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Viewing cable 09CAIRO218, EGYPTIAN VIEWS ON COUNTER PIRACY, SOMALIA AND SUDAN REF: A. KHARTOUM 51 B. KHARTOUM 75 Classified By: Minister Counselor for Economic and Political Affairs William R. Stewart for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09CAIRO218 2009-02-05 15:03 2011-02-16 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Cairo
VZCZCXRO3880
PP RUEHDE RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHEG #0218/01 0361509
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 051509Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1571
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI 0003
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 1245
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0411
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0259
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 CAIRO 000218 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/ELA, AF/SPG, AF/E, NAIROBI FOR TRIMBLE 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/05/2019 
TAGS: PREL PTER KCRM EWWT SO SU EG
SUBJECT: EGYPTIAN VIEWS ON COUNTER PIRACY, SOMALIA AND SUDAN REF: A. KHARTOUM 51 B. KHARTOUM 75 Classified By: Minister Counselor for Economic and Political Affairs William R. Stewart for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1.(C) Summary: The Egyptian MFA's Cabinet Advisor on African Affairs told us February 5 that Egypt believes "substantial progress" on Somalia was made in Djibouti over the past two weeks. The Government of Egypt (GOE) supports the election of Shaykh Sharif Shaykh Ahmed as President of Somalia. The GOE also advocates for international support for the new Somali Government to help provide security. Egypt will host, in March, both the plenary session and working Group 4 of the Contact Group on Piracy of the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS). Egypt is concerned that Qatari and UN efforts to bring Darfur rebel groups to the negotiating table are undermining Minni Minawi and the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA). Egypt also feels that a recent report, released by the UN SYG, reflect international acceptance of the eventual partition of Sudan and does not promote the unity of the country. End Summary. -------------------------------------- Egypt Cautiously Optimistic on Somalia --------------------------------------

2.(C) Ahmed Abu Zeid, the Egyptian MFA's Cabinet Advisor on African Affairs, told us on February 4 that the GOE feels the new Somali Government made "substantial progress" during meeting in Djibouti over the last two weeks. He said new Somali President Shaykh Sharif Shaykh Ahmed is the "choice of the Somali people," and the GOE has confidence in his abilities to reach out to all parties in Somalia. However, Abu Zeid stated that there are many challenges ahead including challenges to Shaykh Sharif, AMISOM, and the Djibouti process. He said the GOE wanted to wait and see how Shaykh Sharif dealt with these challenges. Abu Zeid advocated for international financial, logistical and training support to legitimize Shaykh Sharif and the new Somali Government. He stressed the need to facilitate the development of the Somali joint forces to provide much needed security. --------------------------------------------- ---------- Egypt's Plans for Hosting Piracy Contact Group Meetings --------------------------------------------- ----------

3.(C) Abu Zeid told us that Egypt accepted the offer by then-P/M A/S Kimmitt to host the next plenary session of the CGPCS in March. He said Egypt will host Working Group 4 (WG4), on improving diplomatic and public information on piracy, of the CGPCS and the plenary session "back-to-back" so as to minimize participant travel. Abu Zeid stated that Egypt is working on a concept paper for WG4 and will disseminate it to the participants. He said there was a need for a central point for all information on the CGPCS, and asked if there was going to be a Secretariat. Abu Zeid requested information on the dates for the other three working groups, and asked how feedback from each WG will be circulated. ----------------------------------------- Egypt Worried About Darfur Peace Strategy -----------------------------------------

4.(C) Abu Zeid told us that the GOE is concerned that the Qatari Government and the UN/AU Mediator for Darfur Bassole are, in their haste to get rebel groups to participate in the Doha talks, ignoring the DPA, signed by the Sudanese Government and Minni Minawi's SLA. He stated that the GOE supports the DPA as the basis for all talks on peace in Darfur, and Minawi should be rewarded, not penalized for signing. Abu Zeid said Egypt supports a "comprehensive" agreement on Darfur. He warned that only dealing with the JEM and SLA/Abdel Wahid al-Nur because they are the strongest groups would be a repeat of Abuja, where the international community was satisfied that only SLA/Minawi signed. He asked for a public signal from Washington that it supported a "comprehensive" peace accord that includes Minni Minawi, as well as all key factions.

5.(C) Abu Zeid stated that JEM's recent actions in Muhajiriya (reftels A and B) are an attempt to prove that the CAIRO 00000218 002 OF 002 group is the "superpower" on the ground. He said that JEM wants to acquire more land in Darfur so the international community will "bless" them and consider other groups to be irrelevant. Abu Zeid told us that the GOE is concerned that the international community supports this strategy as long as JEM comes to the negotiating table. --------------------------- Concern over Sudan's Future ---------------------------

6.(C) Abu Zeid said the GOE is interested in recent discussions by the P-5 in London on the ICC indictment of Sudanese President Bashir. He told us that Egypt is concerned with the repercussions that an ICC decision to issue a warrant for Bashir's arrest would have on the stability of Sudan. Abu Zeid stated that in light of the January 2009 Report of the UN SYG on Sudan, Egypt is also worried that the international community now views 2011 as the year of South Sudan's independence. He said that the international community needs to make unity more appealing to all sides. Abu Zeid acknowledged the lack of CPA progress and economic development in southern Sudan and suggested there needs to be an inquiry into where all the oil and development money is going.

7.(C) Comment: Egypt put considerable resources into pushing for an agreement for a new Somali Government and is pleased with the selection of Shaykh Sharif as the Somali President because he can reach out to Islamist groups. Egypt sees the progress in Djibouti and the international efforts to counter piracy as part of an overall resolution to the situation in Somalia. The GOE is extremely worried about the future unity of Sudan, which it sees as critical to Egypt's national security because of access to Nile water, and the possibility of increased refugee flows from Sudan. The GOE's strained relations with Qatar, and its expulsion of JEM officials after the group's attack on Omdurman last May gives Egypt minimal influence in the on-going Sudan peace process. Our contacts in the Darfuri community in Cairo confirm that Minawi feels he is being left out of the peace process and he plans to make a trip to Cairo to speak with the Arab League, and possibly the GOE on this subject. SCOBEY