قائمة بالنقاط التي أثارتها وثائق ويكيليكس عن السفارة الأمريكية في الجزائر لحد الآن

Posté par algeriedemocratie le 16 janvier 2011

أضيف في 21 دجنبر 2010

الجزائر تستجيب لطلب الجيش الأمريكي بالسماح لطائرات التجسس إي بي 3 التحليق فوق الإقليم الجوي الجزائري.
2- بوتفليقة يقول أنه لو كان في مكان مبارك لفعل نفس الشيء في موضوع حصار غزة.

3- بوتفليقة يتعامل مع إيران بتشكيك كبير رغم ما يبدو من عكس ذلك ظاهرا.

4- بوتفليقة مع بقاء الإحتلال الأمريكي في العراق.

5- بوتفليقة يحتقر ملك المغرب وينافقه بالود علنا.

6- بوتفليقة يزعم للجنرال الأمريكي كيب وارد قائد أفريكوم أنه يسيطر على جنرالات الجزائر وأنّ عهد هيمنتهم وهيمنة الشرعية الثورية على الحكم قد ولى.

7- الجنرال عطافي (رشيد لعلالي) من جهاز المخابرات يستقبل ممثلة بوش لمكافحة الإرهاب عام 2007 أيام قبل عمليات 11 ديسمبر.

8- (تصحيح: السفير يثني على مقال ظهر في ما بعد أن كاتبه هو الصحفي محمود بلحيمر عن الزيارة التي كانت مرتقبة لديفيد ولش، وورد في وثيقة ويكيليكس أن المقال تمت تهيئته بمساعدة من الملحق الثقافي)

9- تقرير من السفارة الأمريكية يؤكد أن أحمد فتاني مدير صحيفة ليكسبريسيون الناطقة بالفرنسية يتمتع بعلاقات قوية مع جهاز المخابرات.

10- صحفية ليبرتي نادية ملال زودت السفارة بمعلومات.
11- النائبة دليلة حليلو من مجلس الأمة زودت السفارة بمعلومات عن صحة بوتفليقة.
12- بوتفليقة طلب من أجهزة الأمن الأوربية التصنت على الهواتف الجزائرية النقالة ذات الشرائح غير المسجلة بعد عمليات 11 ديسمبر 2007.
13ـ بوتفليقة طلب من الولايات المتحدة المساعدة في مكافحة الهجمات بالسيارات المفخخة في نفس الفترة.
14ـ أكدت الوثائق على قيام السفارة الأمريكية بفتح مكتب للأف بي أي في الجزائر من أجل دعم التعاون مع وزارة الداخلية الجزائرية.
15- بوتفليقة صرح للأمريكان بأنّه سيدرس كل طلباتهم المقدمة بشأن التعاون في المجال العسكري.
16- النظام الجزائري سمح بنقل مشتبه بهم أمريكيا عبر الجزائر عن طريق بالما دي مايوركا الإسبانية.
17- الجزائر صدرت ما قيمته 19 مليار دولار من النفط والغاز الطبيعي لأمريكا عام 2008.
18- دفع التأثير الأمريكي على التبادلات التجارية مع الجزائر إلى قرار شراء طائرات 11 طائرة بوينغ و التخلي عن إمكانية شراء طائرات الإيرباص الفرنسية.
19- التأكيد على وجود خلية لوكالة سي آي إي للقيام بعمليات مراقبة جوية وتصنت و تقصي لنشاط القاعدة في الجزائر.
20- عرفان الدبلوماسيين الأمريكيين لما مارسه النظام من ضغوط على الصحافة المحلية لثنيها عن تغطية قضية اغتصاب رئيس مكتب المخابرات الأمريكية في الجزائر لسيدتين جزائريتين.
21- سعيد سعدي يخبر السفير الأمريكي بإصابة بوتفليقة بسرطان قاتل في المعدة.
22- إخفاق الأجهزة الأمنية في الوصول إلى اتفاق بخصوص وضعية حسان حطاب.
23- عقداء في الجيش يفكرون في التغيير وأحمد قايد صالح أكثر قادة الجهاز العسكري فسادا.
24- الوزيرة السابقة ليلى عسلاوي، زعيم النهضة السابق عبد الله جاب الله، وسعيد سعيد يفضون للسفير الأمريكي روبرت فورد بحقيقة الأوضاع الكارثية التي تعيشها الجزائر.
25- الفساد متفشي في كل مستويات وأجهزة الدولة بما فيها الجيش و الرئاسة مع ذكر تورط إخوة بوتفليقة في قضايا الفساد.
26- الإقرار بأن الجنرال محمد مدين (توفيق) هو الشخصية الرئيسية المتحكمة في النظام و استمراريته، بمعنى أنه هو الحاكم الفعلي للبلاد.
27- الجنرال توفيق يبحث عن بديل سياسي يضمن حد أدنى من الإستقرار في الجزائر.
28- في إطار الصراع المستمر بين المخابرات و الرئاسة، أومأت الأجهزة الأمنية لوزير المجاهدين محمد الشريف عباس أن يتهجم على سركوزي أثناء زيارته للجزائر في 2007 لإحراج بوتفليقة و إجبار فرنسا على إلغاء الزيارة.
29- الحكومة الفرنسية لم تر أي خليفة معتبر لبوتفليقة ولذلك تجنبت الحكومة الفرنسية أي انتقاد لقيامه بتعديل الدستور بطريقة غير دستورية ليتمكن من الحكم لعهدة ثالثة.
30- الجنرال توفيق يقر بالوضع المتدهور للبلاد و يؤكد على بلوغه أعلى هرم في السلطة (مشيرا إلى صورة بوتفليقة المعلقة على الحائط).
31- عقداء في الجيش يعتقدون أن عليهم المبادرة بتغيير الأوضاع التي لا يمكن أن تستمر بحال، و السؤال هل يستطيعون تنظيم أنفسهم.
32- تخوف زرهوني و المسؤولين الجزائريين من أن تقوم الحكومة الفرنسية بنشر دليل حول مشاكل الشركات الفرنسية العاملة في الجزائر وطريقة حلها، بسبب حديث عن فساد الإدارة الجزائرية في الدليل

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16

Posté par algeriedemocratie le 15 janvier 2011

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C O N F I D E N T I A L ALGIERS 000045 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/17/2017 
TAGS: PGOV KDEM AG
SUBJECT: SENATE PRESIDENT RE-ELECTED 

REF: A. 2006 ALGIERS 2067 

B. ALGIERS 30 

Classified By: DCM Thomas F. Daughton; reasons 1.4 b/d 

1. (C) Abdelkader Bensalah was re-elected, 129-0, as the 
President of the Conseil de la Nation (Senate) on January 12. 
Bensalah remains first in line to succeed President 
Bouteflika in the event that he is unable to complete his 
current term. Bensalah's re-election became a foregone 
conclusion when no other senator challenged him for the post. 
A reporter for French-language daily newspaper Liberte, 
XXXXXXXXXXXX, who covered all aspects of the election, told 
us the result was predetermined once President Bouteflika 
signaled to the senators that he wanted Bensalah to retain 
his position. XXXXXXXXXXXX said senators privately complained 
that, out of respect to Bouteflika, no other candidates had 
presented themselves. Many told her the election became a 
formality rather than an exercise in democracy, which was a 
shame in their view. 

BOUTEFLIKA APPOINTS SENATORS OF HIS GENERATION 
--------------------------------------------- - 

2. (C) On the day of the election, eight new senators joined 
the Conseil de la Nation as part of the third of the 
membership appointed directly by President Bouteflika (ref 
A). All have one characteristic in common: they are 
"moudjahidine," or veterans (like Bouteflika) of the war of 
independence against France. According to XXXXXXXXXXXX, these 
newly appointed senators, as members of the "revolutionary 
family" and in a sense "siblings of President Bouteflika," 
will be very loyal to him. Some senators quietly expressed 
to her their frustration that the president did not reach out 
to members of the younger generation who will need to lead 
the country after Bouteflika and his generation pass from the 
scene. 

VACANT SEATS FOR DEPARTING MINISTERS? 
------------------------------------- 

3. (C) Bouteflika appointed just eight senators out of the 24 
allotted to him this year. XXXXXXXXXXXX, a former senator 
from the presidential tier, told us Bouteflika made a 
conscious decision to leave 16 seats vacant for later 
appointment. While it may be true that Bouteflika had not 
yet made up his mind in some cases, XXXXXXXXXXXX thought it more likely that he wanted to keep some Senate seats in reserve 
for ministers who are expected to be dismissed shortly from 
the cabinet. XXXXXXXXXXXX said the number of vacant seats was a 
good indicator that a cabinet shuffle was coming soon. 

4. (C) COMMENT: Even though Bouteflika's illness is receding 
in the minds of the public (thanks to television pictures of 
an active president), the widely respected Bensalah is 
considered able to manage the presidential succession process 
should Bouteflika not be able to finish his term. XXXXXXXXXXXX 
analysis of the vacant Senate seats also strikes us as on the 
mark. 
FORD

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15

Posté par algeriedemocratie le 15 janvier 2011

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S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 ALGIERS 000261 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/01/2023 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER KDEM AG
SUBJECT: ALGERIAN LEADERSHIP TOWS WESTERN SAHARA LINE WITH 
A/S WELCH 

REF: 07 ALGIERS 1069 

Classified By: Ambassador Robert S. Ford; reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 

1. (S) SUMMARY: In February 26 and 27 meetings with NEA 
Assistant Secretary C. David Welch, President Abdelaziz 
Bouteflika and Prime Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem emphasized 
their familiar line on self-determination for Western Sahara, 
as well as the need to find a way out that would allow 
Algeria to "save face." Bouteflika said that relations with 
Morocco were "brotherly" and that Western Sahara was the only 
issue standing between them. Because the U.S. was unburdened 
by the colonial past of France in the region, Bouteflika felt 
it was ideally placed to serve as an informal referee in 
resolving the dispute. Although he said he understood 
Morocco felt threatened by the prospect of Western Saharan 
independence, Bouteflika said that Morocco only had itself to 
blame for the current situation, as it had proceeded in a 
"clumsy" manner. With a more "elegant" touch, he said, 
Morocco could have encouraged "a Puerto Rico" outcome, where 
Sahrawis would happily choose to remain a part of Morocco in 
some form. Welch underlined to the Algerian officials that 
the U.S. sought a practical approach that could help the 
current negotiations make progress, and the Moroccan autonomy 
proposal offered such a possibility. END SUMMARY. 

