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Viewing cable 08CAIRO1637, CODEL KERRY MEETING WITH PRESIDENT MUBARAK

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08CAIRO1637 2008-07-31 10:10 2010-11-28 18:06 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Cairo
VZCZCXRO0166
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHEG #1637/01 2131008
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 311008Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0100
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 CAIRO 001637 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NSC FOR PASCUAL 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/21/2018 
TAGS: PREL PGOV KPAL PHUM AU EG IR IS SU
SUBJECT: CODEL KERRY MEETING WITH PRESIDENT MUBARAK 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Margaret Scobey, for reasons 
1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (C) Summary: On July 2, Senator Kerry and the Ambassador 
discussed regional developments with President Hosni Mubarak, 
including Zimbabwe, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, and Israel-Palestine. 
Mubarak said that Egypt was working to find a solution in 
Sudan, but preferred to do so "quietly."  Mubarak warned 
against a precipitous U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.  While he 
called Iranians "liars" and said they sponsor terrorism, he 
opined that no Arab state would join the U.S. in a formal 
defense alliance against Iran for fear of retaliation. 
Mubarak expressed frustration with the Israeli-Palestinian 
peace process, and was particularly disparaging about the 
lack of Palestinian unity.  End summary. 
 
------------------- 
AU "Soft" on Mugabe 
------------------- 
 
2. (C) In a 60-minute meeting with President Mubarak in Sharm 
El-Sheikh, Senator Kerry began by asking for Mubarak's views 
on the discussions at the African Union Summit, which had 
concluded in Sharm El-Sheikh the previous day. Mubarak said 
he had been at the Summit until late in the evening and was 
tired. He reported that some member states had condemned 
Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, while others told him to 
form a national unity government and find a role for the 
opposition parties. Mubarak said he couldn't prevent Mugabe 
from attending the conference in Egypt because Zimbabwe is a 
member of the African Union. He said the British were behind 
this "big fuss" and that the pressure from other African 
leaders was "sufficiently soft that Mugabe can do what he 
wants." 
 
------------------------------- 
Sudan:  Quiet Diplomacy Is Best 
------------------------------- 
 
3. (C) In response to Senator Kerry's query about the 
situation in Sudan, Mubarak said the issue was not discussed 
publicly at the AU summit. He also said "this issue could 
have been worked out" if it were not debated so publicly 
because "two tribes always work things out." Mubarak noted 
Egypt's attempts to "try and help the (Sudanese) people" 
through the Egyptian hospital in Sudan and the efforts of 
EGIS Director Omar Suleiman to advise on North-South 
negotiations. 
 
------------------------------ 
Iraq:  Don't Pull Out Too Soon 
------------------------------ 
 
4. (C) Turning to Iraq, Senator Kerry asked Mubarak if he had 
changed his opinion of Prime Minister Al Maliki after Iraq's 
successful stabilization efforts in Basra and Sadr City. 
Mubarak said he "I am not critical. He came to Cairo.  I gave 
him my phone number but he hasn't called us." He noted that 
Egypt offered to host and train Iraqi forces, but that the 
offer had not been acted upon by the Iraqis.  He said the 
U.S. "cannot withdraw until you strengthen the armed forces 
and police. Until then you have to stay." 
 
------------------- 
Beware The Iranians 
------------------- 
 
5. (C) Mubarak's top concern for the stability of Iraq and 
the region is Iran. He believes that "as a result of the 
invasion of Iraq, Iran is spreading everywhere." He urged the 
U.S. to be wary of what Iran says. "They are big, fat liars 
and justify their lies because they believe it is for a 
higher purpose." He said he believes this opinion is shared 
by other leaders in the region. Nonetheless, he opined that 
no Arab state will join the U.S. in a defense relationship 
vis-a-vis Iran out of fear of "sabotage and Iranian 
terrorism." He said Iran's sponsorship of terrorism is 
"well-known but I cannot say it publicly. It would create a 
dangerous situation." Mubarak said that sanctions are the 
best hope for containing Iran, but Arab states won't dare to 
endorse them. 
 
----------------------------------- 
Not Optimistic on The Peace Process 
----------------------------------- 
 
6. (C) On the Middle East Peace Process, Mubarak said he sees 
no progress between Syria and Israel and doesn't expect any 
progress between Israel and the PA leadership. He said that 
"Palestinians are quarrelling" and Hamas and other factions 
will reject any agreement made by Abu Mazen. Senator Kerry 
 
CAIRO 00001637  002 OF 002 
 
 
suggested the parties appeared to be close in some areas. In 
response, Mubarak reiterated he doesn't believe the many 
Palestinian factions will reach agreement and, thus, they 
only serve to undermine Abu Mazen's efforts. 
 
7. (C) This cable was not cleared by CODEL Kerry. 
SCOBEY