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Viewing cable 09CAIRO1014, DEMARCHE DELIVERED: U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL AND THE MANDATE OF THE SUDAN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR REF: STATE 55852 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
09CAIRO1014 2009-06-03 14:02 2011-02-16 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Cairo
VZCZCXRO9477
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHEG #1014/01 1541426
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 031426Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2783
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 1312
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 CAIRO 001014 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/ELA, IO/RHS FOR OSTERMEIER, IO/RHS FOR 
PATEL, DRL/MLGA FOR SICADE 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/03/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM SU EG
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE DELIVERED: U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL AND THE MANDATE OF THE SUDAN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR REF: STATE 55852 Classified By: Minister Counselor for Economic and Political Affairs William R. Stewart for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1.(C) Key Points -- The Government of Egypt (GOE) is the coordinator of the Africa Group, and its position on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Sudan will be based on consultations with the Government of Sudan will mirror that of the Africa Group. -- Egypt believes that the confrontational work style of the current Special Rapporteur has complicated matters and gives her no ability to fulfill her mandate. -- Egypt believes that having the U.S. on the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) is a "breath of fresh air." The GOE hopes that the U.S. will bring a more balanced approach to the HRC.

2.(C) Comment: Egypt views its bilateral relations with Sudan from a broad strategic, economic, cultural, and historical perspective. The GOE will be careful to not endanger the bilateral relationship because of the national security issues surrounding its continued access to Nile waters. The EU troika demarched Egypt yesterday on this issue using the same talking points, and the U.K. will demarche the GOE on Monday. Egypt would prefer to disagree with the United States on giving a strong mandate to the Special Rapporteur on Sudan and instead focus on working out a compromise solution as in the past. Egypt hopes that recent changes in U.S. policy will also be reflected in a more balanced approach on the HRC. End Comment. -------------------------------------------- Egypt Waiting on Sudan, but Support Unlikely --------------------------------------------

3.(C) Wael Aboulmagd, Deputy Assistant Foreign Minister for Human Rights Affairs, told us on June 3 that Egypt is the coordinator for the Africa Group's position on the mandate of the Sudan Special Rapporteur. He stated that GOE's position will mirror that of the Africa Group, which will rely heavily on consultations with the GOS. He said that the Africa Group was still waiting for Khartoum's final opinion on the matter. However, Aboulmagd said that while the GOS acknowledged that serious challenges remain on human rights in the country, it also stated that it had made "big improvements" in the past year, and these have not been reflected in the assessments of the Special Rapporteur.

4.(C) While Aboulmagd agreed that the GOS's claim of big improvements was an overstatement, he did tell us that Sudan has made some improvement on human rights. Additionally, he told us that the lack of coordination with the GOS and confrontation style of the Special Rapporteur gave her "no ability to fulfill her mandate." As an example of the stylistic and coordination problems, he stated that the Special Rapporteur visited Sudan at the last minute, before the Human Rights Council meetings in Geneva, which gave her no time to share an Arabic version of her report with the GOS. Aboulmagd opined that the Special Rapporteur has not been effective, and has actually "complicated matters." Omar Shalaby, Aboulmagd's deputy, who just returned from a posting in Geneva, told us that this is the first time that the mandate of the Special Rapporteur has come up since the ICC arrest warrant against President was issued. He said that the GOS has not publicly accused her of fabricating evidence for the ICC, but he hinted that Khartoum believes this to be the case. --------------------------------------- U.S. Can Bring a More Balanced Approach ---------------------------------------

5.(C) Aboulmagd said that the GOE felt that the U.S. presence on the U.N. Human Rights Council would be a "breath of fresh air." He said that the visit of the Department's director of the Office of Human Rights, Atul Keshap, in May had been productive. Aboulmagd said that Egypt and the U.S. had agreed on many issues, and disagreements had been aired with a spirit of cooperation. He trusted that Egypt and the U.S. would be able to moderate any differences that might occur on human rights issues in the future.

6.(C) Aboulmagd hoped that the USG would bring a more balanced approach to the human rights council. Both he and CAIRO 00001014 002 OF 002 Shalaby mentioned that "previous Western members" of the council had blocked consensus on Israel human rights abuses in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, while expecting Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries to vote for consensus on human rights issue in Sudan and Myanmar. Aboulmagd stated that Egypt voted for consensus, while many of the Western countries either voted against consensus, or abstained from voting. SCOBEY