Viewing cable 06PARIS2260
Title: FRANCE/WEST AFRICA: AF/W DIRECTOR CARTER'S MFA

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06PARIS22602006-04-06 13:25:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Paris
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OO RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHPA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHFR #2260/01 0961325
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 061325Z APR 06
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6036
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN IMMEDIATE 1735
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0703
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA PRIORITY 1076
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 002260 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
PASS TO OES/IHA, G/AIAG 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/06/2016 
TAGS: PREL PHUM KFLU GV NI IV LI FR
SUBJECT: FRANCE/WEST AFRICA: AF/W DIRECTOR CARTER'S MFA 
EXCHANGES 
 
REF: A. PARIS 2259 B. PARIS 1706 C. 4/6/06 
     D'ELIA-MEYERS TELCON 
 
Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Josiah B. Rosenblatt.  Reas 
ons 1.4b,d 
 
¶1.  (C) Summary:  AF/W Director Carter clarified U.S. views 
on addressing security needs in Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire in 
an April 3 meeting with MFA Acting A/S-Equivalent for Africa 
Affairs Barbier and DAS-Equivalent Foucher.  Carter explained 
the significance in Monrovia of the Nigerian UNMIL company's 
return from temporary duty in UNOCI.  He also called for the 
EU to fulfill its pledge to provide electricity to Monrovia. 
Regarding Cote d'Ivoire, Barbier commented that USG delays in 
the UNSC sanctions listing process had caused consternation, 
but the MFA now had a better grasp of USG procedures.  France 
may soon propose new names for listing and hopes the UNSC can 
act quickly in response.  On Guinea-Conakry Carter relayed 
the USG aim for a constitutional transition that kept the 
military on the sidelines.  Carter raised the economic 
consequences of avian influenza in West Africa and suggested 
there may be a need for collaboration on an Africa-specific 
international response.  End Summary. 
 
Liberia/Cote d'Ivoire, UNMIL/UNOCI 
---------------------------------- 
 
¶2.  (C) In an April 3 conversation with MFA Acting 
A/S-Equivalent for African Affairs Elisabeth Barbier and 
DAS-Equivalent Bruno Foucher, AF/W Director Carter clarified 
U.S. views on addressing security needs in Liberia and Cote 
d'Ivoire.  He explained the significance for Monrovia of the 
Nigerian company's return from temporary deployment to UNOCI, 
while explaining that the USG continues to back the principle 
of regional asset transfers among peacekeeping operations, as 
appropriate.  Carter commented that the USG was supportive of 
considering the reinforcement of UNOCI pending 
reconfiguration of other UN missions, specifically UNMEE. 
However, he made clear the USG view that UNOCI's difficulties 
have less to do with force numbers than with its efficiency, 
while also noting a lack of definition to UNOCI's actual 
role.  He expressed surprise that UNOCI had opted to use the 
Nigerian company on temporary loan in effect for force 
protection rather than force projection.  After Foucher asked 
whether Charles Taylor's arrest would not calm tensions in 
Liberia, Carter explained the continuing risks from various 
elements within the country, noting that the next 60 days or 
so could prove decisive for Liberia.  Carter commented that 
if the Government of Liberia abides by GEMAP requirements, it 
was possible to envisage lifting the timber sanctions at the 
UNSC.  Carter called on the EU to fulfill its pledge to 
provide electricity to Monrovia by summer.  Barbier inquired 
whether American investment was now returning to Liberia. 
 
¶3.  (C) Regarding Cote d'Ivoire, Carter reiterated that 
February delays in USG vetting of names submitted for UNSC 
sanctions had been procedural and did not reflect 
discrepancies in U.S.-French views.  Barbier admitted that 
there had been considerable consternation, but added that the 
MFA now had a better grasp of USG internal procedures. 
(Note: President Chirac's Africa Cell delivered the same 
message to Carter.  Ref. A. End Note.)  Foucher stated that 
France may soon submit additional names for sanctions, 
specifically Denis Maho Glofiei, the head of the "Forces du 
Liberation du Grand Ouest" (FLGO).  Asked if the French would 
time submissions in response to further outbreaks of unrest, 
for instance during Konan Banny's forthcoming travels, 
Barbier and Foucher each stated emphatically that listings 
should remain delinked from events on the ground. 
 
