Cablegate: S/E Gration Participates in Four-Party Talks On

DE RUEHEG #1690/01 2421355
P 301355Z AUG 09

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 CAIRO 001690



E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/26/2019

CAIRO 00001690 001.2 OF 003 Classified By: DCM Matthew H. Tueller for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1.(C) Key Points: -- Special Envoy (S/E) for Sudan Scott Gration on August 23 discussed the problems in Darfur and southern Sudan with high-level delegations from Egypt, Libya, and Sudan. Gration stressed that the work done in the next three months will determine the next three years in Sudan, and he encouraged the neighbors to take a bigger role in resolving the crises. The four parties agreed to stay in close consultation with one another to address the problems. -- Egypt, Libya, and Sudan expressed their commitment to a united Sudan. Gration asked them to take steps to make unity attractive. He stated the U.S. wants Sudan, whether united or separate, to be stable, secure, prosperous, and have a responsible government. -- The delegation noted that the situation in Darfur has drastically improved due primarily to U.S. and Libyan efforts. S/E Gration told the group that now is the time to "engineer an end to the crisis in Darfur." Libyan FM Musa Kusa said the peace in Darfur is "fragile" and he urged the four countries to reach a quick solution to the crisis. -- Egyptian, Libyan and Sudanese leaders expressed confusion over the nature of the USG policy toward Sudan. Sudanese Presidential Advisor Ghazi Salahuddin hoped the "new American policy" would be positive because a U.S. role is needed to resolve the crises in the country. ------------------------------------- A Consultative Working Group on Sudan -------------------------------------

2.(C) Special Envoy (S/E) for Sudan Scott Gration on August 23 participated in four-party talks on Sudan with Egyptian FM Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Egyptian Intelligence Minister Omar Soliman, Libyan Secretary General of the People's Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation Musa Kusa and Sudanese Presidential Advisor Ghazi Salahuddin. The talks focused on the crisis in Darfur, the implementation of the CPA, and the future of Sudan. Sudanese Presidential Advisor Salahuddin expressed appreciation to the other countries for their interest and assistance in resolving the problems in Sudan. S/E Gration encouraged the neighbors to take a bigger role in helping to resolve the situation in Sudan because "what happens in Sudan has a direct effect on Egypt and Libya." He stressed that the work the group does in the next three months will determine the next three years in Sudan. The four countries agreed there was a need to stay in close consultation with one another. Aboul Gheit informed us that the three Arab states plan to meet on the fringes of the extraordinary African Union (AU) summit in Libya on August 30-September 1, and the four parties will meet again on the margins of UNGA in late September. Soliman referred to the interaction as "the creation of a working group" to follow up and bring the issue of Sudan to a close. ----------------------------- Focused on the Unity of Sudan -----------------------------

3.(C) Gration told the group that on August 19 he witnessed the NCP and SPLM initialing an agreement to implement ten of the 12 outstanding issues standing in the way of full CPA implementation including making unity attractive. Both parties agreed to continue discussions to resolve differences over the census and the referendum. Gration stated the U.S. wants Sudan, whether united or separate, to be stable, secure, prosperous, and have a responsible government. He encouraged the group to take this idea from vision to reality. Salahuddin said the Government of Sudan (GoS) was committed to the principle of self-determination, but he cautioned that an independent South Sudan would lack a raison d'etre, lead to tribal conflicts, and have a negative impact on neighboring countries by encouraging more declarations of independence. He also warned Egypt that if South Sudan chose to separate it would complicate Nile water rights and previous agreements. He asked the group to "find a formula to preserve the unity of Sudan."

4.(C) Egyptian FM Aboul Gheit stated Egypt was fully CAIRO 00001690 002.2 OF 003 committed to unity in Sudan. He said the division of the country would lead to "tragedy" because it could result in conflict and have a "contagion effect" on other areas in the region. Aboul Gheit said all the countries should encourage unity because it is part of the CPA. Egyptian Intelligence Minister Soliman added that South Sudan would not be viable economically or politically, and would be unable to provide for the security of its people. Soliman encouraged the USG to educate South Sudanese leaders on the consequences of separation for the Southern Sudanese people, Sudan and Africa. He stated Khartoum needs to offer development assistance as an incentive for unity, but has no plans to do so because it fears the South has decided to separate. Soliman suggested Egypt and Libya engage with the Salateen (tribal chiefs) in southern Sudan to encourage unity. Libyan FM Kusa said the separation of countries is in "vogue," but that practically, a Southern state was not viable economically or demographically. He asked the USG, because of its role as a facilitator of the CPA, to help to resolve the "contradictions" pushing for the division of Sudan. ----------------------------- Quick Action Needed on Darfur -----------------------------

5.(C) S/E Gration told the group that now is the time to "engineer an end to the crisis in Darfur." He briefed the group on his meetings in Addis Ababa to unite the SLM/A factions. Gration praised the work of Sudan, the U.N. and NGOs for helping to avert a humanitarian disaster in Darfur that would have affected 1.2 million people. He noted the positive role that Libya played in "lowering the tensions" in Darfur by uniting the Darfur factions and working to mediate the differences between Chad and Sudan. Salahuddin praised S/E Gration for helping the GoS to work out the humanitarian situation in Darfur and acknowledged Egypt's humanitarian donation helped "fill the void" after the expulsion of the 13 NGOs in March. Salahuddin said the GoS is reassured by the stability in Darfur. He stated that people are returning to their villages and militant groups have ceased their attacks. Salahuddin hoped a deal could be reached with Chad because there are no land or ideological disputes. He welcomed all efforts to unite Darfur groups so an agreement could be reached by the end of September that would lead to peace negotiations in Doha.

6.(C) Libyan FM Kusa stated that the Darfuri people have suffered "injustice" and he said Egypt and Libya need to do something "tangible" to rectify the situation because the U.S. and European countries "do not fully understand the situation." He declared that Libya is exerting efforts to reach a solution on the conflict between Sudan and Chad and the crisis in Darfur. Kusa said that the Darfur issue has become self-perpetuating because the militia leaders are using it for personal gain, media attention, and prestige. He stated that the peace in Darfur is "fragile," and he urged the four countries to coordinate and consult with each other to reach a quick solution to the crisis.

7.(C) Aboul Gheit said Egypt supports Libyan efforts to unite the Darfuri rebel movements and mediate between the GoS and the Government of Chad. He acknowledged that Doha would be acceptable as a site for final negotiations between Darfuri groups and the GoS. Soliman stated the solution to Darfur lies in resolving the Sudan-Chad conflict. He praised the efforts of the U.S. and Libya to broker an agreement and urged the USG to pressure "European countries" to support these efforts. Soliman said Egypt was committed to helping with the reconstruction of Darfur after the signing of a peace treaty. Aboul Gheit proposed to hold an international "Donors Conference" for the reconstruction of Darfur. ----------------------------- Concern over Future U.S. Role -----------------------------

8.(C) While all the leaders commended the work of S/E Gration, they asked what the future U.S. role would be in Sudan. Aboul Gheit stated that clarity was needed on the "real intentions of the USG in Sudan." Salahuddin said the GoS is paying close attention to the formation of the "new American policy" on Sudan. He hoped there would be a positive approach to the GoS because "an impartial American role is essential to resolving the crises in the country." CAIRO 00001690 003.2 OF 003

9.(U) S/E Gration's office cleared this cable.

10.(U) Minimize considered. Scobey

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