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Cablegate: Nigeria: President Obasanjo to Head Wssd

Published: Fri 23 Aug 2002 12:10 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS ABUJA 002508
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD EAGR ENRG EFIN PREL KPAO NI UNCSD
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: PRESIDENT OBASANJO TO HEAD WSSD
DELEGATION
REF: A. A) STATE 151258
B. B) STATE 158974
1. (SBU) Summary. The Nigerian delegation to the World
Summit on Sustainable Development (WSD) will be led by
President Obasanjo and include Ministers for Foreign Affairs,
Agriculture, Environment, Finance, African Integration and
Energy (Presidential Advisor Rilwanu Lukman). Nigerian
contacts in the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Environment
received reftel talking points and agreed on the need for the
WSSD to limit itself to concrete programs with a chance for
implementation and eventual success. While Nigerian actions
at international fora are hard to predict, for the WSSD the
present delegation seems well disposed to a high degree of
cooperation. End Summary.
2. (U) President Olusegun Obasanjo, recently criticized for
his foreign travels, may limit his attendance to September 2
only, when he is scheduled to give the 47th presentation to
the WSSD. According to Director of the 2nd UN office of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, M.K. Ibrahim, Obasanjo
personally reduced the size of the Nigerian delegation from
102 to thirty and many of the offices were in a state of
confusion.
3. (U) Minister of State for Environmental Affairs Imeh
Okopido responded to the demarche by stressing Nigeria's
agreement with the U.S. on the importance of partnerships,
and relayed his gratitutude for USG support for the African
Process (Reftel b).
4. (U) Participation by Lukman shows the GON is taking the
energy portion of the agenda seriously. Contacts at both the
Ministry of the Environment and MFA said they expected to
work closely with the U.S. and that Nigeria shared many of
our concerns.
5. (SBU) Comment: In recent international fora the degree of
Nigerian cooperation has varied. Positive WTO meetings in
Doha were followed by a less collaboration in Monterrey.
Neveretheless, we believe that working-level and senior
members of the WSSD delegation are open to greater
cooperation with the U.S., and with a little luck might be
kept from reverting to obstructionist positions, whether they
be those of the G-77 or OPEC. End Comment.
JETER
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