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Viewing cable 09TRIPOLI599,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TRIPOLI599 2009-07-27 16:04 2011-01-31 21:09 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Tripoli
VZCZCXRO7414
PP RUEHBC RUEHBZ RUEHDBU RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHDU RUEHFL RUEHKUK RUEHKW
RUEHLA RUEHMR RUEHNP RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHROV RUEHSL
DE RUEHTRO #0599/01 2081634
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P R 271634Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5073
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CDR USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0214
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 5612
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 TRIPOLI 000599 
 
NOFORN 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR NEA/MAG AND ISN/CTR; STATE PLEASE PASS USTR PAUL BURKHEAD; ENERGY FOR 
GINA ERICKSON 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL:  7/27/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM CVIS ABLD ETRD MASS PARM UNGA LY

1.(S/NF) Summary: FM-equivalent Musa Kusa assured visiting Acting A/S Feltman July 27 that the Government of Libya was prepared to launch a bilateral Human Rights Dialogue; would sign the HEU-LEU agreement in time to meet the September deadline to transfer its nuclear spent fuel; was ready to move forward on security cooperation, including signing the end-use monitoring agreement; was prepared to take a second look at some kind of participation in the Trans Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP); and was discussing a plan to expedite the visa approval process for U.S. officials, business travelers, and technical experts. On signing a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), Kusa did not give a clear answer but stated that strategic dialogue was possible in the international sphere. Kusa confirmed that the GOL was planning to host a one-day AU Summit meeting in Tripoli August 31 to discuss crisis spots in Africa. Kusa also noted that counterterrorism and Darfur would be on the Leader's agenda for any possible meeting with POTUS on the margins of the upcoming UN General Assembly. Feltman asserted that any potential meeting would be enhanced by Libyan agreement to the several issues raised and that the Libyan side would be well-advised to make efforts to temper Qadhafi's rhetoric while in New York to the extent possible. End Summary.

2.(S/NF) During a July 27 visit to Tripoli, Acting A/S Feltman (accompanied by Ambassador and Pol/Econ chief ) reviewed with FM-equivalent Musa Kusa U.S. strategic goals for the NEA region and specific areas for expanded bilateral engagement. Feltman opened the nearly two-hour initial interaction between the two with an overview of the priorities set out by POTUS during his Cairo speech, emphasizing the need to build strategic partnerships throughout the region. Kusa commented that the current positions of the U.S. vis-a-vis the Arab world were notably different than under the previous Administration and noted that U.S. policy toward the region led to the rift in U.S.-Libya relations. Kusa seized the opportunity to offer advice, explaining that the U.S. must be "fair and equal" in solving the problems of the Arab world. He said POTUS should "forget about the kings" and deal directly with the people (a clear allusion to Libya's "Jamahiriya" concept of direct governance by the people). Terrorism, he warned, stems from the people's grievances and can be controlled by shifting the mentality of the people rather than working with governments.

3.(S/NF) Kusa noted that the U.S. must treat Libya differently from other Arab nations, specifying that we could not treat Colonel Qadhafi the same way we treat Ben Ali in Tunisia or Mubarak in Egypt, given his unique background and experience. He commented that a man of Qadhafi's "caliber" could not be placed on equal footing with the King of Jordan or other traditional Arab rulers. Kusa stated that leaders in Egypt, Algeria, Turkey, and Pakistan could not rule without the support of their military establishments and that while Qadhafi had started out as a military figure, he had been able to change into a political figure. Kusa advised that a deep, correct understanding of Qadhafi's visions and aspirations would be of more benefit to the U.S. regionally than would engagement with other Arab statesmen.

4.(S/NF) Turning to bilateral issues, AA/S Feltman noted the U.S. desire to press the relationship forward by establishing a series of dialogues on human rights, political-military relations, trade and investment, and civil-nuclear engagement. Kusa commented that the U.S.-Libya relationship was at an "acceptable" level but that the pace of engagement was a point of concern. He reiterated the GOL's familiar refrain about the criticism it has received for its decision to give up its WMD program and, in its estimation, not having been adequately compensated for that decision. However, he emphasized that Libya had made the correct decision and had done so with awareness and conviction. He acknowledged that giving up WMD was the safest decision for Libya.

HUMAN RIGHTS DIALOGUE

5.(S/NF) Kusa stated that the GOL had no objections to engaging in the bilateral human rights dialogue, a proposal that had previously been raised by the Ambassador, but he wanted to ensure that both governments would be "on equal footing" within the conduct of that dialogue. Confusing the goal of the dialogue with the Congressionally-mandated annual human rights report, he suggested that the GOL should be able to insert into any report on Libya's human rights situation comments on U.S. TRIPOLI 00000599 002.2 OF 003 human rights issues. The AA/S explained that the human rights dialogue was designed to create a discreet bilateral forum for discussion on a broad range of issues, including specific cases of concern, which would be based on mutual respect. Kusa said that the GOL would agree to host the initial team of experts within the dialogue framework. He explained that the GOL did not disagree with the concept of a dialogue but was concerned about the manner in which the U.S. reported on human rights issues in Libya. Kusa insisted that all discussion of human rights issues should be done in diplomatic channels within the framework of the human rights dialogue and noted his disapproval of embassy attempts to collect information directly from the public (i.e., human rights reporting). Feltman urged Kusa to agree to a DRL-led interagency visit for one-day between August 10-20 to formally launch the dialogue. Kusa asked A/S-equivalent for the MFA Americas Department Ahmed Fituri to follow-up on scheduling.

