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Cablegate: Kenya: Positive Response to Tfca

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNR #4275 3050824
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 010824Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3212
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS NAIROBI 004275

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/E
TREASURY FOR VIRGINIA BRANDON
USAID FOR EGAT JIM HESTER AND AFR/EA JULIA ESCALONA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KTIA EFIN SENV KE
SUBJECT: KENYA: POSITIVE RESPONSE TO TFCA

REF: STATE 146116

Sensitive-but-unclassified. Not for release outside USG channels.

1. (SBU) Senior Mission officials met October 31 with Kenya Finance
Ministry Permanent Secretary (PS) Mr. Joseph Kinyua and senior
Ministry officials to present the points conveyed in reftel on
Kenya's possible participation in a debt relief program under the
Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA).

2. (SBU) PS Kinyua's response was unequivocally positive. He said
such a program fit perfectly with Government of Kenya (GOK) efforts
to conserve forests and related water resources. He also noted that
Kenya enjoys an arrangement similar to TFCA with Italy under which
it pays into a local fund used for development grants in exchange
for debt reduction. PS Kinyua pledged to take immediate action in
drafting a letter to the U.S. Treasury expressing interest in the
program.

3. (SBU) Mission officers suggested that perhaps Finance Minister
Amos Kimunya could hand such a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary
Paulson when the two meet in mid-November in Dar es Salaam. PS
Kinyua noted that Minister Kimunya will be unable to travel to Dar
because the dates conflict with the political party nomination
process in Kenya (Kimunya is a standing member of Parliament and is
up for re-election). He said he would likely attend the event in
Dar in Kimunya's place, but that he wanted to convey a letter of
interest to us even before his trip there.

4. (SBU) Mission will follow up with PS Kinyua and his colleagues
in the days ahead, but we feel confident that the GOK will shortly
convey an expression of interest in TFCA, thus allowing Washington
agencies to begin a formal review of Kenya's eligibility.
Ranneberger

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