TO: Ambassador Bouhlal FROM: Ed Gabriel and Bob Holley
SUBJECT: Implementation of Congressional Language on WS Spending Authorization
Implementing Congressional language authorizing the spending of USG assistance funding in Western Sahara is probably one of the two or three most important objectives the Washington Team and Rabat should accomplish this year.
Tuesday, Bob chaired a meeting of MACP plus consultants to discuss ideas that could be put in play to achieve this goal. Bob opened the meeting explaining its purpose and welcoming any and all ideas. Only two things were “off the table,” no war and we cannot ask His Majesty to become personally involved. He explained that we were not making any commitments in the meeting and suggested that we could meet again to discuss tactics for moving forward after MACP’s leadership decided which of the ideas they believed should be put in action.
In the following section Bob lists the ideas proposed by meeting participants and in the final section provides his own personal recommendations.
Letter from leadership of House Appropriations Committee to State and USAID requesting their views on the way forward on the language.
Agenda item for Clinton Meetings in Rabat
Appropriations Committee Staffdel to Rabat and WS to fact find, issue statement, produce letter to Obama administration.
Visit of Sahrawi local elected officials to DC to advance idea in meetings with targeted audiences.
Advocacy with US groups that would likely benefit (IRI, etc.) to encourage their assistance in persuading State/USAID.
Moroccan Ambassador meeting with USAID Administrator.
Combined effort from Embassy and MACP to urge State to conduct a “policy review.”
Visit of Foreign Minister to DC to meet with Clinton and other targets to advance the idea.
A MACP meeting with USAID, MEPI and MCC contractors and officials to advance the idea
New legislation that would require State to spend money in Western Sahara.
Ambassador to advance idea in all of his upcoming meetings with Administration, Congress, others.
Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs to advance idea in meetings with Embassy and USAID personnel in Rabat.
Request Moroccan NGOs to continually raise idea with AmEmbassy Rabat.
Bring CEO of Southern development Agency to US for meetings with State,
USAID, MCC, Congress, private sector, others to advance idea and describe opportunities.
Another back channel message to Clinton to encourage implementation.
Find opportunities to interest Sam Kaplan.
Persuade GOM to allow MACP personnel to directly lobby the Administration to advance the idea.
Push the idea with media.
Target getting Peace Corps engaged in WS Personal Views and Counsel by Bob.
He believes that we need to focus attention heavily on two tracks to accomplish this objective.
The first is to try to get as many senior GOM officials as possible to raise this issue directly with senior level USG officials at State and USAID. A visit from the Foreign Minister, the Director of SDA and elected Sahrawi officials and the Ambassador’s meetings with senior USG officials should highlight this as a priority objective for Morocco in its relations with the USG. The higher up the food chain at State we go, the better our chances of success. Expect continued resistance at bureau level across the board at State.
The second track that bears some prospect of success are all of those actions above that would bring continuing pressure from Congress on the Administration to execute the language. As Jordan pointed out at the meeting, it is critical that we reach a determination of whether the Administration plans to do this of their own accord before mid April so that a new effort can be launched at that time to write new legislation to oblige such spending. We think that it is possible that once an effort on obligatory legislation is launched, the Administration may move forward on its own if they assess that we have enough support to enact such legislation in order to have better control over what spending they will and will not commit to. On the Hill track, I think it is critically important that the staffdel to Rabat and WS get there as quickly as possible. This should be our priority action right now, in our view. That trip needs to produce a statement and a letter to State and USAID well before mid April.
Many of the ideas listed above are interesting and potentially useful. We will be happy to discuss each of them with all of you at your convenience.