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Cablegate: Demarche Delivered: Urging Morocco to Accept An

VZCZCXRO8382
PP RUEHTRO
DE RUEHRB #0750 2250731
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 120731Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY RABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8984
INFO RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 4877
RUEHNK/AMEMBASSY NOUAKCHOTT PRIORITY 3806
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI PRIORITY 0338
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 9702
RUEHCL/AMCONSUL CASABLANCA PRIORITY 4269
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 1093

UNCLAS RABAT 000750

SIPDIS

STATE FOR IO/RHS - OSTERMEIER, DRL/MLGA, AND NEA/MAG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM UN MO
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE DELIVERED: URGING MOROCCO TO ACCEPT AN
OHCHR REGIONAL OFFICE

REF: STATE 077748

1. PolCouns delivered reftel points to Ministry of Foreign
Affairs (MFA) Chief of Staff Nasser Bourita on July 22.
Bourita responded positively but noncommittally, saying that
the Government of Morocco (GOM) supported the idea in
principle but still had concerns about the Office of the High
Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) stemming from what it
perceived as Morocco's unfavorable treatment at the Universal
Periodic Review session in Geneva on April 8 and during an
OHCHR delegation visit to Morocco in 2006.

2. Bourita said the GOM was also sensitive to how questions
on Western Sahara would be managed by the regional office if
it was based in Rabat since the UN does not recognize
Moroccan sovereignty over the territory, and the GOM strongly
opposes the UN's treating Western Sahara as a separate
entity.

3. PolOff followed up with Bourita on August 11, when the
latter said that there had been "no evolution" in the GOM's
thinking on the subject. Bourita reiterated the GOM's
discomfort with its previous experiences with the OHCHR and
said that it would have to consider the question over a
longer period of time.


*****************************************
Visit Embassy Rabat's Classified Website;
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/rabat
*****************************************

Riley

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