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Cablegate: Meeting of Amu Heads of State - Minus One - in Tripoli;

VZCZCXRO4657
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHROV
DE RUEHTRO #0442 1611634
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 091634Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3506
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 0816
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS IMMEDIATE 0494
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 4011

C O N F I D E N T I A L TRIPOLI 000442

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NEA/MAG

E.O. 12958: DECL: 6/9/2018
TAGS: PGOV PREL LY EG SY MR MO TS AG
SUBJECT: MEETING OF AMU HEADS OF STATE - MINUS ONE - IN TRIPOLI;
RELATED VISITS BY ASAD AND POSSIBLY MUBARAK REF: RABAT 532 CLASSIFIED BY: Chris Stevens, CDA, U.S. Embassy Tripoli, Dept of State. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d) 1. (C) GOL officials are hurriedly pulling together arrangements for a meeting of heads of state from Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) member states, scheduled to take place in Tripoli June 10-13. MFA Secretary for European Affairs (U/S-equivalent) told the U.K. Ambassador on June 7 that the presidents of Mauritania, Algeria and Tunisia, together with Moroccan Prime Minister Abbas el-Fassi, would arrive June 10 for a meeting of the AMU. Egyptian PolCouns Ahmed Abdel Halim told P/E Chief on June 9 that the Egyptian Embassy had received the same information regarding participants and the notional dates. Morocco has reportedly refused to be represented by King Muhammad VI because of ongoing disagreements with Algeria over the Western Sahara. (Note: Post's understanding is that a full quorum of AMU heads of state has not convened since 1994; the last senior-level meeting of the AMU, in mid-2005, was derailed in part by Morocco-Algeria contretemps. End note.) Echoing dynamics reported reftel, Abdel Halim said "there are concerns" that bad blood - between Algeria and Morocco, and between Libya and Mauritania (Mauritania has alleged Libyan complicity in an attempted coup in Nouakchott), among others - could derail what he described as "a Libyan initiative to reinvigorate the AMU". 2. (C) In typical fashion, the GOL has delayed finalizing preparations until the last minute. Guests in Tripoli's only five-star hotel, including several official USG travelers, were informed late on June 8 that they would have to check out not later than June 9 by order of the GOL to make room for senior AMU leaders and their retinues. Delegations are scheduled to begin arriving in Tripoli late on the afternoon of June 10. The event is scheduled to kick off that evening with a late night coffee 'majlis', with formal meetings to follow on June 11 and 12. 3. (C) Abdel Halim confirmed reports in the Arabic-language newspaper al-Hayat and elsewhere that a visit to Libya by Syrian President Bashar al-Asad would coincide with the AMU meeting (local reports differ as to whether it will be labeled a "summit" or not). Asad's arrival date had not been fixed, and the Egyptian Embassy's information was that it was still being decided whether he would participate in the AMU meeting as a guest observer, or would only make a cameo appearance and then have bilateral meetings with Muammar al-Qadhafi. The Egyptian Ambassador had been told that Asad's Tripoli visit was part of a follow-on to his recent tour of Gulf states, where he thanked Arab heads of state who attended the recent Arab League Summit in Damascus. Saying it was "expected" that Asad would have discussions with al-Qadhafi and other AMU leaders on the Middle East Peace Process and Syria's negotiations with Israel over the Golan, Abdel Halim said there was considerable confusion about what else might be on the agenda for the AMU meeting. Abdel Halim said the Egyptian Embassy in Tripoli had not yet been informed whether Egyptian President Husni Mubarak would also travel to Tripoli to join the conclave, but noted that many GOL officials appeared to believe that Mubarak would come. STEVENS

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