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Cablegate: Maldivian Foreign Minister Discusses Donor Conference And

Published: Wed 24 Feb 2010 12:17 PM
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UNCLAS COLOMBO 000137
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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PREF PHUM PTER EAID MOPS ECON EFIN
SUBJECT: MALDIVIAN FOREIGN MINISTER DISCUSSES DONOR CONFERENCE AND
CLIMATE CHANGE INITIATIVES WITH AMBASSADOR
1. (SBU) Summary: In a February 19 meeting in Colombo, the
Ambassador and Maldivian Foreign Minister Ahmed Shaheed discussed
several issues, including the upcoming Maldives donor conference
March 28-29 and an Asian Climate Change initiative led by Maldives
and East Timor within the framework of the Copenhagen Accord. End
Summary.
Climate Change Initiatives
--------------------------
2. (SBU) Shaheed reported that the GOM was working towards
convincing other Association of Small Island States (AOSIS) members
to follow its lead and associate to the Copenhagen Accord. He also
noted that the GOM had spoken to Sri Lanka, which recently accepted
the Accord, implying that the GOM's intervention influenced the
decision. Shaheed stated that the GOM would protest recent AOSIS
statements that were critical of the Accord and inconsistent with
the GOM's views, though he did not specify which elements those
were. Shaheed also previewed an Asian Climate Change initiative led
by Maldives and East Timor within the framework of the Copenhagen
Accord, to be launched in June 2010. The plan, he said, would be
for all Asian countries (large as well as small) to commit to
cutting carbon emissions below Copenhagen levels, and to set up a
fund to support climate change initiatives. Shaheed said the aim
was to establish this framework ahead of the next climate change
summit in Mexico in December 2010.
Other Business
--------------
3. (SBU) Shaheed thanked the Ambassador for U.S. support in the
approval of an IMF loan of USD 92 million for Maldives, saying he
was confident that the GOM would meet IMF policy reform targets with
the passage of several tax bills now in parliament. Looking ahead,
Shaheed said the GOM expected participation from about 40 countries
at the donor conference scheduled for March 28 and 29. Shaheed said
that the GOM intended to sign an agreement with Overseas Private
Investment Corporation (OPIC) soon.
4. (SBU) Turning to politics, Shaheed reported that with three new
members, the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) was the single
biggest party in the 77-seat parliament, although it still did not
have a majority vote. On the recent election of new leadership for
the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), Shaheed said the vote, which
installed new leaders, appeared to be a rejection of the
established, long-standing DRP leaders who were closely associated
with former President Gayoom. Shaheed reiterated that the GOM had no
interest in arresting or prosecuting Gayoom and was primarily
concerned with the recovery of stolen assets.
BUTENIS
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