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Cablegate: Wipo Director General Election - Cote D'ivoire

VZCZCXRO9638
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHAB #0300 1301248
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 091248Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY ABIDJAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4219
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0618

UNCLAS ABIDJAN 000300

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

US MISSION GENEVA FOR US WIPO REPRESENTATIVE
IO/T LAURA LUFTIG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KIPR AORC ETRD PREL IV
SUBJECT: WIPO DIRECTOR GENERAL ELECTION - COTE D'IVOIRE
DEMARCHED

REF: SECSTATE 47557

1. (U) Emboff presented reftel demarche points and
preferred candidate lists to MFA Assistant Director for the
Office of Economic and Social Issues within the UN
Department, Etienne Kinda. Kinda asked if the French
candidate were a preferred U.S. candidate. Emboff reiterated
that the five candidates on the list fit USG criteria for a
strong leader, while several (not including the French
nominee) would, in our view, obstruct progress on
intellectual property issues. Concerning the Ivoirian
delegation to the WIPO conference May 13-14, Kinda said it
was "likely" Minister of Advanced Technologies Ahmed Bakayoko
would be the lead.

2. (SBU) Comment. Given strong French influence in Cote
d'Ivoire (more than 1500 troops participate in peacekeeping
here, Cote d'Ivoire's bilateral debt exceeds $1.5 billion,
and French companies dominate finance and other key
industries), it is possible that Cote d'Ivoire would support
the French candidacy, at least in the first round,
particularly given Kinda's reaction and question. If that
candidacy does not advance, however, Kinda's general
receptivity to the demarche indicates Cote d'Ivoire could be
receptive to supporting a candidate on the USG preferred
list. End Comment.
NESBITT

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