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Viewing cable 09CAIRO1227, EGYPT'S NEW AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ: SHARIF SHAHIN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09CAIRO1227 2009-06-30 13:01 2011-02-16 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Cairo
VZCZCXRO2484
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHEG #1227 1811342
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 301342Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3054
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L CAIRO 001227 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/30/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL EG IZ
SUBJECT: EGYPT'S NEW AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ: SHARIF SHAHIN 
 
REF: BAGHDAD 1742 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Margaret Scobey for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
1. (C) Ambassador met newly named Egyptian ambassador to Iraq, Sharif Shahin, on June 25. Shahin recently completed his first ambassadorial tour to Zambia and appeared enthusiastic about his appointment to Baghdad. His previous tours of duty included Lebanon (during the last years of the civil war and the Taif negotiations) and Rabat as well as Tokyo and Athens. Deputy Foreign Minister Wafaa Bassim, also present, praised Shahin's skills and noted that he had volunteered for the assignment. He is in the process of consultations and preparing himself for his transfer and made a point of seeking a meeting with Iraqi Speaker of Parliament Iyad Samarrie during his visit to Cairo last week.

2. (C) While he did not provide an exact date of arrival, he indicated it would be in late summer and that he intended to take up residence in, and operate out of, the Rashid Hotel until the Embassy's new premises were ready. He said he would have a small staff of three additional diplomats in addition to some technical personnel.

3. (C) Comment: Shahin appears to be a perfectly capable diplomat, and the Egyptian diplomatic corps can be counted on for professionalism if nothing else. Our assessment, based on his assignment history, is that his primary qualification for the job was the fact that he volunteered for it. Egyptian diplomatic superstars routinely serve sequentially in major capitals and multilateral organizations: Geneva, New York, Washington, London. Ms. Bassim joked that Shahin was the last person she would have expected to volunteer for an "adventure" like Iraq but said that his quiet exterior belied a high level of competence for a difficult and potentially dangerous job. Mindful of the tragic fate of his predecessor, Shahin declared that he would be very circumspect in his movements around Baghdad. He is in his late 40s/early 50s and speaks English fluently. SCOBEY