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Viewing cable 09TRIPOLI267, LIBYA SEES MAURITANIA CRISIS OVER, SANCTIONS UNWELCOME

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TRIPOLI267 2009-03-31 11:11 2011-01-31 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
VZCZCXRO4939
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN
DE RUEHTRO #0267 0901102
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O R 311102Z MAR 09
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4667
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0176
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 5194
C O N F I D E N T I A L TRIPOLI 000267 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR NEA/MAG AND AF/W 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL:  3/30/2019 
TAGS: PREL AU UNSC MR LY
SUBJECT: LIBYA SEES MAURITANIA CRISIS OVER, SANCTIONS UNWELCOME 
 
REF: A. STATE 25557 
     ΒΆB. STATE 30234 CLASSIFIED BY: Gene Cretz, Ambassador. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

1.(C) Ambassador delivered ref A points to Idriss Abu Dib, head of the Arab Affairs office at the General People's Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation (MFA-equivalent) on March 29. Abu Dib responded by asserting that al-Qadhafi had succeeded in his diplomatic mission to Nouakchott, and that the GOL opposed sanctions and believed the crisis would be resolved once scheduled elections take place on June 6.

2.(C) Acknowledging the apparent disparity between the GOL position and that of the African Union on the issue of sanctions, Abu Dib maintained that Libya's leadership roles in the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), Community of Sahel-Sahara States (Cen-Sad), and the African Union (AU), gave al-Qadhafi special "leeway" to interpret regional objectives and formulate an appropriate course of action. While it was true that the AU rejected military coups in principle, Abu Dib said it was important to understand that since the junta government controls the military, the world must deal with the the government of General Aziz directly. That said, he characterized the coup as essentially democratic in nature, saying "people in the street can still make their voice heard" - a sign democratic institutions remained intact. He asserted that the coup's longevity was a sign that the Mauritanian people support the coup's leadership. He said al-Qadhafi was satisfied that elections on June 6 would address international concerns about the democratic process in Mauritania, adding that General Aziz would need to resign his military post to stand for election.

3.(C) Al-Qadhafi's diplomatic intervention in Mauritania - which Abu Dis claimed enjoyed the support of the French and German ambassadors to Nouakchott - built on Libya's earlier Tripoli-based mediation, was both "secret and open". Three times repeating that "open communication can solve any problem", Abu Dib said al-Qadhafi opened communications with both sides of the conflict in order to minimize the distance between them, but conceded that both camps are inflexible. Libya would continue with its mediation in lieu of supporting the "tough approach" of sanctions. Pointedly referring to the troubled history of U.S.-Libyan relations, Abu Dib added, "you are familiar with the tough approach and the negative results that come with it". While the AU's Peace and Security Council (PSC) had recommended targeted sanctions, Abu Dis said Libya views sanctions as disproportionately impacting the Mauritanian public, leaving junta leaders to do as they like.

4.(C) Comment: Brushing aside diplomatic and media criticism of al-Qadhafi's Mauritania diplomacy, Abu Dib expressed the GOL position set by al-Qadhafi himself that sanctions should not be imposed against the junta government, and that the problem will resolve itself once elections take place on June 6. Post will convey ref B points regarding a UN Security Council Presidential Statement, but does not anticipate that the GOL will change its position on the issue of sanctions. End comment. CRETZ