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Relations entre l'Algérie et le Maroc, rencontre avec Mohamed VI

ID:143518
Date:2008-02-28 16:08:00
Origin:08RABAT185
Source:Embassy Rabat
Classification:CONFIDENTIAL
Dunno:
Destination:VZCZCXRO9993
PP RUEHTRO
DE RUEHRB #0185/01 0591608
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 281608Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY RABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8201
INFO RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 4700
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 0595
RUEHBP/AMEMBASSY BAMAKO PRIORITY 0096
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 2297
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR PRIORITY 0444
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 0705
RUEHKU/AMEMBASSY KUWAIT PRIORITY 1410
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 3534
RUEHNK/AMEMBASSY NOUAKCHOTT PRIORITY 3669
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 4946
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 0682
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI PRIORITY 0274
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 9535
RUEHCL/AMCONSUL CASABLANCA PRIORITY 3919
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 2226
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 1933
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0786
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 RABAT 000185

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA, EUR/SCE AND AF/W

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/26/2018
TAGS: PREL, OVIP, MO
SUBJECT: NEA A/S WELCH,S MEETINGS WITH KING MOHAMMED VI AND
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS TAIEB FASSI FIHRI

Classified By: Ambassador Thomas T. Riley for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C) SUMMARY: King Mohammed VI received NEA A/S Welch for
an hour on February 25. The wide-ranging exchange of views
focused on bilateral cooperation, the Middle East Peace
Process (MEPP), Iran, Kosovo, Lebanon, Mauritania, Syria,
Algeria and Western Sahara. In most respects, the audience
mirrored the meeting that preceded it with Minister of
Foreign Affairs Fassi Fihri and MFA Director General for
Multilateral Affairs Mohamed Azeroual. However, we heard
that Amr Moussa,s latest visit to Beirut had been "a
catastrophe;" the Emir of Kuwait did not plan to attend the
Arab summit in Damascus; and Morocco was looking at other
Arab countries' reaction to Kosovo's declaration of
independence. The King asked us to assist Mauritania and
warned that the POLISARIO must not attempt to occupy the area
east of the berm in Western Sahara. In his meeting with the
Foreign Minister, Ambassador Welch pressed for an agreement
on the status of the American schools in Morocco and informed
the Minister of a planned accord with the U.S. Holocaust
Memorial Museum. END SUMMARY.

BILATERAL COOPERATION
---------------------
2. (C) Receiving NEA A/S Welch, the Ambassador, DCM and Erin
Yerger, the Executive Assistant to Deputy Assistant to the
President for National Security Affairs Elliot Abrams, at the
royal palace in Marrakech on February 25, the King thanked
the United States for the excellent cooperation on
counterterrorism, the Millennium Challenge Account and the
Free Trade Agreement. Foreign Minister Fassi Fihri also
attended the audience.

KOSOVO
------
3. (C) The King noted that he had just met with the Greek
Foreign Minister, who urged him not to recognize Kosovo. The
King and the Foreign Minister indicated that they intended to
discuss recognition with other Arab leaders at the
Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Summit in Dakar
in March. Fassi Fihri said the Serbian Foreign Minister has
also requested a meeting.

MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS
----
4. (C) Ambassador Welch began by underscoring that this is
an important year for the region and that the President is
determined to make progress on the MEPP. Welch briefed the
King and the Minister on the process and assured them that
the Israelis and the Palestinians are making progress, but
the public is unaware of it. On Gaza, Welch averred that
Israeli Prime Minister Olmert is focused on the least bad
option. For his part, the King expressed deep concern about
the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

LEBANON
-------
5. (C) Turning to the continuing leadership vacuum in
Lebanon, A/S Welch said that we see three options: 1) to
continue efforts to elect a President by consensus; 2) to
elect a President with 50 percent of the vote plus one; or 3)
to support the Siniora government. Welch indicated that we
increasingly believe the third option affords the best means
to support Lebanon,s institutions. Asked about Arab League
Secretary General Amr Moussa's visit to Beirut, Fassi Fihri

SIPDIS
characterized it as 'a catastrophe.'

