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Cablegate: Egyptian Political Party Members' Successful

VZCZCXYZ0077
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHEG #0323 0501220
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 191220Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8213

UNCLAS CAIRO 000323

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

NSC STAFF FOR PASCUAL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KDEM EG
SUBJECT: EGYPTIAN POLITICAL PARTY MEMBERS' SUCCESSFUL
NDI-ORGANIZED U.S. STUDY TRIP

Sensitive but unclassified. Please protect accordingly.

1.(SBU) A seven member delegation of senior members of
Egyptian political parties returned to Egypt on February 8
after spending 10 days in the United States on a National
Democratic Institute (NDI) organized study mission. USAID
funded the study mission through a grant to NDI. The
delegation, which included members of the ruling National
Democratic Party (NDP) and the opposition Democratic Front
Party (DFP), attended presidential primary campaign rallies
in Orlando, met in Washington with political activists and
congressional and executive branch officials, and visited
campaign headquarters and local election organizers in New
York. Two members of the opposition Al Wafd party were also
scheduled to participate, but had to cancel due to legal
battles in Cairo over the party's leadership.

2. (SBU) According to Lila Jafer, NDI's program director for
Egypt, who accompanied the delegation, the group's response
to the trip was positive. NDI has struggled against
government resistance to gain a foothold in Egypt, and she
told us that the trip demonstrated to the delegation the
extent to which NDI could serve as a resource for Egypt's
political institutions. Participants, including Mohamed
Kamal, the NDP's Secretary for Training and a key Gamel
Mubarak advisor, reportedly expressed interest in a continued
relationship with NDI, while stressing that it should be a
consultative relationship, rather than one based on
"training." Participants also reported that the trip served
as a vehicle for strengthening ties between the NDP and DFP,
ties that are, for the moment, being maintained now that the
group is back in Egypt.

3. (SBU) We met on February 19 with Mohamed Kamal, who was
extremely enthusiastic and positive about the NDI study
mission and his experience in the U.S. He praised NDI's
understanding of Egypt and, referring to the trip and to
NDI's activities generally said "this is the way to do such
things", comparing the International Republican Institute's
activities in Egypt unfavorably with NDI's. He told us that
NDI plans to invite NDP and other party representatives to
the upcoming Democratic National Convention, and he "will
enthusiastically accept the invitation."
Jones

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