Viewing cable 07TUNIS621
Title: PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR BEN DHIA RESPONSE TO DEPUTY

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
07TUNIS6212007-05-18 15:50:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Tunis
VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTU #0621 1381550
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 181550Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY TUNIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3180
INFO RUCNMGH/MAGHREB COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
S E C R E T TUNIS 000621 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NOFORN 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR NEA/FO (GRAY) NEA/MAG (HOPKINS AND HARRIS) AND 
S/WCI (WILLIAMSON, MORRISON AND MUBANGU) 
NSC FOR CAMPONOVO 
DOF FOR MONHEIM 
DOD FOR LIOTTA 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/18/2017 
TAGS: PTER KAWC PINR TS
SUBJECT: PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR BEN DHIA RESPONSE TO DEPUTY 
SECRETARY LETTER ON GUANTANAMO DETAINEES 
 
 
SIPDIS 
 
REF: A. DEPUTY SECRETARY-BEN DHIA LETTER OF 05/04/2007 
     ¶B. TUNIS 461 
     ¶C. TUNIS 306 
     ¶D. TUNIS 259 
     ¶E. TUNIS 257 
     ¶F. TUNIS 193 
     ¶G. TUNIS 139 
     ¶H. TUNIS 65 
     ¶I. SECSTATE 10683 
     ¶J. 06 TUNIS 2814 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Robert F. Godec for reasons 
1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
¶1. (S/NF) Summary:  Foreign Ministry Chief of Staff Hatem 
Atallah today provided Ambassador with a letter from 
Presidential Advisor Ben Dhia to the Deputy Secretary, in 
which Ben Dhia reiterates the GOT's willingness accept the 
three Tunisian detainees currently held at Guantanamo 
(reftels).  The letter notes that the detainees will benefit 
from the rights guaranteed by Tunisian law, including 
visitation rights, as stipulated by the law.  The Ben Dhia 
letter does not contradict, but neither does it echo in 
written form, the specific assurances Ben Dhia verbally 
offered on April 12, as memorialized in the Deputy 
Secretary's May 4 letter.  End Summary. 
 
SIPDIS 
 
¶2. (S/NF) MFA Chief of Staff Hatem Atallah convoked the 
Ambassador on May 18 to deliver a letter from Minister of 
State, Special Advisor to the President Abdelaziz Ben Dhia to 
Deputy Secretary Negroponte (Ref A).  Ben Dhia's letter, 
which is not dated, is in response to the Deputy Secretary's 
May 4 letter to Ben Dhia, a letter that memorialized the 
assurances Ben Dhia gave to the Ambassador in their April 12 
meeting (Ref B).  Ambassador alerted Atallah that the target 
date for the transfer of the three detainees is June 18.  He 
noted that PolOff had been seeking to contact MOI POC on this 
matter to begin discussions about logistics.  Atallah offered 
to facilitate this contact. 
 
¶3. (SBU) Embassy has faxed a copy of the Ben Dhia letter to 
NEA/MAG.  Following is the Embassy's informal translation of 
the Ben Dhia-Negroponte letter: 
 
Begin Text: 
 
Dear Mr. Deputy Secretary of State, 
 
In reference to your letter of May 4, and my meeting on April 
12 with US Ambassador in Tunis Robert Godec, I wish to 
confirm to you that the Tunisian authorities are prepared to 
accept the return of three Tunisians currently (held) at the 
Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba. 
 
I am pleased to recall that the return will take place after 
confirmation of the identity and nationality of the detainees 
in question, given the fact that once they are in Tunisia, 
they will benefit from the rights guaranteed by Tunisian law 
to all detainees without exception, including visitation 
rights as governed by the law in effect. 
 
Finally, I wish to assure you, Mr. Deputy Secretary of State, 
of our full collaboration in this matter, in the spirit of 
friendship and partnership that we wish to conform to the 
excellent relations between our two countries and our mutual 
engagements in favor of security, stability and peace in the 
region and in the world. 
 
With the assurance of my highest consideration. 
/s/ 
Abdelaziz Ben Dhia 
Minister of State, Special Advisor to the President of the 
Republic 
 
End Text. 
 
¶4. (S/NF) Comment: The Ben Dhia letter does not contradict, 
but neither does it echo in written form, the specific 
assurances Ben Dhia verbally offered on April 12, as 
memorialized in the Deputy Secretary's May 4 letter.  End 
Comment. 
 
GODEC