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Cablegate: Ethiopian G20 Agenda Concerns

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P 161012Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6215
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RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS ADDIS ABABA 002245

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EFIN EAID ET
SUBJECT: ETHIOPIAN G20 AGENDA CONCERNS

1. (SBU) Charge and DCM met with the Prime Minister's
Economic Advisor, and G20 sherpa, Minister Newaye Christos
Gebre-Ab September 15, at the latter,s request. Gebre-Ab
had just returned from the G20 sherpa meeting in the U.S.

2. (SBU) Noting that PM Meles would be representing views
from all Africa during the G20 meeting, Gebre-Ab indicated
that there were two issues in particular that Meles would
wish to emphasize. First was follow-up to London G20
discussions regarding a prospective World Bank fund to
promote food security. Gebre-Ab said that the African
position was clearly in full support of the proposal, and the
Ethiopian delegation wished to emphasize that rapid
establishment and full funding at target levels are important
to Africa. As well, efficient and timely disbursement from
the fund by the Bank would be important to ensure realization
of the fund,s goals. For the latter point in particular,
Gabre-Ab noted that strong support and interest by major
partners such as the U.S. would be important, and he hoped
such support would be made clear during the G20.

3. (SBU) Gebre-Ab also said that in London there had been
discussion of utilization of International Monetary Fund
(IMF) Special Drawing Rights (SDR,s) which were not being
otherwise drawn down by some member states. Specifically, he
said major economic powers such as the U.S. were obviously
unlikely to draw on the newly-available SDR,s, and ideas had
been discussed to utilize these to permit additional
extension lending by the IMF to specific countries, within
the parameters of borrowing limits as set by IMF policy.
Interest accruing to the original beneficiary state could be
maintained by the specific conditions of such lending,
especially as that interest is set at concessional or
marginal rates in any event. This would be a subject that
the Ethiopian delegation, on behalf of fellow African states,
would like to discuss further during the G20.

4. (SBU) Related to the above, Gebre-Ab said he would find it
very useful to be able to have bilateral meeting(s) with USG
officials, presumably from Treasury and State, just prior to
the G20 meeting. He was uncertain as to the date of the
immediate pre-G20 sherpa meeting, but said that if this were
to be held September 23, for example, September 22 would seem
a good time for such bilateral meeting(s).

5. (SBU) CDA indicated that we would pass along Gebre-Ab,s
views and meeting request, and would advise him of any
information available prior to his expected September 20
departure from Ethiopia.

6. (SBU) Comment and action request: The Embassy supports a
bilateral meeting or meetings with Gebre-Ab in advance of the
G20 if at all possible. At minimum, such a meeting would be
useful to convey to the Ethiopians, and by extension other
Africans states, that the USG is interested in and listening
to African views related to the G20 agenda. Embassy requests
any information regarding possible bilateral meetings be
provided to relay to Gebre-Ab prior to September 20, as well
as any substantive information desired to be conveyed to him.
MEECE

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