LOVE FOR BAKER PLAN DIES HARD 
----------------------------- 

2. (S) In response to A/S Welch's assertion that the Moroccan 
plan served to move a frozen situation forward in the absence 
of any alternative, Bouteflika asserted that the plan of 
former Secretary of State James Baker was such an 
alternative. He told A/S Welch that if another option was 
necessary, "self-determination is that alternative" and the 
Baker Plan should be discussed. A/S Welch replied that the 
Baker plan is dead because it, too, failed to generate 
progress. In Bouteflika's view, Baker failed because it was 
not given a chance, and he blamed the U.S. for "not taking 
its UN Security Council responsibilities seriously." 
Bouteflika said the Moroccan plan offered less autonomy for 
Western Sahara than an Algerian province currently enjoys 
(reftel). He conceded that Algeria does have influence in 
Western Sahara, but swore he would not use it to violate what 
he sees as international law. 

MOROCCAN "CLUMSINESS" TO BLAME 
------------------------------ 

3. (S) Prime Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem told A/S Welch on 
February 26 that the stability of Morocco was in Algeria's 
interest, and that attempting "to transform an anti-colonial 
issue" was not the right path to take and was potentially 
destabilizing to the region. Bouteflika, meanwhile, said 
that he understood Morocco felt threatened by the prospect of 
independence for Western Sahara, but stressed that the 
Moroccans only had themselves to blame for current Sahrawi 
determination. Bouteflika explained, saying that Morocco 
could have easily used a more "elegant" approach to produce a 
Western Sahara independence that could be controlled or 
supervised. Instead, he said, "they want Anschluss like 
Saddam Hussein with Kuwait." Bouteflika said he easily could 
have imagined an outcome in which Western Sahara chose to 
remain a part of Morocco after seeing the benefits of 
Moroccan rule, in much the same way "as Puerto Rico chose to 
remain part of the U.S." According to Bouteflika, Morocco 
needs to offer the Polisario something, since "you cannot ask 
concessions from people who have nothing in their pockets." 
Had it not been for Morocco's "clumsy" approach, Bouteflika 
said "they could have gotten what they wanted." 

ON FRANCE AND U.S. 
------------------ 

4. (S) Burdened by its colonial history in the Maghreb, 
France is unable to play a constructive role in resolving the 
Western Sahara dispute, according to Bouteflika. France "has 
never really accepted Algerian independence," Bouteflika 
said, and he claimed that France was trying to settle scores 
with Algeria by interfering in Western Sahara in support of 
Morocco. In contrast, Bouteflika said the U.S. was an ideal 
counterweight to balance Morocco, as none of the parties 

ALGIERS 00000261 002 OF 002 

involved had any bone of contention with the U.S. Bouteflika 
complained that the U.S. treats Algeria as "second class" 
compared to the preferential treatment it gives to Tunisia 
and Morocco. He said the U.S. should understand Algeria 
better, as "you also paid a price for your independence." 
Belkhadem told A/S Welch of Algeria's admiration for U.S. 
positions on the independence of East Timor and Kosovo. "Why 
don't you share the same views on Western Sahara?" asked 
Belkhadem, "it leaves us wondering what our U.S. friends 
want." With both Algerians, A/S Welch underlined that the 
U.S. sought practical approaches that would advance the 
Western Sahara negotiations forward. The Moroccan proposal, 
he noted, offered a possibility. He urged the Algerians to 
consider what they could do to help the current negotiations 
make concrete progress. 

COMMENT: NEED TO SAVE FACE 
-------------------------- 

5. (S) Bouteflika repeated to A/S Welch several times the 
need for Algeria to get itself out of the Western Sahara 
dispute in a way that allowed it to "save face." He 
reiterated that Algeria "has no claim" at stake, and spoke of 
looking towards positive future relations with Morocco, as 
"one day we will need to get beyond this." In a February 27 
meeting with Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci, A/S Welch 
invited the Algerian delegation to visit Washington 
immediately following the next round of negotiations at 
Manhasset, to continue the discussions. 

6. (U) This cable has not been cleared by A/S Welch. 
FORD

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14

Posté par algeriedemocratie le 15 janvier 2011

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S E C R E T ALGIERS 000652 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/11/2017 
TAGS: PREL PTER PINR KAWC PHUM AG
SUBJECT: ALGERIANS OFFER NEARLY ALL ASSURANCES NEEDED FOR 
RETURN OF GTMO DETAINEES 

REF: 2005 ALGIERS 2155 

Classified By: Ambassador Robert S. Ford, reasons 1.4 (b,d) 

1. (S) SUMMARY: In April 21-22 discussions led on the 
Algerian side by Counselor to the President for 
Counterterrorism Issues Kamel Rezag Bara, the government of 
Algeria gave oral assurances to S/WCI Ambassador Williamson 
and an interagency delegation to establish the terms for the 
transfer of Algerian detainees from the U.S. Naval Base at 
Guantanamo to Algeria. A working group consisting of members 
of both delegations encapsulated these oral assurances in 
written minutes of the meetings, which Williamson and Rezag 
Bara initialed at the end of the two-day dialogue. The 
meetings and their output produced sufficient assurances to 
permit the repatriation of the seven Algerian detainees 
scheduled for transfer, except with respect to ensuring that 
these individuals would not pose a security risk to the U.S. 
or international community. The Algerian delegation 
indicated that it took seriously its obligations, but that 
Algerian security services balked at providing such 
guarantees in the written meeting minutes. 

2. (S) SUMMARY (CONT'D): Ambassador Williamson explained to 
Rezag Bara that we sought maximum effort from the security 
services, understanding that there could be no solid 
guarantees. Nonetheless, Rezag Bara said the security 
assurances in writing sought by the U.S. on Algerian 
responsibility for transferred detainees and potential travel 
restrictions after their repatriation could not be given 
without consulting the highest levels of the Algerian 
government. In exchange for receiving additional time (until 
May 31) to coordinate on these outstanding points, Rezag Bara 
and the Algerian delegation agreed to the earliest possible 
transfer of detainee Sofiane Haderbache, who suffers from 
mental illness and for whom the U.S. does not require 
security assurances. At the close of the bilateral 
discussions, both sides agreed that the remaining assurances 
would be worked out between the Algerian and U.S. delegations 
through Embassy Algiers. End Summary. 

COURTESY CALL ON FM BEDJAOUI 
---------------------------- 

3. (S) S/WCI Ambassador at Large J. Clint Williamson and an 
interagency team consisting of Christopher Camponovo (NSC), 
Jay Alan Liotta (DoD), Andrew Morrison (S/WCI), and Vijay 
Padmanabhan (State L) sought assurances from the government 
of Algeria during April 21-22 discussions that would permit 
the return to Algeria of Algerian nationals detained at 
Guantanamo who have been approved for transfer. Williamson 
opened the visit with a courtesy call on FM Bedjaoui during 
which he delivered a letter from Secretary Rice seeking 
Bedjaoui's assistance in providing the Algerian government 
assurances necessary for the transfers. Williamson also 
explained the process by which the U.S. made decisions on 
transferring detainees out of Guantanamo, including the 25 
Algerians on the naval base. 

4. (S) Noting Algerian reluctance to enter into an exchange 
of diplomatic notes offering assurances on security and 
humane treatment of transferred detainees, Williamson told 
Bedjaoui he and his team could work with their Algerian 
counterparts to record the necessary assurances in signed 
minutes of their discussions. The end goal, stated 
Williamson, was to find an arrangement that both fulfilled 
the Administration's policies and satisfied the Algerian 
government. Bedjaoui responded that the Algerian team would 
accommodate Williamson and his team, adding that signed 
minutes were a better vehicle for conveying the necessary 
assurances than an exchange of diplomatic notes. The FM 
observed that the travaux preparatoires for the UN Charter 
are as important as the Charter itself. 

DISCUSSIONS WITH ALGERIAN INTERAGENCY 
------------------------------------- 

5. (S) The Algerian delegation led by presidential 
counterterrorism Counselor Kamel Rezag Bara included 
representatives from the Presidency, Ministry of Interior, 
National Police, security services, Ministry of Justice, and 
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The senior MFA official 
present was Director General for Consular Affairs Hassane 
Rabehi. The U.S. representatives (paragraph 3) also included 
Ambassador Ford and PolEc Chief. Ambassador Williamson noted 
that the Algerians were a valued partner in counterterrorism 
cooperation and gave an overview of U.S. policy on Guantanamo 
detainees, explaining that the U.S had determined that seven 
Algerian detainees were eligible for transfer. He emphasized 
our need for commitments concerning humanitarian treatment 
for returned detainees and assurances that persons 

transferred do not re-engage in terrorist activity before 
their transfer to Algeria could be effected. 

6. (S) Rezag Bara said Algeria encouraged the U.S. to close 
the Guantanamo detention facility, since its operation 
created image problems for the U.S. among its friends around 
the world. The GOA, he continued, understood the need for 
investigations at Guantanamo on the detained individuals and 
supported a resolution of all Algerian detainee cases. Rezag 
Bara said the Algerian delegation understood what kinds of 
assurances and commitments the U.S. side sought and hoped to 
provide them in the course of their bilateral discussions. 
The presidential counselor stressed the Algerian need to 
ensure that any transferred detainees, unless previously 
arrested or charged in Algeria, were returning to the country 
by their own choice. Finally, he noted that Algerian law 
criminalized terrorist acts committed outside Algeria, even 
if Algeria was not a target of the activity. In this regard, 
the U.S. delegation should expect the Algerian government to 
pursue investigations and charges for returned detainees. 
From its own experience with terrorism, Rezag Bara told 
Williamson, Algeria would take all measures possible to 
prevent re-engagement of the returned detainees in terrorist 
activity. 

LIMITS ON FOREIGN TRAVEL 
------------------------ 

7. (S) Williamson responded that he saw very few differences 
in approach between the two sides. Algeria's taking steps to 
control detainees and keep them from returning to terrorism 
would be sufficient for the U.S. Williamson made clear we 
were not asking Algeria to detain or incarcerate the returned 
detainees; it was sufficient for us to receive confirmation 
that the transferred detainees would be treated in accordance 
with Algerian law and international conventions. DoD's 
Liotta expressed appreciation for the Algerian readiness to 
accept responsibility for what would be in all cases medium- 
or high-threat detainees. He asked if based on Algerian 
review of the detaineesQ, case files there was the likelihood 
of prosecution. Liotta also inquired what measures could be 
taken to limit the foreign travel of returned detainees. 

