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Cablegate: Foreign Minister Reiterates Angola's Desire for A

VZCZCXRO2766
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHLU #1204/01 3380621
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 040621Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY LUANDA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4455
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LUANDA 001204

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/FO AND AF/S; NSC FOR PITTAMN/LEO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL AO
SUBJECT: FOREIGN MINISTER REITERATES ANGOLA'S DESIRE FOR A
POSITIVE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE U.S.

REF: LUANDA 1203

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. During Amb. Mozena's December 3
presentation of copies of his credentials, Foreign Minister
Miranda stressed Angola's desire for continued positive
relations with the U.S., defined commercial/economic ties as
the key element of the bilateral relationship, and expressed
gratitude for U.S. assistance, especially in the health
sector. During the warm and friendly meeting that lasted
over an hour despite the Minister,s preparations for
departing Angola later in the day, Miranda spoke of the need
for stronger people to people contacts that celebrated the
long-standing ties between both countries. Miranda urged
greater US commercial interest in non-extractive sectors. At
some length, he cautioned that proposed U.S. legislation
targeting sanctions against leaders of named countries for
corruption would have a most damaging impact on the
relationship. Miranda also provided an update on ongoing
Angolan efforts under SADC auspices to promote peace in
eastern DRC (reftel). The Minister closed by confirming that
he had approved two months ago our request for opening an
American Presence Post in Cabinda. End Summary.

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2. (SBU) On December 3, Ambassador Mozena, accompanied by
the DCM, presented copies of his credentials to Foreign
Minister Miranda; the formal presentation of credentials to
President Dos Santos is not expected until February.
Contrary to the Ambassador,s expectations, Miranda declared
that Mozena would be able to undertake the full range of
ambassadorial activities, except meeting directly or
participating in events with the President of the Republic,
the President of the National Assembly, or the President of
the Supreme Court. Miranda made clear that the GRA welcomed
the Ambassador and continued strong relations with the United
States.

3. (SBU) Miranda called for greater cooperation, especially
in terms of promoting economic diversification and American
investment beyond the petroleum sector. He also expressed
gratitude for U.S. assistance, especially in the area of
health. Miranda highlighted the need for greater
person-to-person contacts. He called for closer cultural
ties, celebrating the links that have joined our two
countries for centuries. Miranda spoke of his visits to
towns in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts where he saw evidence
of Angolans who helped found independent Afro-American
communities. Mozena said he shared the Minister's views on
increasing economic diversification in Angola and deepening
person-to-person contacts. Ambassador noted that his own
agricultural background drove his personal interest to
explore how best to bolster Angola's potentially rich
agricultural sector. Mozena added that as a former Peace
Corps Volunteer, he appreciated the importance of
person-to-person contacts, and that to that end he intended
to meet Angolans in all eighteen provinces.

4. (SBU) Miranda then expressed his government's deep
concerns about proposed U.S. legislation that would name
countries whose leaders purportedly had ill-gotten gains from
extractive industries and would target sanctions against
them. Miranda stated that the GRA "was repulsed" by this
legislation and that its passage would be a cause of "deep
remorse." Miranda then stated that he understood the
proposed legislation was being revised and that countries
might no longer be cited by name. Mozena thanked him for
sharing his concerns and reminded the Foreign Minister that
the Congress was independent of the Executive Branch, which
could not direct the content of legislative proposals. Both
agreed that the Government of Angola must do a better job in
explaining to the international community its ongoing efforts
to increase transparency and strengthen accountability.

5. (SBU) In response to a query from Mozena, Miranda
discussed at considerable length the GRA's plan under SADC
auspices to promote peace in eastern DRC (reftel). Miranda
also spoke in positive terms of the impending visit to Luanda
by AFRICOM Commander General Ward, and regretted that he
(Miranda) would not be in Angola to meet the General. The
meeting closed with Mozena's requesting an update on the
status of our request to open an American Presence Post in
Cabinda. Miranda responded that he had approved this at
least two months ago and did not understand why his Ministry
had failed to relay this to the Embassy. He tasked Americas
Director Balbina to ensure personally that this was taken
care of.

6. (SBU) Comment: Miranda was warm and friendly throughout
the hour-plus long meeting. He went to great lengths

LUANDA 00001204 002 OF 002


(including a five minute trip back to his office to retrieve
a file folder) to respond to the Ambassador,s request for an
update on Angola,s efforts to promote peace in eastern Congo
(reftel), and defined most narrowly the limitations on
Mozena,s activities until the formal presentation of
credentials to President Dos Santos. Although firm in
stating his concerns about the proposed legislation that
would target some leaders of Angola and other named
countries, Miranda did so without rancor. The meeting was a
positive launch to Mozena's first encounter with the GRA
since arriving as Ambassador; we can only hope the
constructive attitude endures. End Comment
MOZENA

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