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Viewing cable 09SECTION02OF03QRIPOLI583, BEYOND LOCKERBIE: WRITING THE NEXT CHAPTER OF THE US-LIBYA RELATIONSHIP

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09SECTION02OF03QRIPOLI583 2009-07-20 10:10 2011-01-31 21:09 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Tripoli
VZCZCXRO1456
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHKUK RUEHROV
DE RUEHTRO #0583/02 2011025
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O R 201025Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5051
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 0530
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0203
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 5590
S E C R E T SECTION 02 OF 03QRIPOLI 000583 
 
NOFORN 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR NEA ACTING A/S FELTMAN; ALSO PM/RSAT (MMILLER),T/QN,NEA/MAG,DRL/NESCA 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL:  7/20/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR MASS PHUM ETRD ABLD CVIS LY UN
SUBJECT: BEYOND LOCKERBIE: WRITING THE NEXT CHAPTER OF THE US-LIBYA RELATIONSHIP

*********************** * Missing Section 001 * ***********************

TRIPOLI 07200583 002 OF 003 few days to several weeks due to Security Advisory Opinion requirements. The GOL continues to adhere to restrictive visa issuance policies vis-a-vis Americans, including an apparent virtual ban on tourist visas for Americans, lengthy delays and exorbitant fees for American business people, and a long record of visa refusals for USG-sponsored visitors for academic, cultural, science, economic, and other programs. The GOL has agreed, in principle, to the idea of forming a bilateral visa working group to resolve these issues, including visa reciprocity. During a July 6 meeting with the Ambassador, Musa Kusa maintained that visas for Americans would continue to receive the most scrutiny of any foreign visitors to the Jamahiriya, for security reasons. Your underscoring for the Libyans that the current imbalance in visa issuance is not sustainable will show your interlocutors that the issue has been raised to high levels in Washington.

6.(S/NF) An ostensibly related issue involves the treatment of Libyan travelers at U.S. ports of entry, particularly Libyan officials, who are routinely separated from other passengers at ports of entry and questioned extensively about their travel. GOL officials, who view the issue as a personal affront, will raise it with you. Musa Kusa and UNPermREP Shalgham are only two of the several high level Libyan officials who have been "mistreated" at our ports of entry, and their experiences have engendered deep resentment here. Your recent letter to DHS described the issue well; we believe that we will not be able to make significant process on visa reciprocity until we make some headway here. A DHS delegation is scheduled to visit Tripoli in late July to address treatment of Libyan officials at U.S. ports of entry/NSEERS issues with GOL counterparts, among other issues. However, the GOL has not yet granted visas to the delegation.

TRADE AND INVESTMENT FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT

7.(S/NF) USTR has been working with the GOL to finalize a TIFA text for over a year. The GOL last invited Emboffs to review the draft text on November 24, 2008. Despite post's attempts to discuss TIFA with Libyan trade officials at every possible opportunity, the text has languished on the Libyan side. We would like to press the GOL to sign a TIFA as soon as possible. We concur with USTR view that the signing should take place even in light of renewed problems regarding Caterpillar and potential problems involving the Chevrolet dealership. We may have a better hand to play on these issues when we can argue them out in this formal framework.

MEGRAHI

8.(S/NF) The Megrahi case is likely to be an agenda item for your interlocutors. Qadhafi raised the issue during his July 9 meeting with UK PM Gordon Brown, and recent press reports suggest that Megrahi's physical condition is deteriorating (although the UK Embassy was not able to corroborate such reports during a July 19 meeting with the CDA). If the issue is raised, we recommend that you remind Libyan officials that the decision to allow a Prisoner Transfer Agreement (PTA) for Megrahi is a matter for the Scottish Government to decide. UK Embassy officials believe that a PTA decision could be forthcoming in mid-August. We defer to the Department's view on a possible request for Megrahi's compassionate release.

REGIONAL ISSUES

9.(S/NF) While Libya's regional focus at present seems to have concentrated primarily on its pan-African agenda, Qadhafi has skillfully leveraged the AU Chairmanship to ingratiate himself with European and South American leaders - most recently Silvio Berlusconi. His visits to Moscow, Madrid, Paris, Lisbon, and Rome have afforded him opportunities to sign military-to-military agreements and to engage on civil-nuclear issues, as well as to negotiate commercial energy and investment deals. He has even exploited EU, especially Italian, concerns about illegal immigration to press forward his security and political agendas. As Qadhafi's engagement as an African leader has expanded, he has notably decreased his efforts in the Arab world. Nevertheless, he continues to tout his vision for a one-state solution between the Israelis and the Palestinians - "Isratine" - including during his May meeting with AFRICOM Commander General Ward. The Libyans will appreciate anything you can relate regarding the work of Special Envoy Mitchell and how we see Administration policy playing out in the peace process.

