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Cablegate: Pres. Kikwete Tells Rep. Payne That Tanzania & Turkey Will

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FM AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9052
INFO RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 3356
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 3548
RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA 3011
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RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 0101

UNCLAS DAR ES SALAAM 000796

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPT AF/E FOR JTREADWELL; INR FOR FEHRENREICH
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI FOR SOMALIA UNIT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OREP PINS PREL PTER PINR PREF PBTS SO TZ ER TU
SUBJECT: PRES. KIKWETE TELLS REP. PAYNE THAT TANZANIA & TURKEY WILL
CO-HOST SOMALI TALKS

1. (SBU) Summary: Representative Donald Payne (D-NJ), in Dar Es
Salaam to participate in the Mo Ibrahim Forum on Governance, met
privately with President Jakaya Kikwete on November 14, along with
Ambassador Lenhardt and staffers. Rep. Payne urged Kikwete, as a
progressive African leader, to work to make the AU more effective.
Kikwete revealed hitherto unannounced plans for Tanzania to partner
with the governments of Turkey and Eritrea to bring the TFG and
Somali opposition factions together for talks. End Summary.

-------------------------
Solid Base of Strong Ties
-------------------------

2. (U) As always, President Kikwete was gracious and appreciative of
US assistance, and well-informed on details of substantive issues.
He noted the "phenomenal" success of our Presidential Malaria
Initiative in Zanzibar, and praised our PEPFAR efforts for giving
people living with HIV/AIDS a future. Representative Donald Payne
(D-NJ) thanked the President for the record time in which Ambassador
Lenhardt was invited to present his credentials. He complimented
Tanzania on the success of its reforms which led to the largest ever
Millennium Challenge Compact award. He shared how impressed he had
been, on visiting a PEPFAR-funded police HIV testing, care and
treatment center earlier in the day, to find that mother to child
transmission had decreased from 60 percent to virtually zero. He
recounted his long history of visits to Tanzania, including meetings
with President Nyerere, whom he recognized as the founder of the
pan-Africanist movement and strong supporter of freedom fighters.

--------------------
Challenge to the AU
--------------------

3. (SBU) Rep. Payne urged Kikwete to think about ways in which
enlightened leaders like him could make the AU more bold, firm, and
effective in its mission. While recognizing there are bad leaders
everywhere, he noted with regret the tendency within Africa to
"leave them alone" and "look the other way." Payne stated this is a
poor example for the younger generation, who are looking to emerging
leaders like Kikwete for inspiration. He gave the example of
Sudanese president Bashir being welcomed in African capitals while
flouting international law.

4. (SBU) Kikwete responded that when he served as Chairman of the AU
in 2008, his main concern was for the safety of the people of
Darfur. He explained that action against Bashir was constrained by
the fact that all UN and AU activities to protect and sustain
vulnerable Darfuris depended on Bashir's continued authorization of
their mission; "he could order everyone out tomorrow". Kikwete
described small victories in negotiating for non-African countries
to join the hybrid force in Darfur and allowing foreign helicopters
to be used. However, he said there were many outstanding issues,
such as delays in bringing in goods at Port Sudan and approval of
entry permits for Darfur, that are critical to humanitarian
operations and that only Bashir can address. Kikwete said "being
President is Bashir's last line of defense", because he knows
whoever is in power next may deliver him to the ICC to gain favor
with the world. Kikwete also complained enforcement of the ICC
warrant is practically impossible unless Bashir decides to give
himself up.


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Tanzanian - Turkish Plan for Somali Talks
------------------------------------------

5. (SBU) Kikwete went on to describe recent frank AU discussions on
Eritrea that had introduced the threat of sanctions. He said the AU
is encouraging the Eritrean foreign minister to tell his side of the
story and explain himself because it appears the nation is
contributing to regional chaos. Referencing the perpetrators of the
bombing of the US Embassy in Tanzania in 1998, he stated: "when
extremists take root, it is a cause for alarm for all of us in the
region". Kikwete announced Tanzania is ready to host negotiations
between parties involved in the conflict in the horn of Africa. He
said the President of Turkey had asked him to work together to
initiate a dialogue. Kikwete said he would prefer talks be held in
Africa, but supported any efforts that would deliver results. He
said Foreign Minister Membe will travel to Istanbul this month for a
meeting between Somali and Eritrean parties. Commenting on

Al-Shabaab, Kikwete joked, "all they hear are voices of some people
in Tora Bora". He said he and the Turks' goal is to bring extremist
Islamists into the TFG fold so as to isolate Al-Shabaab. He said if
a sizeable enough alliance could be created, it could potentially
then reach out to Al-Shabaab.

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The Somali Problem
-------------------

6. (SBU) Kikwete stated: "Somalia is our biggest headache". He
decried the proliferation of weapons from Somalia, saying "they are
now utilitiA{Q icM`b,euxA]I&WtQugees in
jail in Tanzania for illegal entry, and they arrive almost daily on
their way to greener pastures in South Africa. He said Tanzania
hopes to return them soon.

7. (SBU) Payne told President Kikwete about a forum he had
organized in Washington for representatives from Puntland,
Somaliland, and the TFG to discuss how best to benefit the Somali
people as a whole. He said he encouraged the participants to
partake in the TFG structure in order to access assistance and
manage legal recognition issues. Kikwete responded that the
President of Somaliland had come to Tanzania to push for
recognition, but said it was difficult because while they do have a
"genuine case" for statehood, it would further complicate the
situation in Somalia. Kikwete said the priority is to address
problems in Somalia, otherwise extremists will move into Somaliland.
He said the key question preoccupying him is how to get the TFG to
work, because once the TFG has gained control, things should calm
down. He mentioned Tanzania had offered to train Somali troops, but
the TFG had not yet taken him up on it. He said he is trying to
work all angles. However, he is "not very hopeful, but can't yet
say it is hopeless because not everything has been tried".
Ambassador Lenhardt reinforced that Tanzania occupies a very
favorable leadership role and is taking the right approach. He
emphasized the importance of careful consideration, not reactive
thinking in this complex situation.

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Comment
-------

8. (SBU) Comment: President Kikwete, recognizing Payne's stature and
deep engagement with African issues, made a special exception to
invite the Congressman to a closed Mo Ibrahim Foundation Board
lunch, and subsequently granted him a lengthy individual meeting.
These gestures also reflect well on our strong, positive bilateral
relationship. We will continue to follow and report on the growing
relationship between Turkey and Tanzania, especially their outreach
to parties involved in the Somali conflict. End Comment.

9. (U) CODEL Payne cleared this cable.

LENHARDT

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