8. (S) To Liotta's first point, the justice ministry 
representative responded that an investigative judge would 
review facts related to the cases if the detainees once they 
were returned. It would be up to the judge to determine 
whether charges would be filed. Rezag Bara added that as 
part of this judicial review process, the U.S. and other 
third parties could submit evidence for the judge to 
consider. The national police representative, for his part, 
briefed that under Algerian law "convicted and subversive 
persons" lose the right to a passport and are subject to 
additional surveillance. Liotta requested further precision 
about non-convicted persons, since most Algerian detainees 
fell into this category. Rezag Bara clarified that the 
passport was lifted for all convicted persons. Persons who 
"otherwise present a threat but retain a passport" may be 
administratively prevented from leaving Algeria regardless of 
their passport status, said Rezag Bara. He added that both 
judicial and security service reviews of the detainees' files 
would be undertaken following their return. 

CASE OF SOFIANE HADERBACHE 
-------------------------- 

9. (S) Williamson noted that one of the seven detainees whom 
the U.S. sought to transfer to Algeria did not pose a 
security threat and no security assurances were necessary in 
his case. Sofiane Haderbache, said Williamson, had suffered 
a gunshot wound to the head in Afghanistan. As a result, 
this detainee had degenerative brain damage and would require 
extensive medical care for the duration of his life. 
Williamson indicated that the U.S. sought to return this 
detainee quickly, since we believed the mental health 
treatment and attention he required would be well provided in 
Algeria, where Haderbache could be near family and friends 
and receive mental health care in his own language and 
culture. Asked how the Algerians would address Haderbache's 
mental incapacity, Rezag Bara retrieved the case file. 
Reading from it, Rezag Bara noted that Haderbache had one 
outstanding traffic violation but otherwise had no legal 
entanglements. He said the GOA was fully aware of his unique 
medical requirements and was prepared to provide Haderbache a 
psychological and medical evaluation and treatment in an 
appropriate facility upon his return. 

HUMANE TREATMENT AND ICRC ACCESS TO ALGERIAN PRISONERS 
--------------------- ------------------- -------------- 

10. (S) Bara had explained in his opening presentation that 

returned detainees would be fully protected by Algerian law 
and Algerian international human rights commitments. 
Returning to the other six detainees who posed a medium or 
high security threat, Williamson asked if third parties such 
as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had 
access to prisoners in Algeria in the event that some of the 
returned detainees were held in penal facilities for a period 
of time. Rezag Bara responded that through intelligence 
channels the Algerian government could provide the location 
of government facilities in which any returned detainees 
would be held and questioned under the oversight of an 
investigative judge and the Ministry of Justice. The GOA, he 
continued, had no problem with making that information 
available or providing the ICRC access to the detainees under 
existing agreements between the ICRC and the Ministry of 
Justice. Rezag Bara added that ICRC personnel stationed in 
Tunis visited Algerian prisons on a monthly basis to assess 
conditions under which prisoners were held. 

11. (S) In a separate meeting, Williamson met April 22 with 
Mohamed Amara, Director General of Juridical and Judicial 
Affairs at the Ministry of Justice. Amara noted as a point 
of pride the strong cooperation between his government and 
the ICRC, which he explained was critical to the reform of 
jails and prisons in Algeria. He elaborated that the ICRC 
regularly visited Algerian prisons. In response to a 
question from Williamson, Amara explained that the Algerians 
began allowing ICRC access to their detention facilities in 
the 1990s. The ICRC currently, said Amara, has freedom to 
move within Algerian prisons and have direct contact with 
prisoners. He added there are no restrictions on access or 
topics of conversation. According to Amara, AlgeriaQ,s goal 
in cooperating with the ICRC is to ensure that Algeria meets 
international standards of detention. 

DEVIL IN THE DETAILS 
-------------------- 

12. (S) Following the discussions between the two 
delegations, both sides assembled teams to prepare minutes of 
the conversations that would satisfy the U.S. need for 
assurances and the Algerian desire not to provide such 
assurances through the exchange of diplomatic notes. The 
final English-language version of the minutes, which appears 
in paragraph 13 below, was initialed April 22 by both heads 
of delegation along with the final French-language version. 
After protracted discussions led to an impasse on the 
inclusion in the minutes of two security-related points vital 
for the U.S. side, Ambassador Ford proposed working through 
Embassy Algiers to provide acceptable assurances to 
Washington by May 31. (Note: Without additional internal 
discussions, the Algerian security services could not be 
persuaded to lift their objection to including language 
confirming GOAQ,s responsibility for transferred detainees. 
End Note.) Rezag Bara stressed the security services were 
uncomfortable guaranteeing that no returned detainee would 
later leave Algerian territory or return to terrorist 
activity. Williamson emphasized that the U.S. was looking 
for 100-percent effort and understood no 100-percent 
guarantee is possible. If the Algerian authorities become 
aware that a detainee exited Algeria, we merely ask to be 
informed, stated Williamson. The points in question which 
did not appear in the final minutes at GOA request follow: 

-- The Algerian government has agreed to take responsibility 
for these persons in conformity with its legislation and its 
international obligations, and will take all necessary and 
appropriate measures in conformity with its legislation and 
its international obligations to prevent the transferred 
persons from becoming involved in or facilitating terrorist 
activities. 

-- In response to an expressed request of the American 
Government concerning the possibility of the restriction of 
the freedom to travel abroad of the transferred persons, the 
Algerian Government indicated that measures of this nature 
will be taken only in the framework of legislative provisions 
in force. 

FINAL MINUTES AS INITIALED BY HEADS OF DELEGATION 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 

13. (S) BEGIN TEXT OF MINUTES: 

Mr. John Clint WILLIAMSON, Ambassador at Large for War 
Crimes Issues at the U.S. Department of State, conducted a 
working visit to Algiers from April 20 to 22, 2007, 
accompanied by a delegation composed of representatives from 
the Department of State, the Department of Defense and the 
National Security Council. 

During his visit, Mr. John Clint WILLIAMSON called on 
Mr. Mohammed BEDJAOUI, Minister of State, Minister of Foreign 
Affairs, to whom he delivered a letter from Secretary of 
State Condoleezza RICE. 

He was also received at the Ministry of Justice. 

A bilateral meeting bringing together delegations from 
the two countries (the members of which appear on the 
attached list) took place at Residence El Mithak on April 21 
and 22, 2007, under the chairmanship of Mr. Mohamed Kamel 
REZAG BARA, Counselor to the President of the Republic, and 
Mr. John Clint WILLIAMSON, Ambassador at Large for War Crimes 
Issues at the U.S. Department of State. 

The discussions concerned the situation of Algerian nationals 
detained at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo. 

The Algerian Delegation and the American Delegation expressed 
their great satisfaction with the quality of relations that 
exist between the PeopleQ,s Democratic Republic of Algeria 
and the United States of America and with the perspectives 
for their expansion and strengthening. 

Both Delegations particularly expressed their joint will to 
reach a comprehensive settlement concerning the situation of 
Algerian nationals detained in the U.S. Naval Base at 
Guantanamo. 

This settlement can be finalized according to a timetable and 
practical modalities to be defined through discussions 
between the two Delegations by the end of May 2007. 

The Algerian Delegation indicated that it had no objection to 
the transfer of the Algerian nationals whose Algerian 
nationality is established, to Algeria or to another country 
of their choice. 

The Algerian Delegation stated that in all cases, its 
nationals will be brought before the national judicial 
authority, which will ultimately determine their status. 

The Algerian Delegation underscored that Algerian legislation 
criminalizes membership by any Algerian national in a 
terrorist organization abroad, even if acts committed are not 
directed against Algeria. 
With respect to the concerns expressed by the American 
Delegation about the treatment of the Algerian nationals 
after their return to Algeria, the two Delegations, after an 
exchange of information, agreed that these concerns are dealt 
with, at a political level, by the consistent commitment of 
Algeria to the fight against international terrorism and, at 
a legal level, by Algerian legislation as well as by virtue 
of the obligations assumed by Algeria in the framework of the 
different pertinent international conventions to which it has 
adhered, notably the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 
the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or 
Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and the International 
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial 
Discrimination, as well as the body of international 
instruments relating to human rights and the arrangements 
concluded with the ICRC. 
Within the framework of relevant UN Security Council 
Resolutions for combating terrorism, particularly UNSCR 
1373/01, the two Delegations decided to reinforce their 
cooperation through necessary and appropriate measures, 
notably through the exchange of information and intelligence, 
with the goal of preventing these persons from being able to 
become involved in terrorist activities. 

Taking account of the preceding, the two Delegations accepted 
the principle, as a first step, upon the agreement of 
practical modalities, of the transfer of detainees whose 
names are as follows: 

- TRARI Mohamed 
- FEGHOUL Abdelli 
- HAMLILI Mustapha 
- ABBAR Houari 
- GHALLAB Bachir 
- HADJ-ARAB Nabil 

Due to his health condition, Sofiane HADERBACHE is to be 
transferred as soon as possible. 

END TEXT. 

14. (U) Ambassador Williamson and his delegation have cleared 
the text of this message. 
FORD

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12

Posté par algeriedemocratie le 15 janvier 2011

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 04 ALGIERS 000039 

SIPDIS 
NOFORN 

EO 12958 DECL: 01/11/2020 
TAGS PREL, PTER, PGOV, PINR, MOPS, AG, US 
SUBJECT: ALGERIAN FM: TSA LISTING “INTOLERABLE, 
INAPPROPRIATE, INOPPORTUNE”

REF: A. ALGIERS 20 (NOTAL)  B. STATE 001187
ALGIERS 00000039 001.2 OF 004

Classified By: Ambassador David D Pearce; reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

Summary
------- 

1. (S/NF) Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci January 11 summoned the Ambassador and forcefully objected to Algeria’s placement on the TSA enhanced screening list. He termed the decision intolerable, inappropriate, and inopportune. It reflected neither the reality of Algeria’s security situation, its counterterrorism efforts nor our close bilateral cooperation.  Further, the U.S. had not communicated the TSA decision to Algeria prior to releasing it to the press, which was how the GOA had learned of the measure. The GOA now had to contend with not only the collective humiliation felt by domestic opinion but also incomplete and inaccurate information regarding Algeria’s CT efforts circulating in the international press as a result of the story. Medelci reinforced the earlier MFA demarche (ref A) formally requesting removal from the list and a high-level U.S. statement to help correct the record regarding Algerian cooperation on counterterrorism. He pointedly asked the Ambassador to communicate this message to the Secretary and said the GOA would be monitoring the U.S. reaction closely. End Summary.

TSA Decision Ignores Reality of CT Cooperation
--------------------------------------------- - 

2. (S/NF) Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mourad Medelci summoned the Ambassador to the MFA January 11 to underscore Algeria’s dissatisfaction with its placement on TSA’s enhanced screening list. Medelci began by noting he had had a productive visit to Washington in early December. He had been favorably impressed with both the quality and level of his meetings and had appreciated their focus on bilateral security and counterterrorism cooperation. The visit had underscored the strategic importance of our countries’ counterterrorism partnership on this sensitive issue. “We are confident in the direction this cooperation is leading,” he remarked. “After my visit, I was eager to report my discussions in Washington to President Bouteflika, meetings which demonstrated that our relations have reached a new level.”

