US embassy cable - 93ALEXANDRIA24

EGYPT-LIBYA: LIBYA REOPENS THE BORDER

Identifier: 93ALEXANDRIA24
Wikileaks: View 93ALEXANDRIA24 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Alexandria
Created: 1993-01-13 13:50:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PREL ETRD UNSC LY EG
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 131350Z JAN 93
FM AMCONSUL ALEXANDRIA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0300
INFO DIA WASHDC
AMEMBASSY ALGIERS
AMEMBASSY TUNIS
AMEMBASSY CAIRO
SECDEF WASHDC

UNCLAS ALEXANDRIA 000024 
 
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE 
 
LIBSANC 
 
E.O. 12356: N/A 
TAGS: PREL, ETRD, UNSC, LY, EG 
SUBJECT: EGYPT-LIBYA: LIBYA REOPENS THE BORDER 
 
REF: (A) ALEXANDRIA 22  (B) FBIS NC0901165293 
 
 
1.  OFFICIALS OF THE MERSA MATROUH GOVERNORATE HAVE 
CONFIRMED LOCAL PRESS REPORTS THAT THE SALLOUM BORDER 
CROSSING WAS REOPENED BY LIBYAN AUTHORITIES EARLY 
TUESDAY MORNING, JANUARY 12.  LIBYA HAD CLOSED ITS LAND 
BORDERS FOR A THREE-DAY PERIOD TO PROTEST THE 
U.N.-IMPOSED SANCTIONS (COMMENT: THERE ARE A FEW RUMORS 
HERE, PROBABLY GROUNDLESS, THAT THE GOL CLOSED THE 
BORDERS WHILE SEARCHING FOR SUSPECTS INVOLVED IN THE CA 
ACCIDENT WHICH KILLED THE GOL JUSTICE MINISTER. END 
COMMENT).  OVER 150 VEHICLES HAVE REPORTEDLY CROSSED AT 
SALLOUM SINCE THE BORDER WAS REOPENED.  THE GOVERNOR 0 
MERSA MATROUH HAS BEEN AT THE BORDER OVERSEEING THE 
COMMITMENT OF ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL AND OTHER RESOURCES 
TO HANDLE A HEAVY TRAFFIC BACKLOG. 
 
2.  NOT A FEW EGYPTIANS WERE INCONVENIENCED AND ANGERE 
BY LIBYAS ACTIONS.  AS ONE EXAMPLE, EXPATRIATE TEACHE 
WORKING IN LIBYA LOST THREE DAYS OF THEIR MID-TERM 
HOLIDAY WHEN THEY WERE STRANDED.  THE PRESS REPORTS TH 
LOSSES TO EGYPTIAN BUSINESSES FROM THE EMBARGO TOTALLE 
20 MILLION L.E. (ABOUT USD 600,000), INCLUDING MUCH 
SPOILED PRODUCE.  COMMENT: WHILE THIS SEEMS HIGH TO US 
WE DO NOTE PRIOR REPORTS (REF A) OF THE MAGNITUDE OF T 
TRAFFIC BACKLOG AND THAT MERCHANTS DELAYED AT SALLOUM 
WERE SELLING THEIR PRODUCE AT VERY REDUCED PRICES. 
WHATEVER THE DAMAGES, THE GOL WON NO FRIENDS HERE WITH 
ITS EMBARGO AND, IN FACT, PROBABLY LEFT LIBYAS OWN 
BUSINESS COMMUNITY HURT AND ANGRY.  OUR LOCAL CONTACTS 
FLATLY CALL THE EMBARGO ECONOMIC "SUICIDE" FOR LIBYA. 
 
 
SCHELL 

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