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Viewing cable 09CAIRO242, STATE SECURITY RESPONDS TO DRAFT LETTER ON POLICE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09CAIRO242 2009-02-10 15:03 2011-02-16 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Cairo
VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHEG #0242 0411510
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 101510Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1608
C O N F I D E N T I A L CAIRO 000242 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/ELA AND INL/AAE 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/10/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM EG
SUBJECT: STATE SECURITY RESPONDS TO DRAFT LETTER ON POLICE 
PROGRAM 
 
REF: CAIRO 86 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Margaret Scobey, for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1.(U) This is an action message for INL; please see paragraph 5 for action request.

2.(C) On February 9, General Ali Hegazy, Director of the International Relations Department of the State Security Investigations Service (SSIS) responded to the draft letter regarding the continuation of a USG-funded community policing training program for the Egyptian police. (Note: We presented the draft letter to Hegazy on January 14 (reftel) End note). Throughout the February 9 meeting, Hegazy repeatedly emphasized the value of the police program, and how much SSIS wants it to continue. He noted that the Ministry of Interior recently sent out a directive that police officers should be more attentive to human rights. Hegazy said the police program helps SSIS fulfill this new requirement, "is extremely useful to us," and "we one hundred-percent want to continue with it."

3.(C) Despite enthusiasm for the program itself, Hegazy said that SSIS, "on principle," cannot sign an exchange of letters. He stressed the wide array of productive programs SSIS has with the Embassy, "with no such written agreements." Citing the lack of precedent, and the fact that it would be "inappropriate" for SSIS to sign an agreement with either the State Department or the Embassy, which are "not counterparts to us as a security agency," Hegazy said the exchange of letters is "unacceptable in principle - I did not even look at the substance of your draft letters, and do not want to discuss that, as that is beside the point." We mentioned the agreement SSIS has with the Embassy regarding the Anti-Terrorism Assistance (ATA) program, and asked if that might be a model on which we could base a more acceptable police program letter. Hegazy said the two are not analogous, as the agreement for the ATA program was about starting a specific unit, rather than a training program.

4.(C) We inquired whether an exchange of diplomatic notes between the Embassy and the MFA would be workable. Initially noncommittal, Hegazy then mused that such an approach "could be more acceptable," if the diplomatic notes were "less detailed."

5.(C) We take Hegazy's relative speed in responding to the draft letter, his emphasis on the value of the program and enthusiasm for it, as indicators that SSIS is indeed interested in continuing this valuable program - the only ongoing USG effort aimed at improving the human rights performance of the infamously troubled Egyptian police. We would much appreciate INL's opinion on whether an exchange of diplomatic notes would be a workable alternative to an exchange of letters between SSIS and the Embassy. If so, we also seek INL's views on whether a more broadly worded text could be used in order to facilitate GOE agreement to such an exchange. SCOBEY