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Cablegate: Moroccan Forum Seeks High Level Usg Participation

VZCZCXYZ0005
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHRB #0769/01 2541728
ZNR UUUUU ZZH(ADAF9995 MSI8532-695)
P 111728Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY RABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0651
INFO RUCNMGH/MAGHREB COLLECTIVE
RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE 0043
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 3578
RUEHCL/AMCONSUL CASABLANCA 4716
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 1983

UNCLAS RABAT 000769

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
C O R R E C T E D COPY CAPTION
STATE FOR NEA/MAG, EEB/TPP/BTA - EGAN AND S/P - BEHRMAN
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECIN PREL ETRD EINV PTER XI MO
SUBJECT: MOROCCAN FORUM SEEKS HIGH LEVEL USG PARTICIPATION

REF: RABAT 0256

1. (SBU) Summary: Top USG officials have been invited to
take part in the annual "MEDays 2009" forum, November 19 to
21 in Tangier, aimed at developing recommendations to address
the political, economic, environmental and socio-cultural
issues of the Mediterranean region. Among those invited are
Special Envoy George Mitchell, Under Secretary of State for
Political Affairs William Burns and Acting USAID
Administrator Alonzo Fulgham. The Spanish Prime Minister and
Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs have already confirmed
attendance. World Bank President Robert Zoellick and UN
Under Secretary General Lynn Pascoe have also been invited.
The event is being organized by the Amadeus Institute, a
Moroccan think tank with ties to the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and Cooperation (MFA), under the banner "Forum of the
South for a New Mediterranean." Post encourages senior USG
participation in this event, as it would promote dialogue
with political decision makers, the private sector and civil
society for regional political, economic and social
integration of the Mediterranean area. End Summary.

--------------------------------
HIGH LEVEL USG OFFICIALS INVITED
--------------------------------

2. (SBU) Building on the success of the first "MEDays" forum
held November 2008 in Tangier, which called for urgent action
to re-open borders between Morocco and Algeria and the
"effective and sustainable revival of the Arab Maghreb
Union," the Amadeus Institute has broadened the scope of this
year's event. This year's "MEDays" forum is also set to take
place in Tangier from November 19 to 21 and bring together
top economic, political and civil society leaders. The goal
of this edition, Institute President Brahim Fassi Fihri
informed CDA at a recent meeting, is to come together to
propose concrete recommendations for development in Africa
and the Mediterranean through "North-South" cooperation. The
event will cover geopolitical themes such as crisis
resolution and human development in Africa, a comprehensive
analysis of the Mediterranean Union and security issues in
the Western Mediterranean. Invitations have been extended to
leaders from Tony Blair to Desmond Tutu. Spanish Prime
Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Spanish Minister of
Foreign Affairs Miguel Angel Moratinos, and Zimbabwean Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have already accepted their
invitations, with Zapatero scheduled as the keynote speaker.

The following is a list of USG officals and other notable
Americans who have been invited to take part in the forum:

USG Officials:

-- George Mitchell, Special Envoy to the Middle East
-- Donald Payne, Congressman, Chairman of the Subcommittee on
Africa and Global Health
-- Alonzo Fulgham, Acting USAID Administrator
-- Brad Sherman, Congressman, Chairman of the Subcommittee on
Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade
-- William Burns, Under Secretary of State for Political
Affairs
-- Joseph McMillan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense of
International Security Affairs

Other Americans:

-- Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank
-- Lynn Pascoe, Under Secretary General of the United Nations

--------------------
A "YOUNG" THINK TANK
--------------------

3. (SBU) The organizer of the event, the Amadeus Institute,
is a self-proclaimed "young" think tank composed of a small
team of Moroccan and international professionals led by the
son of Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs Taieb Fassi
Fihri. "Our ambition is to draw inspiration from researchers
and experts, but also from the new vision of the young and
active members of the Institute," stressed the younger Fassi
Fihri. The Institute is the offspring of a student
organization by the same name that united Moroccan students
studying at colleges and universities overseas. They came
together upon returning home to fill the independent "think
tank" void in Morocco and contribute to the economic, social
and cultural development of the region, noted the Institute's
Vice President of Public Affairs Mekki Lahlou.


4. (SBU) The Amadeus Institute's main objective is to
promote debate and inform civil societies by enabling more
interaction between governments, businesses, civil societies,
universities, researchers and future decision makers. At the
same time, the Institute seeks to produce concrete and
operational recommendations on strategic issues with a
Moroccan, North African and South-Mediterranean vision. In
addition to planning events like the MEDays forums, the group
has created a center for analysis and publications to
generate ideas and debates to guide decsion makers. Due to
funding issues, noted Lahlou, the Institute has focused more
on planning events that are supported by Moroccan and French
companies. One of their main contributors is the Moroccan
Phosphate Company, Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP).
The Institute is open to any and all support the U.S. Embassy
could offer, Fassi Fihri told the CDA. The CDA mentioned the
possibility of small grants, and promised to be in touch
after further consultations with the country team.

---------------------
OPPORTUNITY TO ENGAGE
---------------------

5. (SBU) Comment: The first MEDays Forum in 2008 brought
together over 500 participants and 100 high level speakers
from the Mediterranean, Africa and North America to engage in
a dialogue to shape a new development vision for the
Mediterranean. It also represented one of the rare recent
encounters between prominent Israelis and Arabs. This year's
event will be just as ambitious and promises to have a
similar turnout. USG representation at this event would
signal our commitment to continued discussions on integration
efforts for the region. End Comment.


*****************************************
Visit Embassy Rabat's Classified Website;
http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Moro cco
*****************************************

Jackson

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