US embassy cable - 03KHARTOUM185

SUDAN'S POSITION ON IRAQ

Identifier: 03KHARTOUM185
Wikileaks: View 03KHARTOUM185 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Khartoum
Created: 2003-03-02 17:47:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL PGOV SU AL IZ
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
P R 021747Z MAR 03
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO AMEMBASSY CAIRO
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY OSLO
AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
AMEMBASSY ASMARA
AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI
AMEMBASSY KUWAIT
CIA WASHDC
NSC WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L KHARTOUM 00185 
 
STATE FOR AF/SPG 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL:03/02/13; 
TAGS:  PREL, PGOV, SU, AL, IZ 
SUBJECT:    SUDAN'S POSITION ON IRAQ 
 
REF: KHARTOUM 178 
 
CLASSIFIED BY DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION MARGUERITA RAGSDALE. 
REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D). 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY: THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS HAS FORMALLY 
SPELLED OUT THE GOVERNMENT'S VERY GENERALIZED AND 
NON-CONFRONTATIONAL POSITION ON IRAQ WHICH PUTS KHARTOUM BEHIND 
THE UNSC RESOLUTION AND THE WORK OF THE INSPECTORS.  THE 
POSITION IS MARKEDLY DIFFERENT FROM VIEWS EXPRESSED BY SUDAN'S 
FOREIGN MINISTER DAYS EARLIER AT THE ARAB LEAGUE MINISTERIAL 
MEETING IN CAIRO. IN THE MEANTIME, PRESIDENT BASHIR DECLINED TO 
ATTEND THE SHARM AL-SHEIKH SUMMIT IN ORDER TO ADDRESS PRESSING 
ISSUES AT HOME.  LOCAL PUBLIC OPINION APPEARS TO AGREE WITH 
BASHIR'S CHOICE OF PRIORITIES. END SUMMARY. 
 
2. (C)  MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS DIRECTOR FOR THE AMERICAS 
DEPARTMENT AMBASSADOR MOHAMED AL-AMIN AL-KARIB CONVOKED DCM 
03/01 TO CONVEY A PAPER OUTLINING SUDAN'S POSITION ON THE ISSUE 
OF IRAQ.  REFTEL NOTES THE CONCERTED EFFORT OF SUDAN'S FOREIGN 
MINISTER DR. MUSTAPHA ISMAIL TO REPAIR DAMAGE CAUSED BY HIS 
REMARKS AT THE ARAB LEAGUE MINISTERIAL IN CAIRO.  IN THOSE 
COMMENTS, ISMAIL CAME OUT AGAINST ARAB STATES ALLOWING BASES AND 
FACILITIES IN THEIR COUNTRIES TO BE USED IN AN ATTACK AGAINST 
IRAQ.  THE MINISTER'S SUBSEQUENT STATEMENTS INDICATED THAT HE 
HAD BACKED AWAY FROM THAT POSITION. 
 
2.  (C) FOLLOWING IS TEXT OF THE POSITION PAPER READ BY AL-KARIB 
AND HANDED OVER TO DCM AS A NON-PAPER. IT STATES THAT SUDAN'S 
STANCE ON IRAQ IS BASED ON THE FOLLOWING: 
 
A. FIRM COMMITMENT TO THE RESOLUTIONS OF THE UNITED NATIONS 
SECURITY COUNCIL AND THE NECESSITY OF FULL COOPERATION BETWEEN 
IRAQ AND THE INSPECTORS, AS THIS IS ESSENTIAL TO AVOID WAR. 
 
B. WEAPONS INSPECTORS ARE THE CONCERNED BODY THAT WILL DECIDE 
WHETHER IRAQ HAS FULLY COMPLIED WITH SECURITY COUNCIL 
RESOLUTIONS; 
 
C. IT IS THE HOPE OF SUDAN THAT ALL WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION 
BE REMOVED FROM IRAQ WITHOUT WAR; 
 
D.  THIS SUDANESE POSITION WILL BE VOICED OUT IN ALL REGIONAL 
FORUMS SUCH AS THE ARAB LEAGUE, NAM, AND OIC.  AS WELL, SUDAN 
WILL ABIDE BY THE RESOLUTIONS OF THESE REGIONAL FORUMS ON THE 
ISSUE; 
 
E.  IF THERE IS ANY SPECIFIC VIEWPOINT FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF 
THE UNITED STATES ON THE ISSUE, THE SUDANESE GOVERNMENT WILL BE 
READY TO HEIR THAT VIEW. 
 
3.  (C) EGYPTIAN AMBASSADOR ASSIM TOLD CHARGE MILLINGTON THAT 
SUDAN'S FM REVERSED HIS POSITION ON IRAQ "BECAUSE SUDAN IS 
IRRELEVANT AS FAR AS IRAQ IS CONCERNED" AND BECAUSE THE COUNTRY 
RISKED LOSING CONSIDERABLE INVESTMENT POTENTIAL FROM GULF STATES 
SUCH AS KUWAIT, THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES AND SAUDI ARABIA. 
THESE COUNTRIES HAD ONLY RECENTLY BEGUN TO INITIATE SERIOUS 
INVESTMENT OPTIONS HERE SINCE THEIR BREAK WITH SUDAN FOLLOWING 
THE 1991 GULF WAR. 
 
4. (C) COMMENT:  SUDAN'S PRESIDENT OMAR BASHIR DECLINED TO 
PARTICIPATE IN THE ARAB LEAGUE SUMMIT AT SHARM AL-SHEIKH, CITING 
"INTERNAL ISSUES RELATED TO PEACE AND SECURITY IN SUDAN." 
FOREIGN MINISTER ISMAIL LED SUDAN'S DELEGATION AND READ A 
STATEMENT FROM PRESIDENT BASHIR THAT DID NOT GO BEYOND THOSE 
INNOCUOUS REMARKS QUOTED ABOVE.  PUBLIC SENTIMENT IN SUDAN 
GENERALLY SUPPORTED BASHIR'S DECISION NOT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE 
ARAB LEAGUE SUMMIT.  WHILE THERE IS WIDESPREAD PUBLIC OPPOSITION 
TO A U.S.-LED ATTACK AGAINST IRAQ, MOST SUDANESE APPEAR TO AGREE 
WITH BASHIR'S POSITION THAT THERE ARE MORE PRESSING ISSUES THAT 
NEED TO BE ADDRESSED AT HOME. END COMMENT. 
 
 
MILLINGTON 

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