3. (S/NF) The discussions in Washington, he asserted, reflected the reality of the relationship. Algeria’s own struggle against terrorism and its contribution to defeat terrorists were well understood. It remained determined to continue that cooperation and reinforce the relationship with the U.S. “We are aware of the risks this threat poses. We must remain vigilant and preserve the progress that has been made,” Medelci said. The progress that both sides have made on the ground underscores the confidence and openness of the strategic partnership.

4. (S/NF) Therefore, the minister said, the GOA had been extremely disappointed with Algeria’s inclusion in the TSA list, as well as the press coverage the decision had generated. The decision was intolerable, inappropriate, and inopportune. It was a contradiction not only to Algeria’s
ALGIERS 00000039 002.2 OF 004
own progress on security and efforts to fight terrorism, but also to our countries’ counterterrorism cooperation. No attacks against the U.S. had been “signed” by an Algerian. Algeria had made major progress in recent years on its internal security. The domestic security environment had been stabilized, airports were secure, and Algeria was now an international partner in the fight against terrorism. TSA’s announcement had made no mention of any of this.

Measures Viewed as Discriminatory
--------------------------------- 

5. (S/NF) This was not just a matter of Algeria’s inclusion on the list, Medelci said. The GOA protested the discriminatory nature of the whole list. Thirteen of the 14 countries listed were Muslim. This sent a message that was inconsistent with President Obama’s Cairo speech, and the administration’s stated policy of outreach to Muslim communities. The decision will likely give further impetus to those who already question the sincerity of the administration’s approach.

6. (S/NF) The GOA was also disappointed, Medelci continued, that the decision had not been communicated prior to its release and that the Algerian leadership had to learn of it via the media. The minister said the GOA had initially refrained from making a public statement out of concern for U.S. relations, but now, due to the extensive press play and sense of collective humiliation among the public, it felt it needed to respond.

U.S. Focus on Air Travel Safety
------------------------------- 

7. (S/NF) The Ambassador said the intention behind the TSA measures was not to harm or discriminate against any group or country, least of all our friends and partners. The intention was to make air travel as safe as possible for all.  The problem was that, on Christmas day, a terrorist had gotten through the system. President Obama had reacted immediately, ordering reviews of both our watch list system and our air passenger screening measures. He had also made clear that our approach would not be static but would evolve as our evaluation of the risk evolved. Algeria’s concerns would be reported in full; Washington had already heard the message from Ambassador Baali. The Ambassador added that the U.S. understood well Algeria’s difficult history with terrorism and appreciated its leadership in the international fight against extremist violence. The U.S. wanted to continue, and build on, our very important counterterrorism cooperation as well as our new partnerships in other areas, including military relations, law enforcement, and economic and trade cooperation.

Going Forward
------------- 

8. (S/NF) Medelci said the GOA shared the desire to continue building our bilateral relationship. He reconfirmed GOA approval for a recent U.S. request to allow overflights of EP-3E surveillance aircraft. He also welcomed the visit of U.S. Attorney General Holder to conclude work on a mutual legal assistance treaty. The minister underscored as well the GOA’s readiness to assist with the upcoming Department of
ALGIERS 00000039 003.2 OF 004
Commerce trade mission to Algeria in February and offered to meet with the head of the U.S. delegation, schedule permitting. At the same time, he asked that the Ambassador convey his message on Algeria’s concerns about the TSA measures to Secretary Clinton. The GOA shared the U.S. desire to continue building the bilateral relationship. But it would also be watching closely to see how the U.S. responds to its stated concerns and looking forward to an “equitable solution”.

GOA Statement
------------- 

10. (U) Below is Embassy’s informal translation of the statement issued January 11 by the Algerian MFA:
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mourad Medelci, summoned Monday the Ambassador of the United States of America in Algiers to express the Algerian government’s strong protest over the decision taken by U.S. authorities to include Algerian nationals on a list of countries whose nationals are subjected to specific control measures when arriving and departing U.S. airports:
“In the wake of the decision taken by the U.S. authorities to include Algerian nationals on a list of countries whose nationals will be subjected to specific control measures when arriving and departing U.S. airports, Foreign Affairs Minister Mourad Medelci summoned the Ambassador of the United States of America in Algiers to express the Algerian government’s strong protests over the unfortunate, unjustified, and discriminatory measure.
“This comes after several previous efforts that were deployed, once the TSA measures were known, by the central government and by our Ambassador in Washington with the relevant U.S. authorities.”
END INFORMAL TRANSLATION OF GOA STATEMENT.

COMMENT
------- 

11. (S/NF) The past year has seen developments in important new areas of government-to-government cooperation. These include:
-- Approval for visits by senior Department of Defense visitors, including Deputy Assistant Secretary Huddleston and the first by AFRICOM Commander General Ward. These have significantly improved the substance of our mil-mil engagement.
-- Prompt agreement to allow U.S. military overflights for surveillance aircraft against AQIM targets in the Sahel.
-- Repatriation of eight Algerian Guantanamo detainees since 2008 and agreement to cooperate on the return of the remaining Algerian detainees.
-- Bilateral cooperation on judicial matters; a mutual legal assistance treaty and a customs agreement are both ready for signature.
ALGIERS 00000039 004.2 OF 004
-- Cooperation with our new legatt office, including on a cybercrime investigation that will protect American citizens from hackers and identity thieves.
-- Improved police contacts and access for RSO, which plans to launch an anti-terrorism assistance program this year.

12. (S/NF) On the commercial side, the U.S. exported about USD 400 million in oil field equipment and services to Algeria in 2008 and imported USD 19 billion worth of Algerian oil and natural gas. And our commercial interests are rapidly expanding beyond the hydrocarbons sector. Algeria signed two contracts, totaling USD 847 million, in December 2009, to purchase 11 Boeing aircraft. These were presidential decisions, made in the face of heavy French pressure for Airbus. A U.S. firm, Solar Turbines, concluded a USD 320-million contract in October 2009 with Algeria’s state electricity company to supply gas-fired turbines. U.S. companies are also competing for politically sensitive security contracts. Cogent, a U.S. biometrics company, is close to signing a USD 45-million deal to supply the Ministry of Interior with an automated fingerprint identification system but faces heavy competition from France. Harris Radio is bidding on a contract with a potential value of USD 500 million to manufacture and supply radios for Algeria’s defense ministry and signals corps. The Harris and Cogent contracts have significant implications for U.S. commercial and security interests.

13. (S/NF) It is noteworthy that Medelci began and ended this conversation by stressing the importance the Algerian leadership attaches to continuing bilateral cooperation, especially on counterterrorism. But in-between, however, he delivered an unmistakable message that the GOA feels the TSA moves are inconsistent with that relationship and that they will be watching closely to see how we respond to this demarche. Over the past year, we have had a green light to develop important new ties across the board, from military to law enforcement. That light has now turned yellow. PEARCE

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11

Posté par algeriedemocratie le 15 janvier 2011

S E C R E T ALGIERS 000020 

SIPDIS 
NOFORN 

EO 12958 DECL: 01/05/2020 
TAGS PGOV, PREL, MOPS, PINR, AG, US 
SUBJECT: ALGERIA STRONGLY PROTESTS TSA LISTING 

REF: ALGIERS 15 (NOTAL)

Classified By: Ambassador David D. Pearce; reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

Summary
------- 

1. (S/NF) MFA Americas Director General Sabri Boukadoum expressed to the Ambassador January 6 the GOA’s “profound dismay” regarding Algeria’s inclusion on the TSA list for enhanced screening. He said this message came directly from President Bouteflika. The TSA decision, Boukadoum stressed, did not accurately reflect the level and quality of our bilateral relations, especially in regard to counterterrorism cooperation. Algeria’s placement on the list had created the impression that Algeria was part of the problem, a misunderstanding that is now circulating in the international press. Boukadoum told the Ambassador that Algeria’s leadership would like an official U.S. statement to correct this impression. Ambassador replied that the intent of the new measures was to ensure air travel safety and not to discriminate or embarrass our friends and partners. Ambassador emphasized that the U.S. valued its counterterrorism cooperation with Algeria and hoped the bilateral relationship would continue to grow and develop. END SUMMARY.

GOA Not Pleased, Seeks Removal from List
---------------------------------------- 

2. (C) MFA Americas Director General Sabri Boukadoum called the Ambassador to the MFA on January 6 to deliver instructions expressing the “profound dismay” of Algeria’s highest authorities at Algeria’s inclusion in the TSA list of countries subject to new air passenger screening measures. MFA Director for the Protection of Algerian Citizens Overseas Hocine Sahraoui, a representative of the presidency, Houria Khiari, and U.S. desk officer Abdulmutalib Bouacha also attended. Boukadoum stressed several times at the outset of the meeting that his demarche instructions came directly from the “highest authority” -- i.e., President Bouteflika.

3. (C) Boukadoum told the Ambassador that he had been asked to convey two main points. The first concerned Algeria’s inclusion on the TSA list. Algeria respected and understood the U.S. need to secure the safety of its citizens and interests. But Algeria’s inclusion on this list did not accurately reflect either the level or the quality of our bilateral relations, and especially the nature of those relations with regard to the fight against terrorism. The placement of Algeria on a list that includes state sponsors of terrorism and countries of interest creates the impression that Algeria is part of the problem and less than a full partner in the fight against terrorism.

GOA Seeks U.S. Statement on Algeria as Key CT Partner
--------------------------------------------- -------- 

4. (C) The second point, he said, besides the GOA’s desire to be removed from the list, was that the country’s leadership hoped to see an official U.S. statement that would underscore Algeria’s important counterterrorism partnership with the U.S. -- in order to help correct the erroneous image of Algeria that had been created by coverage of the TSA story in the international media and on the Internet. “We are partners,” he said. “The highest levels did not appreciate this.”

5. (C) Boukadoum said Algeria’s Ambassador to the U.S. Abdullah Baali would deliver the same message in Washington. Baali also had instructions to see Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano.

U.S. Focus is on Air Travel Safety
---------------------------------- 

6. (C) The Ambassador said GOA views would be reported fully and immediately to Washington. He told Boukadoum that President Obama had addressed the issue squarely in a statement the previous day. The problem was that on Christmas Day a terrorist had gotten through. This had been a systemic failure, and as a result the President had ordered two reviews -- one of our watch list system, and another of aviation screening procedures. The intent of the new measures was not to discriminate against or embarrass any persons, groups, or countries, and most especially not our friends and partners. The intent was to do the necessary to ensure air travel safety, for everyone. President Obama had thus made clear on January 5 that he had personally ordered, and approved, the new measures. And he had promised that more steps could be on the way in coming days, whether with regard to information integration or passenger screening.

