Malaysia refused to bar President Robert Mugabe and his Zimbabwean delegation from attending the Langkawi International Dialogue which was aimed at fostering South-South partnership and networking.
The United States, Australia, Britain. New Zealand and Canada gad lobbied the Malaysian government to bar Zimbabwean officials from the conference.
A United States embassy official in Kuala Lumpur told Malaysian under secretary for Africa Azlan Man that Mugabe’s visit would be very disappointing to countries like the US but he declined to engage in further conversation.
Viewing cable 07KUALALUMPUR1212, MUGABE TO VISIT MALAYSIA AUGUST 4-8 FOR LANGKAWI
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHKL #1212 2080904
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 270904Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9726
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 2369
RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE PRIORITY 0019
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0331
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 0380
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON PRIORITY 0540
UNCLAS KUALA LUMPUR 001212
FOR EAP AND AF
E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: MUGABE TO VISIT MALAYSIA AUGUST 4-8 FOR LANGKAWI
REF: A. STATE 75160
¶B. DANIELS TO EAP-MTS EMAIL OF 20 JUNE 2007
¶1. (U) The Malaysian Foreign Ministry confirmed to us on
July 27 that Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe intends to
visit Malaysia again in order to attend the Langkawi
International Dialogue, August 4-8. According to press
accounts and the MFA, some 12 to 16 heads of government,
mostly from African states, have confirmed their attendance.
The Langkawi Dialogue process, begun some 12 years ago by
former Prime Minister Mahathir, aims to foster South-South
partnerships and networking.
¶2. (SBU) On instruction to support an Australian-led
initiative (ref A), the Ambassador joined his counterparts
from the Australian, British and New Zealand and Canadian
high commissions in delivering a demarche on June 20 urging
Malaysia to restrict the travel of senior Zimbabwe officials.
The Malaysian Foreign Ministry was not responsive to our
joint demarche (ref B).
¶3. (SBU) On July 27, Polchief called MFA Under Secretary for
Africa Azlan Man and asked about Mugabe’s travel plans for
the Langkawi Dialogue. Azlan stated that Mugabe had been
invited to the early August event. After an awkward pause,
Azlan claimed that he did not know for certain that Mugabe
would attend (instead, the MFA’s secretariat for the event
provided us with confirmation). Polchief told Azlan, who had
attended our June 20 demarche, that news of Mugabe’s visit
would be very disappointing to countries like the U.S. that
had urged Malaysia to restrict the travel of senior Zimbabwe
officials. Azlan declined to engage in further conversation
after we made our point.
¶4. (SBU) Comment: We see no prospect of Malaysia turning
off Mugabe’s attendance at the Langkawi Dialogue. We are
encouraging, however, the high commissions of Australia, UK,
New Zealand and Canada to join us in registering
disappointment with Malaysia’s decision.