Cablegate: Fm Aboul Gheit On Unesco, Nonproliferation, Iran ,
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FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3646
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNSCO/UNESCO COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHII/VIENNA IAEA POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 CAIRO 001804
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/16/2019
TAGS: PREL IAEA KNNP PARM IR IS KPAL EG
SUBJECT: FM ABOUL GHEIT ON UNESCO, NONPROLIFERATION, IRAN ,
REF: A) STATE 094763 B) STATE 095946 C) STATE 095073 D) STATE 095980 E) STATE 095811 Classified By: Ambassador Margaret Scobey for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
1. Key Points: -- (C) FM Aboul Gheit said the USG "campaign" against UNESCO candidate Farouk Hosni stemmed from a misunderstanding of his record. Egypt continues to work with the USG on the range of bilateral and multilateral issues. However, citing mounting press criticism, the FM said the basis for that cooperation has been undermined by the anti-Hosni campaign. -- (C) Ambassador urged continued constructive engagement at the IAEA General Conference (GC) in Vienna, and passed non-papers on NPT and Syrian nuclear activities. FM said Egypt expressed interest in early engagement on NPT review issues. Ambassador noted upcoming CTBT conference as one venue for such discussions. -- (C) Ambassador further urged Egypt to use the GCC 3 forum in New York to voice public messages on Iranian nuclear activities. -- (C) FM said Israeli FM Lieberman's participation would be a redline for Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) participation of Arab Foreign Ministers. On UNRWA, FM said an Israeli speaking role at a panel discussion would be acceptable, vice speaking before the assembled delegates. -- (C) FM will preview ref e points on Qadhafi's visit with President Mubarak. UNESCO and Farouk Hosni -----------------------
2. (C) Ambassador in a September 16 meeting with PM Ahmed Aboul Gheit said following further internal discussions, the USG would not lobby against Egyptian UNESCO candidate Farouk Hosni, although we reserve the right to consult on and consider other candidates. Aboul Gheit responded that "the damage has been done." He explained that while the GoE could accept the USG making clear to others that it does not support Hosni, what Aboul Gheit characterized as a sustained, active campaign (including "threats" to other governments) to seek Hosni's defeat was unacceptable. Citing mounting local press criticism, Aboul Gheit said while Egypt is trying to help President Obama in Geneva, Vienna, and on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, the campaign against Hosni significantly undermines that cooperation.
2. (C) Aboul Gheit said opposition to Hosni stems from a misunderstanding of his record. Hosni, he said, has led the fight of "secular forces" in Egyptian society against the tide of radical Islamists. He complained that the USG was judging him based on one "stupid remark." Aboul Gheit said this was unfair. Citing a variety of common Arabic expressions, Aboul Gheit noted "it's part of our culture (to exaggerate)."
3. (C) Ambassador said that should Hosni be elected there are a number of things he can do to reassure critics, including demonstrating a commitment to UNESCO's core principles, ensuring effective and transparent management and hiring processes, and working to ensure UNESCO programming continues to reflect an evenhanded approach to all issues. IAEA, NPT, Iran ---------------
4. (C) Ambassador urged continued constructive engagement on a consensus resolution at the IAEA in Vienna, and passed to Aboul Gheit ref a non-papers on Syria and the NPT review conference. Aboul Gheit was pleased that the USG is ready to begin early consultations on the 1995 Middle East NPT resolution in anticipation of the NPT review conference in May, and said he would review the papers. Ambassador also noted the upcoming CTBT Article XIV Conference (ref b) would be another important opportunity to exchange views on key non-proliferation issues including actions in preparation for the May NPT review conference.
5. (C) Ambassador noted Secretary Clinton's interest in meeting with GCC 3 counterparts on September 26. She added per ref c that this meeting would be an outstanding opportunity to issue a public message voicing concern about Iranian nuclear activity and urging Iranian cooperation with P5 1 interlocutors. CAIRO 00001804 002 OF 002 AHLC, UNRWA -----------
6. (C) Ambassador delivered ref d points on the September 22 AHLC experts-level meeting in New York. Aboul Gheit understood that the meeting would no longer be held at the ministerial level, and commented that "the moment he (Israeli FM Lieberman) participates, the Arab FMs will disappear, especially the Egyptian." Ambassador urged that Egypt continue to be flexible on Israeli participation in UNRWA 60th anniversary events. Aboul Gheit said Egypt could live with current plans to have an Israeli representative address a panel, but would object to an appearance before the assembled delegates. Libya -----
7. (S) Ambassador previewed with Aboul Gheit ref e points for President Mubarak urging he call Libyan leader Qadhafi to discuss Qadhafi's upcoming trip to New York (which will be delivered to Mubarak tomorrow). Aboul Gheit indicated he understood and said he would discuss with the President. Scobey