¶4.  (C) Carter asked if the MFA had views on considering 
others for sanctions in Gbagbo's inner circle, such as Simone 
Gbagbo, who might be working against the government's efforts 
to implement the peace process and hold open elections. 
Foucher said he was troubled that Simone Gbagbo was now 
pressing the Cote d'Ivoire parliament to meet later this 
month.  More worrisome, Carter thought, was the continuing 
challenge of finding a successor for UN Special Elections 
Envoy Montiero.  Barbier and Foucher commented they believed 
there was a strong Swiss candidate now in the wings, but 
could not recall his or her name. 
 
Guinea-Conakry: Aiming for Constitutional Transition 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
¶5.  (C) Addressing Guinea-Conakry, Carter explained USG aims 
for a constitutional transition after the eventual demise of 
 
PARIS 00002260  002 OF 002 
 
 
President Conte, noting that the 60-day transition period set 
forth in the Guinean constitution could legitimately be 
extended, if needed, without necessarily breaching the 
constitution.  Keeping the military on the sidelines would 
however be imperative.  DAS Linda Thomas-Greenfield had 
reinforced the message during a recent visit to Conakry, he 
said.  Foucher asked whether the USG had reached out to the 
Guinean military.  Carter noted the military was divided, 
partly along generational lines.  Carter judged that any 
transition in Guinea would bring a measure of turbulence, but 
Guinea nonetheless was unlikely to fracture.  Moreover, there 
were a number of feasible candidates to succeed Conte. 
 
Avian Influenza and Africa 
-------------------------- 
 
¶6.  (C) The AF/W Director noted rising anxiety about the 
economic and other consequences for Nigeria and other African 
states caused by the spread of avian influenza.  He suggested 
there could be a need to collaborate on an Africa-specific 
international response.  Foucher noted France had dispatched 
veterinarians to Nigeria and Institut Pasteur personnel had 
also undertaken investigations.  (Note: Addressees should 
note that Department of Health and Human Services discussed 
with Institut Pasteur headquarters in Paris in early March 
opportunities for enhancing avian flu surveillance and 
research capacity for affiliates of Institut Pasteur already 
in Africa. End Note.)  Foucher cautioned that some West 
African states had reservations about accepting outside 
assistance for fear that domestic political opposition could 
somehow levy charges of government incompetence or weakness. 
 
Bolstering ECOWAS 
----------------- 
 
¶7.  (C) Barbier, Foucher and Carter concurred on the need to 
reinforce and augment the ECOWAS secretariat.  Foucher 
observed that ECOWAS had become too personalized, a kind of 
creature of Mohammed Ibn Chambas.  Moreover, West African 
states failed to send solid diplomats to ECOWAS in Abuja, or 
least diplomats on a par with those dispatched to Paris and 
Washington. 
 
Comment: France Needs an Embassy in Monrovia 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
¶8.  (C) Comment:  The absence of a French diplomatic presence 
in Liberia contributes to a certain laziness at the MFA in 
noticing and evaluating developments except in relation to 
Cote d'Ivoire, when the French assessment, as in the case of 
French demands to keep the Nigerian UNMIL company deployed to 
UNOCI, is often to the detriment of Liberian security needs. 
Development Minister Girardin did attend the inauguration of 
President Johnson-Sirleaf in Monrovia, of course, and the 
French were pleased to host her March 7-10 visit to Paris 
(Ref. B).  However, Liberia remains an orphan child at the 
MFA, with the account farmed out to an intern who assists the 
Ivory Coast desk officer.  (To be fair, according to Embassy 
Monrovia, the French did, until his recent recall, have a 
highly competent non-MFA observer in Monrovia, with a strong 
scholarly background on Liberia and development. Ref. C) 
French plans to open a diplomatic mission in Monrovia at 
Charge level by the end of the year are positive and warrant 
encouragement.  Better awareness about Liberia at MFA might 
help avert clashes in future about allocating resources 
between UNMIL and UNOCI.  That said, Cote d'Ivoire remains 
the top MFA worry in Africa (with Chad the other contender). 
 
¶9.  (U) AF/W Director Carter cleared this message. 
Please visit Paris' Classified Website at: 
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/paris/index.c fm 
 
Stapleton