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Cablegate: Angola's Current Ambassador to the United States to Be The

VZCZCXRO4435
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHLU #0596 2181508
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 051508Z AUG 08 ZDK ZUI RUEWCSE 3348
FM AMEMBASSY LUANDA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4941
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

UNCLAS LUANDA 000596

FOR AF/PD (CLAUDIA ANYASO, DAN WHITMAN, RUSSELL BROOKS, LYNN
ALLISON)

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP PGOV AO
SUBJECT: ANGOLA'S CURRENT AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES TO BE THE
NEXT FOREIGN MINISTER?

1. (SBU) The Angolan private weekly newspaper, Angolense, published
an article on page 35 entitled, "Foresight into the MPLA's Next
Government." The article posits that Angola's current Ambassador to
the United States, Josefina Pitra Diakite, is a serious contender to
be Foreign Minister in the government that emerges following the
September 5 legislative elections. The article suggests that
current Foreign Minister Joao Miranda, currently number 32 on the
MPLA's list of candidates in the upcoming race, will take a seat in
Parliament rather than continue as Foreign Minister.

2. (SBU) The article has been met with skepticism around Luanda.
The author of the article is outside of Angola and is considered to
have little access to "insider" information on the MPLA
decision-making process. Many high-ranking MPLA members - including
President Jose Eduardo dos Santos - are on the MPLA's candidate
list; most, including possibly Miranda, are expected to decline
positions in Parliament in favor high-ranking executive positions.
While Miranda may move to another position in government, Diakite is
seen by many here as an unlikely replacement, as she is not a member
of the MPLA's highest echelons, the pool from which Foreign Minister
would likely be selected.

3. (SBU) COMMENT: We report this speculation for what it may be
worth. We understand that similar rumors of Diakite's possible
promotion are circulating in Washington. The Embassy's own view at
this point is that the plum Foreign Minister job would likely remain
with Miranda or go to someone much higher in the MPLA food chain.
END COMMENT

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