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Cablegate: Letter On Sinai Development Program From

VZCZCXYZ0008
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #3643 0472032
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 162030Z FEB 10
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY CAIRO IMMEDIATE 0353

UNCLAS STATE 013643

SIPDIS, SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPDC PREL EAID PHUM EG
SUBJECT: LETTER ON SINAI DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM FROM
SECRETARY CLINTON TO PRIME MINISTER AHMED NAZIF

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. PLEASE PROTECT ACCORDINGLY.

1. Please deliver the following message from Secretary
Clinton to Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif. There will be no
signed original.

2. Begin text:

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

Over the course of the last year, the United States and
Egypt have worked together to strengthen our bilateral
relationship and identify opportunities to cooperate on
important issues that both of our countries face. It is
in this spirit of cooperation that I draw your attention
to an issue I wrote to you about last February: U.S.
funding for development programs in the northern Sinai.

As you are aware, the U.S. Congress appropriated
$50 million in FY 2009 supplemental funds to tackle the
serious problem of deep-seated poverty in the northern
Sinai in order to provide an economic alternative to
smuggling for residents in the region. Despite ongoing
communication between our governments over the past year
on this issue, however, we have not yet reached
agreement on a portfolio of programs to support, let
alone begun implementation of this important initiative.
Given the role this effort plays in our joint strategy
to combat smuggling across Egypt's border with Gaza,
reaching an agreement on such programs and implementing
them without delay is crucial.

In approaching this initiative, the United States has
consistently respected Egyptian sensitivities related to
the Sinai and has proposed mechanisms for implementing
this initative that would give the Egyptian government
responsibility for carrying out projects on the ground.
To ensure appropriate oversight of U.S. funding,
however, it is incumbent upon the U.S. government to
ensure that proper accountability mechanisms are in
place.

I understand that Ambassador Scobey met with Minister of
International Cooperation Aboulnaga on February 3 to
expedite this process. I hope that their discussion
leads to prompt implementation of this program.

The United States looks forward to working with Egypt to
ensure the success of this important initiative. This
effort is also of significant interest to members of the
U.S. Congress who want to see and support a strong
partnership between the United States and Egypt.

I look forward to our countries' ongoing cooperation and
to working with you to make progress on these
development programs.

Sincerely yours,
Hillary Rodham Clinton

END TEXT.
CLINTON

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