Cablegate: Ambassador Discusses Nec with Foreign

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


E.O. 129958: N/A

REF: 03 MAPUTO 1746

1. (SBU) Summary. Despite the confusion and
potential loss of the Four Seasons site as a potential
NEC, Post received assurances from the Foreign Minister
that this was a top priority for the MFA. Post
expressed its continuing interest in part of the Four
Seasons site, or potentially FACIM, and reiterated that
time is running out. Post awaits the findings of a
newly-created working group on this issue. End

2. (SBU) The Ambassador, A/MgmtOff, and Post attorney
Sam Levy met with Foreign Minister Simao and MFA desk
officer Eduardo Mutorropa on March 3 regarding ongoing
efforts to obtain a suitable NEC site. (In a February
27 meeting, Tourism Minister Sumbana, whose Ministry
controls the site, told post that the Four Seasons site
was not available as it had been sold last year to a
concessionaire formed by SOTUR and IMOBCI. Post
believes final legal arrangements are progressing
though not yet complete; however, Tourism apparently is
sticking with its decision to sell to the
concessionaire.) The Ambassador expressed deep concern
to Simao about the apparent loss of the Four Seasons
site for the NEC. She urged the GRM to reconsider its
pending deal with SOTUR and instead push for the land
to be partitioned, giving the USG four hectares and
leaving the other two for other suitable commercial
development. We reiterated that this and other likely
delays could result in the project being cancelled, and
requested that the MFA be an advocate on behalf of Post
needs and the sole interlocutor within the GRM.

3. (SBU) The Foreign Minister explained that when he
had been looking at property for the new convention
center he was told the Four Seasons site was available.
He was unaware at the previous meeting with Post
(reftel) that the site had been "sold". Upon receiving
a report about Post's meeting from the Ministry of
Tourism, he had created a working group to determine
the best course of action. That working group, under
the direction of MFA, was holding its first meeting
concurrently. Simao reported that he would make this
issue a "high priority" and that he had a "vested
interested in seeing that the U.S. gets that property."
Above the Ministerial level, he said there were two
more levels of appeal -- the Prime Minister and the

4. (SBU) Noting the need for and the cost of
demolition, Simao said SOTUR would have a hard time
financing their project. (Note: SOTUR's plans as shown
to Post last year involve rehabilitating the existing
24-story structure.) Though the GRM working group is
searching for a solution that be "win/win" in which
both the USG and SOTUR could get access the site, Simao
suggested that Post might eventually be asked to
consider negotiating directly with SOTUR. Mutorropa
commented that the agreement SOTUR has with the GRM
would only permit tourist development, which would make
it difficult for SOTUR to negotiate with us on the
property without obtaining additional time-consuming
paper work and waivers from the government. Based on
recent contact Post attorney has had with SOTUR, we are
not convinced they would in fact be interested in
negotiating with the USG. Simao said that the site
seemed cursed, as five previous attempts to develop it
had all fallen through.

5. (SBU) As a second option, the Ambassador raised the
possibility of securing a portion of FACIM for the NEC.
Despite an initial response that FACIM was "not
possible," Simao later conceded he would look at the
possibility of relocating the trade exhibition site
elsewhere, providing four hectares for the USG, and
using the remainder for the planned "Ministry row."

6. (SBU) Simao, aware of the urgency of the issue,
promised to get back to us "soon." Post will follow up
with the Foreign Minister over the course of the next
two weeks, during which we recommend not pursuing new
sites with the GRM.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Myanmar: UN Condemns Escalating Violence In Deadliest Day Of Protests So Far

In response to the killing of at least 18 protesters demonstrating against Myanmar’s military coup, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) on Sunday together with the UN chief, strongly condemned the “escalating violence” and called for an immediate end to the use of force... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>

2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>

Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>