SYRIA AND THE ARAB LEAGUE SUMMIT
--------------------------------
6. (C) Noting that Kings Mohammed VI and Abdullah II of
Jordan had come to power at approximately the same time as

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President Bashar al-Assad, Welch decried Syria,s lost
opportunities. Welch said that he understood that the Syrian
Foreign Minister would be in Marrakech on February 26 to
deliver an invitation to the Arab Summit in Damascus, and
Welch predicted that attendance would be poor. The King said
he understood that the Emir of Kuwait did not plan to attend,
implying that Morocco would be represented at the ministerial
level at best.

IRAN
----
7. (C) Ambassador Welch asked if he might say a few words
about Iran and its pursuit of nuclear weapons. The King
responded that he understood that Iran had suspended its
nuclear weapons program. Welch thanked the King for the
opportunity to clarify, declaring that the U.S. intelligence
estimate had been misunderstood and that the reporting on
this issue has been unclear. Welch said that we continued to
believe that Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons; so President
Bush was seeking a middle ground "between the bomb and
bombing," without giving up any option. Diplomatic pressure
is best for now. When the King asked what that middle ground
might look like, Welch said that more Security
Council-approved sanctions loom and that Iran must accept a
diplomatic solution.

ALGERIA
-------
8. (C) The conversation then turned to Algeria, and Welch
asked if the GOM had any views on President Abdelaziz
Bouteflika,s plans. The King said he understood that
Bouteflika was amending the Constitution to permit a third
term, and Welch noted wryly that Bouteflika was doing so
without Syrian assistance. The King praised the "frustrated"
Algerian Ambassador in Rabat for his tireless efforts to
improve bilateral relations, stating, &We have no relations
with Algeria, except for limited cooperation on security
issues." In spite of obvious opportunities for cooperation
in agriculture, energy and a host of other areas, President
Bouteflika and his government clearly prefer the status quo.
The King noted that he had even traveled to Algiers to try to
break the impasse, but the GOA continues to insist on the
Western Sahara issue being resolved before proceeding with
other bilateral or regional initiatives.

WESTERN SAHARA
--------------
9. (C) The King and Fassi Fihri expressed grave concern
about the POLISARIO's stated plans to move people into the
area east of the berm. The King said bluntly that Morocco
could not allow that. Praising the King,s autonomy
initiative, Welch urged the GOM to press ahead with the
Manhasset talks. He said support for Morocco,s position is
growing ever so slowly. Separately, Welch cautioned the
King's intelligence chief against militarization of the
dispute.

MAURITANIA
----------
10. (C) Looking at Western Sahara's neighbor Mauritania, the
King stressed that Mauritania needs help and that he will see
the Mauritanian President in Dakar.

AMERICAN SCHOOLS
----------------
11. (U) Welch took advantage of a few private minutes with
Fassi Fihri to underscore the need for an agreement on the
status of the American schools in Morocco. Noting that he
had attended the Rabat American School (RAS)as a child, Welch
said if a solution is not found soon that RAS could not
produce more David Welches. Fassi Fihri replied that he had

RABAT 00000185 003 OF 003


been in contact with Prime Minister Abbas El Fassi and
Director General of Taxation Nouredine Bensouda about our
proposal.

U.S. HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM
------------------------------
12. (U) Welch also raised made the Minister aware of the
planned signing of an accord between the U.S. Holocaust
Memorial Museum and the Moroccan National Archives. Welch
also mentioned that the Museum still planned to host a
conference on the Holocaust in Arab lands.

COMMENT
-------
13. (C) Although his face looked puffy, the King appeared
relaxed and rested after four weeks in France. The meeting
itself underscored how much U.S. and Moroccan views coincide.
END COMMENT.

14. (U) NEA A/S Welch has cleared this message.


*****************************************
Visit Embassy Rabat's Classified Website;
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/rabat
*****************************************

Riley

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/internacional/Cable/Marruecos/relacion/Argelia/elpepuint/20101203elpepuint_19/Tes

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