Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai asked for $2.5 million from Morocco in May 2008 saying he needed $5 million to successfully fund his operations.
He said he had already raised half the amount and wanted the other half but would appreciate any assistance that Morocco could give because getting money was very difficult.
The Moroccan government, which did not like President Robert Mugabe and the South African government because of their recognition of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, had decided to open communications with Tsvangirai after the release of the presidential elections.
The move was masterminded by the Director of African Affairs in the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abdellatif Bendahane.
Viewing cable 08RABAT469, GOM REACHES OUT TO ZIMBABWE OPPOSITION
DE RUEHRB #0469/01 1421212
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 211212Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY RABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8615
INFO RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE 0035
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 0243
RUEHCL/AMCONSUL CASABLANCA 4107
S E C R E T RABAT 000469
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/16/2028
SUBJECT: GOM REACHES OUT TO ZIMBABWE OPPOSITION
Classified By: (S) Classified by Political Counselor Craig Karp
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
¶1. (S) Summary: A senior Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs
official told us the Government of Morocco (GOM) has quietly
reached out to the Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai. On May 16, the Director for African Affairs
Abdellatif Bendahane (strictly protect) told us the Minister
of Foreign Affairs approved Morocco,s extension of support
to the Zimbabwean opposition party. On May 10, the Moroccan
Charge d,Affaires in South Africa met with Tsvangirai and
offered Moroccan political support to him and the Movement
for Democratic Change. Tsvangirai criticized South Africa,
welcomed Moroccan support and asked for money. The GOM is
considering this, though not officially. This reflects the
long-standing GOM animosity to Robert Mugabe and South Africa
over their support of the POLISARIO. End summary.
Morocco Decides to Reach Out
¶2. (S) On May 16, the Director of African Affairs in the
Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Abdellatif
Bendahane (strictly protect) told Polcouns the GOM had
approved his recommendation and decided to open
communications with Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the
Zimbabwe opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change
Message from King Mohammed VI delivered to Tsvangirai
¶4. (S) On May 10, the Moroccan Charge d,Affaires in
Pretoria, traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa to meet with
Tsvangirai where he delivered a message of solidarity. He
conveyed, “…the total and solid support of the government
of His Majesty, the King of Morocco to the people of Zimbabwe
and regret the bad turn of events that have taken place since
the recent elections in Zimbabwe.”
Tsvangirai Expresses MDC,s Position
¶5. (S) Responding to the GOM,s message, Tsvangirai told the
Moroccan Charge he appreciated the GOM support. He said he
had chosen self-imposed exile in South Africa in order to
make contacts with governments friendly to the MDC,s cause.
Tsvangirai regretted having to use Johannesburg as a base of
operations as the South African government, headed by Thabo
Mbeki, remains too close to Robert Mugabe,s government in
Zimbabwe. Tsvangirai also expressed displeasure with the
African Union and other African Leaders as they continue to
stand by Mugabe.
¶6. (S) Through the Charge, Tsvangirai advised that the MDC
would be willing to participate in another round of
elections, knowing they would easily win. However, the MDC
would not be willing to enter into a coalition government
with Mugabe,s ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Popular
Front (ZANU-PF) as the ZANU-PF has lost its legitimacy with
the MDC and the Zimbabwean people.
Tsvangirai,s request for help
¶7. (S) Tsvangirai told the Moroccan Charge he will launch a
campaign to return to Zimbabwe and will need a total of five
million U.S. Dollars to successfully fund his operations.
Tsvangirai related he already had half of the money necessary
but would need an additional two and a half million dollars
to be fully funded. Further, Tsvangirai related to the
Charge that getting money was difficult and he would
appreciate any assistance Morocco could give.
¶8. (S) Comment. Bendahane recalled that Relations between
Morocco and both Zimbabwe and South Africa have been strained
from the recognition of the Saharawi Arab Democratic
Republic. Recently, the new South African Charge had come to
his office to protest the Moroccan Charge in Pretoria
circulating a diplomatic note regarding the transfer of the
African Association of Mayors Headquarters from Johannesburg
to Rabat. Bendahane said he used the meeting to vigorously
protest the statement of the South African Ambassador to the
United Nations, who during a recent United Nations Security
Counsel debate on Western Sahara, compared the Israeli
treatment of Palestine to the Moroccan presence in the
Sahara. Per Bendahane’s request we briefed counterparts at
the British Embassy. End Comment.
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