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Reference ID Subject Created Released Classification Origin
08ROME1337 BERLUSCONI GOVERNMENT AND IPR -- FIRST SIGNS OF LIFE 2008-11-05 2011-02-03 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Rome
08CAIRO2371 REQUESTING DEPARTMENT ASSISTANCE TO RESTORE 2008-11-18 2011-02-03 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Cairo
08PARIS2134 P3 CONSULTATIONS ON NONPROLIFERATION AND DISARMAMENT IN PARIS 2008-11-21 2011-02-02 SECRET Embassy Paris
08TRIPOLI868 U.K. DENIES LICENSE FOR EXPORT OF KALASHNIKOVS TO LIBYA; GOL POTENTIALLY SEEKING ALTERNATIVE SELLERS REF: A) TRIPOLI 650, B) STATE 95271 CLASSIFIED BY: Chris Stevens, CDA, Embassy Tripoli, U.S. Dept of State. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d) 1. (C) U.K. Embassy PolOff told P/E Chief on October 30 that HMG had decided not/not to approve a license for U.K. company York Guns to export to Libya 130,000 Kashnikov automatic rifles. Per ref A, York Guns was to have acted as intermediary between an unidentified Ukrainian party and procurement officials at Libya's Temporary People's Committee for Defense (MOD-equivalent). Based on the intervention reported ref B and on concerns expressed by the U.K.'s Embassy in Tripoli that the Government of Libya (GOL) might have intended to re-export the weapons to either the governments or armed rebel factions in Chad and Sudan, the U.K.'s Foreign and Commonwealth Office recommended about one month ago against approving the export license. After conducting a review of the case, Whitehall concurred on October 30 with the decision to not/not approve the export license. 2. (C) Separately, Muhammad el-Obeidi, a Libyan businessman with ties to some quarters of Muammar al-Qadhafi's regime, told P/E Chief on October 23 that he had signed a contract with a Romanian company (NFI) for the export from Romania to Libya of 100,000 AK-47S automatic rifles. (Note: El-Obeidi's older brother was Libya's Minister of Defense from 1954-1969; his nephew is a former Prime Minister and the current MFA Secretary (U/S-equivalent) for European Affairs. End note.) El-Obeidi signed the contract in late September in Paris during a business trip there. El-Obeidi said he had been tapped to help facilitate procurement for the Jafl al-Khamis ("Khamis Brigade"), a special forces unit headed by Khamis al-Qadhafi, son of Muammar al-Qadhafi. He said Captain Ahmed Ben Shraga'a, head of procurement for the unit, has instructions to work through el-Obeidi on a number of "special procurement issues". El-Obeidi was open about the contract, but avoided the question as to whether the rifles were to be used in Libya or re-exported to another destination. STEVENS 2008-11-06 2011-02-01 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
08TRIPOLI870 AL-QADHAFI'S RUSSIA TRIP SIGNALS DESIRE FOR FOREIGN POLICY 2008-11-06 2011-02-01 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
08TRIPOLI874 LIBYAN LEADER AL-QADHAFI'S CONGRATULATORY MESSAGE TO THE 2008-11-10 2011-02-01 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tripoli
08TRIPOLI882 UPDATE ON RELEASED REGIME CRITIC DR. IDRISS BOUFAYED AND PLANNED MEDICAL TRAVEL REF: A) NARDI-GODFREY EMAIL 10/27/2008, B) TRIPOLI 472, C) TRIPOLI 819, D) TRIPOLI 851 CLASSIFIED BY: Chris Stevens, CDA, Embassy Tripoli, U.S. Dept of State. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d) 1. (C) Summary: The Qadhafi Development Foundation (QDF) has reportedly obtained a passport and is finalizing travel permission for self-described regime critic Dr. Idriss Boufayed, who was recently released on humanitarian grounds from a 25 year prison term in light of his advanced lung cancer. The QDF will coordinate and pay for Boufayed's travel, and will facilitate (and possibly also underwrite) medical treatment abroad. The QDF is anxious that Boufayed travel quickly - perhaps in part out of concern that delays in granting his humanitarian release contributed to the seriousness of his medical condition - and is waiting for a decision from him on where he wishes to go for medical treatment and when. Boufayed is reportedly feeling better and is receiving visitors and paying social calls to neighbors. Reports that the QDF helped Boufayed obtain a passport and stands ready to facilitate his travel abroad for medical treatment represent a welcome development; however, we've been here before with respect to the QDF claiming positive intervention that later proved to be untrue, particularly in the case of detained human rights activist Fathi al-Jahmi. End summary. 2. (C) Pef ref A, P/E Chief met with xxxxxxxxxxxx(strictly protect) on November 10 to follow up on the case of self-described regime critic Dr. Idriss Boufayed, who was sentenced to 25 years of imprisonment earlier this year in connection with planning a peaceful demonstration (ref B). Boufayed was released on humanitarian grounds on October 8 from the Sabratha Hospital, where he was undergoing treatment for advanced lung cancer (ref C), and returned to his family home in Gharyan. 3. