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Cablegate: Aec Plenary Meeting - October 27, 2007

VZCZCXYZ0015
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKH #1692/01 3041406
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 311406Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9006
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001692

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE, SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, AF/EPS, S/CRS, AF SE NATSIOS
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN, AND ALSO PASS USAID

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV EAID CDC SU
SUBJECT: AEC PLENARY MEETING - October 27, 2007

REF: Khartounm 1679

1. SUMMARY: AEC Chairman Tom Vraalsen convened a special session
of the AEC plenary on October 27 to discuss how the AEC can best
move forward. The AEC Coordinators proposed this meeting to address
the changed playing field after the SPLM suspended its participation
in the Government in mid October. He urged the two sides to agree
on a detailed action plan with clear objectives and timelines for
implementation. In their statements, the NCP and SPLM each
recapitulated their positions as to who bears responsibility for
slowing progress on CPA implementation, but each affirmed their
determination to make progress, and their dedication to the AEC
process. In turn, representatives of each of the Working Group
Coordinators urged the two parties to move forward in a
problem-solving mode, and pledged that they stand ready to provide
technical and other assistance to the two parties. END SUMMARY.

2. AEC Chairman Tom Vraalsen opened the meeting by urging both the
SPLM and the to focus on the way forward and tackle the remaining
obstacles to agreement with a problem-solving mindset. The two
sides should work to produce an action plan, with clear objectives
and timelines for implementation. Vraalsen voiced satisfaction "for
the support expressed to the AEC in recent days" from a number of
sources, highlighting the recent statement supporting the AEC by
Vice President Taha.

NCP and SPLM state commitment to CPA, AEC
-----------------------------------------

3. The SPLM delegates spoke first. The "action plan" the Chairman
had requested, they said, had been presented already in the form of
a list of demands to the NCP. The SPLM reiterated that it would not
return to the Government until its demands were met. In response,
the NCP rejected the SPLM's implication that the NCP was solely
responsible for the lack of progress. The only way forward was to
continue working through the partnership created by the CPA and its
various agencies and institutions. Chief among these bodies was the
Council of Ministers. The NCP urged the SPLM to immediately return
to the Government.

4. The two sides disagreed over a listing of areas for CPA
implementation which the NCP said had been worked out between State
Minister Idris Abdelgadir (NCP) and State Minister Telar Deng
(SPLM). The NCP said that the understanding reached over the list,
dated September 18, 2007, was that the two sides would begin work
immediately after the Eid break, through weekly meetings of the
Presidency. The SPLM disputed the validity of that list, saying
that it was the initiative of two persons and had not been enDorse$
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