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Cablegate: Libya Open to Suggestions to Resolve Darfur, Chad

VZCZCXRO1096
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0357 0710739
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 110739Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0164
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 0302
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 000357

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/SPG, AF/C, AND NEA/MAG
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL UN AU SU LY CD
SUBJECT: LIBYA OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS TO RESOLVE DARFUR, CHAD
CONFLICTS

1. (SBU) The Libyan Government remains open to U.S. ideas for
advancing the Darfur peace process and resolving the Sudan-Chad
conflict, Libyan Consul General in El Fasher Naji Yousef told Poloff
on March 10, 2008. While Tripoli continues to try to broker a peace
settlement between the Darfur rebel movements and Sudan and between
Sudan and Chad, the failure of past agreements has eroded trust
among the parties. Believing their opponents will not adhere to
their commitments, Chad, Sudan and the rebel groups on either side
of the border do not have a genuine interest in negotiations.
Yousef emphasized several times that he is open to passing any U.S.
suggestions for defusing the conflicts in Darfur and Chad to "the
Libyan leadership" but seemed skeptical that successful negotiations
on either issue are on the horizon.

2. (SBU) In Darfur, the proliferation of rebel factions complicated
peace efforts, said Yousef. In the absence of an
internationally-backed effort to unify the movements and press their
leaders to rise above personal ambition, negotiations will not
resume. Regarding Chad, he noted that Libya is monitoring the
proposed meeting between Chadian and Sudanese representatives in
Dakar and that Leader Moammar Qaddhafi is "pushing ahead such
efforts."

3. (SBU) Poloff explained that the U.S. priority is to improve the
security environment in Darfur to create the political space for a
peace settlement. He stressed that governments with influence on
the actors involved in the conflict should encourage them to seek a
political rather than a military solution. The March 18
UN/AU-sponsored meeting in Geneva will provide a forum for
discussing how "influential governments" can bring the parties to
negotiations by building confidence in the process, Poloff
suggested. On Chad, Poloff said that the USG supported AU mediation
efforts and expected that Sudan cease its support for Chadian
opposition forces, that the Chadian rebels renounce violence, and
that Chad and the opposition pursue political dialogue.

--------
Bio Note
--------

4. (SBU) Yousef, who is entering his third year as the Libyan Consul
General in El Fasher, is a career diplomat who understands English,
though is reticent to speak it. Though reserved at first, he warmed
quickly and seemed genuinely open to discussing ways that the U.S.
and Libya could cooperate on Darfur and Chad. He intimated that he
reports directly to Tripoli, rather through the Libyan Ambassador in
Khartoum.

5. (U) Tripoli minimize considered.

FERNANDEZ

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