U.S. Values Counterterrorism Cooperation with Algeria
--------------------------------------------- -------- 

7. (C) At the same time, the Ambassador continued, the President also had made clear that an important part of our approach would be to deepen cooperation with our international partners. This was where Algeria, and US-Algerian cooperation, came in. The Ambassador noted that we have worked together to improve both the quality and level of our bilateral exchanges in recent years, and he hoped that trend would continue. It was unnecessary to say how much the United States valued its counterterrorism cooperation with Algeria, as well as our overall relationship with Algeria. We hoped to continue to develop and build on the progress that has been made.

8. (C) Boukadoum reiterated that Algeria’s disagreement was not with the measures themselves. Rather Algeria protested its inclusion on TSA’s list because it gives the impression that Algeria is not cooperating. “We are cooperating on counterterrorism, and we will continue to do so,” he stated. Meanwhile, Boukadoum asserted that other countries with nationals who have committed terrorist acts have not been placed on the list. Boukadoum argued that to suggest that Algeria is part of the problem is simply unfair. He regretted that international press coverage of the TSA screening measures had cast Algeria in this light and not as country that is a victim of terrorism.

Comment
------- 

9. (S/NF) A key line in this demarche was the point that Algeria’s inclusion on the TSA list “does not reflect the level and quality of our relations, or the nature of our relations in the fight against terrorism”. With this, the GOA implicitly brought the quality of the entire relationship into play. What grates is that, instead of being seen as a nation that has suffered from terrorism and as an active leader in combating it, they feel instead cast as part of the problem and associated with state sponsors. This sense of damage to Algeria’s international reputation, and especially by the way the story has pinged around in the press and on the Internet, is what undoubtedly fueled President Bouteflika’s “profound dismay”. That said, it is encouraging that Algeria carefully separated the meeting yesterday -- to inform us of their approval of EP-3 overflights by Africa Command against AQIM in the Sahel -- and the meeting today on the TSA issue. This suggests they are trying to separate issues and limit damage. But domestic and regional public opinion does count, so the leadership will want to redress somehow what they perceive as a blow to their national dignity and international prestige. Hence the request that a senior U.S. official make a statement that will help turn around the negative image in the international media.

10. (S/NF) It is worth remembering that no country is more important than Algeria in the fight against al-Qa’ida in the Sahel and Maghreb. So it is probably worth looking for a good chance to make that point publicly, and at as high a level as possible. If we do not, it is doubtful that we would see any dramatic gestures or sudden moves by Algeria. On the contrary, counterterrorism cooperation would probably continue, to the extent it is in the interest of both sides. It would more likely be a matter of what we don’t see - mil-mil relations frozen instead of advancing, efforts to expand law enforcement cooperation slowed, large commercial contracts going to non-U.S. bidders, reduced Embassy access to senior officials, and generally less receptivity to coordination on regional issues and in multilateral fora. PEARCE

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10

Posté par algeriedemocratie le 15 janvier 2011

S E C R E T ALGIERS 001162 

NOFORN 
SIPDIS 

EO 12958 DECL: 12/30/2024 
TAGS PREL, PINR, MOPS, KCOM, AG, US 
SUBJECT: OVER-FLIGHT CLEARANCE FOR AFRICOM EP-3 MISSIONS: 
PRELIMINARY ALGERIAN RESPONSE
REF: SECSTATE 130969

Classified By: DCM William Jordan for reasons 1.4. (b), (d).

1. (S/NF) OSC Chief delivered reftel request for EP-3 overflight permission to the Algerian Defense Ministry’s Office of External Relations and Cooperation (DREC) on December 29. There was no immediate response, but the DREC summoned OSC Chief for a follow-up meeting December 30 to state that (1) no decision was possible before next week and (2) overflight requests generally require two-weeks advance notice before they can be approved.

2. (S/NF) DCM, on December 30, double-tracked the request with Algerian MFA DG for the Americas Sabri Boukadoum. In presenting the message, DCM stressed (1) that the request was intended to survey the SIGINT environment in areas of Mauritania and Mali where AQIM operates, (2) that, without knowing what that survey would yield, the USG could not make any commitments ahead of time as to what data it might share with the GOA, and (3) that the request should be regarded in large measure as a follow-up to the recent visit by AFRICOM Commander General Ward and a demonstration of the enhanced security cooperation we want to support in the face of the AQIM threat in the trans-Sahara region. He further explained that we had made the same request to other governments in the region and were awaiting their responses.

3. (S/NF) Boukadoum asked for information on the expected flight path of the EP-3 over Algerian airspace (DCM confirmed that, departing from Rota, the flights would likely overfly the southwestern corner near Tindouf), whether the aircraft would seek to overfly Mauritania and Mali on each mission (DCM responded that the missions would be divided between those principally flying over Mali or Mauritania but not both), and whether collection would occur inside Algerian airspace (DCM reiterated the notation in reftel that the aircraft would not collect on AQIM in Algeria unless the GOA specifically requested it).

4. (S/NF) As with the DREC, Boukadoum indicated that we should not expect a definitive answer before next week. He agreed, however, to forward our request up his hierarchy immediately. Boukadoum expected that the highest levels of the GOA would consider the request.

5. (S/NF) Comment: Although post will be closed for the New Year holiday from COB December 30, our interlocutors know how to reach key Embassy POCs if and as necessary before we reopen on Sunday, January 3. In the meantime, and given the DREC’s stress on the longstanding requirement for two-weeksQ, notice prior to any overflight, operational planners for this mission should be prepared to provide at least a notional schedule for flights should we get indications that the GOA and neighboring countries are prepared to provide clearance. We stressed the number of sorties and timeframe envisaged under this concept of operations, but we should not expect to receive blanket clearance for all overflights. Having as much advance information on the flights as possible to share with the GOA would minimize the potential need to have to clear each and every mission with 14-days advance notice.
PEARCE

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9

Posté par algeriedemocratie le 15 janvier 2011

S E C R E T ALGIERS 001077 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/06/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER PBTS KPAL KWBG US IR IZ IS
AF, XA 
SUBJECT: BOUTEFLIKA TO WARD: WE WANT A STRATEGIC 
RELATIONSHIP 

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires a.i. William Jordan; 
reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 

Summary 
------- 

1. (C) U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) Commander General 
William Ward met Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika 
November 25, during Ward's first visit to Algeria since 
assuming command of AFRICOM. Ward said AFRICOM's strategy 
was to assist African nations in providing for their own 
security needs, not do the job for them. The U.S. recognized 
Algeria's leadership in the region, and AFRICOM was prepared 
to assist Algeria and its neighbors combat terrorism. 
Bouteflika said Algeria wanted to be a strategic partner, not 
an adversary. Our military relationship already included 
training and technical cooperation. End-use-monitoring 
requirements infringed on Algeria's national sovereignty and 
therefore imposed some limits on military engagement. But 
the U.S. and Algeria shared a common goal in combating 
terrorism. Terrorism in the region had taken a dangerous 
form, and Sahel countries were prepared to address the 
problem jointly. More needed to be done to ensure the 
participation and commitment of Mali's political leadership 
in the regional struggle. Bouteflika told Ward the Malian 
president needed to understand he could not be friends with 
both the thieves and their victims at the same time. 
Trans-Sahara heads of state still planned to convene a 
security and development summit in Bamako but had yet to set 
a firm date. Bouteflika also reviewed Egyptian-Algerian 
tensions in the aftermath of a World Cup qualifying match, 
Western Sahara, the negative repercussions of Israeli 
settlement activities, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. On the 
soccer issue, he made a point of telling Ward that the king 
of Morocco -- in contrast to the strain with Egypt -- had 
sent him a very warm congratulatory message after the game. 
At the end of the meeting, Bouteflika invited Ward to return 
to Algeria in the near future. End summary. 

Addressing Common Challenges 
---------------------------- 

2. (C) Visiting Africa Command (AFRICOM) Commander General 
William Ward met with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika 
November 25 at the presidential residence. With Bouteflika 
were Chief of Staff of the Algerian National Popular Army 
(ANP) Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaid-Salah, Ministry of 
National Defense (MND) Director of External Relations and 
Cooperation General Nourredine Mekri, ANP Chief of 
Organization and Logistics Major General Abdelhamid Ghriss 
and a translator. The Ambassador, General Ward's foreign 
policy advisor, Dr. Raymond Brown, the DATT and Poloff 
(notetaker) accompanied General Ward to the meeting, which 
lasted two hours. Ward emphasized that his visit to Algiers 
was symbolic of our countries' growing bilateral 
relationship. Africa Command's mission was to assist African 
nations address their own security challenges, not to do it 
for them. The purpose of his visit, Ward said, was to listen 
to Algeria's perspective on enhancing our cooperation as we 
seek ways to work together to address common challenges in 
Africa. Ward recognized that these challenges were complex 
and required development and political solutions, not just 
military intervention. Going forward, we sought to cooperate 
in areas that Algeria determines are priorities. AFRICOM 
welcomed the regional counterterrorism efforts Algeria has 
engaged in with neighboring Sahel countries. Algeria is 
leading the effort; we will work with Algeria and its 
neighbors to assist in eliminating the terrorist threat in 
the region. 

3. (C) President Bouteflika said that the United States and 
Algeria shared a common objective and the will to work 
cooperatively in the fight against terrorism. Bouteflika 
noted the U.S. and Algeria started to work more closely 
together during the Clinton administration when both sides 
came to realize they were fighting the same problem. 
Bouteflika underscored that after 9/11, Algeria was the first 
Arab and Muslim country to send a message of solidarity to 
President Bush. Subsequently, despite the unpopularity of 
some Bush policies, political and economic relations between 
our countries improved. Today, relations were excellent, he 
said, noting that Algeria was the United States' second 
largest trading partner in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia 
and our largest trading partner in Africa. President Obama's 
new approach to U.S. foreign policy was "a breath of fresh 
air" and well regarded by developing world countries. But 
this meant there were also high expectations for his 
administration. Bouteflika predicted that our bilateral 
relationship would continue in a positive direction. He 
commented that the U.S. and Algeria were moving forward with 
cooperation, recognizing the value of dialogue across all 
leadership levels. In this regard, Bouteflika declared he 
was ready to assist Ward and invited him to visit Algeria 
again. 

