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Britain’s Miliband called for support for MDC-controlled ministries

Former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband told United States permanent representative to the United Nations Susan Rice that the international community needed to show support for the transitional government in Zimbabwe by infusing assistance funds to projects supported by reformers in the Movement for Democratic Change-controlled ministries.

Miliband said he had met Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Tendai Biti who had called for more international support for the power sharing arrangement with President Robert Mugabe.

He said more support was needed because African leaders had the impression that the international community was holding back in its public support for the power sharing arrangement.

Rice agreed that support for health, education and infrastructure projects could be helpful to the MDC.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 09USUNNEWYORK492, UK: MILIBAND DISCUSSES MIDDLE EAST, IRAN, AFRICA

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09USUNNEWYORK492

2009-05-13 00:27

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

USUN New York

VZCZCXRO2733

OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHTRO

DE RUCNDT #0492/01 1330027

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 130027Z MAY 09

FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK

TO RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 1389

RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6536

INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 USUN NEW YORK 000492

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/11/2019

TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM UNSC UK

SUBJECT: UK: MILIBAND DISCUSSES MIDDLE EAST, IRAN, AFRICA

AND SRI LANKA WITH AMBASSADOR RICE

 

Classified By: Ambassador Susan Rice for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

 

1. (C) SUMMARY. U.K. Foreign Secretary David Miliband and

Ambassador Rice discussed the Middle East, Iran, Somalia,

Sudan, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka on the margins of a May 11

Security Council Ministerial on the Middle East. Miliband

was pleased with U.S. support for the Middle East peace

process and sought U.S. support to press Russia into getting

more engaged on Iran. Miliband sought a four-way meeting

between himself, Ambassador Rice, Secretary Clinton and U.K.

Permrep John Sawers to discuss shared objectives in Africa.

Ambassador Rice assessed the U.S. and U.K. could cooperate on

African development, including in building the capacity of

African states, agricultural assistance, and developing

health care infrastructure. Rice encouraged a continued firm

line on the humanitarian situation in Darfur. Miliband

suggested the international community show stronger support

for the power sharing arrangement in Zimbabwe as a way to

strengthen the MDC, and suggested that the IMF might need to

consider a bridge loan to the Sri Lanka government. END

SUMMARY.

 

———–

MIDDLE EAST

———–

 

2. (C) U.K. Foreign Secretary David Miliband told Ambassador

Rice in a May 11 meeting, that the Middle East peace process

was going slower than he had hoped, but that he was

encouraged by strong public signals sent by President Obama

and King Abdullah of Jordan on the need to reach a solution.

Miliband had received positive reports of Abdullah’s meetings

with other Arab leaders about his initiative to offer a

commitment of deliverables, or “deposits”, in exchange for

recognition of a Palestinian state, and the return of

refugees to Israel. Miliband thought Europeans would “rally”

on those grounds as well. Ambassador Rice said that the U.S.

would continue to push for a solution. She added that the

international community would need to convince Israeli Prime

Minister Netanyahu that a peace agreement would be a double

win for him, as it would also reduce Iran’s influence in the

region.

 

———–

IRAN/RUSSIA

———–

 

3. (C) Miliband expressed concern about the lack of urgency

from Russia and China to exert pressure on Iran to dismantle

its nuclear enrichment program. He was also concerned that

Turkey had not sent stronger messages to Tehran, but was

instead maintaining a close relationship, “as close as

Turkey’s relationship with Egypt.” Miliband thought that

there were two possible messages Moscow could send to Tehran.

The first would be that Iran has an opportunity to come out

of its isolation, and that Tehran should not pass it up. The

second would be a threat of stronger sanctions should Iran

fail to comply with UNSC resolutions. Miliband thought the

U.S. would need to do some heavy lifting with Russia in order

to get them to be more engaged in the 3 3 (P5 1) process.

According to Miliband the message to Russia needed to be, “we

don’t just need you in the 3 3 process, we need you actively

contributing to it”. Miliband wondered whether the July

Summit between Presidents Obama and Medvedev could be an

opportunity to remind Russia that it was not doing all that

it could. Ambassador Sawers added that, if START discussions

were linked with Missile Defense, it could result in a more

open posture by Russia on reciprocal actions, including Iran.

Ambassador Rice thought that strong messages should continue

to be sent to Iran that the Obama Administration’s approach

is a “fleeting window of opportunity” that should not be

passed up. It would be important, she said, to send messages

to the Supreme Leader.

 

——

AFRICA

——

 

4. (C) Foreign Secretary Miliband suggested arranging a

meeting with Ambassador Rice, Secretary Clinton, Ambassador

Sawers and himself to talk about how to work together

effectively in Africa. Both countries have large stakes in

peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts, and he wanted to

avoid “misplays” between politics and military activity. He

anecdotally referred to differences in U.S. and U.K.

positions in December 2008 on whether to intervene in

Somalia, though he agreed when Ambassador Rice said she

thought the U.S. and U.K. currently see “more or less eye to

eye” on how to move forward. Rice said she thought there

were several areas where the U.S. and U.K. could usefully

 

USUN NEW Y 00000492 002 OF 002

 

 

cooperate in Africa, such as in building state capacity,

agricultural development and health care infrastructure. She

said that the world financial crisis and the outbreak of the

H1N1 virus had highlighted the vulnerabilities of many

developing states.

 

—————–

SUDAN/DARFUR/CHAD

—————–

 

5. (C) Ambassador Rice said Special Envoy to Sudan–Scott

Gration–would soon report on his second trip to the region.

An agreement on cessation of hostilities would also be an

opportunity to end offensive aerial overflights in Darfur,

she said, and Rice hoped the Security Council would be more

forward leaning on its statements on this in the future.

Miliband noted that the unraveling of the Comprehensive Peace

Agreement (CPA), which had been feared when NGOs were

expelled, had not materialized. Rice emphasized that the

U.S. was committed to both the CPA and to addressing Darfur,

and the two issues needed to be managed in tandem.

 

——–

ZIMBABWE

——–

 

6. (C) Miliband said he had met recently with Zimbabwe

Finance Minister Tendai Biti (Movement for Democratic

Change-MDC), who had encouraged more international community

support for the power sharing arrangement with Robert Mugabe.

Miliband believed African leaders have the impression the

international community is holding back in its public support

for the power sharing arrangement, and that more support is

needed. The international community also needs to show

private support, Miliband said, by infusing assistance funds

into projects supported by the reformers in the

MDC-controlled ministries. Rice agreed that support for

health, education and infrastructure projects could be

helpful to the MDC.

 

———

SRI LANKA

———

 

7. (C) Referring to the government in Sri Lanka as “liars”,

Miliband stressed the need to confront the ongoing civilian

deaths there due to government shelling in the conflict zone.

He raised the possibility of withholding an IMF emergency

loan to the government, which is at serious risk of default.

Miliband feared, that “as Sri Lanka gets close to default, we

will be forced to fold.” He suggested that, instead, if Sri

Lanka is on the verge of default, the IMF should issue a

“very short term loan”, while the current loan is being

renegotiated.

Rice

(2 VIEWS)

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