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Cablegate: Qadhafi Tells Mubarak He "May" Seek to Attend Unsc in New York Tripoli 00000014 001.2 of 002

VZCZCXRO8796
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHROV
DE RUEHTRO #0014/01 0101406
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O P 101406Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2981
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0107
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0712
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0406
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 3422

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TRIPOLI 000014

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NEA/MAG, IO/UNP, AF/SPG; USUN FOR PHEE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 1/10/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV OVIP UN PHUM AU SU EG LY
SUBJECT: QADHAFI TELLS MUBARAK HE "MAY" SEEK TO ATTEND UNSC IN NEW YORK TRIPOLI 00000014 001.2 OF 002 CLASSIFIED BY: John T. Godfrey, A/DCM, Embassy Tripoli, Dept of State. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

1.(C) Summary: During a visit to Cairo January 1, Leader Muammar al-Qadhafi reportedly discussed his recent trip to Paris and Madrid, Darfur, the repatriation of 24 Egyptians currently on death row in Libya, and the possibility that he may seek to travel to New York to attend a session of the United Nations Security Council. End summary.

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2.(C) Egyptian Charge d'Affaires Ahmed Abdel-Halim told A/DCM January 6 that al-Qadhafi's visit was overdue, noting that President Mubarak had visited Libya three times in 2007 (in January, May and September) and three times in 2006. Qadhafi gave Mubarak a readout on his visits to Paris and Madrid in December. Abdel-Halim's information was that Qadhafi emphasized the importance of commercial contracts and agreements concluded during the trip, stressing their value as a tangible symbol of Libya's reintegration into the international community after the lifting of sanctions and removal from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

DARFUR - INTERNATIONAL INVOLVEMENT HINDERS RATHER THAN HELPS

3.(C) Mubarak and Qadhafi also discussed the situation in Darfur at length. Reading from an Egyptian MFA report on the trip, Abdel-Halim said Mubarak had tried to persuade al-Qadhafi that the latter's recent remarks criticizing the "internationalization" of the conflict (a reference to external mediation and deployment of the hybrid AU-UN peacekeeping force) were not helpful. Al-Qadhafi apparently maintained his argument that the conflict was "merely tribal" and could be resolved more quickly absent international mediation. Mubarak and al-Qadhafi reviewed 1,200 Egyptian troops set to deploy to Darfur to join the AU-UN hybrid peacekeeping force.

GOL DRAGS FEET ON REPATRIATING EGYPTIAN PRISONERS

4.(C) Mubarak asked that 24 Egyptians sentenced to death by Libyan courts for various crimes be repatriated to Egypt. Abdel-Halim explained that families of the victims of crimes perpetrated by the 24 had accepted "blood money". Under Libyan law, their death penalty sentences were commuted to 25-year prison sentences; Egyptian-Libyan bilateral legal cooperation agreements provided for the return of such prisoners to their home country to serve out their sentences, but the GOL had balked at effecting their transfer. Abdel-Halim said the issue has been widely covered in Egyptian press and is seen by the GOL as a bilateral irritant. Mubarak raised it during his September 2007 visit to Libya and was assured that the GOL would follow up; however, Qadhafi denied knowledge of the issue during his recent trip and asked for more time to "study" it, angering Mubarak. Abdel-Halim noted the GOE's irritation with increased Libyan "arrogance" in bilateral dealings, which it attributes to increased oil prices and the GOL's perception that its hand has been strengthened.

BROTHER LEADER TO VISIT THE BIG APPLE?

5.(C) Reading again from a report from Cairo, Abdel-Halim said Mubarak and al-Qadhafi discussed UNSC issues, particularly a possible third sanctions resolution against Iran (NFI). According to Abdel-Halim, al-Qadhafi told Mubarak he "may" seek to travel to New York this month to attend sessions of the UNSC during Libya's month-long presidency. Post understands from Embassy Cairo that Arab League Chief of Staff Hisham Yousef told Poloff there that AL SYG Moussa urged al-Qadhafi in their meeting on January 1 to use Libya's seat on the UNSC to advocate for and represent broader Arab interests in the way Qatar had successfully done. Hisham expressed doubt that Libya would prove to be as dependable as Qatar in this regard. (Note: Consistent with Qadhafi's shift of attention from Arab to African issues, the GOL has stressed that it intends to focus on African, vice Arab issues, and will represent African consensus views. End note.)

6.(C) Comment: Post heard a number of rumors in the immediate aftermath of Qadhafi's visit to Cairo suggesting he might seek to travel to New York to attend sessions of the UNSC. Those seem to have diminished in the wake of Foreign Minister Shalgham's subsequent visit to Washington, suggesting that the TRIPOLI 00000014 002.2 OF 002 mixed media reaction to Shalgham's visit may have given the GOL pause to consider whether now is really the right time for Qadhafi to seek to visit the U.S. End comment.
MILAM 0 01/10/2008

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