INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: World Food Program/Libya Memorandum Of

Published: Fri 23 Jul 2004 03:24 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS ROME 002872
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
FROM US MISSION TO THE UN AGENCIES IN ROME
STATE FOR A/S PRM DEWEY, MCKELVEY AND BROTHERS-JACKSON,
NEA/ENA, A/S IO HOLMES AND IO/EDA BEHREND AND KOTOK
USAID/W FOR ADMINISTRATOR NATSIOS, D/A SCHIECK, AA/DCHA
WINTER, DAA/AFR ALMQUIST, DCHA/D/FFP LANDIS, DCHA/OFDA OWENS
USMISSION GENEVA FOR AMBASSADOR MOLEY AND USAID/KYLOH
BRUSSELS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS AND USAID/LERNER
USUN FOR AMBASSADOR DANFORTH, TAMLYN AND MLUTZ
NSC FOR JMELINE AND AFRICA DIRECTORATE
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF EAID ELTN LY CD SU WFP
SUBJECT: World Food Program/Libya Memorandum of
Understanding
REF: (A) KHARTOUM 00864, (B) ROME 002746, (C) ROME 002371
Sensitive but unclassified. Please protect accordingly.
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Summary
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1. (SBU) US Mission has received copy of the World Food
Program/Libya Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) related to
the transit of humanitarian assistance through Libya into
Chad, Sudan and other African countries, signed in Tripoli
on July 15, 2004. The MOU permits all forms of humanitarian
assistance, food and non-food, to transit through Libya, as
long as the assistance is consigned to, and remains under
the auspices of WFP. The new arrangement is crucial for
opening additional routes to supply Darfur refugees who are
now more stranded than ever as the seasonal rains close down
traditional roads. As now envisioned, WFP would open food
shipments via Libya to Chad, from where distribution to
camps on both the Chadian and Darfurian (assuming GOS
concurrence) sides of the border would take place.
2. (SBU) With respect to all official activities, WFP and
its property shall be exempt from all forms of taxation,
customs duties and all other levies. Libya will afford WFP
the right to import all necessary telecommunications
equipments. The MOU is valid for ten years.
3. (SBU) Specifically, Libya will extend clearances for the
use of airports by aircrafts owned or contracted by WFP and
authorized by Libya, including expeditious granting of
landing and overflight rights, where such aircrafts are used
in support of humanitarian assistance. This could become
exceedingly crucial as WFP is now encountering major
difficulties in obtaining adequate quotas of jet fuel within
Sudan for its humanitarian airdrops. End summary.
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Background
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4. (SBU) In a meeting with senior officials at WFP on July
21, WFP passed along a signed copy of World Food
Program/Libya Memorandum of Understanding related to the
transit of humanitarian assistance through Libya into Chad,
Sudan and other African countries, signed in Tripoli on July
15, 2004, by the Libyan Government's Assistant Secretary for
Cooperation Mohammed Taher H. Siala and WFP's Deputy
Executive Director (Resources) John Powell. The MOU entered
into force from the date of its signing and is vaid for ten
years.
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Salient Parts of the MOU
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5. (SBU) The MOU permits all forms of humanitarian
assistance, food and non-food, to transit through Libya, as
long as the assistance is consigned to, and remains under
the auspices of WFP.
6. (SBU) Libya will permit WFP to allow for the safe passage
of humanitarian cargoes transiting through Libyan territory
by air, water and land transport. Note. It is not restricted
to one point of entry. End note.
7. (SBU) Libya will facilitate for WFP, and for all
organizations and personnel working with WFP and on behalf
of WFP, the use of all transport means, including clearances
for the use of border crossing points to expedite delivery
of humanitarian aid, including the safe passage of
humanitarian cargo on board foreign transport carriers as
authorized by Libya through its territory.
8. (SBU) Libya will extend clearances for the use of
airports by aircrafts owned or contracted by WFP and
authorized by Libya, including expeditious granting of
landing and overflight rights, where such aircrafts are used
in support of humanitarian assistance. This could become
exceedingly crucial as WFP is now encountering major
difficulties in obtaining adequate quotas of jet fuel within
Sudan for its humanitarian airdrops. Note. Separately, WFP
has explained that its jet fuel requirements have expanded
from 60,000 to 130,000 imperial gallons per day. Despite
repeated requests, the GOS is still supplying 60,000
imperial gallons or less per day. Refinery capacity or other
priorities may hamper the honoring of WFP's request. End
note.
9. (SBU) With respect to all official activities, WFP and
its property shall be exempt from all forms of taxation,
customs duties and all other levies. Libya will afford WFP
the right to import all necessary telecommunications
equipments.
10. (SBU) WFP is permitted to import both 4x4 vehicles and
trucks when deemed necessary for humanitarian purposes
within Libya
11. (SBU) Finally, Libya will facilitate provision of exit
and re-entry permits to personnel of collaborating
organizations working with WFP involved in humanitarian
activities, including personnel accompanying humanitarian
cargo on board aircraft and vehicles.
12 (U) Note. Copy of the signed MOU will be faxed directly
to USAID/DCHA/AA Roger Winter. End note.
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Next steps
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13. (SBU) WFP will send a technical logistics team to Libya
headed by Pierre Carasse o/a July 27 to negotiate
contract(s) with the Libyan transportation union and pursue
other logistical issues described ref B.
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Comment from Ambassador Hall
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14. (SBU) This MOU is an outstanding example of negotiation
by WFP, with a bit of behind the dais support from the US
Mission. In my view, the MOU demonstrates that Libya is keen
to be recognized as a responsible member of the
international community, a step in the rehabilitation of a
decades-long "pariah-state" image. Assuming that all goes
well with the first shipment of Swiss donated wheat in early
August (ref B), I would strongly urge that we accelerate the
arrival to U.S.-supplied humanitarian goods for movement
through the Libya corridor.
15. (U) Khartoum minimize considered. Hall
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2004ROME02872 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
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