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx visited Gharyan on November 6 and met with Idriss Boufayed's brother, Juma'a Boufayed. (Note: Juma'a Boufayed himself was arrested in February 2007, shortly after his brother and eleven other individuals were arrested on the eve of a planned peaceful demonstration in Tripoli's Green Square. As reported ref B, Juma'a Boufayed was released on/about May 27, shortly before a state security court convicted his brother and 10 others of planning to overthrow the government and conducting unauthorized meetings with representatives of a foreign government. End note.) xxxxxxxxxxxx said the Qadhafi Development Foundation (QDF), which had helped facilitate Idriss Boufayed's release on humanitarian grounds, had secured a passport for Boufayed (who is not yet in possession of it) and was in the process of obtaining permission from Libyan security organizations for him to travel abroad for medical treatment. xxxxxxxxxxxx did not anticipate problems with respect to exit permissions; Boufayed's name was removed from airport and land border crossing watchlists when he was granted humanitarian release. The QDF will coordinate entry visas for the (presumably European) country in which Boufayed decides to seek treatment, and will also facilitate travel arrangements and medical appointments. Tarnish said the QDF was still discussing whether to pay for Boufayed's medical treatment (it has already agreed to defray his travel expenses), and said he thought it would. 4. (C) Noting that the QDF's Human Rights Committee Director, Saleh Abdulsalam Saleh, was personally involved in the case, Tarnish said the QDF was anxious that Boufayed travel quickly and was only waiting for a decision from him as to where he wanted to travel for medical treatment and when. (Comment: Boufayed's medical condition is reportedly grave and we've heard reports that the GOL would prefer that he not die in Libya to minimize potential public discontent. The QDF may be anxious to expedite his travel to mitigate charges that the GOL's failure to grant humanitarian release earlier contributed to his decline. End comment.) Addressing rumors that Boufayed might be discouraged from traveling to Switzerland (where he resided for a number of years) in light of ongoing Libyan-Swiss contretemps (ref D) , xxxxxxxxxxxx said the QDF would do all it could if that was where Boufayed decided he wanted to go. 5. (C) Citing Juma'a Boufayed, xxxxxxxxxxxx said Idriss Boufayed's medical condition and mental health had improved since his release. Visits to him were initially limited after his return home because his health was fragile and his family did not want large numbers of visitors in their home; however, Boufayed is currently able to receive visitors at will and has begun paying TRIPOLI 00000882 002 OF 002 social visits to neighbors' homes as well. xxxxxxxxxxxx said a number of regime critics, journalists and members of Libya's nascent civil society have quietly made the trip to Gharyan in recent weeks to see him. xxxxxxxxxxxx is scheduled to visit Boufayed next week and will give us a readout. xxxxxxxxxxxx has not received a response to the petition it submitted in October to the QDF asking that it urge the GOL to release the other 10 individuals convicted in the Boufayed case, who remain in prison. Separately, U.K. Poloff David Clay told us on November 9 that not all EU capitals had weighed in yet on whether to agree to a joint demarche to the GOL requesting access to Jamal al-Hajj, a Danish-Libyan dual citizen who was among the individuals arrested with Boufayed. 6. (C) Comment: The news that the QDF has helped Boufayed obtain a passport and stands ready to facilitate and perhaps underwrite his travel abroad for medical treatment is a welcome development; however, we've been here before with respect to the QDF claiming positive intervention that later proved to be untrue, particularly in the case of detained human rights activist Fathi al-Jahmi. xxxxxxxxxxxx's planned visit to Idriss Boufayed next week should afford another point of reference from which to gauge the likelihood that medical travel will in fact be facilitated. End comment. STEVENS 2008-11-13 2011-02-01 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
08TRIPOLI889 TRIBAL VIOLENCE IN KUFRA 2008-11-16 2011-02-01 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
08TRIPOLI895 LIBYA: INTERIM TIP ASSESSMENT 2008-11-17 2011-02-01 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tripoli
08TRIPOLI896 AL-QADHAFI AND THE REFORM "VISION THING" REF: A) TRIPOLI 227, B) TRIPOLI 842, C) TRIPOLI 699 TRIPOLI 00000896 001.2 OF 003 CLASSIFIED BY: John T. Godfrey, CDA, Embassy Tripoli, U.S. Dept of State. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d) 1. (C) Summary: In a meeting broadcast on state-owned television, senior Government of Libya (GOL) officials disagreed with Muammar al-Qadhafi about plans to implement dramatic government restructuring and privatization he proposed last March. Al-Qadhafi blasted the officials, accusing them of wanting to maintain the status quo to continue profiting from corruption, and insisted that plans to restructure the government and directly distribute shares of oil revenues to the Libyan people be implemented. International media have touted the show as a rare glimpse into the opaque Jamahiriya system; however, local observers believe the meeting was a staged piece of political theater designed to give public cover to an expected scaling back of the proposed reforms. Senior GOL officials have told us privately that serious risks (inflation, currency devaluation, etc.) posed by Leader's vision, together with a lack of consensus about how to implement it, mean the project will be delayed until at least the second quarter of 2009. The personal, albeit unpublicized, involvement of Saif al-Islam al-Qadhafi, son of Muammar al-Qadhafi, in implementing the initiative has thrown into stark relief disagreements between the regime's old guard and would-be reformers. More cynical contacts have speculated that al-Qadhafi's intent all along was to raise the specter of privatization and government restructuring to make the increasingly creaky Jamahiriya system seem favorable by comparison and temper calls for more sweeping change. End summary. GOL LEADERS DISPUTE REFORM PLAN 2. (SBU) In a development picked up by Reuters, AFP and the Financial