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Cablegate: Portugal to Engage Angola On Possible Observer

VZCZCXRO7708
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHLU #0352 1281721
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 071721Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY LUANDA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4772
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHLI/AMEMBASSY LISBON 4049

UNCLAS LUANDA 000352

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL AO
SUBJECT: PORTUGAL TO ENGAGE ANGOLA ON POSSIBLE OBSERVER
STATUS AT COMMUNITY OF DEMOCRACIES SUMMIT

REF: A. STATE 14246

B. LISBON 509

1. (U) SUMMARY: On May 6, Ambassador Mozena queried
Portuguese Ambassador Francisco Telles on using the Community
of Democracies (CD) to encourage and support Angola's
emerging democracy. Acknowledging that Portugal's
Chairmanship of the CD offers an excellent opportunity to
engage Angola on strengthening its democratic institutions,
Telles said he will explore informally with the GRA its
interest in possible observer status at next year's CD summit
in Lisbon. END SUMMARY.

PORTUGUESE INSIGHTS
-------------------
2. (SBU) During a May 6 call by Ambassador Mozena on
Portuguese Ambassador Francisco Telles to discuss how best
the CD could engage Angola, Telles said Portugal was in favor
of increased contact between the CD and Angola, agreeing that
observer status for Angola in the 2009 summit was a good
idea. Telles stressed that a cautious approach with the GRA
was needed as Angola holds the U.S. accountable for blocking
its participation as an observer at the 2007 Bamako summit.
Telles said he would make an "informal demarche" to the
Ministry for External Relations Vice Minister Chicote to
explore Angolan interest in pursuing observer status at the
2009 Lisbon CD summit. Telles said he would keep Mozena
informed of the GRA response. During the discussion on how
the CD might provide tangible assistance to Angola's
September legislative elections, Telles opined that the CD
was not yet equipped with the means or resources to provide
concrete support to the election process or to provide
election observers. He added that there was not enough time
before the election for the CD to develop real expertise in
this regard. When queried on to whether the planned EU
election observer teams might be double-hatted as a CD team,
Telles demurred, doubtful that this idea would win broad
support. Looking ahead, Telles expressed the hope that the
CD would be able to play a more tangible role in supporting
an anticipated 2009 presidential election.

COMMENT
-------
3. (SBU) We welcome Portugal's leadership in reaching out to
the Angolans on engaging with the Community of Democracies.
We think the prospect of an affiliation with the CD will
bolster GRA resolve to make the upcoming elections free, fair
and transparent. We will underscore the Portuguese demarche
in our ongoing interaction with the GRA.
MOZENA

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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