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Cablegate: New Foreign Minister--"Duty to Strengthen

VZCZCXRO2077
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHTO #0323/01 1091659
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 181659Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8760
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0145

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MAPUTO 000323

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON ETRD KDEM AMGT EAID MZ
SUBJECT: NEW FOREIGN MINISTER--"DUTY TO STRENGTHEN
BILATERAL RELATIONSHIP"

REF: A. A. MAPUTO 321
B. B. MAPUTO 220
C. C. MAPUTO 241

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: In an introductory call by the Charge,
new Foreign Minister Oldemiro Baloi discussed Zimbabwe (ref
A) and indicated his support for greater bilateral political
and economic dialogue with the USG. Baloi urged for better
coordination in-country among international donors. He
expressed interest in resolving certain administrative issues
involving the Foreign Ministry and in signing a bilateral
agreement encompassing all USG assistance. FM Baloi appears
to be an engaged manager who will be an agent for positive
change at the Foreign Ministry; we will have opportunities
with him which we did not have with his uncommunicative
predecessor. END SUMMARY.

--------------------------------------------- -
"Duty to Make Bilateral Relationship Stronger"
--------------------------------------------- -

2. (U) The Charge d'Affaires, USAID Director, and P/E Chief
met with Mozambican Foreign Minister Oldemiro Baloi on April
15. The Charge opened noting that the bilateral relationship
was strong and encompassed many areas, as reflected by the
more than $325 million in bilateral assistance budgeted for
Mozambique in 2008. He pointed to the successful visits in
the past nine months of First Lady Laura Bush, Health and
Human Services (HHS) Secretary Michael Leavitt, Ambassador
John Danilovich from the Millennium Challenge Corporation and
other USG officials, plus the several visits by Mozambique,s
President Armando Guebuza and many Ministers to the United
States in the same period. The FM said that the United
States was a 'privileged partner' of Mozambique, and held an
'elevated position' for the GRM. He said that he took it as
his "personal duty to ensure that this bilateral
relationship in particular became even stronger."


--------------------------------------------- ---
Increasing Political/Economic Bilateral Dialogue
--------------------------------------------- ---

3. (SBU) The Charge urged Baloi to have the GRM take a
stronger leadership role on continental issues and in
international fora, including on issues like Zimbabwe (ref A)
and international peace-keeping operations. He said that the
previous FM had agreed to begin a more regular bilateral
dialogue (ref B) to include political and economic topics
like human rights or re-energizing the existing trade and
investment framework agreement (TIFA). The Charge also
referred to the positive meeting between AF A/S Jendayi
Frazer and Mozambican Ambassador Panguene that reinforced
this point. The FM agreed, noting that in his private sector
experience, business operations were 'results oriented' and
that the same concept needed to be applied to the Foreign
Ministry's initiatives, including the GRM,s programs with
the USG.

--------------------------------------------- -----
Bilateral Assistance Agreement; Other Admin Issues
--------------------------------------------- -----

4. (U) The Charge indicated the Embassy,s difficulties with
certain administrative issues involving the Foreign Ministry.
The USAID Director highlighted the increased USG assistance
to Mozambique and noted the increase in the number of USG
staff and contractors involved in implementation. In light
of these twin factors, the USAID Director urged the FM to
consider moving forward on a bilateral assistance agreement
to cover all the USG's programs in Mozambique, ranging from
issues of licensing, to taxes and visa issues. The FM agreed
saying that he had made it very clear to his staff that he
wanted them to clear these types of administrative hurdles
out of the way soonest, so that the Ministry could then begin
to focus on its 'core business' of diplomacy more effectively.

--------------------------------
International Donor Coordination
--------------------------------

5. (U) The FM said that he was amazed by the sheer quantity
of international donor assistance in Mozambique, and
expressed surprise that there was not more effective
communication between donors, and also between the GRM and
those donors. The Charge indicated that the USG wanted to
work closely with the GRM and to coordinate activities with
other donors, though the current arrangements which favored
donors providing direct budget support, which did not fully
include the USG, were sub-optimal. The FM said he supported

MAPUTO 00000323 002 OF 002


our effort to review the manner in which donors and the GRM
interact.

--------------------------------------------- ---
Comment: Change for Good at the Foreign Ministry
--------------------------------------------- ---

6. (SBU) Consistent with what contacts have told us (ref C),
FM Baloi appears to be an engaged and hands-on manager who is
well-qualified to provide greater dynamism to the GRM,s
foreign policy apparatus. He seems determined to operate
much differently than his uncommunicative predecessor,
several times emphasizing his "total availability" for
discussion. We anticipate opportunities to move forward more
productively with him on a wide range of issues.
Chapman

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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