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Cablegate: Guinea-Bissau: Ambassador Announces Opening Of

VZCZCXRO0330
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHDK #1458 1930836
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 120836Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY DAKAR
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8769
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0247
RUEHLC/AMEMBASSY LIBREVILLE 0959
RUEHLI/AMEMBASSY LISBON 0803
RUEHLU/AMEMBASSY LUANDA 0425
RUEHTO/AMEMBASSY MAPUTO 0466

UNCLAS DAKAR 001458

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR OBO, DS, AF/W, AF/RSA AND AF/EX
ACCRA ALSO FOR USAID/WA
PARIS FOR POL - D'ELIA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ABLD AMGT PU
SUBJECT: GUINEA-BISSAU: AMBASSADOR ANNOUNCES OPENING OF
BISSAU LIAISON OFFICE


1. The Ambassador cut the ribbon at the new liaison office
in Bissau on July 6 remarking that the opening of the office
and meeting rooms signified the first step toward reopening
the U.S. Embassy. Officially, the office will not be open
until a final security certification is completed later this
summer.

2. Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation
and Communities Maria de Conceicao Nobre Cabral represented
the Government of Guinea-Bissau. The Foreign Minister noted
the importance to Guinea-Bissau of the opening of the office
and reiterated her government,s desire for a quick return of
the U.S. embassy. She said the U.S. presence is needed to
lend support and guidance as the country struggles to escape
its cycle of violence and improve economic and social
development.

3. Television, radio, newspapers and a stringer from Reuters
provided positive press coverage of the event. Immediately
following the ribbon cutting, the Ambassador hosted a
reception for approximately 70 government, diplomatic,
business and civil society leaders at a hotel in Bissau.
There was an overwhelming sense of encouragement among guests
at the prospect of the return of the U.S. in a permanent
capacity to Guinea-Bissau and many guests echoed the Foreign
Minister,s call for a speedy re-opening of the embassy.

4. The liaison office is in leased commercial space that has
been approved by Diplomatic Security and OBO. Once the
office is open, it will be occupied by one Locally Engaged
Staff (LES), a part-time contractor and TDYers who require
use of the space. A job description has been posted for a
second LES position to handle growing administrative duties
in preparation for moving the Guinea-Bissau Watcher position
from Dakar to Bissau in summer 2008.

5. Visit Embassy Dakar's SIPRNet Web site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/af/dakar.
JACOBS

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