SIGNING THE HEU-LEU AGREEMENT

6.(S/NF) Feltman urged the GOL to sign the HEU-LEU agreements with the U.S. and Russia as soon as possible in order to meet the September deadline for transfer of Libya's highly enriched fuel to Russia and in order to remove an obstacle to future cooperation in the civilian nuclear energy field. Kusa assured the AA/S that the GOL had already made the decision and indicated that meeting the September deadline would not be a problem.

SECURITY COOPERATION - TSCTP and 505 END USE AGREEMENT

7.(S/NF) The AA/S explained that one way to address Libya's requests for technical assistance was via the Trans Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP), clarifying that TSCTP was not a multilateral organization but rather a simple funding mechanism. The AA/S also noted the need for GOL signing an end-use monitoring agreement, which the GOL had been reviewing for several months in order to move forward on our military and security relationship. Kusa asked the embassy to provide additional information via Fituri's office on TSCTP and to follow-up directly with Fituri on the end-use monitoring agreement.

VISAS AND EMBASSY TRIPOLI ADMINISTRATIVE ISSUES

8.(S/NF) Highlighting that over 1000 U.S. visas had been issued to Libyans by the embassy since it began full non-immigrant visa services on April 2, Feltman urged Kusa to work with us to improve the visa situation for American travelers and help establish a more transparent Libyan system. Kusa agreed that the visa issue needed to be addressed and assured the AA/S that the GOL was developing a plan to offer special processing services to U.S. officials, business travelers, and technical experts. Feltman reiterated the importance of the GOL's approval of a NEC site and for finalization of the deal to compensate the USG for expropriated properties. Kusa advised us to follow-up with Fituri. Trade and Investment Framework Agreement

9.(S/NF) In response to Feltman's inquiry on GOL readiness to move forward on signing a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, Kusa stated generally that the GOL was ready to develop investment opportunities and mentioned the possibility for strategic dialogue in the international arena. ANOTHER AU SUMMIT: FOCUS ON PEACE AND SECURITY IN AFRICA

10.(S/NF) Feltman highlighted that African issues represented an intersection of interests between the U.S. and Libya. Kusa said that Libya was planning to host a special one-day AU Summit in Tripoli on August 31 that would focus on regional crises, particularly in Darfur, Somalia, and Ethiopia-Eritrea. He explained that the GOL was considering extending invitations to a number of regional and European leaders and ministers, and that an invitation may be forthcoming to Secretary Clinton. He highlighted that U.S. participation as a regional partner would be significant.

POSSIBLE POTUS-QADHAFI MEETING AT UNGA

11.(S/NF) On the possibility of a POTUS-Qadhafi meeting at TRIPOLI 00000599 003.2 OF 003 UNGA, the AA/S said any meeting, if it were able to be arranged, would be significantly enhanced by GOL progress in the above areas, particularly on the launching of the bilateral human rights dialogue and the signing of the HEU-LEU agreement, noting that those two issues would provide substance and a reason for the meeting to take place. Feltman also urged that the Leader respect U.S. sensitivities during his remarks at UNGA, specifically avoiding any provocative language about the events of September 11. Kusa indicated his agreement that a potential POTUS-Qadhafi meeting should be substantive, and he noted that issues for discussion from the Libyan side might include counterterrorism in the Sahel, the crises in Darfur and Somalia, and Qadhafi's overall vision for Africa and peace in the Middle East.

OTHER ISSUES - GUANTANAMO, WESTERN SAHARA

12.(S/NF) In responding to Feltman's assertion that the Libyan side could raise any human rights concerns it had about U.S. practices, Kusa mentioned that the embassy could work with the Qadhafi Development Foundation to address any Guantanamo-related issues.

13.(S/NF) The AA/S noted the U.S. interest in promoting greater regional cooperation and asked for Kusa's thoughts on the Western Sahara issue, especially how to improve relations between Algeria and Morocco so as to promote Maghreb unity. Kusa explained that Libya was trying to play a role in the situation in order to maintain the integrity of the Maghreb Union. Libya had spoken in detail with both Morocco and Algeria and thought the 5+5 Group may be the best negotiating forum for the issue. Kusa predicted that if the issue was not solved under Algerian President Bouteflika, then it would not be solved.

14.(S/NF) Comment: The meeting with Musa Kusa was positive and clearly signaled that the new administration was prepared to deal seriously with the Libyans to continue the normalization process. The GOL's agreement to participate actively in a bilateral human rights dialogue represents a significant step forward and will create a forum to address specific cases of concern as well as to press Libya to meet its international human rights commitments more broadly. Kusa clearly got the point that any potential meeting between POTUS and Qadhafi at UNGA would be enhanced greatly by agreement to the several issues Feltman raised. He also understood the necessity of finding a way to control Qadhafi's rhetoric while in New York; however, he did not promise anything on that score. Post will follow-up with the MFA on scheduling a one-day visit by a DRL-led interagency team between August 10-20 to launch the human rights dialogue; GOL's signing of the HEU-LEU agreement; approval on TSCTP; approval of the 505 end-user agreement; improvement of the bilateral visa situation; TIFA; and launching a political-military dialogue. End Comment.

15.(U) Acting A/S Feltman did not have the opportunity to clear this message prior to departure. CRETZ