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Cablegate: Vatican to Dispatch Aid Chief to Darfur

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

UNCLAS VATICAN 002764

SIPDIS


DEPT. FOR EUR/WE: LEVIN; AF/E; AF/SPG; AF/RSA; DRL/IRF

E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM PREF SU VT
SUBJECT: VATICAN TO DISPATCH AID CHIEF TO DARFUR


SENSITIVE

Ref: SecState 145183; Vatican 788; Vatican 594; Vatican 239

-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. (SBU) Holy See Country Director for Sudan Monsignor
Lucio Sembrano told us July 8 that the Pope was sending the
President of the Vatican's aid coordination agency to
Darfur to assess the situation on the ground. Sembrano
praised U.S. leadership on Sudan and took on ref (a) points
with interest. He said that with international attention
to Darfur already high, there were no current plans for the
Pope to speak publicly on it. The Holy See will focus its
attention on Darfur and other African issues at a gathering
of Papal Nuncios to African states this September. End
Summary.

---------------------------------
SECRETARY, ANNAN VISITS SPUR POPE

SIPDIS
---------------------------------

2. (SBU) Holy See Country Director for Sudan Lucio
Sembrano said July 8 that the visits of Secretary Powell
and Secretary-General Annan to Darfur had spurred the Pope
to dispatch his aid chief to the region. Archbishop Paul
Cordes, President of the Vatican's aid coordination agency,
Cor Unum, is currently deciding on a date to travel to
Darfur to assess the situation on the ground. Though
Cordes' role is to coordinate Catholic aid in the region,
Cor Unum sources told us he will bring with him a small
gift of cash assistance from the Pope as well. Cor Unum
has been working with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) on the crisis for some time (ref. b).

--------------------------------------------- -----
VATICAN SUPPORTIVE; NO PLANS NOW FOR POPE TO SPEAK
--------------------------------------------- -----

3. (SBU) Sembrano took on reftel points with interest and
praised U.S. leadership on Sudan. He said that with
international attention to Darfur already high, there were
no current plans for the Pope to speak publicly on it. He
did note that soft-spoken Papal Nuncio (Ambassador) to
Sudan Archbishop Dominique Mamberti was continuing to work
"behind the scenes" on various aspects of the crisis.
Though heartened by the increased attention to Darfur,
Sembrano said it was hard to be optimistic given the
Khartoum government's history of duplicity. He concluded
that he hoped that it would be harder for Khartoum to "play
games" with humanitarian aid and militias now that the
world was watching closely.

-----------------
NUNCIO CONFERENCE
-----------------

4. (SBU) The Holy See will focus its attention on Darfur
and other African issues at a Vatican conference this
September. Papal Nuncios to African states will meet at
the Vatican to discuss regional issues and brief Holy See
Foreign Ministry officials on concerns at their posts. The
last such meeting occurred some five years ago.

NICHOLSON


NNNN

2004VATICA02764 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

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