No greetings to avoid Mugabe


Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates and Foreign Minister Luis Amado were not going to greet delegates when they arrived for the European Union- Africa summit in Lisbon ostensibly because there were too many delegates but United States embassy officials said this was probably to avoid sahking hands with President Robert Mugabe which could be captured by eager cameramen.

Portugal was under pressure to stop Mugabe from attending the summit but African countries said they would not attend if Mugabe was barred.

Some EU countries led by Britain said they would not attend if Mugabe was present.

Reports said the EU had developed “contingency plans” for an appropriate response if Mugabe got out of line during the summit proceedings.


Full cable:


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Reference ID





2007-12-06 17:04


Embassy Lisbon




DE RUEHLI #3106/01 3401704


R 061704Z DEC 07





C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 LISBON 003106






E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/10/2016






1. (U) Summary. More than 100 delegations will be in Lisbon

for the EU-African Union Summit December 8-9, representing

every state in both organizations, plus a few more. This

event will consume nearly 20 percent of Portugal’s entire EU

Presidency budget. Participants will adopt the Strategic

Partnership document and the First Action Plan, developed

jointly over the last eight months by AU and EU working

groups. Portugal’s main objective is to put in place

structures that ensure regular and sustained interactions

between the two continents across a range of key sectors.

Specific country situations (Zimbabwe, Sudan) are not on the

formal agenda, although we have heard some discussion of

crisis situations may occur on the margins. End summary.


2. (C) To the Government of Portugal (GOP) the EU-African

Union Summit is the crowning achievement of its EU

presidency. The GOP inherited most presidency issues — such

as Kosovo and the finalizing of the EU reform treaty — but

this summit is the one for which the GOP was the driving

force. The GOP had also pressed for the holding of the

first-ever EU-Brazil Summit at the outset of the presidency,

but even GOP officials privately admit that it was little

more than a photo opportunity. The EU-AU Summit, by

contrast, should establish an architecture for relationships

between the two continents.


3. (U) The GOP recently needed to pass a 10 million euro

supplemental appropriation to address last minute summit

costs. Despite having already hosted 3,400 meetings over six

months, this two day summit alone represents nearly 20

percent of Portugal’s EU Presidency budget, signifying its

importance to the GOP.


Descending on Lisbon



4. (U) More than 100 delegations are expected to gather in

Lisbon December 8-9 for the EU-African Union Summit. The

delegations include the 27 EU member states, 52 AU member

states, Morocco, the African Commission, the European

Commission, European and Pan-African parliamentary bodies,

and specialized agencies, plus Norway and Turkey, which will

be invited to participate in select discussions. Each

official delegation includes 15 participants, although many

delegations are traveling with more than 100. Lisbon’s

top-end hotels are booked to capacity, even with Libya’s

Muammar Qaddafi staying in his traditional tent.


5. (U) Not all countries will be represented by the head of

state/government. The United Kingdom, for example, will

likely be represented by a former junir minister in protest

of the attendance of Zimbawean President Mugabe, who is

under EU travel retrictions that were waived for the summit.

The Cechs will send their Foreign Minister. G-8, EFTA,and

BRIC nations were invited to attend as obserers, although

those invitations are only for theopening and closing



6. (C) Neithe Prime Minister Socrates nor Foreign Minister

Amao will greet arriving delegations, ostensibly becase

there are too many delegations, but also, we uspect, to

avoid having a handshake with Presidet Mugabe captured by

eager cameramen.


Mugabe’ participation



7. (C) GP officials told us early and often that this summt

was their most important priority. They belieed, however,

that Mugabe’s participation was theprice of having the

summit, as some African leadrs made it clear they would not

attend if particuar leaders were barred.


8. (C) GOP leaders, incuding Foreign Minister Amado, tried

to mitigate the political fallout from the long-expected

invitation by making public statements that they hoped Mugabe

would choose not to come. Privately, however, they told us

that they knew he would accept the invitation but that the

EU-AU relationship could not be held hostage to problems with

one particular leader.


