INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Ethiopia: Ethiopian Orthodox Church Invitations To

Published: Thu 12 Jul 2007 07:46 AM
VZCZCXRO0254
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHDS #2171 1930746
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 120746Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6950
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHINGTON DC 0045
UNCLAS ADDIS ABABA 002171
SIPDIS
SIPDIS
DEPARTMENT FOR AF/E AND USUN NY:W.BRENCICK
LONDON, PARIS, ROME FOR AFRICA WATCHER
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ODIP OPDC OVIP KPAO ET
SUBJECT: ETHIOPIA: ETHIOPIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH INVITATIONS TO
SEPTEMBER MILLENNIUM CELEBRATIONS
REF: STATE 80096
1. ACTION REQUEST: See paragraph 4.
2. On September 11, 2007, Ethiopia, which follows the Julian
calendar, will celebrate the New Year and thus the Ethiopian
Millennium. The GOE, NGOs, and many private organizations
are planning large-scale celebrations (reftel) to mark the
event and to focus attention on the theme of development in
Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC), for its part,
is planning an event for which it seeks to gather senior
religious leaders from a variety of faiths, together with
current and former government officials and NGO leaders from
around the world, to discuss "global economic justice,
poverty and the scourge of HIV/AIDS" in a public forum. The
event is to be held in Addis Ababa on September 25 and 26,
2007.
3. The patriarch of the EOC, Abuna Paulos, requested Post's
assistance in delivery of invitation letters to the following
principals:
-- President William Jefferson Clinton;
-- President Jimmy Carter;
-- Vice President Al Gore;
-- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon; and
-- World Bank President Robert Zoellick.
Post delivered the invitation to Robert Zoellick during his
recent visit to Addis Ababa. Post has also passed the
invitations to President Clinton and President Carter through
Clinton Foundation and Carter Center offices in Addis Ababa,
respectively.
4. ACTION REQUEST: Post seeks the Department's assistance in
the delivery of the invitation letters to UN SYG Ban Ki-Moon
and Vice President Gore. Post will forward the original
invitation letters to the AF/E for delivery. Post
appreciates the Department's cooperation. END ACTION REQUEST.
5. COMMENT: Post recommends a positive response to the
Patriarch's invitation. The Ethiopian Millennium represents
a very significant event, both culturally and politically.
VIP attendance from the USG and international organizations
at the Millennium celebration would underscore support for
promoting peace, security, and development in Ethiopia, and
would advance public diplomacy goals as well as reinforce
strong Ethio-U.S. bilateral relations. END COMMENT.
YAMAMOTO
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