Times, Libya's state-owned Jamahiriya News Agency (JANA) televised a meeting between Muammar al-Qadhafi and senior government officials on November 11 in which several GPC secretaries (minister-equivalents) openly disagreed with the Leader about plans to implement dramatic government restructuring and privatization he first proposed in an address to the General People's Congress in March (ref A). In the meeting, Central Bank Governor Farhat Bengadara warned that implementing plans to directly disburse monthly shares of Libya's oil revenues to the Libyan people would fuel undisciplined consumption (an idea al-Qadhafi specifically refuted in March), spark inflation, precipitate devaluation of the dinar, create a balance of payments deficit and cause a decline in real incomes. Minister of Economy and Trade Ali Essawi cautioned that the combination of direct cash payments and dismantling much of the government structure would not prompt greater production or investment, and would adversely impact long-term economic growth and social development. Instead of direct cash payments, Secretary of the General People's Committee (Prime Minister-equivalent) al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi advocated an ill-defined scheme to give Libyans shares in banks and companies through portfolios that would be managed by financial institutions. Pointing to the recent decline in oil prices, several senior GOL officials noted that plan would be more tenable with higher oil prices, but was too risky given the dramatic fluctuations recently seen. AL-QADHAFI (PUBLICLY) INSISTS ON GOING FORWARD 3. (SBU) Striking a populist note, al-Qadhafi blasted the officials, insisting that they wanted to maintain the status quo to keep their positions and continue profiting from corruption. (Note: Al-Qadhafi criticized PM al-Mahmoudi by name in his Revolution Day speech and accused him of being corrupt; his exchange with him in the televised meeting has reinforced widespread expectation that al-Mahmoudi will be sacked in connection with an expected Cabinet shuffle during the March 2009 General People's Congress. End note.) Reprising themes he touched on in March, he said that since multiple efforts to address corruption and mismanagement in the popular committees (ministry-equivalents) had failed, Libyans should instead receive a direct share of oil revenues from which to underwrite health care, education, utilities and investments. Responding to concerns about implementation of the reforms, he stressed that " ... the decision to distribute oil revenues, their sole source of wealth, directly to the people is not negotiable". He conceded that it was "bad luck" that the wealth distribution proposal coincided with declining oil prices, but stressed that the result of the regime's 40-year effort to manage Libya's resources on behalf of its people had been "very bad". He reiterated the argument made in March that once oil revenues were directly distributed, it would no longer be necessary to maintain subsidies or government services (to include health care and education), since people could afford to buy whatever TRIPOLI 00000896 002.2 OF 003 they needed directly. MEDIA BREATHLESS ABOUT OSTENSIBLE VIEW INTO JAMAHIRIYA POLICY DEBATE ... 4. (SBU) International media reaction - JANA broadcast the show, but state-owned media has otherwise not dwelled on it - has largely focused on the unusual spectacle of the ostensible policy debate that took place. Libya watcher and Dartmouth University professor Dirk Vandewalle opined that the meeting reflected the fact that top-down decision-making in Libya was being increasingly questioned and that the power of technocrats had increased. Reuters characterized it as "a rare glimpse into decision-making in the North African country". ... BUT LOCAL OBSERVERS REMAIN UNCONVINCED 5. (C) Observers closer to the scene have been less sanguine, and several senior GOL officials - including those involved in the meeting - had previewed for us in earlier meeetings that lack of agreement about how to implement government restructuring and privatization meant that implementation would be delayed and the scope likely reduced. As reported ref B, CB Governor Bengadara told a visiting U.S. trade specialist in October that while he favored a more aggressive "shock therapy" approach to economic reform than many other senior GOL leaders, he expected the wealth distribution program to take several years to implement and was frankly skeptical about the extent of government restructuring. Dr. Mahmoud Jibril, who heads the Economic Development Board (EDB) and National Planning Council and also leads the five committees tasked with implementing al-Qadhafi's vision, told visiting NEA/MAG Director Stephanie Williams on November 5 that nothing had been firmly decided with respect to government restructuring or privatization of education and healthcare (further details on the Williams-Jibril meeting septel). Conceding that the implementing committees had made little progress in agreeing on a plan, he suggested that change would be unlikely until after the first quarter of 2009. (Note: The General People's Congress typically meets in March; we've been told that they would have to formally bless any restructuring or privatization plans before they could be implemented. End note.) Similarly, Secretary of the General People's Committee for Manpower, Employment and Training (minister-equivalent) Matuq Matuq told us on November 13 that GOL leaders had encountered difficulty in trying to develop plans to implement al-Qadhafi's vision, and flatly told us that privatization and government restructuring would be delayed considerably. SAIF AL-ISLAM'S BEHIND-THE-SCENES ROLE A MIXED