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Cablegate: Pm Gusmao Seeks to Visit Washington in 2010

VZCZCXRO0116
PP RUEHDT
DE RUEHDT #0019 0280900
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P R 280900Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY DILI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4682
INFO RUEHDT/AMEMBASSY DILI 4249

UNCLAS DILI 000019

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

FOR STATE EAP, EAP/MTS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OVIP PREL TT
SUBJECT: PM GUSMAO SEEKS TO VISIT WASHINGTON IN 2010

1. In a discussion with the Ambassador on January 26, 2010,
Timor-Leste Foreign Minister da Costa reported that Prime
Minister Xanana Gusmao would like to visit Washington at some
point during 2010. The Prime Minister hopes to meet with
appropriate USG counterparts, including at the White House and
Departments of State and Defense, and would plan to travel with
a Timorese ministerial delegation, including at least those
responsible for foreign affairs; tourism, commerce and industry;
and the secretary of state for defense. On timing, FM da Costa
asked that we propose a date that would be most convenient for
the USG, while suggesting the Prime Minister is looking at the
second half of 2010 as the most likely time to travel to the
U.S. A trip to Washington would not/not be linked to possible
attendance by the PM at the 2010 U.N. General Assembly or any
other U.N. event linked directly to Timor-Leste.

2. When the Ambassador recalled that President Ramos-Horta is
also seeking a White House appointment, and asked which has
priority, the Foreign Minster replied, "the Prime Minister's."
He said it has always been the government's policy that the
Prime Minster should first go to Washington, then President
Ramos-Horta, while acknowledging the latter does not share this
view. The Ambassador urged that Timor-Leste's ambassador to the
U.S. also promptly convey this request through appropriate
channels in Washington.

3. We will soon provide our thoughts on objectives for a
possible Prime Minister Gusmao visit to Washington. Foreign
Minister da Costa indicated the Prime Minister may want to sign
a bilateral mil-mil memorandum of understanding while in
Washington (we presented a draft to the GOTL in August 2009).
Agreement on a resumption of a Peace Corps program in
Timor-Leste may provide another deliverable. Gusmao's travel to
D.C. would be his first visit to the United States since
becoming Prime Minister in August 2007, although he visited
Washington several times as President, an office he held from
2002-2007. Any initial Department reactions regarding timing
would be appreciated.

KLEMM

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