Military Cooperation 
-------------------- 

4. (S) Bouteflika attached importance to Algeria's 
military-military cooperation with the United States but 
noted that U.S. end-use monitoring requirements contravened 
Algeria's national sovereignty. Nonetheless, we had made 
progress on training and technical cooperation. Bouteflika 
said the capabilities of U.S. and Algerian forces were well 
understood in the region. Bouteflika argued that frank, 
direct talks were the key to a successful military dialogue, 
as well as recognizing that, in some cases, there would be 
limits on the extent of cooperation. "Tell us what you want, 
and we will tell you what we can do." Algeria, he continued, 
wanted to be a strategic partner for the U.S. in the region, 
not an adversary. 

5. (S) General Ward thanked Bouteflika for his candid 
assessment of our mil-mil relationship. He said the 
President, secretaries of State and Defense, and US Joint 
Chiefs of Staff, all recognized the value of the US-Algeria 
partnership. Bouteflika responded that he would help us to 
consolidate that partnership. Ward argued that to enhance 
our partnership, Algeria needed to tell us how we can 
contribute best to achieve mutual objectives. Despite the 
bad things sometimes said about AFRICOM, Ward said with a 
smile, his command had not been created to take over Africa. 
Without missing a beat, Bouteflika replied with an even 
bigger smile that he had been unsure about this himself until 
Ward came. Ward said that, as we continue our military 
dialogue, we want to do the things Algeria tells us are 
important. Ward affirmed Algeria had long recognized the 
challenge of extremism and demonstrated its ability to fight 
back. AFRICOM would do its part to support Algeria and its 
neighbors in this effort. Addressing Bouteflika's point on 
end-use-monitoring requirements, Ward suggested focusing our 
efforts in areas where cooperation was possible, i.e., 
training and equipping. He acknowledged that some U.S. laws 
and regulations may preclude for now Algeria's participation 
in other forms of engagement. 

Civil-Military Relations 
------------------------ 

6. (S) Bouteflika underscored that Algeria's military 
"absolutely" respected the authority of civilian leadership. 
"This is not at all like Turkey," he said. Bouteflika 
asserted that the army was forced to take drastic measures 
during the violence of the 1990s in order to save the 
country. This was a difficult period, but constitutional 
rule had been restored. "The house is now in order," he 
stressed, "and I can tell you that the army obeys the 
civilians. There is one constitution and all obey it." 
Bouteflika acknowledged, however, that the problems of the 
past still haunted the country. He cited foreign press 
reports referring to Algeria as a dictatorship and argued 
that the term was sometimes used carelessly. The Algerian 
constitution had established the rule of law. In 2004 it was 
decided that there was no more historical "revolutionary 
legitimacy". The only legitimacy was the constitution. 
"Anyone can be a candidate for election, in accordance with 
the constitution, even a general." He paused, then grinned 
and said, "but the generals realize the difficulties and none 
has been a candidate yet." 

Counterterrorism 
---------------- 

7. (C) Bouteflika said terrorism in Africa had taken a 
dangerous form. The situation in Somalia was hopeless, he 
commented. Meanwhile, the Sahel region presented a complex 
set of issues. Fortunately, most Sahel countries were 
determined to cooperate and have the capability to fight the 
threat if they work together. Mauritania expressed a clear 
commitment as did Niger, although Bouteflika recognized U.S. 
concerns with President Tandja. Mali's full cooperation 
remained elusive, however. Mali's policies have failed to 
create stability in the north. The result is a lawless 
environment in which smuggling, along with arms and drug 
trafficking, enable terrorism. Bouteflika said the region 
was prepared to tackle this problem, and bilateral and 
regional efforts were already underway. In this regard, 
Algeria was closely monitoring U.S. military assistance to 
Mali and Niger. 

8. (S) Ward told Bouteflika that he planned to visit Bamako 
after Algiers and would encourage Mali's leaders to cooperate 
in the region's counterterrorism efforts. The U.S. was 
providing military assistance to Mali, and we hoped it 
complemented the work Algeria was doing. Ward emphasized 
that, ultimately, defeating terrorism was the responsibility 
of the region. Bouteflika expressed his appreciation for 
U.S. assistance to Mali and said Algeria also provided aid, 
including some equipment. Bouteflika urged the U.S. to tell 
Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure that "he cannot be a 
friend to the thieves and victims at the same time." Many in 
Mali's security services shared the same concern, Bouteflika 
asserted. In the past, he said, Algeria has waited for the 
chance to debrief terrorist suspects held in Mali, only to 
find out later that Malian officials were conducting 
negotiations for the terrorist's release back to the 
terrorist organizations at the same time. "It is difficult 
to cooperate in these conditions," he said. Despite 
difficulties, Bouteflika said regional leaders still planned 
to convene a security and development summit in Bamako. All 
agreed on the need for the summit, he said, but there was 
still no set date. Bouteflika said that Algeria would be 
open to sharing information with the U.S. regarding Algeria's 
cooperation with its neighbors. General Ward said AFRICOM 
would do the same for Algeria regarding U.S. initiatives in 
the region. 

XXXXXXXXXXXX

16. (S) The Ward-Bouteflika meeting was significant in a 
number of respects. The Algerian president spoke repeatedly 
of his readiness to build a strategic relationship with the 
US. He transmitted clear readiness for closer coordination 
and contact on Sahel counter-terrorism issues. The simple 
fact of the meeting with the president was itself a green 
light to the military bureaucracy on stepped-up bilateral 
military cooperation. Not least, the warm and high-level 
official reception provided a powerful antidote to the 
persistent negative mythology about Africa Command since the 
command's rollout. It was also noteworthy that, in the 
presence of three generals, including the chief of staff, 
Bouteflika spoke assertively to Ward about civilian control 
of the military. He described the revolutionary origins of 
military influence in Algeria, said this so-called 
revolutionary legitimacy ended in 2004, and the military now 
obeys the civilians and they all obey the constitution. In 
the course of his regional political review, Bouteflika 
delivered Algeria's views on Western Sahara in familiar 
terms. But in doing so, he also struck an unusually 
positive note about Morocco and the king's message. Clearly, 
in the context of the high emotions stirred in Algeria over 
the controversial World Cup contest with Egypt, Mohammed VI's 
message of congratulations struck a chord with Bouteflika. 
JORDAN

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8

Posté par algeriedemocratie le 15 janvier 2011

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 04 ALGIERS 000948 

SIPDIS 
NOFORN 

EO 12958 DECL: 10/20/2029 
TAGS PREL, PTER, PGOV, MCAP, MOPS, SNAR, AG, ML, MR, NG, 
UV, US 
SUBJECT: ALGERIA SAYS BAMAKO SUMMIT KEY TO REGIONAL 
CAMPAIGN AGAINST AQIM

ALGIERS 00000948 001.2 OF 004

Classified By: Ambassador David D Pearce; reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (S/NF) SUMMARY: Algerian Minister Delegate for Defense Guenaizia told visiting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) Ambassador Vicki Huddleston October 19 that the Algerian, Mauritanian, Nigerien and Malian chiefs of staff had agreed to set up a regional command for joint counter terrorism operations at Tamanrasset in southern Algeria. He indicated the command could eventually be expanded to include Libya, Burkina Faso and Chad. For its part, Algeria was determined that terrorists not be allowed to set up logistics, training and supply bases along its frontiers, i.e., in neighboring countries, with the intent of delivering weapons and explosives to Algeria. Algeria has taken the lead in sensitizing its southern neighbors to the nature of the threat and the need for combined action. Huddleston asked how the U.S. and others could support this effort. Guenaizia replied that intelligence-sharing was fundamental. So was provision of certain technical means, like IED jammers. A delegation from Northrop Grumman was coming to Algeria this week to discuss the capabilities of a Boeing 737 aircraft with a modified AWACS array. But the U.S. could perhaps assist most before the impending Bamako summit by helping secure the requisite top-level political will among Sahel countries that would make the summit a success and facilitate effective military cooperation. Here, he contended, the biggest problem was the Malian political leadership. The U.S. could help by talking to Mali and others with influence in Mali to ensure the necessary level of political will was there. Huddleston said she expected the U.S. would indeed be engaging Mali and its neighbors to help make the summit a success. Guenaizia welcomed the expected visit of General Ward of Africa Command in late November. END SUMMARY.

U.S. RECOGNIZES ALGERIA’S LEADING ROLE
-------------------------------------- 

2. (C/NF) Visiting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) Ambassador Vicki Huddleston met October 19 with Algerian Minister Delegate for Defense Abdelmalik Guenaizia and other senior generals, including Defense Ministry (MND) SG Major General Ahmed Senhadji, MND Director of External Relations and Cooperation General Mekri, MND Director of the Directorate of Documentation and External Security (DDSE) Major General Lallali and Colonel Mohamed Benmousset, Project Manager for Major General Senhadji. She told Guenaizia that the United States recognized Algeria’s leadership in Africa, including Algeria’s history of support to Africa’s independence movements, promotion of economic and social development, and on security matters. Huddleston acknowledged Algeria’s own experience in combating terrorism and underscored USG appreciation for Algeria’s lead on efforts to secure the Sahel region and prevent terrorism from taking root in neighboring countries. She recalled her cooperation with Algeria when she was ambassador in Mali to confront the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), forerunner of al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), after the GSPC captured European tourists and brought them to northern Mali from Algeria in 2003. Algeria’s commitment to combat GSPC in the region was clear, she said, and its engagement with Mali was impressive. The U.S. played its part through training to increase Mali’s military planning capacity. In the end, Huddleston concluded, we were successful. GSPC fled Mali to Niger and then to Chad, where GSPC leader “al-Para” was captured and returned to Algeria. Huddleston noted the regional military chiefs of staff meeting held in Tamanrasset in July and the planned regional heads of state summit in Bamako demonstrated that Algeria understood once more the importance of a coordinated regional response to combat terrorism in the Sahel. The U.S. recognized Algeria’s commitment to working with the countries of the region, she stressed, and Algeria’s leading role in that effort. She explained the goal of her visit was to learn how the U.S. can support Algeria’s effort.

3. (C) Guenaizia thanked Huddleston for focusing her discussion on counterterrorism. Terrorism, he emphasized, was not a local phenomenon in the region. It was brought from outside with all its horrors, he said, and it is a phenomenon the people of the region reject. When the threat
ALGIERS 00000948 002.2 OF 004
first emerged in Algeria, the international community misunderstood the scope of the problem and left Algeria alone to fight in the 1990s. Algeria faced an international embargo in its time of need, he said. Despite this embargo and the challenge of protecting an area of 2.3 million square kilometers and a population of 34 million, he said, Algeria became self-reliant and prevailed with the overwhelming support of the Algerian people the security services and the army.