BLESSING 6. (C) Part of the issue appears to be that the restructuring and privatization initiatives have become lightning rods for the struggle between the old guard and would-be reformers. Over the summer, contacts told us the five implementing committees had been unable to achieve consensus on whether and how to implement the reforms. A supra-committee under Dr. Jibril was formed to coordinate the implementing committees' work; however, Saif al-Islam al-Qadhafi - who had formed shadow committees composed of staff from his Qadhafi Development Foundation - has played a powerful and at times leading role in shaping implementation plans. A contact at the EDB told us that Saif al-Islam's involvement was a blessing and a curse. His personal status allowed him to advocate more forcefully than most GOL officials; however, the fact that he is at odds with influential members of the regime's old guard raised the stakes in the debate about restructuring and privatization. 7. (SBU) Implementation of the Leader's vision has already been delayed. When he outlined his vision in March, al-Qadhafi called for the five committees to submit plans for implementing the project by September 1, with the idea that he would detail the plan in his annual Revolution Day speech on/about September 1 and that the changes would be initiated before year's end. He disappointed those hopes, instead shifting the goalposts in his Revolution Day speech by saying the committees would submit implementation plans by year's end, and that changes would begin early in the new year (ref C). 8. (C) Comment: While the televised meeting was noteworthy for the fact that it offered the unusual spectacle of ostensible dissent in the sterile Libyan political environment, the fact that a number of the participants raised their hands to publicly dispute the reforms, together with al-Qadhafi's strident insistence on implementing the original plan, smacks of staged TRIPOLI 00000896 003.2 OF 003 political theater. Local observers have expected for some time that al-Qadhafi would in the end - as he's done before - significantly scale back the scope of the reform agenda he announced in March. By explicitly linking the reforms to the populist issue of anti-corruption, al-Qadhafi has seized the moral high ground on an issue of genuine public concern, which would allow him to blame venal GOL officials for failing to execute his vision if the original plan is modified. Doing so would allow him to limit real reform, and would mitigate to a certain extent criticism of the Jamahiriya system that is his brainchild. More cynical contacts have speculated that al-Qadhafi's intent all along was to raise the specter of privatization - particularly of education and healthcare - and government restructuring to make the increasingly creaky Jamahiriya system seem favorable by comparison in the eyes of a largely conservative, risk-averse Libyan public. According to that line of thinking, al-Qadhafi - concerned that Libya's economic opening was creating pressure for political reform - floated the privatization and government restructuring policy balloon largely as a means by which to muddy the waters and create an atmosphere of "constructive chaos" in which to effect limited (vice sweeping) change. It's a tactic he has used before: Libyan contacts are fond of telling the fable of a race in which participants have to carry a sack of rats a certain distance before they chew through the bag. Al-Qadhafi wins because he figures out that by constantly shaking the bag, the rats are too disoriented to make their way out. End comment. GODFREY 2008-11-18 2011-02-01 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
08TRIPOLI901 LIBYA'S MINISTRY OF ECONOMY AND TRADE WELCOMES COOPERATION WITH U.S. 1. (U) Summary: In a meeting with visiting NEA/MAG Director Stephanie Williams, Under Secretary for Economy, Trade and Investment Taher Sarkaz emphasized the importance of U.S.-Libya cooperation and outlined steps his ministry taking to facilitate trade and investment. Libya is keenly interested in technical economic assistance, particularly in the area of small- and medium-sized business development, which the GOL views as a key potential area for future growth. Sarkaz commented favorably on the U.S.-Libya Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) currently being negotiated, and expected it to be finalized soon. Williams highlighted the importance of capitalizing on the new period of bilateral cooperation ushered in by implementation of the U.S.-Libya claims agreement and underscored U.S. interest in pursuing further cooperation on economic and trade issues. End summary. 2. (U) Visiting NEA/MAG Director Stephanie Williams, accompanied by A/DCM and Econoff, met with Under Secretary for Economy, Trade and Investment Taher Sarkaz on November 6. Sarkaz stressed the importance to the GOL of U.S.