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Cablegate: Ambassador Wisner Asks Arab League, Egypt To

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHEG #0246 0411559
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 101559Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8109
INFO RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 0023
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0194

UNCLAS CAIRO 000246

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/SCE (BLACK, SHIRATORI)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV UNMIK EG YI
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR WISNER ASKS ARAB LEAGUE, EGYPT TO
RECOGNIZE KOSOVO

REF: A. SECSTATE 13716

B. CAIRO 77

Sensitive but unclassified, not for Internet distribution.

1. (SBU) Special Envoy for the Kosovo Final Status Talks
Ambassador Frank Wisner asked Arab League Secretary General
Amre Moussa on February 6 for the League and its member
states to support an independent Kosovo when Kosovo declares
its independence in the coming weeks. Ambassador Wisner
emphasized that international mediation on Kosovo's final
status have proven fruitless, and that there is no alternate
to independence, noting that matters could move with little
or no warning in the coming weeks. Moussa asked about the
reactions of Russia and of Serbia. Ambassador Wisner replied
that we expect a strong, but nonetheless non-violent,
political reaction. Russia would oppose independence and try
to block international recognition of Kosovo, but is not
likely to agitate to divide Kosovo into smaller pieces, he
continued, and the Serbian leadership has assured us that
"violence is not an option." However, individual acts of
violence are possible. Moussa promised to convey Ambassador
Wisner's message of urgency to Arab governments.

2. (SBU) Ambassador Wisner asked Egyptian Foreign Minister
Ahmed Aboul Gheit for Egypt's support for Kosovo independence
over lunch on February 27. Aboul Gheit expressed skepticism
in a long and detailed exchange, pressing Ambassador Wisner
on timing: "why should we risk consequences now?" Ambassador
Wisner outlined the history of the final status talks and
argued that current conditions offered the best chance to
avoid violence. Ambassador Wisner also warned that matters
could move rapidly to a conclusion, and cited the recent
statement by the Government of Turkey to support Kosovo's
independence. Aboul Gheit reserved judgment and said he
would have to consult President Mubarak.
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