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Cablegate: Ambassador Sobel's Meeting with Sao Paulo Mayor Kassab

VZCZCXRO7555
PP RUEHCD RUEHGA RUEHGD RUEHHA RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHQU RUEHTM RUEHVC
DE RUEHSO #1130 2961636
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 231636Z OCT 06
FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5970
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7031
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 3197
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 7545
RUCNMRC/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 2599
RUEABND/DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMIN HQ WASHDC

UNCLAS SAO PAULO 001130

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR WHA/BSC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ETRD KCRM BR
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR SOBEL'S MEETING WITH SAO PAULO MAYOR KASSAB

REF: SAO PAULO 899

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (PARA 3 DATA CHANGE, MILLION TO
BILLION - TAKE NOTE)

1. Summary: Ambassador Sobel, accompanied by CG and poloff, met
October 17 with Sao Paulo Mayor, Gilberto Kassab, and Municipal
Secretary for International Relations, Helena Gasparian. The

SIPDIS
participants discussed ways for the U.S. and the city to work
together on issues of common interest, including trade promotion and
public security. End Summary.

2. The Ambassador stressed the importance of governments working
closely with the private sector on social and economic issues. He
advised the Mayor of our interest in promoting trade between the U.S
and Brazil and in forming partnerships. He noted that a trade
mission from New Jersey plans to visit Brazil in 2007, and urged the
Mayor to think of specific areas for possible cooperation and to
consider how the city could take advantage of this opportunity.

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3. Mayor Kassab said the city faces many challenges. He had just
sent to the City Council for approval, a budget of about USD 10
billion for a city of 11 million people. According to Kassab, the
budget was simply too tight for the city to be able to make the
necessary investment in transportation, education, and public
health. In response to the Ambassador's comment, the Mayor also
noted that the city has partnerships with NGOs and the private
sector in the area of social assistance. He cited a new program
being implemented whereby private entities can provide health care
to needy citizens and be reimbursed. The Ambassador noted that he
would be hosting a Corporate Social Responsibility roundtable on
October 18, and suggested that perhaps at some point the Mayor could
talk to some of the largest U.S. companies about priorities in
supporting the city's efforts.

4. The Ambassador told the Mayor that he had recently met with Sao
Paulo state Governor Claudio Lembo and Deputy Secretary for Public
Security Marcelo de Oliveira (reftel) to discuss ways the U.S. might
help the state address its problems with organized crime. The
Ambassador wanted to know if there was any way the USG might be able
to help the city. Kassab replied that responsibility for security
belonged to the state, though in certain specific areas (e.g.,
security for public transportation) the city and state governments
work together. Noting Governor Lembo's concern about drugs, the
Ambassador said DEA Administrator Tandy would visit Sao Paulo; he
proposed arranging a meeting for her with city and state officials
together. Kassab welcomed this suggestion and indicated that such a
meeting would be extremely useful for city officials involved in
social issues, especially drug prevention.

5. In closing, the Mayor expressed appreciation for the
Ambassador's interest in maintaining close relations with the city
and said he looked forward to continuing the dialogue.

6. This cable was coordinated with Embassy Brasilia and cleared by
Ambassador Sobel.

MCMULLEN

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