-Libya cooperation in the areas of economy and trade. Citing various studies the General People's Committee (ministry-equivalent) for Economy and Trade had undertaken with assistance from the World Bank and private consulting firms, he said the GOL is keenly focused on facilitating greater trade and developing Libya as a more attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). Those efforts were informed by a desire to diversity to the extent possible Libya's economy, which was largely dependent on oil and gas. 3. (SBU) Sarkaz said the ministry had focused in the last several years on easing rules governing the establishment of new companies, a subject in which he was personally interested. Of particular concern were efforts to expedite the entry of new foreign investors into the market, including introduction of new laws that would allow foreigners to own 100 per cent of their investment projects in Libya. (Note: Investors are currently required by law to have a Libyan partner; the percentage of the joint venture that must be Libyan-owned varies by sector. End note.). He noted that the minsitry had facilitated the issuance of a law that allows Libyan nationals to invest their own capital in Libya and offers them incentives on par with those offered to foreign investors. (Note: In a hangover from Libya's more revolutionary period, there were until recently tight strictures on the types of economic activities, particularly those related to investment, that Libyan citizens could undertake. End note.) Noting that the ministry was heavily involved in privatization efforts, Sarkaz said the General People's Committees were under instructions to help shift the focus in Libya's economy from the public to the private sector. (Note: In a separate meeting, the Secretary of the GPC for Manpower, Employment and Training recently told us that the GOL was working to reduce the number of public sector employees from one million to 130,000 in the net 3-5 years. End note.) 4. (U) Pointing to the Misurata Free Trade Zone (located east of Tripoli), Sarkaz also discussed efforts to create a law governing free trade zones to help promote Libya as a transit hub between Europe and Africa. Efforts are underway to establish a parallel free trade zone west of Tripoli in the Zwara-Abu-Kammash area, a project headed by Saadi al-Qadhafi, a son of Muammar al-Qadhafi. That project is particularly important since a large percentage of Libya's trade flows across its western border with Tunisia. In addition, Libya was working to develop its port and transport infrastructure to enable it to better capitalize on its long coastline and proximity to south-central Europe. 5. (SBU) Addressing Libya's needs for technical assistance, Sarkaz said there is a great need for Libyan economic experts to visit the U.S. and learn from their American counterparts, particularly with respect to helping grow the small and medium-enterprise sector. Sarkaz also expressed interest in any help the U.S. could provide in helping make the GOL more efficient and eliminate the waste of public funds. He acknowledged that Libya needed to modernize its customs authority, ports authority, tax system and banking system to underpin other reforms the GOL is pursuing. He asked for U.S. assistance in introducing a computerized database to collect and analyze economic data, with the goal of providing up-to-date TRIPOLI 00000901 002 OF 002 statistics to decision-makers and planning advisors. 6. (SBU) Sarkaz noted that negotiations for a U.S.-Libya Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) were underway, and that it was expected to be finalized soon. Williams welcomed the news and underscored U.S. interest in further economic cooperation. STEVENS 2008-11-20 2011-02-01 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tripoli
08TRIPOLI912 LIBYA COMMERCIAL ROUND-UP FOR OCTOBER 2008 OIL AND GAS 1. (U) A New Oil Discovery by Sirte Oil Company: On October 7, Sirte Oil, a state-owned company, announced a new oil discovery in the well A1-NC216A in the Ghadames Basin. The well is located approximately 310 km southwest of Tripoli. The initial production testing established an oil rate of 1,725 barrels per day, and a gas rate of 0.25 million standard cubic feet per day. This well represents the company's first discovery in the block. [noc.com.ly, 10/7/2008] 2. (U) Russian-British Firm TNK-BP Seeks to Develop Major Libyan Oil Field: After a conflict between the oil company's Russian and British shareholders was settled, TNK-BP received the right to compete with BP in international projects. TNK-BP is negotiating to develop Libya's Sarir field, one of the largest oilfields in Libya located about 500 kilometers east of Tripoli in the Sirte Basin. TNK-BP is ready to sell $1bn-$2bn to obtain the status of operator of Libya's Sarir project. The Russian-British oil producer is now in talks with Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) regarding the development of the Sarir field. In September, a delegation of TNK-BP top executives visited the country to hold cooperation talks. However, investment in the Libyan oil project, which may total between $1bn and $7bn, has yet to be approved by TNK-BP's new CEO. [oilandgaseuroasia.com, 10/21/2008] 3. (U) WesternGeco Wins Libyan Seismic Deal: WesternGeco, part of oil field services giant Schlumberger, has won a contract from Russia's Gazprom to gather 3D seismic data on its Ghadames Basin acreage in Libya. WesternGeco says the survey will start in November, with data to be processed in its new processing center in Tripoli. Gazprom was awarded offshore Area 19 in the Libyan third oil and gas exploration licensing round last year. [MEED, 10/22/2008] 4. (U) Fourth Forum and Exhibition of Oil and Gas Technologies: The forum and exhibition took place in Tripoli from October 20 to 23. The event was sponsored by the NOC and organized by the Libyan Oil Institute. 