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Cablegate: Letter: Fmr Pres Ratsiraka to Secretary Clinton On Agoa

VZCZCXRO5436
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHTRO
DE RUEHAN #0857/01 3481445
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 141445Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY ANTANANARIVO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3132
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANTANANARIVO 000857

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/E MARIA BEYZEROV
STATE PLEASE PASS USTR FOR CHAMILTON AND WJACKSON
PARIS FOR WALLACE BAIN
LONDON FOR PETER LORD
TREASURY FOR AIERONIMO AND FBOYE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MA SF
SUBJECT: LETTER: FMR PRES RATSIRAKA TO SECRETARY CLINTON ON AGOA

REF: 09 ANTANANARIVO 844

1. (U) Below is the full text of a letter regarding AGOA from former
Malagasy President Didier Ratsiraka to Secretary Clinton, delivered
to Post by fax on December 12. The original fax, written in
English, will be delivered via email to AF/E.

[BEGIN TEXT]

FROM:

Mr. Didier Ratsiraka
Former President of the Republic of Madagascar

TO:

H.E. Mrs. Hillary R. Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington D.C.
United States of America

Paris, December 12, 2009

Your Excellency, Madam Secretary,

As you may be aware, it was during my tenure as President of the
Republic of Madagascar, from 1997 to 2002, that Madagascar had the
honor of entering the African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA)
program, initially known as the Africa Bill, enacted by President
Clinton. I feel like the father of Madagascar's access to this
critically important program and that is the reason why I take the
liberty to write to you on this matter on behalf of the Malagasy
people.

To date, the AGOA has been a significant driver of economic
development and a vital source of much-needed employment for
hundreds of thousands of my fellow countrymen.

That is why I am pained to learn that a decision to suspend
Madagascar as an AGOA beneficiary could be taken as early as
December 15. The effects of the global crisis and the current
political instability in our nation have already been devastating to
our country. The impact of a decision to remove Madagascar from the
AGOA program would put 300,000 jobs in jeopardy and could
potentially lead to further social and economic hardship for our
people.

Your Excellency, Madam Secretary,

I can assure you that there are a number of political leaders,
myself included, who are committed to democracy and who are working
diligently to address the political challenges that have delayed the
establishment of our transitional government and the associated
institutions that will be put in place in preparation for a free,
fair and democratic national election. It is our goal that these
challenges will be resolved within the next 30 days. That is why I
am writing to you to kindly request that any decision regarding
Madagascar's AGOA status be postponed for at least 30 days.

Our efforts to put a transitional government in place are in
accordance with the agreements between the major political parties
that were signed in Maputo and Addis Ababa. Under those agreements,
we will establish a government committed to getting the national
economy moving once again and to improving the quality of life of
our 20 million people. We endeavor that it will also be a
government committed to democratic principles.

The AGOA program is vitally important to Madagascar and it is a
privilege that we will not squander. It plays a major role in our
economy and we are committed to honoring the guidelines under which
it is granted.

I would like you to be so good as to accept, Your Excellency Madam
Secretary, along with my appreciation and gratitude to you and the
people of the United States of America, the assurance of my highest
and faithful consideration.

//signature//
Didier Ratsiraka

[END TEXT]

ANTANANARI 00000857 002 OF 002


MARQUARDT

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