9. (C) A senior Lisbon-based diplomat from an EU member

state told us recently that several EU leaders would, in

their addresses, express concern about the situation in

Zimbabwe. He added that the EU had developed “contingency

plans” for an appropriate response if Mugabe got out of line

during the summit proceedings.


So let it be written, so let it be done



LISBON 00003106 002 OF 003




10. (U) As is necessary in a short gathering of so many

delegations, the main work of the summit will be to put a

formal imprimatur on two documents: a “Strategic Partnership”

and a “First Action Plan.” The first stresses, in very

general terms, the importance of partnership between the two

continents while the second identifies eight areas of

collaboration. The member state presidencies of the EU and

AU led the development of these papers in conjunction with EU

and AU institutions. (Note: EUR/ERA has copies of both

documents for those who desire more detail than included in

this cable. End note.)


11. (U) The working groups that developed the Strategic

Partnership and the First Action Plan, including the 9th

Africa-EU Ministerial troika meeting on October 31 that

endorsed the two papers, discussed specific crisis situations

in Africa and Europe (Sudan, Somalia, Chad/Central African

Republic, etc. in the former; Kosovo in the latter), but

individual country situations are not addressed in the summit



12. (U) For that reason, Zimbabwe, Darfur, and other crisis

situations are not formal items on the summit agenda.

(Note: This, despite the Portuguese presidency’s repeated

assertion that the value of inviting Zimbabwe to the summit

was to hold President Mugabe responsible for his actions

against his own people. End note.) During the discussions

of the eight partnerships, which include human rights and

security components, one representative each from EU and AU

member states will make an address. There will be a limited

right to comment by any participating state, at the

discretion of the chair.


13. (C) In addition to the theoretical discussions, the

summit documents — indeed, the summit itself — focus on

putting in place the architecture of future cooperative

engagement. The timing of future summits (once every three

years), the strengthening of institutional bodies, and the

definition of the roles of those institutional bodies

comprise the main expected accomplishments of the EU-AU



Eight Key “Partnerships”



14. (C) The summit documents identify the following eight

areas — or “partnerships” — for sustained collaboration:


Peace and Security: Enhance dialogue on challenges to peace

and security; Full operationalization of the African Peace

and Security Architecture; and Predictable funding for

African-led Peace Support Operations.


Democratic Governance and Human Rights: Enhance dialogue at

global level and in international fora; Promote the African

Peer Review Mechanism and support the African Charter on

Democracy, Elections and Governance; and Strengthen

cooperation in the area of cultural goods.


Trade and Regional Integration: Support the African

integration agenda; Strengthen African capacities in the area

of rules, standards, and quality control; and Implement the

EU-Africa Infrastructure Partnership.


Millennium Development Goals: Ensure the finance and policy

base for achieving the MDGs; and Accelerate the achievement

of the Food Security, Health, and Education targets of the



Energy: Implement the Energy Partnership to intensify

cooperation on energy security and energy access.


Climate Change: Build a common agenda on climate change

policies and cooperation; and Cooperate to address land

degradation and increasing aridity, including the “Green Wall

for the Sahara Initiative.”


Migration, Mobility, and Employment: Implement the

Declaration of the Tripoli Conference on Migration and

Development; Implement the EU-Africa Plan of Action on

trafficking of human beings; Implement and follow up the 2004

Ouagadougou Declaration and Action Plan on employment and

poverty alleviation in Africa.


Science, Information Society, and Space: Support the

development of an inclusive information society in Africa;

Support S&T capacity building in Africa and implement

Africa’s S&T consolidated plan of action; Enhance cooperation

on space applications and technology.




LISBON 00003106 003 OF 003





15. (C) Some observers have commented that the only success

from the first — and only — EU-Africa summit in 2000 was

merely that it was held. The Portuguese have somewhat more

ambitious objectives this time around, with their sights set

on establishing an architecture that will institutionalize

and deepen the EU’s relations with Africa. Indeed, the very

act of developing the summit documents strengthened nascent

African Union institutions and intensified their

collaboration with EU counterparts. In the short-term,

however, it is not encouraging that the summit’s human

rights/good governance discussion will allocate time to the

recovery of African cultural goods but not to the genocide in

Sudan or to Robert Mugabe’s systematic crushing of political






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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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