120 international companies operating in the oil and gas industry from 20 countries as well as Libyan oil companies participated in the event. The exhibition aims to contribute to the communication between the parties of the oil and gas industry, and their counterparts in the international oil and gas industry, and to get an access to the latest techniques and methods in exploration, production, maintenance, marketing, and consuming. [noc.com.ly, 10/22/2008] 5. (U) Foster Wheeler confirms Libyan Refinery Deal: The U.S. company Foster Wheeler has been awarded a project management and consultancy contract for the development of a $4 billion, 200,000 barrel a day refinery in Zwara, western Libya. Foster Wheeler says the Zwara refinery is expected to be completed by 2014; producing gasoline, jet fuel and diesel. The client is Zwara Oil Refining Company (Zorco), a project company in which Libya's state-run Tamoil Africa Holdings has the equity. Foster Wheeler says its contract includes the refinery configuration, the selection of the licensors and the front-end engineering and design (FEED) phase, including preparation of a cost estimate. The firm will also prepare the tender documents for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) phase, assist Zorco in selecting the EPC contractor and act as project management consultant during construction. The refinery, located near the Tunisian border, will boost the country's refinery capacity to nearly 600,000 barrels a day. [MEED, 10/30/2008] CONSTRUCTION 6. (U) Al Maabar Plans $11.5 billion Investments: Abu Dhabi-based Al Maabar International Investments has lined up overseas investments worth $11.5 billion over 10 years. The investments will be in real estate projects in Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, Qatar, Belarus and Jordan. The projects in Libya and Morocco are to be immediately funded. The rest of the projects are long-term; they are now either under initial master plan or are going into detail design. [gulfnews.com, 10/5/2008] 7. (U) Hill Signs $42 million Libya University Project: U.S. company Hill International has signed a $42 million contract to provide construction supervision services at a university expansion project in Tripoli. The 21-month contract from the Libyan Organization for the Development of Administrative Centers is part of a $2 billion expansion of Al Fateh University, Libya's largest institute of higher education. Under a 2007 agreement, Hill already provides project management services for the expansion, which will add 17.9 million square feet of space to 39 buildings. [njbiz.com, 10/12/2008] 8. (U) Libyan Iron Steel Company Signed a Contract to Establish a New Factory for Iron Bars Industry: Libyan Iron Steel Company (LISCO) signed a contract to establish a new factory for iron bars with a production capacity of 800,000 tons a year and at a cost of $240 million. After completion of the project, the total production will reach 1.8 million tons against 500 tons a year in 2007. LISCO has signed contracts with specialized Italian companies to get this project executed. The project is expected to be finished in about 30 months. [MEsteel.com, 10/19/2008] 9. (U) ESDF, Asamer Launch First Concrete Plant: Libyan Cement Manufacturing Joint Venture Company (JLCC), a joint venture between the Economic Social Development Fund (ESDF) and the Austrian Asamer Group Company, launched the first concrete plant in Tajura. The Tajura concrete plant is the company's second big project launched in Libya. The first one was the cement plant in Benghazi with a minimal capacity of three million tones of cement. [Tripoli Post, 10/19/2008] 10. (U) Turkey's Floating Fair Carries Machinery and Construction Industry to North Africa: Floating Fair Bluexpo's journey included four important trade centers of North Africa; Alexandria in Egypt, Tripoli in Libya, Tunis in Tunisia, and Algiers in Algeria. About 3,500 sector professionals visited the fair located in two ferries; the exhibition involved 150 businesspeople from Turkey who came to Libya under the umbrella of the Turkish Contractors Association. Bluexpo North Africa Construction project aims to provide business opportunities to Turkish companies supplying service and materials in infrastructure and building industries, which have an investment priority in the North African countries. [adg.com, 10/20/2008] REGIONAL ISSUES 11. (U) More Cooperation in Electricity: Egypt and Libya agreed on boosting joint cooperation in electricity production. The agreement was reached at a meeting between Egypt's Holding Company for Electrifying Egypt and a visiting delegation of the Libyan electricity authority. The two sides reached an agreement on Libya's contribution in implementing a power generation plant in southern Giza area at a total capacity expected to reach 1,300 megawatts. The plant will start operation in 2012. It was also agreed that Libya will contribute to other electricity projects in Egypt. [ANSAmed, 10/1/2008] 12. (U) U.S. Opens Trade Office in Libya: on October 5, the American Commercial Service Office was opened in Tripoli to take part in promotion of the economic cooperation among the different Libyan and American institutions. Libyan officials and businessmen from both countries attended the office's opening. The American Assistant Secretary of Commerce underlined the importance of this office to strengthen economic and commercial ties between both countries, clarifying that the office is a good move to boost cooperation and bilateral commercial exchange. The Under Secretary of the General People's Committee for Economy, Trade and Investment said that this office will be a means to provide the institutions and companies with sufficient information about commercial and economic laws and legislations applied in both countries; provide the commercial information required by the American companies that have the desire to execute projects in Great Jamahiriya; and to provide the American investors with information about the Libyan markets and their needs. [ljbc.com, 10/7/2008] 13. (U) Libya Maritime Exhibition and Conference: The Libya Maritime Exhibition and Conference (LIMEX 2008) was held at the naval base in Tripoli from October 13 to 15. It showcased the latest maritime technology by bringing together key industry, government and defense personnel from Libya and Overseas. [ljbc, 10/16/2008] 