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Cablegate: Demarche: Seeking High-Level Commitment For

VZCZCXRO7187
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHLU #0872/01 2341430
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 221430Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY LUANDA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4258
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 0627

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LUANDA 000872

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

FOR IO/T: LAURA LUFTIG AND EB/TRA/OTP: MEGAN WALKET-TIGHE
STATE FOR DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION - CONNIE HUNTER
ROME FOR TSA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR ECON AO
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE: SEEKING HIGH-LEVEL COMMITMENT FOR
INCREASED TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO ANGOLAN CIVIL AVIATION

REF: A. A) LUANDA 850

B. B) LUANDA 862 C) STATE 110696

1. (U) This is an action request, see paras. 6 and 7

2. (SBU) Summary. At the request of the President's
diplomatic advisor (ref a), Charge delivered reftel c
demarche to Vice Minister of Transportation Helder Preza on
21 August 2007. Preza has been ordered by President dos
Santos to bring Angola to Category One status. Preza
welcomed the idea of increased technical assistance and
requested an assessment of Angola's civil aviation needs as
soon as possible. Preza also requested that the USG
intervene with the EU to request probationary status so
Angola's national airline could resume flights to Europe
(para 6). Preza also asked for more information about USG
technical assistance to Cabo Verde (para 7). End Summary.

3. (SBU) On 21 August 2007, Vice Minister of Transportation
Helder Preza accepted reftel demarche from Charge,
accompanied by Econoff. Preza welcomed the idea of increased
cooperation and reinforced his own interest in building up
Angola's civil aviation technical capacity, stressing that
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos personally ordered
him to get Angola off the EU's blacklist and to Category One
status.

Request for Comprehensive Training Plan
---------------------------------------

4. (SBU) Preza proposed a comprehensive training program
for Angola even before Charge had a chance to raise the
issue. An early assessment by U.S. officials leading quickly
to a comprehensive training plan would allow the Ministry of
Transport (MOT) to budget for training. Preza hopes for a
study that would define both safety and security issues,
although he accepts that safety may take priority. He
understands that a visit using FY 2007 funds must occur
before October 15. Preza will be in Angola through
mid-October, except during the ICAO Montreal Assembly
September 18-28. Preza worked with the Safe Skies program
for six years as director of INAVIC (Instituto National de
Aviacao Civil, Angola's civil aviation authority) and is
familiar with Angola's safety and security issues.

5. (SBU) Angola's lack of a comprehensive training plan,
Preza believes, played a role in the EU decision to ban TAAG.
Angola is receiving a patchwork of training and technical
assistance from the U.S., Portugal, and private commercial
sources, including the Boeing Corporation, which offered
Angola a training package in connection with TAAG 2006
airplane purchase. Preza mentioned that MOT is concerned
about how quickly and thoroughly Boeing is implementing its
promised training package (Reftel A).

Request for U.S. Policy Support
-------------------------------

6. (SBU) The Ministry of Transport has sent a draft Civil
Aviation law to the Council of Ministers for approval and
later presentation to the National Assembly. However,
assessing overall progress in the GRA and TAAG, Preza
admitted that TAAG's best hope when the EU reviews its black
list this October will only be probationary status based on
Angola's having entered a program with the United States
intended to bring it to Category One status. Preza asked for
USG support for such probationary status assuming Angola
enters into a training program with the USG. Post requests
department guidance on how best to respond to Preza's query.

Request for Information about Cabo Verde's Experience
------------------

7. (SBU) Preza also wants to learn more of the U.S.
experience with helping Cabo Verde achieve Category One
status. He lamented that Cabo Verde had not responded to
Angolan requests for insight into their experience. Post
requests Department's assistance in securing a copy or copies
of any reports on the experience with Cabo Verde.

Comment
-------

8. (SBU) Post believes that this is a genuine offer by the
GRA to cooperate with the USG and achieve Category One
status. As pointed out by the President's diplomatic

LUANDA 00000872 002 OF 002


advisor, the President has ordered Transportation Minister
Brandao and Vice Minister Preza to "fix" Angolan civil
aviation. Preza's willingness to accept more robust USG
cooperation was a direct result of the initial offer of this
assistance to the Presidency. Preza also promised a request
in writing for increased cooperation, which we have yet to
receive. We now have an opportunity to capitalize on
President dos Santos's political will to move Angola's
decrepit civil aviation structure forward. Post strongly
recommends that the DoT delegation mentioned in reftel C
travel to Angola to discuss strengthened cooperation. End
Comment
FERNANDEZ

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