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Cablegate: Nigeria: Unga Third Committee Demarche Delivered

VZCZCXRO9860
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHUJA #1839 2541640
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 101640Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0361
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3939
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS 9928
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS ABUJA 001839

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/W, INR/AA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL KIRF KNNP AF UN IR ZI NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: UNGA THIRD COMMITTEE DEMARCHE DELIVERED

REF: STATE 95334

1. (U) SUMMARY: During the course of a September 8 meeting
with Foreign Minister Ojo Maduekwe, Assistant Secretary David
Kramer delivered reftel demarche. The FonMin seemed amenable
to coordination with the USG on both country specific and
thematic resolutions, and provided responses on the issues of
Iran, Zimbabwe, No-Action Motions, and the Defamation of
Religions resolution. The FonMin also said he looked forward
to continuing the discussion at UNGA. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) IRAN: The FonMin stated that the GON was "in sync"
with Washington on non-proliferation and the need for a
tighter reign on Iran. The FonMin added, however, that an
open dialogue and multilateral approach was always best.
(Note: After the meeting, Maduewkwe and A/S Kramer were
approached by the press, who asked if they had discussed the
supposed Iranian-Nigerian nuclear deal. Maduekwe
categorically denied on camera that any agreement had been
signed, challenged the press to produce a copy of any such
document, an admonished the press for spreading falsehoods.
"It is a figment of your imagination," concluded FonMin
Maduekwe. End Note.)

3. (U) ZIMBABWE: A/S Kramer thanked the FonMin for the GON's
public statement on Zimbabwe and inquired about the GON's
views on a possible resolution. The FonMin replied that the
GON and and Government of Zambia issued a joint statement
declaring that the formation of a Zimbabwean government which
did not include Morgan Tsangvirai's opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) "will have repercussions." Maduekwe
added that it was wrong to ignore a party which had the
support of 47 percent of the population, and categorically
denied that the GON would embrace a government without the
MDC. Further, he pledged to "enter into very serious
consultations with other African governments to come up with
measures to press for a resolution to the situation." The
FonMin added that if Mugabe "does what he threatens," the GON
will be "hard on him" and would support sanctions and even
the deployment of an African standby force. Additionally,
the FonMin requested patience in response to future USG
requests for public statements, as it is important that the
GON not be portrayed as merely a "stooge" of Washington.

4. (U) NO-ACTION MOTIONS: When A/S Kramer asked for support
in blocking "no-action motions," the FonMin requested that a
member of his delegation make note of the request so he could
follow up.

5. (U) DEFAMATION OF RELIGIONS: In response to A/S Kramer's
caution about the dangers of the "defamation of religions"
resolution, the FonMin suggested the USG and GON needed to
look through the text of the resolution together to find
common ground. Noting Nigeria's large Muslim population, the
FonMin stated that it is important to try to find a way to
address concerns about freedom of speech while still
respecting cultural sensitivities.

6. (U) Post intends to deliver a summary non-paper of all
demarche points to working level contacts at the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and will report back with any additional
responses from the GON.
PFLAUMER

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