14. (U) Finance Ministers and Central Banks Governors to Discuss Global Financial Crisis on African Economy: The African Development Bank called on African Union finance ministers and governors of Central Banks to meet November 12, to discuss repercussions of the global financial crisis on African economy. The conference aims at taking a unified stance amongst African Union member states in confronting the global financial crisis, the bank said in a statement issued in Tunis. The statement also said the African Development Bank and the African Union Commission affirm that Africa's voice would be heard during discussions on the reform of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund following the financial collapse of the capitalist system. [ljbc, 10/26/2008] IT 15. (U) Libyans Take to the Mobile Web: BuzzCity, which provides global wireless communities and consumer services, has published the Global Mobile Advertising Index, which shows the growing use of the mobile Internet and the ensuing advertiser interest. BuzzCity reports continued growth in Indonesia, which remains in top position despite network irregularities, as well as significant growth in Kenya, USA and Bangladesh. BuzzCity also reports record growth for demand of its service in Libya, which it says will surprise both the global mobile community and digital advertising industries. Only six months ago Libya was in 93rd position. BuzzCity says the growth is likely to be directly linked with changes in mobile operator business models, offering affordable and understandable mobile data packages. [mobilemarketingmagazine.co.uk, 10/14/2008] INVESTMENT 16. (U) Libyan Investment Projects Increase: Resources in the Board of Encouraging Investment mentioned that the size of investment increased from $200 million in 2003 to $2.157 billion in the first half of year 2008. The increase is varied in the size of investment from one year to another and the year 2007 recorded the highest development average. It created ten thousand opportunities of jobs to the national elements. The projects were increased by a value of $1.5 billion in comparison to $720 million in 2007. The number of investment projects that entered the operations in the first half of this year provided 2,267 opportunities of employment for Libyans. [libyaninvestment.com, 10/22/2008] 17. (U) Libya Eyes European, U.S. Equities: The Libyan Investment Authority is looking to invest $65 billion in European and U.S. equities to diversify its portfolio after recent market declines. "We want to diversify, number one in Europe, number two in the United States, and then in emerging market economies," said Farhat Bin Guidara, Governor of the Central Bank of Libya and a member of the board of the state's investment authority. "We are going more towards pharmaceuticals, telecoms, utilities and food manufacturing," he told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Cairo. [Reuters, 10/24/2008] BANKING 18. (U) Libya Buys 4.23% Stake in UniCredit: The Central Bank of Libya, the Libyan Investment Authority and the Libyan Foreign Bank acquired a combined 4.23% stake in Italian bank UniCredit SpA (UCG.MI). According to UniCredit's spokesman, the acquisition by Libyan interests is "friendly." The stake initially held by Libyan interests in the Italian bank was 0.87%, the UniCredit spokesman said, with the rest being purchased over the last few days. UniCredit shares have had hardly any relief from selling and have lost 30% since the bank announced its funding plans on October 5. Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi said he is concerned sovereign wealth funds from oil-producing countries could launch a hostile takeover for Italian companies, given their low valuations after the recent sharp fall in the stock markets. [libyaninvestment.com, 10/19/2008] 19. (U) Egypt's Naeem Wins Approval to Open in Libya: Naeem Holding, Egypt's second-largest publicly traded investment bank, said on Sunday it had won approval to open a representative office in Libya. The bank did not say when it would open the office in a statement on the stock exchange website. A company spokesman said he could not immediately give further details. Naeem, which operates in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, said in May it planned to reduce the proportion of its revenue from Egypt to between 35 percent and 40 percent from 70 percent within two years. [Reuters, 10/27/2008] AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY 20. (U) Zhongxing Auto to Export 5,000 Pick-ups to Libya: Hebei Zhongxing Automobile Co., Ltd., an expert of pick-up trucks and SUVs in North China, clinched an agreement with Libya on October 20, 2008 on exporting 5,000 pick-ups. The Hebei-based carmaker exported 4,000 cars to the North African country in 2003 and those products used by government organs and social organizations won excellent public praise in the country for the company, laying a strong foundation for the big order this time. The order of 5,000 pick-ups accounts for 40%-50% of the market demand for 10,000-12,000 such cars in Libya this year. The company expects to sell 35,000 to 40,000 cars this year, with a yearly increase of 15% to 20%. [tmcnet.com, 10/23/2008] LABOR 21. (U) Libya to Recruit Large Number of Bangladeshi Laborers: Libya signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh to recruit a large number of workers as Tripoli launched a $130 billion infrastructure development program that will require over one million foreign workers. The MoU was signed by the Bangladesh Foreign Adviser, Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury and the Libyan Labor Minister Maa'touq Mohammed Maa'touq. Under the five-year development program, Libya will construct 300,000 housing units, 27 university complexes, over 10,000 kilometer roads and maintain 24,000 kilometer roads. Presently, some 25,000 Bangladeshi are employed in Libya. The Libyan minister did not give the exact number of Bangladeshi workers they will recruit but said they issued 6,000 visas for Bangladeshi workers last month. [thedailystar.com, 10/31/2008] STEVENS 2008-11-25 2011-02-01 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tripoli
