Oct 182014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/05/09JEDDAH172.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09JEDDAH172
2009-05-19 15:32
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Consulate Jeddah

VZCZCXRO8227
PP RUEHBC RUEHDBU RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK RUEHLH RUEHPW RUEHRN RUEHTRO
DE RUEHJI #0172/01 1391532
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 191532Z MAY 09
FM AMCONSUL JEDDAH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1319
INFO RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0387
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 0193
RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA PRIORITY 0085
RUEHPS/AMEMBASSY PRISTINA PRIORITY
RUEHTI/AMEMBASSY TIRANA PRIORITY 0080
RUEHIC/OIC COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 JEDDAH 000172

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/ARP, NEA/ELA, EUR/SCE, IO

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/19/2014
TAGS: EAID EG KISL OFDP OVIP PREL RP SA SY KO
SUBJECT: OIC OFFICIAL ON KOSOVO ATTENDANCE/RECOGNITION AND PHILIPPINES OBSERVER STATUS AS DAMASCUS MINISTERIAL APPROACHES

REF: A. JEDDAH 0166
¶B. JEDDAH 0165
¶C. JEDDAH 0163
¶D. RIYADH 0588
¶E. RIYADH 0590
¶F. 08 JEDDAH 0417

Classified By: Consul General Martin R. Quinn for reasons 1.4(b) and (d
)

¶1. (C) SUMMARY: According to an OIC official, a request for
Kosovo to attend the May 23-25 OIC Ministerial in Damascus is
still pending Syrian permission. Reasons behind Egypt’s role
in hampering Albanian efforts to pass a resolution on Kosovo
recognition remain opaque while the role of Syria as
conference chair may prove critical to the outcome of the
Kosovo recognition resolution. An attempt by the Philippines
to gain OIC observer status illustrates that the process for
non-members is unclear. END SUMMARY.
¶2. (C) KOSOVO ATTENDANCE: According to OIC official Ufuk
Gokcen (in recent conversations with Jeddah PolOff), Kosovo
has asked to attend the annual OIC Council of Ministers
meeting in Damascus and the OIC has supported its bid with
the Secretary General asking the Syrian Foreign Minister last
week at a private dinner to see if the Kosovars could be
invited. The decision is still pending. Macedonia also asked
permission to attend. Sri Lanka was earlier granted
permission. Host approval and/or invitation is the main
element determining whether a country attends an OIC meeting.
Gokcen reported that the OIC “requested it but the Syrians
are not replying.” Gokcen stated his sense that the Syrians
are stalling on Macedonian attendance so as not to slight
others while the question of Kosovo attendance remains open.
¶3. (C) MURKY RESOLUTION APPROVAL PROCESS: Gokcen says that
the Kosovo resolution definitely will be raised in Damascus
at a Special Committee to debate all outstanding resolutions
emerging from the preparatory meetings in Jeddah. Gokcen
expects that the Special Committee chair will be Syrian
Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Al-Meqdad. Following
committee action, all resolutions will be presented to the
plenary for adoption by consensus. Gokcen pointed out that
while it is not typical, any minister may use this last
opportunity to speak against a specific resolution, an action
which could bring the plenary into a debate. Gokcen
described the consensus approval as quick but murky — a
process in which members often have trouble recalling exactly
when or how specific resolutions were passed.
¶4. (C) EGYPT’S MOTIVATION NOT CLEAR: The Albanians submitted
the resolution on Kosovo recognition at the May 4-6 Jeddah
preparatory meeting, where Egypt was the only country that
tried to block the initiative, using last minute maneuvers to
try to prevent it from passing in its original form. Baffled
by Egypt’s resistance to the Albanian resolution, Gokcen
claimed to have “absolutely no idea” why Egypt is taking this
position, but speculated that the “Sudan issue” or Egypt’s
ties with Russia might be factors.
¶5. (C) IMPORTANT ROLE OF SYRIA: Gokcen repeated that Syria
played a constructive role during the preparatory meeting,
adding that &the chair (Syria) was quite democratic.8 At
previous OIC meetings a forceful chair has been important in
passing resolutions, ensuring that countries cannot
single-handedly derail the process. The role of Syrian
Deputy FM Faisal Al-Meqdad is thus integral to getting the
Kosovo resolution passed in Damascus.
¶6. (C) BID BY PHILIPPINES FOR OBSERVER STATUS IN DAMASCUS:
In a side development, the Philippines is campaigning hard to
gain observer status at the OIC. While Article Four of the
OIC Charter deals with the question of observer status, the
“criteria” for acceptance are not defined. There has been a
block on the entry of observers in recent years except in
exceptional situations (such as Russia). The most likely
scenario for approval would be a member country minister
raising the issue and other members pushing it through by
acclamation. There is a more remote possibility that a
particularly bold minister might take to the floor and
object. Currently, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Macedonia and
Serbia have applied for observer status.
¶7. (C) COMMENT — EGYPT THE WILD CARD: Gokcen did not venture
an opinion whether Kosovo attendance would help/hinder the
chances of Kosovo acceptance. Clearly, Syria has the power
to allow Kosovo to attend and may be able to push the
resolution forward if it sees fit. Egypt remains the wild
card. It is not clear whether Egypt will push hard against

JEDDAH 00000172 002 OF 002

the resolution, two weeks after it stood at the preparatory
meeting in lone opposition. Egypt did not present solid
counter arguments in Jeddah, noting only that “more time” was
needed. In Damascus next week, Egypt will either have
sharpened its arguments or decided to put up less resistance
to recognizing Kosovo. END COMMENT.
QUINN

   

 

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