MUST MAINTAIN PRESSURE
---------------------- 

4. (C/NF) Guenaizia said today the situation had improved considerably, but terrorism remains a serious threat, and Algeria will maintain the same level of pressure and dedication to its counterterrorism efforts. He stressed, however, that terrorism was not only a threat to Algeria, it threatened the entire region and beyond. AQIM, he argued, wants to embed itself in the region and, therefore, Algeria intended to take the fight beyond Algeria’s borders. Like a skilled boxer, he said, the key is to keep pressure on your opponent and increase your room for maneuver. Guenaizia made it clear that Algeria will not tolerate a situation in which AQIM or other armed groups are able to establish camps for logistics and training along Algeria’s frontier in neighboring countries with the intent of facilitating the entry of trained insurgents, weapons and explosives into Algeria.

5. (C/NF) Guenaizia said the situation in northern Mali presented the greatest obstacle to combating terrorism. The nexus of arms, drug and contraband smuggling in northern Mali created an enabling environment, Guenaizia argued, and provided a source of logistical and financial support. Guenaizia added that terrorists will use any means available to finance their activities, including corruption and hostage-taking. Thus, he underlined, fighting terrorism requires “implacable” political will to neutralize all avenues of support terrorists can exploit. Guenaizia asserted that increased drug trafficking represented a critical problem in this regard. Thousands of tons of drugs now cross through the region, he said. Based on clashes with Algerian security forces, Guenaizia assessed that those involved in drug trafficking were well organized and had military training. Guenaizia said that Morocco was a major smuggling route for cannabis and hashish and was not doing enough to interdict traffickers. Huddleston told Guenaizia the U.S. was equally concerned with drug trafficking in northwest Africa, particularly Colombian drugs transiting west Africa and the Sahel en route to Europe. The drug trade added another source of finance for terrorists, and its destabilizing effect on local populations could expand the geographic scope of terrorist recruitment efforts, she said, citing the example of the Boko Haram in Nigeria.

6. (C) Guenaizia cautioned that the terrorist network in the Sahel is a sophisticated organization. “These are not simple warlords we are facing,” he emphasized. They use the best explosives, have honed their bomb-making expertise and use sophisticated means to deploy explosives against their targets, Guenaizia underscored. He added that information to build highly sophisticated IEDs is easily obtainable from the Internet. No country is safe, he went on; “We need to remain vigilant.”

TAMANRASSET REGIONAL COMMAND
---------------------------- 

7. (C/NF) Guenaizia noted that regional chiefs of staff met in the southern Algerian city of Tamanrasset in July to create a mechanism to allow militaries in the region to coordinate efforts against terrorist threats while at the same time respecting each country’s sovereignty. Military leaders of Algeria, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, he said, agreed to establish a regional command in Tamanrasset that will host military representatives from each country and coordinate joint operations against AQIM targets. Joint military efforts, Guenaizia elaborated, are necessary to prevent AQIM from implanting itself in the region. He called this the fundamental challenge. Regional military leaders are
ALGIERS 00000948 003.2 OF 004
now sensitized to the problem, he asserted, and are willing to wage a common CT campaign. He indicated that the command could eventually be expanded to include Libya, Burkina Faso and Chad. For its part, Algeria will provide resources to optimize the command center’s capacity. “What we can’t obtain among ourselves,” he added, “we will seek from our friends.”

8. (C/NF) Guenaizia cautioned that, although the regional command in Tamanrasset was an important first step, he didn’t expect immediate results. The meeting in Tamanrasset, he noted, concerned military coordination, but successful action hinged on two operational aspects: military readiness and political will. Guenaizia said regional military leaders had done their job, now it was up to the civilian leaders of the region to demonstrate the political will to act. “We are waiting for the Bamako summit,” Guenaizia stressed.

HOW THE U.S. CAN HELP
--------------------- 

9. (S/NF) As to how the U.S. and others could support the regional effort, Guenaizia emphasized (repeating himself three times to make the point) that sharing intelligence was fundamental. Guenaizia reminded Huddleston that Algeria once agreed to U.S. surveillance overflights years ago, but the experience yielded few positive results for Algeria even though the intelligence collected related directly to Algeria’s national security and used Algeria’s sovereign airspace. Huddleston replied that the U.S. and Algeria were already sharing a lot of intelligence. There would be a willingness to conduct overflights, but she underlined that any overflight mission would have to be linked to direct action on the ground. The cost of one mission, she emphasized, was around USD 50,000, so we had to be sure of the result. Huddleston suggested Guenaizia could raise this matter during AFRICOM Commander General Ward’s expected visit in November.

10. (S/NF) The provision of technical means was also key. Guenaizia complained that in many ways Algeria still faced an embargo in regards to the provision of technical equipment, including counter-IED measures and sensors for intelligence gathering. He informed Huddleston that a Northrop Grumman delegation will arrive in Algeria this week to discuss the capabilities of an AWACS-type platform based on a Boeing 737 airframe. Algeria also needed sophisticated IED jammers, he said. Insurgents use cell phones to detonate IEDs remotely, he stressed, resulting in huge casualties for Algerian forces. Guenaizia lamented that despite this critical need, Algeria’s partners had been slow in responding to Algeria’s request to purchase jammers. He did not refer directly to U.S. end-use-monitoring rules, but he shared an anecdote about Algeria’s difficulties purchasing jamming technology from Portugal, a request, he continued, that has been pending for more than a year with no response.

11. (S/NF) He said the U.S. and others could perhaps assist most before the Bamako heads of state summit by helping secure the requisite top-level political will among Sahel governments needed to make the summit a success and facilitate effective military action. DDSE Major General Lallali said the key to securing commitment for effective cooperation rested with top-level leaders in Bamako. Lallali said Mali’s political leadership was the biggest problem. “We need a signal from Bamako that shows their commitment,” Lallali stated. Malians are suffering from terrorism, he said, yet when local populations try to fight back, the authorities crack down on those populations.

12. (S/NF) Lallali complained that Malian officials have alerted insurgents that their cell phone calls were being monitored and leaked sensitive intelligence. Lallali also accused Mali of facilitating ransom payments for hostages. He called Mali a favorable business environment for terrorists and believed many wealthy and powerful families in Mali benefited from illegal trafficking. He termed the XXXXXXXXXXXX the “Terrorist Bank” and said, “we need to suppress that bank,” noting the connection between drug trafficking and support for terrorist finance and logistics. Lallali commented that Algeria’s effort in the UN to criminalize
ALGIERS 00000948 004.2 OF 004
ransom payments aimed to curb corruption’s role in facilitating terrorism. He implored DASD Huddleston to “please do something with them.”

13. (S/NF) Guenaizia agreed that trust was an issue with Mali. Although Algeria has provided materiel and training support to Mali to help resolve the Tuareg issue, it was not inclined to give Mali weapons and communications gear because of concerns that such equipment might be trafficked to Ivory Coast or Guinea. Guenaizia said there was a “double language” in Mali-- its political leadership did not share the commitment Mali’s military leaders demonstrated. In order to succeed in the fight, Guenaizia affirmed, Mali had to cooperate fully. The Bamako summit has to deliver a clear political commitment. The U.S. could help by talking to Mali and others with influence in Mali to ensure the necessary level of political will was there. Huddleston agreed that complicity in Mali regarding the desire to share in the spoils of illegal trafficking seemed to have become worse since her tenure as ambassador. She concurred that Mali’s cooperation was essential but said that engaging Mali was a task for the entire region, not only Algeria. Huddleston cited the potential role of other partners in the region with influence in Mali, like Libya and Burkina Faso. She also suggested involving the AU to press for a general statement on fighting terrorism in the Sahel that would not single out Mali but rather deliver a broad message that countries in the region should act in concert and not allow terrorists to operate with impunity. The U.S., she said, will engage Mali and others in the region to play a constructive role in the region’s fight against terrorism.

BETTER COMMUNICATION
-------------------- 

14. (S/NF) Huddleston told Guenaizia that U.S. military assistance in the region aimed to improve the capacity of militaries in Mali, Mauritania and Chad through training and equipment. President Tandja’s bid for a third term in office, she regretted, probably meant the U.S. will not be able to assist Niger, but we will extend our assistance to Burkina Faso soon. It was important, she stressed, that U.S. efforts were in step with regional efforts already underway. In this regard, Huddleston emphasized that communication among regional governments and other partners, like the U.S., was essential. Huddleston referred to recent talks between the U.S. and European allies on security in the Sahel, during which the European Commission and France mentioned plans for assistance. Guenaizia noted Europe’s interest in getting involved and said that some European governments had tried to insert themselves into the Tamanrasset meeting. He bluntly stated that Africa had already endured a period of colonialism. Lallali interjected that European participation could complicate matters.

15. (S/NF) Huddleston clarified that outside partners did not have to be involved directly but needed to be apprised of future steps and planning in order to provide support. Huddleston suggested regular meetings by the MOD with the Ambassador and DATT in Algiers. Guenaizia said he had no objection, both with the U.S. and others. The threat concerns all. But cooperation had to advance gradually. We should review progress in stages, he added. Immediate efforts, he reiterated, should focus on pressuring Mali and achieving a successful summit in Bamako. The next step was to allow time for standing up the regional command in Tamanrasset and determining equipment needs. He suggested in two to three months we might be able meet and take stock of that effort. In this regard, Guenaizia welcomed the expected visit of General Ward of Africa Command in November.

16. (U) DASD Huddleston did not clear this cable.

17. (U) Tripoli minimize considered. PEARCE

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7

Posté par algeriedemocratie le 15 janvier 2011

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 04 ALGIERS 000198 

SIPDIS 

C O R R E C T E D COPY --CHANGE OF CLASSIFICATION 

NOFORN 
SIPDIS 

NEA FOR K.HARRINGTON AND M.POPAL 

EO 12958 DECL: 02/22/2023 
TAGS PREL, PGOV, AG 

SUBJECT: SCENE SETTER FOR A/S WELCH VISIT TO ALGERIA 
REF: A. ALGIERS 111  B. ALGIERS 110 AND ALGIERS 140  C. 07 ALGIERS 1806  D. 07 ALGIERS 1807 AND 08 ALGIERS 0075  E. ALGIERS 141

Classified By: Ambassador Robert Ford, reason 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) We and the Algerians are looking forward to your visit next week. There was a prominent article about your visit, generated with help from our PAO, in best-selling el-Khabar newspaper on February 21. You will be visiting just as the government machine is gearing up to amend the Algerian constitution to enable President Bouteflika to run for a third term in 2009. There is no strong, influential voice criticizing this effort; only small parties and a few notable individuals have spoken against the building momentum (ref A). The only issue that appears unresolved inside the top civilian and military leadership is whether or not there should be a change to the constitution that establishes a vice president as well. This vice president would be the obvious successor to Bouteflika, especially if his health prevents him from serving out a third term that would expire in 2014. We are arranging for you to meet with former Prime Minister Ouyahia, the man most frequently thought to be tapped for vice president.