08TRIPOLI917 HEAD OF LIBYA'S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD: U.S.-LIBYA RELATIONS NOT JUST ABOUT OIL REF: TRIPOLI 227 2008-11-26 2011-02-01 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
08TRIPOLI919 NEA/MAG DIRECTOR DISCUSSES HUMAN RIGHTS AND LIFG NEGOTIATIONS WITH QADHAFI DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION REF: A) TRIPOLI 819, B) TRIPOLI 472, C) TRIPOLI 280, D) TRIPOLI 577 2008-11-26 2011-02-01 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
08TRIPOLI921 LIBYA SEEKS TO DOWNPLAY TRIBAL VIOLENCE IN KUFRA 2008-11-30 2011-02-01 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
08MOSCOW3297 2008-11-13 2011-01-31 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow
08KABUL3025 KUNDUZ GOVERNOR NERVOUS AS SECURITY TRENDS NEGATIVE 2008-11-20 2011-01-25 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Kabul
08THEHAGUE938 NETHERLANDS/IRAN: FATF STATEMENT PREACHES TO THE 2008-11-07 2011-01-19 SECRET Embassy The Hague
08MOSCOW3394 2008-11-24 2011-01-18 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow
08REYKJAVIK256 Iceland's Financial Crisis: The Russia Angle 2008-11-03 2011-01-13 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Reykjavik
08REYKJAVIK258 ICELAND: PRIME MINISTER CONGRATULATES PRESIDENT-ELECT 2008-11-05 2011-01-13 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Reykjavik
08REYKJAVIK263 ICELAND: CAN THIS COALITION BE SAVED? 2008-11-10 2011-01-13 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Reykjavik
08REYKJAVIK264 Iceland's economic troubles: Implications for the defense 2008-11-10 2011-01-13 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Reykjavik
08REYKJAVIK267 ICELAND: IT WON'T BE THE BEST PLACE TO LIVE ANYMORE 2008-11-14 2011-01-13 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Reykjavik
08REYKJAVIK269 ICELAND: MFA SLASHES BUDGET, WILL REPLACE AMBASSADOR TO 2008-11-14 2011-01-13 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Reykjavik
08REYKJAVIK270 ICELAND REACHES AGREEMENT ON ICESAVE, OPENING DOOR FOR IMF 2008-11-17 2011-01-13 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Reykjavik
08REYKJAVIK275 ICELAND: CONSIDERING RESPONSE TO PROPOSAL FOR TERRORIST 2008-11-25 2011-01-13 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Reykjavik
08BRASILIA1477 2008-11-13 2010-12-23 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Brasilia
08BOGOTA4083 COLOMBIAN COUNTERPROPOSAL TO U.S. DEFENSE 2008-11-12 2010-12-18 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Bogota
08PANAMA851 ROUGH WATER FOR CANAL EXPANSION 2008-11-06 2010-12-18 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Panama
08SANJOSE882 GOCR FEARS THAT LAX ECUADOR VISA POLICY IS FUELING 2008-11-12 2010-12-17 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy San Jose
08NEWDELHI3025 MUMBAI TERROR ATTACKS: GOI HEADS BEGIN TO ROLL 2008-11-30 2010-12-16 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy New Delhi
08ASMARA543 BIO NOTES ON ERITREAN PRESIDENT ISAIAS AFWERKI 2008-11-12 2010-12-15 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Asmara
08ASMARA546 ARREST, INTERROGATION, AND TORTURE OF 2008-11-12 2010-12-15 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Asmara
08BANGKOK3317 PALACE INSIDER TELLS AMBASSADOR OF THE KING’S 2008-11-06 2010-12-14 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Bangkok
08STOCKHOLM748 2008-11-07 2010-12-14 SECRET Embassy Stockholm
08STOCKHOLM781 2008-11-20 2010-12-14 SECRET Embassy Stockholm
08KIGALI796 SENIOR RWANDAN OFFICIAL ARRESTED IN GERMANY 2008-11-10 2010-12-09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kigali
08HARARE1016 REGIME ELITES LOOTING DEADLY DIAMOND FIELD 2008-11-12 2010-12-08 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
08STATE116943 DIPLOMATIC SECURITY DAILY 2008-11-03 2010-12-04 SECRET//NOFORN Secretary of State
08LAPAZ2458 BOLIVIA: BEFORE U.S. VISIT, EVO LASHES OUT 2008-11-18 2010-12-03 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy La Paz
08RPODUBAI56 TEHRAN-BASED UN OFFICIALS CONVEY IRIG INTEREST IN 2008-11-26 2010-12-03 SECRET//NOFORN Iran RPO Dubai
08OSLO629 NORWAY CHOOSES THE F-35 2008-11-25 2010-12-03 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Oslo
08KABUL3030 POLITICAL AND SECURITY SITUATION IN HELMAND: 2008-11-22 2010-12-02 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kabul
08LONDON2964 AFGHANISTAN: PRESIDENT KARZAI NOT CONFIDENT ON 2008-11-28 2010-12-02 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy London
08ROME1386 BERLUSCONI’S COMMENTS ON MISSILE DEFENSE AND KOSOVO CREATE FIRESTORM IN ITALY 2008-11-13 2010-12-02 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Rome
08ROME1406 SCENESETTER FOR YOUR DECEMBER 3 VISIT TO ROME 2008-11-19 2010-12-02 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Rome
08MOSCOW3343 MEDVEDEV’S ADDRESS AND TANDEM POLITICS 2008-11-19 2010-12-01 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow
08KYIV2294 UKRAINE: FIRTASH USES CRISIS TO EXPAND INTO BANKING 2008-11-21 2010-12-01 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
08MOSCOW3380 C) OIL TRADERS: PIPELINE EXPORTS TO EUROPE STILL 2008-11-24 2010-12-01 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow
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