*********************** * Missing Section 003 * ***********************

0 07/20/2009 4953 PREL,PGOV,MARR,MASS,PHUM,ETRD,ABLD,CVIS,LY,UN 217296 Libyan visa problems 217296 7/20/2009 10:25 09SECTION02OF03QRIPOLI583 Embassy Tripoli SECRET//NOFORN 09TRIPOLI7200583 VZCZCXRO1456OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHKUK RUEHROVDE RUEHTRO #0583/02 2011025ZNY SSSSS ZZHO R 201025Z JUL 09FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLITO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5051INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVERUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 0530RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DCRUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0203RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 5590
S E C R E T SECTION 02 OF 03QRIPOLI 000583 NOFORN SIPDIS DEPT FOR NEA ACTING A/S FELTMAN; ALSO PM/RSAT (MMILLER),T/QN,NEA/MAG,DRL/NESCA E.O. 12958: DECL: 7/20/2019 TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR MASS PHUM ETRD ABLD CVIS LY UN

6.(S/NF) An ostensibly related issue involves the treatment of Libyan travelers at U.S. ports of entry, particularly Libyan officials, who are routinely separated from other passengers at ports of entry and questioned extensively about their travel. GOL officials, who view the issue as a personal affront, will raise it with you. Musa Kusa and UNPermREP Shalgham are only two of the several high level Libyan officials who have been "mistreated" at our ports of entry, and their experiences have engendered deep resentment here. Your recent letter to DHS described the issue well; we believe that we will not be able to make significant process on visa reciprocity until we make some headway here. A DHS delegation is scheduled to visit Tripoli in late July to address treatment of Libyan officials at U.S. ports of entry/NSEERS issues with GOL counterparts, among other issues. However, the GOL has not yet granted visas to the delegation.

TRADE AND INVESTMENT FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT

7.(S/NF) USTR has been working with the GOL to finalize a TIFA text for over a year. The GOL last invited Emboffs to review the draft text on November 24, 2008. Despite post's attempts to discuss TIFA with Libyan trade officials at every possible opportunity, the text has languished on the Libyan side. We would like to press the GOL to sign a TIFA as soon as possible. We concur with USTR view that the signing should take place even in light of renewed problems regarding Caterpillar and potential problems involving the Chevrolet dealership. We may have a better hand to play on these issues when we can argue them out in this formal framework.

MEGRAHI

8.(S/NF) The Megrahi case is likely to be an agenda item for your interlocutors. Qadhafi raised the issue during his July 9 meeting with UK PM Gordon Brown, and recent press reports suggest that Megrahi's physical condition is deteriorating (although the UK Embassy was not able to corroborate such reports during a July 19 meeting with the CDA). If the issue is raised, we recommend that you remind Libyan officials that the decision to allow a Prisoner Transfer Agreement (PTA) for Megrahi is a matter for the Scottish Government to decide. UK Embassy officials believe that a PTA decision could be forthcoming in mid-August. We defer to the Department's view on a possible request for Megrahi's compassionate release.

REGIONAL ISSUES

9.(S/NF) While Libya's regional focus at present seems to have concentrated primarily on its pan-African agenda, Qadhafi has skillfully leveraged the AU Chairmanship to ingratiate himself with European and South American leaders - most recently Silvio Berlusconi. His visits to Moscow, Madrid, Paris, Lisbon, and Rome have afforded him opportunities to sign military-to-military agreements and to engage on civil-nuclear issues, as well as to negotiate commercial energy and investment deals. He has even exploited EU, especially Italian, concerns about illegal immigration to press forward his security and political agendas. As Qadhafi's engagement as an African leader has expanded, he has notably decreased his efforts in the Arab world. Nevertheless, he continues to tout his vision for a one-state solution between the Israelis and the Palestinians - "Isratine" - including during his May meeting with AFRICOM Commander General Ward. The Libyans will appreciate anything you can relate regarding the work of Special Envoy Mitchell and how we see Administration policy playing out in the peace process. *********************** * Missing Section 003 * ***********************