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Viewing cable 09CAIRO230, EGYPTIANS SEEK USG SUPPORT FOR G20 AND G8 MEETINGS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09CAIRO230 2009-02-09 15:03 2011-02-16 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Cairo
VZCZCXYZ0005
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHEG #0230 0401551
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 091551Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1585
INFO RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1231
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 1629
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1353
C O N F I D E N T I A L CAIRO 000230 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/05/2019 
TAGS: EFIN OVIP PREL PGOV ECON IT UK EG
SUBJECT: EGYPTIANS SEEK USG SUPPORT FOR G20 AND G8 MEETINGS 
 
REF: A. ROME 1484 (2008) 
     ΒΆB. FM ABOUL GHEIT VERBAL MSG OF 02/05/09 Classified By: Ambassador Margaret Scobey Reasons: 1.4 (B) and (D)
1.(C) Summary. Senior Egyptian MFA officials convoked the Ambassador on February 5 to press for USG support of Egyptian inclusion in G20 and G8 meetings and processes, citing a verbal message that FM Aboul Gheit had sent to the Secretary earlier that day (ref b). The Egyptians presented their case for participation at the April 2 G20 London Leaders' Summit, and claimed that the British have urged them to seek American and Saudi Arabian support for Egyptian inclusion. The Egyptians also urged we support their participation at the G8 Summit (as part of the "outreach group"), per the Heiligendamm Process, at the February 24 planning meeting in Italy. The Ambassador said we welcome Egyptian interest in international economic fora, especially given the ongoing global economic crisis, and promised to convey Egypt's request to Washington, but made no promises. End summary. G20 MEETING IN LONDON ---------------------

2.(C) Assistant Minister for American Affairs Shadia Farrag, joined by Assistant Minister for Economic Affairs and International Cooperation Mohammad El-Orabi, requested USG support for Egyptian inclusion at the April 2 G20 London Leaders' Summit in London. Orabi said that Egypt had French and Italian support for inclusion. However, PM Brown's advisors had been noncommittal on Egyptian participation, and Orabi claimed that the British had recommended that Egypt first secure additional support, including from the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. Orabi said he will travel soon to India and China to press the case in those capitals. He argued that the G20 had shown flexibility in recent meetings, having allowed the Netherlands and Spain to participate in a recent sub-ministerial meeting in London (NFI). G8 OUTREACH GROUP -----------------

3.(C) According to Orabi and Farrag, attendance at the G20 summit would "pave the way" for Egypt's addition to the G8 "outreach group" (currently consisting of India, China, Mexico, South Africa and Brazil). Orabi said that Italy had invited Egypt to be an "active member" in Heiligendamm process outreach activities, and had invited Egypt to "take part" in this year's G8 summit. (We understand that the Italians have invited the Egyptians as "guests"). The French are also supportive, Orabi claimed. He noted that Turkey and Indonesia also sought to join the outreach group, but said that they were not coordinating their approaches with Egypt.

4.(C) Orabi asked that we announce USG support for Egyptian inclusion in the outreach group at the February 24 Heiligendamm process meeting in Rome. Orabi said that he would travel to Italy on February 25 to follow up. He also has traveled to South Africa, Mexcio and Brazil, and claims to have secured their support for GOE inclusion at the G8 summit; Orabi noted that the Chinese told FM Aboul Gheit in November that they also would be supportive. Orabi and Farrag noted that Egypt's positive role in the recent Gaza crisis further bolster Egypt's case to participate in both the G20 and G8 meetings. In addition, we understand that the Egyptians will participate in the G8 Environmental Ministerial Meeting in Sicily April 22-24.

5.(C) The Ambassador acknowledged that few in the region match Egypt's diplomatic reach and professionalism, and this is reflected in Egypt's usual inclusion at multilateral events. In addition, the USG appreciates Egypt's interest in helping to make progress on the global financial crisis. The Ambassador promised to convey Egypt's request for USG support for G20 and G8 inclusion, but made no promises, noting that in practice we are rarely on the side of expansion of these meetings.

6.(C) Comment. We are not aware of what other countries are doing to gain inclusion to these economic groupings. U.S. support for Egyptian inclusion could pay dividends in other areas as we seek to improve U.S.-Egyptian bilateral relations. SCOBEY