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Mauritius said allowing Mugabe to run unopposed would be a disaster

The Prime Minister of Mauritius Navinchandra Ramgoolam said statements by Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai that he would not be running in the presidential elections run-off were alarming because allowing President Robert Mugabe to run unopposed would be a disaster.

In his opinion, Tsvangirai was going to win the elections.

Ramgoolam said Mauritius was going to send a much larger delegation to observe the run-offs.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08PORTLOUIS189, AMBASSADOR’S COURTESY CALL ON MAURITIAN PRIME

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08PORTLOUIS189

2008-06-03 11:26

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Port Louis

VZCZCXYZ0000

RR RUEHWEB

 

DE RUEHPL #0189/01 1551126

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 031126Z JUN 08

FM AMEMBASSY PORT LOUIS

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4023

INFO RUEHAN/AMEMBASSY ANTANANARIVO 0768

C O N F I D E N T I A L PORT LOUIS 000189

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/E MARIA BEYZEROV; ANTANANARIVO FOR DATT

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/03/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL MP

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR’S COURTESY CALL ON MAURITIAN PRIME

MINISTER

 

Classified By: Ambassador Cesar B. Cabrera for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

 

1. (C) On June 2, 2008, Ambassador Cabrera paid a courtesy

call on Mauritian Prime Minister Ramgoolam; DCM served as

notetaker. The relaxed and pleasant hour and a half

discussion touched on a wide variety of topics, including

U.S. elections, Kosovo, and Mauritian U.N. voting records.

The two agreed to meet periodically to continue to update

each other on issues of mutual interest.

 

————–

U.S. ELECTIONS

————–

 

2. (SBU) Prime Minister Ramgoolam spent about a half hour

discussing U.S. elections, particularly the primary process.

He was interested in the Ambassador’s thoughts on the process

and Ramgoolam noted that he received an invitation to attend

the Democratic Party Convention in August. Ramgoolam said he

was considering going to the event, and was pleased by the

Ambassador’s offer to assist in arranging side-bar meetings.

The Ambassador encouraged the PM to let the Embassy know his

travel plans (and additional meeting requests) soonest, so

Post could help support the trip, as needed.

 

——

KOSOVO

——

 

3. (C) Ambassador took advantage of this courtesy call to ask

for GOM to further consider formally recognizing Kosovo. The

PM blamed the recently dismissed Foreign Minister for not

being in favor of such recognition, but added that as PM he

did not have all the details on the issue. The PM asked for

an updated briefing paper to review their position on

recognition of Kosovo. The PM seemed positively inclined

toward recognition of Kosovo — and was particularly

receptive to the Ambassador’s appeal that the Mauritian

Muslim population, upon which the current coalition relies to

remain in power, would perceive GOM recognition of Kosovo

favorably.

 

—————-

UN VOTING RECORD

—————-

 

4. (C) The Ambassador also raised the issue of the GOM’s

voting record in the UN, noting that it did not appear to

accurately reflect the positive and friendly relationship

shared between the United States and the GOM. The PM seemed

genuinely surprised by the GOM’s low percentage of 2007 votes

with the US (only 6 votes with the US, and 65 votes in

disagreement), and asked for a vote-by-vote readout. Post

will follow-up with the PM’s office in the coming week.

 

——–

ZIMBABWE

——–

 

5. (C) Noting that our highest rate of agreement in UN votes

was in the realm of Human Rights, the Ambassador turned the

conversation to Zimbabwe. The PM opined that leader of the

opposition, Morgan Tsvangirai, would win the upcoming

election. He added that previous comments by Tsvangirai

regarding not running had been alarming, as the PM believed

allowing Mugabe to run unopposed would be a disaster. In the

last elections, Mauritius sent only the head of the electoral

commission as an observer. According to the PM, Mauritius

will send a “much larger” delegation for the upcoming

run-offs.

 

—————

MILITARY ISSUES

—————

 

6. (C) During the meeting, the PM agreed in principal to

consider a Status of Forces Agreement, noting the positives

both countries enjoy during ship visits to Mauritius. The

Ambassador discussed the variety of military and security

assistance programs, highlighting recent projects including

the crisis management training, peacekeeping training, and

assistance to the GOM reaction procedures and infrastructure

for natural disasters (specifically flooding and tsunamis).

The PM asked for additional police training, particularly

vis-a-vis criminal investigation. The PM is looking for

international assistance to ensure better police procedures

which result in more criminal convictions. Post will explore

this request further with appropriate USG counterparts.

 

——-

 

COMMENT

——-

 

7. (C) Since the dismissal of the Foreign Minister, the PM

has taken on the Foreign Minister role. This has caused a

good deal of confusion within the MFA, as offices grapple

with waiting for PM response to matters that were previously

decided by the FM. Ramgoolam noted that he is generally

unhappy with the performance of the MFA, and planned

“comprehensive changes” in the coming months. These changes

would take place, he said, before he assigned another person

as Foreign Affairs Minister. Ramgoolam is often criticized

in the press and by Embassy contacts for his inability to

delegate authority. Post has observed the PM’s tendency

toward micro-management and the negative impact it can have

on actively following through on foreign affairs issues.

During the meeting with the Ambassador, the PM specifically

asked for any and all follow-up to take place between the DCM

and the head of the PM’s office and that the DCM not/not take

any of the at-play issues to the MFA. The PM noted this was

to “ensure they are fast tracked” and that he is briefed; he

added that many foreign affairs issues and briefs never make

it to him as Prime Minister.

CABRERA

 

(4 VIEWS)

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