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Cablegate: Demarche Delivered: Egyptian Invitation to Eritrea

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHEG #1679 2391456
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 271456Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3495
INFO RUEHAE/AMEMBASSY ASMARA PRIORITY 0210
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L CAIRO 001679

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/25/2019
TAGS: PREL MASS MOPS PTER ER EG
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE DELIVERED: EGYPTIAN INVITATION TO ERITREA
FOR BRIGHT STAR

REF: STATE 86776

Classified By: Minister Counselor for Economic and Political Affairs Do nald A. Blome for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1. (C) On August 24, OMC officers delivered reftel points to MG Ahmed Moataz, Chief of the U.S. Liaison Branch at the Ministry of Defense. Moataz confirmed that Egypt had already delivered an invitation to Eritrea to participate in the Bright Star military exercise as an observer, but noted that Eritrea had yet to "formally" respond. He acknowledged that the invitation had been sent in error, as Egypt and the U.S. had agreed to exclude Eritrea from the observers list during the June Final Planning Conference in Cairo.

2. (C) OMC stressed our strong objections to allowing Eritrean participation. Moataz suggested that certain "obstacles" could be used to prevent the Eritreans from attending, such as by removing them from all the official documents. Moataz admitted that the only way to guarantee that Eritrea did not participate would be to rescind the invitation. He asked for additional time to "resolve" the situation. Moataz suggested that if his efforts failed, our objections to Eritrean participation should be discussed during the scheduled September 2 meeting between Army Central Command Commander LTG Webster and Egyptian Chief of Staff LTG Enan in Cairo.

3. (C) Post will continue to follow-up with MOD and will raise the issue at higher levels if needed. Tueller

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