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Cablegate: Qadhafi Hosts Sarkozy Following Departure of Bulgarian

TelegramRestricted by caption. UNCLASSIFIED TRIPOLI 00000641
O 261520Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2473
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA IMMEDIATE 0150
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 2831

UNCLAS TRIPOLI 000641

SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/MAG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM EINV ENRG FR LY
SUBJECT: QADHAFI HOSTS SARKOZY FOLLOWING DEPARTURE OF BULGARIAN
NURSES

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. Just one day after six foreign health
workers accused of intentionally spreading HIV left Libya for
Bulgaria, French President Nicholas Sarkozy arrived in Tripoli
on July 25 for wide-ranging discussions with Libyan leader
Muammar Qadhafi. Sarkozy and Qadhafi reportedly discussed
construction of a nuclear water desalination plant, as well as
enhanced cooperation in immigration, border security, health
care, and defense procurement. Unconfirmed press reports claim
the two leaders also broached the subject of Darfur. END
SUMMARY.

LIBYA-FRANCE MEMORANDUM ON CIVILIAN NUCLEAR POWER

2. (U) President Sarkozy arrived the day after six foreign
medics accused of infecting over 400 Libyan children with HIV
departed the country in a French jet accompanied by Mrs.
Sarkozy, who reporteldy brokered their release. According to
press accounts, Sarkozy and Qadhafi signed an MOU concerning the
peaceful uses of nuclear power, committing France to finance
construction of a long sought-after nuclear water desalination
plant in Libya. (NOTE: Senior GOL officials have long lobbied
for U.S. financing for a similar project, arguing such a
"tangible reward" is necessary to convince the Libyan people of
the utility of Libya's renouncing its WMD program. Diplomatic
sources in Tripoli say that the Libyans have approached many
governments, including France, Russia, China, and South Korea,
with requests for both a nuclear desalination plant and a
nuclear medicine center. END NOTE.)

3. (U) In addition, the two reportedly discussed cooperation
to limit the number of illegal migrants across the
Mediterranean, including a head of state conference to be held
in early 2008. Sarkozy and Qadhafi also discussed French
assistance to Libya's health sector, echoing promises contained
in a July 23 memorandum (signed by EC Commissioner for External
Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner) that the EU would upgrade a
Benghazi hospital to a regional center of excellence.

4. (SBU) Libyan press also reported that Sarkozy and Qadhafi
discussed Darfur, just days after Sarkozy reportedly dispatched
FM Kouchner to New York to lobby for quicker UNSC action on
peacekeeping deployment.

QADHAFI HOLDS MEETING AGAINST BACKDROP OF U.S.-DAMAGED TRIPOLI
PALACE

5. (SBU) Qadhafi -- accompanied by Prime Minister Al-Mahmoudi,
Foreign Minister Shalgham, U/S for European Affairs Obeidi, and
U/S for African Affairs Treiki -- met for several hours with
Sarkozy and his delegation (which included FM Kouchner and
diplomatic adviser Levitte, but not Mrs. Sarkozy) at Qadhafi's
Bab Azziziya compound in Tripoli. (NOTE: Part of the compound
was damaged by U.S. fighter planes during the April 1986
Operation El Dorado Canyon bombing campaign, and the GOL has
kept it in its damaged state and erected a statue in front of it
displaying a fist crushing a US fighter plane. Libyan media --
and Qadhafi himself -- refer to Operation El Dorado Canyon as
"the failed U.S.-Atlantic aggression on the Great Jamahiriyah."
END NOTE.) The GOL bussed foreign ambassadors to the compound
to meet Qadhafi and Sarkozy and join the state dinner, which was
held outside in front of the damaged building. Local papers
gave front-page coverage to the Sarkozy visit, including one
with the headline: "The Brother Leader Welcomes President
Nicolas Sarkozy in front of the House that Remained Standing in
the Face of the Failed American-NATO Enmity" (referring to the
1986 bombings of Tripoli). "

STEVENS

TelegramRestricted by caption. UNCLASSIFIED TRIPOLI 00000641
O 261520Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2473
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA IMMEDIATE 0150
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 2831

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