AN UNHAPPY COUNTRY
------------------ 

2. (C) There is much discussion among political circles about the constitution, the third term and the succession issue, but precious little discussion about how to address long-standing political alienation and social discontent throughout the country. Housing is woefully short, while unemployment and underemployment are endemic (at least 50 percent among young people). In a relatively new phenomenon, many young people are trying to flee the country, by small boat if necessary. The average age at which Algerians marry is now into the mid 30s - a vivid indicator of how unhappy the twenty-somethings are. Meanwhile, most world food price hikes are being passed to consumers, resulting in strikes by different labor groups almost weekly (see ref B for example. Notably, while you are here we expect school teachers nationwide to strike; on the positive side, school closures may ease traffic during your visit, inshallah.) Almost daily there are isolated demonstrations with the occasional government office in some distant town attacked. Meanwhile, voter turnout for the 2007 legislative and local elections was lower than ever before because Algeria’s young people do not see the political system as having any relevance to addressing their problems. This is not the quaking state of the early 1990s. The government is firmly entrenched. However, much of political and social elite sense that Algeria is drifting (see also ref C).

THE VISION THING
---------------- 

3. (C) These political, economic and social problems notwithstanding, Algeria is richer than ever. The oil and gas sector is running up record export revenues - USD 70 billion likely in 2007, while imports will only be about USD 45 billion, according to the IMF. As a result, the GoA is piling up record foreign exchange reserves, now around USD 110 billion. The public knows about the riches and the GoA’s inability to relieve problems like housing and unemployment hits at the GoA’s credibility. Bouteflika and his team have only one approach to energize the economy: spend tens of billions of dollars on infrastructure as well as some grandiose projects to generate jobs and also create a Bouteflika legacy. The construction industry is growing but not as fast as in other oil-boom states. Red tape, burdensome regulations and centralization slow project implementation and impede new private investment. The GoA seems incapable of addressing these systemic problems. This inability stems from a lack of vision at the top. Bouteflika and his team have yet to make a choice on whether Algeria will be a market-driven economy where Algerians must integrate into the world economy or an economy whose government still provides the old social contract of the 1960s and 1970s. We have small technical assistance projects to help the GoA reform its financial and education sectors, but bureaucratic ineptitude and a lack of Algerian urgency slow progress. We therefore extract small, new reforms where we can get them. (Treasury DAS McDonald will be here at the same time as you to look at Treasury-funded assistance
ALGIERS 00000198 002 OF 004
programming.)

TERRORISM PROBLEM NOT A THREAT TO STABILITY
------------------------------------------- 

4. (S/NF) The social discontent enables al-Qaida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) to find a steady supply of recruits but not enough to threaten stability. There are terror-related attacks almost daily now, usually in the mountains east of Algiers. (There are occasional attacks in southern and western Algeria now too.) AQIM and other Islamist extremists usually hit Algerian security forces, but there are regular threats against Western interests, especially French and American. The terrorists’ tactics have not much changed except in one important manner: nine suicide car bomb attacks since April 2007. AQIM can’t threaten the government’s stability but it has hurt the credibility of Bouteflika’s national amnesty program; it likely weakened him in internal debates with the Algerian hard-liners inside the security force leadership. It has hurt the credibility of the Algerian security forces among the Algerian public and the Western community here. In particular, the December 2007 attack that destroyed the UN headquarters here deeply embarrassed the Algerian government.  When the UN said it would conduct its own investigation into the security shortcomings before the attack, the hypersensitive Algerian authorities reacted vehemently and forced the UN to back down. Watching this brittle response, Western companies and embassies now are jittery. Many say that they are watching us for signals on when to send out expatriates. Algiers has seen no incidents since December 11 but there are constant threat reports in sensitive channels.

COUNTER-TERROR COOPERATION VERY GOOD
------------------------------------ 

5. (S/NF) As the AQIM threat has ratcheted up, we have increased our collaboration with Algerian military intelligence. They are prickly, paranoid group to work with, but with them we have rolled up several networks that sent Algerian jihadis to Iraq. According to information from an al-Qaida in Iraq cell, 64 Algerian fighters reached Iraq between August 2006 and August 2007. Thus, our collective work is not perfect, but the number of Algerians fighting in Iraq likely would have been far higher were we not working closely together. We have also helped the GoA roll up AQIM networks that were planning attacks inside Algeria. Notably, the Algerian authorities do not like to discuss our cooperation against AQIM publicly. Instead, they limit themselves to saying that they cooperate with the U.S. and other nations against international terror networks. We have a new FBI office at the embassy that we hope will establish collaborative programs with the Interior Ministry, but the Algerians are not rushing to cooperate.

MILITARY TO MILITARY: WE MUST BE PATIENT
----------------------------------------- 

6. (S/NF) While the Algerians are not rushing to expand our mil-mil relationship. it is slowly growing. For the first time in early 2007 the Algerians themselves proposed some joint activities, and we undertook training exercises here involving the navy and air force. AFRICOM has offered much more, but the Algerians purposely keep a foot on the brake. They want to avoid dependence in their military relations, so they spread out activities among foreign partners. They have limited administrative capacity, and the officers who work on bilateral activities with France or Germany or Russia are the same ones who work with us. They are not good at multi-tasking. Part of the Algerian caution also results from bureaucratic gamesmanship and paranoia. In contrast to programming with some other countries, Algerian military intelligence clears all our bilateral military activities. (They likely seek to enhance their own position within the Algerian power structure by controlling the security relationship with the U.S.) In addition, GoA security personnel are exceptionally careful in their contacts with foreigners due to their CI concerns. Probably because Algerian military intelligence was not ready, the Algerians lost their chance to have a high-level bilateral military committee meeting at the Pentagon in April 2008 that would have drawn up plans for expanded activities into 2009. Their failure to reserve the April dates probably will push that meeting into the autumn or even to the next administration. We warned them clearly but their own system was too sclerotic to respond.
ALGIERS 00000198 003 OF 004

REGIONAL POLICIES: FAR APART FROM US
------------------------------------- 

7. (C) Bouteflika is very much his own foreign minister and his thinking about regional politics has evolved little from the 1970s. He loyally attends all the NAM and African Union summits, and he places huge weight on the United Nations, liberation ideology and negotiation over use of force (especially Western armed forces). The Algerians are surprisingly ill informed when events are moving in the region; they also lack a good grounding in underlying trends in areas like the Middle East. Arab satellite TV seems to be a big source of their information. Hence, you will find that the Algerians take nettlesome positions on the regional questions of import to us:
-- Peace Process: They line up behind the Arab League consensus, arguing in private that it is hopeless to try to exclude Syria and Hamas from the efforts to reach a settlement (ref D). They appreciate our pledge to work for a viable Palestinian state and to achieve short-term, concrete improvements for the Palestinians. So far, we have seen little enthusiasm in response to our demarches for more aid to the Palestinian Authority, but they likely would respond to a strong request from the Arab League. The Algerian public, particularly the Islamists, is now less preoccupied with violence in Algeria and vehemently anti-Israeli. The GoA, therefore, is unlikely to make any unilateral gestures to Israel.
-- Lebanon: The Algerians back Arab League efforts and hope for consensus to develop among the Lebanese factions. Their senior MFA official working Middle East issues has repeatedly cautioned us against trying to isolate Syria on Lebanese issues (ref E). Underlining how our efforts complement Arab League efforts will make the most headway with the Algerians.
-- Iraq: President Bouteflika told Senator Nelson last summer that the U.S. should not withdraw too quickly from Iraq lest security deteriorate further. The MFA and Algerian military intelligence have made the same point to us more recently, although publicly the GoA says little. There is an Iraqi embassy in Algiers, but relations with the Iraqi Government are cool. The Algerians have no intention of reopening an embassy in Baghdad. In part, they are still angry about the murder of two of their diplomats in Baghdad in 2005. Despite their repeated inquiries, they have received no information on who was responsible. In addition, public and government distrust of the Iraqi Shia makes the GoA unwilling to take any risks on Iraq policy. Their military intelligence likely would work discretely with Iraqi intelligence to disrupt al-Qaida activities, but we doubt Algerian officers would actually go to Iraq.
-- Iran: Algerian officials remember Iranian support for Algerian Islamists in the early 1990s and are suspicious of Iran’s regional intent. President Bouteflika in private has told the Iranian President to cooperate with the UN on the nuclear issue. The GoA is also adamant that we should continue on the diplomatic track and recognize even small Iranian steps when we see them; they were reluctant to endorse more pressure on Iran during Ambassador Schulte’s visit here in late November. The Algerian leadership has a bit of sympathy for Hizballah and Hamas as liberation fighters, but their heads tell them to be wary. Thus, you will hear understanding from them when we warn them of the dangers of these terror groups, but the Algerians will immediately insist that Israel and the U.S. have to resolve the Palestinian and Lebanese problems. Underlining how Hizballah and Hamas threaten the very progress on the Lebanese and Palestinian issues that the GoA wants will be the most effective arguments.
-- Western Sahara: This is the issue that the GoA cares the most about and you will likely receive an earful. The GoA still lingers over the hope that the Baker Plan will come back despite our telling them repeatedly that it is finished.  The top Algerian leadership stress that they view a Saharan referendum on independence as a matter of national liberation as a matter of principle. They don’t want to destabilize Morocco, and they doubt the Western Sahara is so important to the throne’s hold on power. They do not want to start armed hostilities, although we are less sure they would - or could - stop every possible Polisario provocation. The Algerians likely will try to wait for the end of this American administration hoping that the next one will be less supportive of the Moroccan autonomy proposal. Explaining the
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exhaustion of broad American patience with the long-standing dispute will be the best way of shaking loose the Algerian fixation on Baker.

AND THE GUANTANAMO PROBLEM
-------------------------- 

8. (S) For the past two years we have sought GoA approval for the repatriation of some of the two dozen Algerians held at the facility. During the April 2007 visit of S/WCI Williamson we all agreed on principles to govern the return of Algerians, but since then the GoA has refused to agree to accept even a single detainee back despite our repeated attempts. We think that President Bouteflika and military intelligence chief LTG Medienne agree that it would be harmful to Algeria to take any detainees back, and that consensus at the very top makes any movement by lower officials impossible. The GoA has told us we can send detainees back to the countries where we detained them, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. This is a non-starter. We need you to explain firmly that the Guantanamo detainee issue will not go away and probably will become more important in the next year as we move closer to shutting down the detention center at Guantanamo.
FORD

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