Search

 

Cablegate: Mdic Prefers Holding Tifa Council in Tunis On

VZCZCXRO9581
PP RUEHTRO
DE RUEHTU #0031/01 0110846
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 110846Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TUNIS
TO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4279
INFO RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 7587
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1401
RUEHNK/AMEMBASSY NOUAKCHOTT PRIORITY 0937
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1873
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 8473
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI PRIORITY 0171
RUEHCL/AMCONSUL CASABLANCA PRIORITY 4166

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 TUNIS 000031

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NEA/MAG FOR HOPKINS AND HARRIS, EB/CBA (WINSTEAD/GILMAN),
EB/TRA/AN(FINSTON),
STATE PASS USTR (BURKHEAD),
USDOC FOR ITA/MAC/ONE (NATE MASON), ADVOCACY CTR (REITZE),
CASABLANCA FOR (FCS ORTIZ)
LONDON AND PARIS FOR NEA WATCHER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECIN ETRD EFIN EINV KIPR TS
SUBJECT: MDIC PREFERS HOLDING TIFA COUNCIL IN TUNIS ON
MARCH 10-11

REF: A. 07 TUNIS 1598

B. 07 TUNIS 1581
C. 07 TUNIS 1286
D. 07 TUNIS 1249
E. 07 TUNIS 948
F. 07 TUNIS 618
G. 06 TUNIS 2424

-------
Summary
-------

1. (SBU) The Ambassador and Minister of Development and
International Cooperation (MDIC) Jouini discussed substance
and logistics for the upcoming US-Tunisia TIFA Council (Refs
A-E) during a meeting on January 8. Jouini agreed that March
10-11, 2008 are good dates to conduct the next TIFA Council
in Tunis. Both parties agreed that the focus of this Council
should be in-depth discussions on market access, intellectual
property rights, investment, and services. They also agreed
it was important to also include a private sector component
in the program and the Ambassador said that he would discuss
this issue with relevant parties. Jouini also expressed an
interest in possibly attending the upcoming US-Middle East
and North Africa Trade and Investment Conference in Jordan on
February 10-11. They discussed a trade and investment
promotion tour of the United States some time in the late
Spring or early Fall. The Ambassador also advocated for
Boeing,s proposal for Tunisair,s aircraft replenishment.
End Summary.

---------
Logistics
---------

2. (SBU) Jouini told the Ambassador that he prefers that the
next TIFA Council take place on March 10-11 in Tunis with
the working groups meeting on March 10 and a plenary session
on March 11. Separate meetings can be set up for AUSTR
Donnell with relevant GOT officials on March 10.

---------
Substance
---------

3. (SBU) The Ambassador asked Jouini if there were any
particular issues that he would like to put on the agenda or
particular outcomes that he would like to aim for during the
TIFA Council meeting. Jouini noted that the second TIFA
Council held in June 2005 created working groups which were
to work on progress in the following four areas:

- Services
- Intellectual Property Rights
- Investment
- Market Access

Unfortunately, the working groups have yet to meet. Thus,
Jouini would like to have in-depth discussions on these four
areas during the upcoming TIFA Council. He expressed hope
that each of the four working groups will begin dialogue
immediately and be able to make some progress by the March
TIFA Council Meeting. Jouini is looking to come out of this
Council with a clearer vision of where the US-Tunisian
bilateral economic relationship is headed and agreement on
how we can work together to advance the relationship and
achieve common goals. Jouini said that the meeting will be
useful for both sides in order to get the TIFA process back
on track. For him the process is as important as the
substance since it sends good signals to the private sector
and to other interested parties (nfi). While the proceedings
should involve mostly government-to-government discussions,
the Ambassador and Jouini agreed that there should also be a
private sector component. The hope is that members of the
private business community from each side would come in and
present their views on the pratical implications of the

TUNIS 00000031 002 OF 003


Council's agenda items during this portion of the program.


