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Tsvangirai asked for $2.5 million from Morocco

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.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08RABAT469, GOM REACHES OUT TO ZIMBABWE OPPOSITION

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08RABAT469

2008-05-21 12:12

2011-08-30 01:44

SECRET

Embassy Rabat

VZCZCXYZ0000

PP RUEHWEB

 

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

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/16/2028

TAGS: PREL PGOV KDEM ZI SF MO

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

(MDC).

 

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.

 

 

*****************************************

Visit Embassy Rabat’s Classified Website;

http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/rabat

*****************************************

Riley

(23 VIEWS)

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