develop an
initial list of topics of common interest. Once those topics
are identified, each side can put together an interagency
team of experts to discuss the topics in more detail and
develop recommendations for specific cooperation. The FM
endorsed such an approach.


STATE 00141820 002 OF 002

Other Areas of Cooperation

7. (SBU) In addition to his support for S&T cooperation, the
FM also emphasized his strong support for broadening
cooperation between Libya and the U.S. across the board. He
stressed that the Libyan Government is ready and eager to
expand and upgrade relations with the U.S. in all areas,
noting that the bilateral U.S.-Libya relationship will grow
stronger as more people from different sectors of both
societies interact and develop personal and professional
relationships. During the discussion, the FM mentioned the
following specific areas of interest to Libya:

-- Education and Cultural affairs. The FM noted that he had
told NEA A/S Welch during their September 24 meeting (Reftel)
that Libya has 2000 students identified and ready to be
trained in the U.S. in many fields (including science and
engineering). He expressed hope that two-way exchanges would
become regularized and frequent. The FM informed the U/S
that Libya would soon nominate a Cultural Attache for its
Embassy in Washington, who will be able to facilitate

-- Youth and Media/Journalist exchanges. The FM said that
Libya needs to provide its next generations with new
opportunities. Youth exchanges could help in that area. He
also noted that Libya needs to get beyond state run media,
and he would like to institute journalist exchanges so that
Libyan journalists can train in the U.S. for six months to a

-- Energy and Environment cooperation. The FM noted the
importance of these issues for Libyan development. We noted
that these topics would be covered by the S&T agreement.

-- Double Taxation and Investment agreements. The FM noted
the importance of agreements on these issues to expand
private sector engagement.

-- Civil Aviation agreement. The FM said that with the
expansion of the U.S.-Libya relationship and the concomitant
expansion of travel between the two countries, a civil
aviation agreement would facilitate people from both
countries visiting the other. He noted that his GOL plane to
New York was the first Libyan plane in over three decades to
receive diplomatic clearance to fly non-stop from Tripoli.
In a related comment, Amb. Aujali expressed concern that many
Libyans transiting in Europe to an American carrier for a
flight to the U.S. have problems with security.

Preparing for a possible S Visit

8. (SBU) The U/S and the FM agreed that in the run up to a
possible visit by the Secretary it makes sense to focus on a
subset of all the cooperation areas they discussed. They
agreed to focus on the S&T agreement and education and
cultural affairs cooperation.

9. (SBU) As he had done in his meeting with A/S Welch
(Reftel), Foreign Minister Shalgam told U/S Dobriansky that
he hoped the Secretary would be able to visit Libya in late
October in conjunction with the October 27 high level meeting
on Darfur that Libya will host.

10. (U) Tripoli minimize considered.

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