-----------------------------------
There's a Need to Inform and Listen
-----------------------------------

4. (SBU) Jouini said that Tunisia is in the process of
making reforms in many areas and knows that it needs to make
progress in other areas. Jouini said that USTR and the USG
need to know what Tunisia has done and what it plans to do
during the next development cycle. Lamenting that the rising
cost of energy was going to make accomplishing the goals
outlined in the Eleventh Development Plan 2007-2016 (Ref F)
difficult, Jouini said that the Tunisia also needs to hear
the USG views on what the GOT is doing. The Ambassador
suggested that the GOT might offer a presentation explaining
the Eleventh Development Plan, its goals and orientations on
the TIFA Council agenda. Jouini agreed and added that even
though this TIFA Council would not be a negotiation, per se,
it should be considered a preparation for some type of
agreement, even if not an FTA. Both Jouini and the
Ambassador agreed that this TIFA Council should focus on the
four main areas but that the targeted outcome should be an
agreement on how to approach individual issues and how to
resolve differences.

--------------------------------------------
BCIU US-MENA Trade and Investment Conference
--------------------------------------------

5. (SBU) Jouini expressed interest in the Business Council
for International Understanding (BCIU) US - Middle East North
Africa (MENA) Trade and Investment Conference scheduled in
Jordan on February 10-11. He indicated that either he or his
Secretary of State Abdelhamid Triki may attend the

SIPDIS
conference. He was interested in learning more about the
agenda and what ministers from other countries will attend.
The Ambassador requested that Jouini let him know who from
Tunisia would attend as soon as possible and said that we
would provide him with additional information as it becomes
available.

--------------------
Possible GOT Mission
--------------------

6. (SBU) The Ambassador suggested that Jouini consider
reaching out to the business community throughout the United
States in order to promote and create trade relationships.
Collaboration with groups such as the World Affairs Council
of Dallas-Ft. Worth, the Wyoming State Partnership Program,
Tunisian American Chamber of Commerce (TACC), and the
National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce was put forth as a means
to develop US-Tunisian trade. Jouini agreed that it was a
good idea to travel and reach out to regions outside of
Washington, D.C. He said that it would be good to follow-up
the March TIFA Council by sending a GOT trade mission to the
United States in late spring (June) or early fall. The
Ambassador said that the key for a successful mission is to
look for US companies that would be a good match for Tunisia
and use them as a foundation on which to build cooperative
trade relationships. Stating that this is the approach that
Tunisia has taken with Germany and France, Jouini said that
he would welcome our advice on US cities and business
communities that Tunisia should reach out to. Jouini
highlighted Microsoft as a good example of a partnership that
is beneficial for both sides. (Note: During the Microsoft
Government Leaders Forum in South Africa July 11-12, 2006 the
GOT and the Microsoft Corporation signed a partnership
agreement that provides for Microsoft investment in training,
research, and development, but also commits the GOT to using
licensed Microsoft software. Ref G. End Note.) Jouini
indicated that Microsoft is planning to install a technical
platform in Tunisia.


TUNIS 00000031 003 OF 003


-----------------
Advocacy - Boeing
-----------------

7. (SBU) The Ambassador encouraged Jouini to ensure that
Boeing's submission responding to Tunisair's aircraft
replenishment tender be given due consideration and that the
competition be open and fair. Jouini said that while the GOT
will be looking to get the best deal and partnership that it
can out of this competition between Boeing and Airbus, the
bid review process will be open and fair.

-------
Comment
-------

8. (SBU) The meeting was fruitful and very positive. Our
next steps should be to build on this momentum and encourage
the four working groups to begin a regular dialogue on their
respective issues. The working groups should flesh out and
prepare for the TIFA Council agenda items and areas in which
concrete progress can be achieved and areas that require
further discussion. End Comment.


Please visit Embassy Tunis' Classified Website at:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/tunis/index.c fm
GODEC

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC