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Reference ID Subject Created Released Classification Origin
07LONDON4328 C/NF) UK SHARES U.S. GOALS ON IRAN; WE SHOULD RE-FOCUS UK DOMESTIC EFFORTS AND INCREASE COORDINATION REF: A. STATE 156409 B. STATE 157039 LONDON 00004328 001.2 OF 006 2007-11-21 2011-02-02 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy London
07BRUSSELS3423 IRAN DESIGNATIONS: EU NEEDS GREATER SENSE OF URGENCY REF: A. SECSTATE 160808 B. BRUSSELS 3137 2007-11-29 2011-02-02 CONFIDENTIAL USEU Brussels
08LONDON1352 IRANIAN BANKING IN LONDON: UK PLANS AND CONCERNS 2008-05-14 2011-02-02 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy London
08LONDON1586 U/S JEFFERY AND A/S O’BRIEN PRESS UK ON IRANIAN 2008-06-09 2011-02-02 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy London
08STATE98975 URGING COALITION ALLIES TO APPROACH BEIJING ON CHINESE PROLIFERATION 2008-09-16 2011-02-02 SECRET Secretary of State
09BRUSSELS537 IRAN SANCTIONS: AA/S GLASER CONSULTS KEY AMBASSADORS IN BRUSSELS REF: A. BRUSSELS 205 B. BRUSSELS 41 C. 2008 BRUSSELS 1468 D. BRUSSELS 101 2009-04-08 2011-02-02 SECRET//NOFORN USEU Brussels
09STATE52348 IRISL CONTINUING EVASIVE ACTIVITIES IN MALTA 2009-05-21 2011-02-02 SECRET Secretary of State
09LONDON1310 2009-06-02 2011-02-02 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy London
09LONDON1750 S) TREASURY A/S COHEN URGES UK TO TAKE IRAN SANCTIONS; PRESS INTERPAL 2009-07-30 2011-02-02 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy London
10STATE16219 IRISL'S UNINSURED FLEET AND EVASIVE ACTIONS NECESSITATE DENIAL OF PORT ENTRY WORLDWIDE 2010-02-23 2011-02-02 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Secretary of State
10STATE16220 IRISL'S UNINSURED FLEET AND EVASIVE ACTIONS NECESSITATE DENIAL OF PORT ENTRY WORLDWIDE 2010-02-23 2011-02-02 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Secretary of State
07COLOMBO1506 SRI LANKA: DELIVERY OF FATF GUIDANCE REGARDING IRAN REF: A. SECSTATE 149648 B. COLOMBO 1439 C. COLOMBO 1307 Classified By: Charge d'Affaires James R. Moore for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 2007-11-02 2011-02-01 SECRET Embassy Colombo
08TRIPOLI584 LIBYAN FOREIGN BANK - PRIMED FOR EXPANSION REF: A) GODFREY-MCKEEHAN EMAIL 7/15/2008, B) TRIPOLI 214, C) TRIPOLI 230, D) TRIPOLI 126, E) TRIPOLI 199, F) TRIPOLI 227 CLASSIFIED BY: John T. Godfrey, CDA, U.S. Embassy - Tripoli, Dept of State. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d) 1. (C) Summary: The Libyan Foreign Bank (LFB), Libya's longtime conduit for international trade, is pursuing a substantial program of expansion involving a ten-fold increase in its capitalization and creation of an onshore bank. Its chairman is aggressively seeking new investment opportunities in Africa and beyond, and is contemplating whether and how to get into the U.S. market. The LFB recently doubled its capitalization of Bahrain-based Alubaf Bank, of which it has a 95 percent share. Regarding much-anticipated GOL reform initiatives, the LFB's Chairman expects a reprise of past efforts that featured form over substance. End Summary. 2. (SBU) CDA and Econoff met with Dr. Mohammed Abdullah Bayt Almal, Chairman of the Libyan Foreign Bank (formerly known as the Libyan Arab Foreign Bank) on July 16 to discuss recent changes at the LFB and its plans for the future. Established in 1972 as an offshore bank, the LFG has been Libya's leading institution for transactions essential to the conduct of international trade (issuing letters of credit, providing currency exchange services, etc.). The LFB has historically been the only Libyan bank that handled foreign currency accounts; Bayt Almal confirmed that it still does not possess any Libyan dinar-denominated accounts. ALUBAF BANK 3. (C) CDA asked about press reports detailing recent initiatives made by Bahrain-based Alubaf Arab International Bank. Bayt Almal confirmed that a proposal to double Alubaf's capital to $100 million and to appoint Bayt Almal to the Board of Directors were approved by shareholders in a meeting on July 9. He offered that Alubaf Bank nearly collapsed after a significant number of Iraqi-owned accounts were closed in 2003, but said the bank had since rebounded. He confirmed that the LFB owns a 95% share of Alubaf's Bahrain branch and 100% of its branch in Tunisia (ref A). Libya's Central Bank owns 100% of LFB, and is therefore the ultimate owner of Alubaf. DIVERSIFIED & SEEKING A PRESENCE IN THE U.S. 4. (SBU) The LFB's foreign interests are diverse and growing. It currently has "participation" (i.e., interests) in thirty-seven foreign entities located in twenty countries, from Mexico to China. Most of its interests are focused in sub-Saharan Africa, including every country in the Maghreb except Morocco. Bayt Almal estimated the LFB's current capital at $1 billion, with assets in excess of $21 billion worldwide. We had heard and reported previously that all Libyan government and financial institutions had divested themselves of holdings and accounts in the U.S. in response to potential seizure of assets under Section 1083 of the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act (the so-called Lautenberg Amendment. According to Bayt Almal, the LFB continues to hold U.S. dollar accounts and - despite efforts by the Libyan Investment Authority and other Libyan government entities to limit their exposure in the U.S. (ref B) - is actively exploring the possibility of establishing a "strategic partnership" with a major U.S. bank and investing in a U.S.-based bank. LAND HO: MOVING ONSHORE 5. (SBU) Bayt Almal said that the LFB planned to open an onshore bank in Libya soon, contingent on approval by its parent institution, the Central Bank (CB). A plan currently before CB Governor Farhat Ben Gdara calls for a ten-fold expansion of the LFB's capital, from $1 billion to $10 billion. Conceding that LFB had aimed high, Bayt Almal said he would be happy with $6-7 billion, and expected to get it. Part of the justification for expanded capitalization involves establishing an onshore entity, which would allow LFB to diversify the range of products it offers in the Libyan market. With the continuing reform of the Libyan banking system, to include the purchase of stakes in Libyan banks by foreign entities (refs C, D), the LFB wants to ensure that it will remain competitive. It intends to inaugurate risk management and asset management services, which would both be entirely new service lines for the bank. (Note: Risk management and asset management are areas CB Governor Ben Gdara told us are most in need of help. End note.) In anticipation of this step, the LFB has expanded its training TRIPOLI 00000584 002 OF 002 efforts, sending employees abroad for hands-on training at partner institutions in Europe (Britain, France, Belgium, and Germany) and the Middle East (Jordan and the UAE). Bayt Almal cited a dearth of trained employees as one of the biggest stumbling blocks to banking reform in Libya. AL-QADHAFI'S PROPOSED GOVERNMENT REFORMS - "FORM OVER SUBSTANCE" 6. (C) Responding to a question about expected privatization and government restructuring stemming from Muammar al-Qadhafi's dramatic speech to the General People's Congress on March 2 (refs E, F), Bayt Almal wearily noted that Libya had "been through this before". He referred to his own experience in 2000, when the Libyan Cabinet underwent wholesale changes, leaving only Bayt Almal (then the Finance Minister) and the Foreign Minister in a "Prime Minister-plus two" formulation. During that round of reform, other ministries were re-labeled as "Haya" (translated as "institution" or "entity"). Despite the semantics, the old structures were essentially left in place. Bayt Almal expected a similar outcome at the end of the current reform exercise. He predicted that foreign affairs, defense, finance and the security services would be left intact in their current guises as "sovereign ministries" that would report directly to the Prime Minister-equivalent, a formulation al-Qadhafi himself hinted at in his March 2 address. 7. (C) Biographical Note: Bayt Almal was born in Egypt in 1948 and spent his childhood in Benghazi, despite the fact that his family originally hails from Misurata. He spent 1970-1978 in U.S., where he obtained an MA in accounting (in Muncie, Indiana) and PhD (at the University of Kentucky in Lexington) in finance. He then returned to Libya, where taught accounting at Garyounis University in Benghazi before serving as Secretary of Finance (1992-2000) and Auditor General (2003-2005). Various sources report that he served a three-year prison sentence in 2000-2003 in connection with an embezzlement case in Benghazi (Emboffs were not able to corroborate this story during their office call). Bayt Almal was married in 1970 while in the U.S., and he has seven daughters (two of them AmCits by birth), all of whom currently reside in/around Misurata. End biographical note. GODFREY 2008-07-21 2011-02-01 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
08TRIPOLI741 MINISTER OF ECONOMY POSITIVE ON BILATERAL ENGAGEMENT, CONCERNED ABOUT DOMESTIC REFORM PLANS TRIPOLI 00000741 001.2 OF 002 CLASSIFIED BY: Chris Stevens, Charge d'affaires, U.S. Embassy Tripoli. REASON: 1.4 (d) 1. (C) Summary: During a September 16 meeting, Dr. Ali al-Issawy, the Secretary of the General People's Committee for the Economy, Trade and Industry (equivalent of minister of economy and trade) told the CDA that he looked forward to the visit of Assistant Secretary of Commerce Israel Hernandez in October, and to finalizing the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement. Commenting on GOL plans to distribute oil revenues directly to the public and to privatize Libya's public sector, al-Issawy expressed concern about the impact on prices and the Libyan work ethic. Al-Issawy said he was interested in pairing U.S. and Libyan universities, and requested U.S. experts visit Libya to advise on the mortgage market. End summary. WELCOMING A/S HERNANDEZ 2. (SBU) Minister al-Issawy said he looked forward to the planned visit of Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, Israel Hernandez in October. CDA, introducing the Embassy's new FCS officer, said the visit was intended to highlight the growing commercial relationship between the two countries, and to open the Embassy's U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service office. TIFA: WAITING FOR THE END OF RAMADAN 3. (SBU) Al-Issawy said he looked forward to finalizing the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). He suggested that his staff work directly with Embassy staff (in coordination with USTR) to finalize the agreement. He preferred to wait until after Ramadan to meet and go over any remaining points in the text. (Note: Embassy had previously sent the latest USTR-cleared draft to the ministry's lead negotiator, Mr. Dia Hammouda and his team). PLANS IN PROGRESS ON OIL WEALTH DISTRIBUTION 4. (C) Referring to Muammar al-Qadhafi's recent national day speech, the CDA asked about plans to distribute Libya's oil revenue directly to the public. The Minister expressed concern about inflation, noting they could not simply hand out cash. It would be preferable to distribute a combination of cash, securities and shares. He said the final decision on a framework for the distribution was not yet finished. Once the plan was finished, he believed it would be presented to the General People's Congress for final approval. "LIBYA HAS A CULTURE OF RENT, NOT WORK" 5. (C) Minister al-Issawy commented that some Libyans were already dreaming about using the money they will eventually receive to live in Tunisia or Malta (two favorite nearby holiday destinations). He added some students are already wondering about the utility of studying because they think they won't need to find jobs once the wealth distribution program starts. He attributed these attitudes to what he called Libya's "culture of rent" as opposed to a "culture of work." 6. (C) On the other hand, the Minister noted a wealth distribution plan could smooth the way for greater liberalization of the economy, especially in terms of lifting price controls and doing away with subsidies. His thinking was that if people have more disposable income, they will be able to afford unsubsidized goods. When asked when the program would start, he said teams were working "day and night" to finalize the wealth distribution program and the related privatization plans. MOVING AHEAD ON PRIVATIZATION AND LOOKING FOR U.S. PARTNERS IN HIGHER EDUCATION 7. (SBU) Minister al-Issawy said plans for privatizing key sectors of the economy, including health, education, utilities, and transportation were almost finished. The CDA said he had heard concerns from Libyans that they would be negatively affected by privatizing health and education, in particular. The Minister agreed these were the sectors that worried people the most. 8. (SBU) On higher education, in particular, the Minister said they were interested in joint ventures with U.S. universities, such as MIT. The CDA told him the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had raised a similar idea. He noted there were many models in the region for such collaboration, including in Dubai, Qatar, and Morocco. The CDA said the Embassy would provide him with more information on these partnerships. .AND ALSO LOOKING TO LEARN FROM THE U.S. MORTGAGE CRISIS TRIPOLI 00000741 002.2 OF 002 9. (SBU) The Minister also asked if the Embassy could provide an expert to speak about the mortgage situation in the U.S. since Libya plans to privatize the housing sector and make loans more broadly available to potential home-owners. He mentioned Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The CDA said he would look into potential U.S. experts to engage with the GOL. STEVENS 2008-09-19 2011-02-01 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
08TRIPOLI827 2008-10-17 2011-02-01 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
08TRIPOLI856 LIBYA'S CENTRAL BANK CONTINUES FINANCIAL SECTOR MODERNIZATION EFFORTS REF: A) TRIPOLI 827 , B) TRIPOLI 842 1. (SBU) Summary: Libya's Central Bank Governor briefed a visiting U.S. trade expert and Emboffs on efforts by the Government of Libya (GOL) to modernize the financial sector, in part to attract greater foreign direct investment in non hydrocarbon sectors. Libya is working with international organizations to improve financial sector transparency, plans to bring international credit rating agencies to Libya to assess Libyan financial instruments and its fledgling stock market, and is working to improve basic banking supervision and operations. Libya plans to sell Certificates of Deposit (CD's) to banks and eventually directly to the public, and is in the process of training banking officials in loan risk assessment as part of an effort to broaden lending to small and medium sized enterprises (SME's). End summary. 2. (SBU) On October 13, Public Affairs-sponsored speaker Bruce Stokes, a trade and economic specialist with the National Journal, met with Libyan Central Bank (CB) Governor Farhat Omar Bengadara. Stokes was accompanied by the CDA, PAO, Econoff and PA Assistant. Bengadara discussed, inter alia, a financial sector reform program that comprises encouraging financial market operations - including modernizing Libya's stock market and selling CD's to banks and the general public - and modernizing Libya's banking practices and the CB itself. (Note: See reftels for details on Libya's response to the global financial crisis and Bengadara's views on Muammar al-Qadhafi's proposals for government restructuring and privatization. End note.) 3. (U) Stressing the negative impact of sanctions-era isolation on Libya's banking sector and the need for technical banking assistance, Bengadara said the CB is also working actively with the World Bank, IMF and McKinsey (with whom it has a consulting contract) to improve Libya's banking and financial sector. The overarching goal is to help create a better functioning, more transparent financial sector to make Libya a more attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). Noting that there was plenty of interest in oil and gas exploration and production, which benefitted from well-organized investment under the auspices of the National Oil Corporation's Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement scheme, Bengadara stressed that the CB's efforts were targeted at securing FDI in non-hydrocarbon sectors such as agriculture and tourism. There was also room for more FDI in downstream hydrocarbon industries such as petrochemical production and refining (Libya imports most of its gasoline from Italian refineries). Echoing a line we've heard from other senior GOL officials, he said Libya - with its strategic location, long shoreline and multiple port facilities - wanted to become a regional center for travel, banking and investment akin to Dubai. 4. (U) As part of the program to sell CD's, the CB is working to facilitate visits by rating agencies Moody's and Standard and Poor in an effort to secure credible ratings of GOL financial instruments and as assessment of the fledgling stock market. The CB is also interested in improving greater overall transparency in the Libyan economy; Bengadara and his team have been involved in ongoing discussions with international groups working on this issue. Specific areas of discussion included infrastructure development, tax reform and streamlining visa issuances for foreign businesspeople. 5. (SBU) Bengadara said the CB is also focused in efforts to improve basic banking supervision and operations. The CB has two external advisors who oversee a credit risk initiative to train banking officials in analyzing loan applications from small- and medium-sized enterprises, although the retail banking sector is still very limited. In broader terms, Libya views itself as being more akin to Saudi Arabia than the UAE, in the sense that the UAE has fewer oil and gas resources and therefore depends to a greater degree on FDI. Like Saudi Arabia, Libya's considerable hydrocarbon resources afford it more cushion and make it less dependent on FDI; however, Bengadara is trying to encourage GOL officials to take a longer-term view of FDI as a means by which to help diversify Libya's oil-dependent economy. STEVENS 2008-10-30 2011-02-01 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY 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
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
09TRIPOLI40 LIBYA POSTPONES GENERAL PEOPLE'S CONGRESS, WALKS BACK FROM WEALTH DISTRIBUTION AND PRIVATIZATION PLANS 2009-01-22 2011-02-01 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
09TRIPOLI63 2009-01-28 2011-02-01 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
09TRIPOLI64 AL-QADHAFI: THE PHILOSOPHER-KING KEEPS HIS HAND IN 2009-01-28 2011-02-01 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
09TRIPOLI71 AL-QADHAFI'S FEINT: LIBYAN OIL NATIONALIZATION UNLIKELY REF: A) 08 TRIPOLI 474, B) 08 TRIPOLI 498, C) 08 TRIPOLI 563, D) 08 TRIPOLI 597, E) TRIPOLI 40 TRIPOLI 00000071 001.2 OF 003 2009-01-30 2011-02-01 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
09TRIPOLI151 2009-02-16 2011-02-01 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tripoli
08TRIPOLI12 GOL TELLS IRANIAN VP IT OPPOSES IRAN RESOLUTION, SHARES 2008-01-09 2011-01-31 SECRET Embassy Tripoli
08TRIPOLI126 WAHDA BANK PRIVATIZATION BID WON BY JORDAN-BASED ARAB BANK 2008-02-18 2011-01-31 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tripoli
08LONDON592 UK TO DESIGNATE THREE MEMBERS OF LIBYAN ISLAMIC 2008-02-26 2011-01-31 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy London
08TRIPOLI214 GOL STILL BRISTLING OVER VICTIMS OF TERRORISM LEGISLATION, UTA JUDGMENT REF: A) TRIPOLI 199, B) TRIPOLI 149 (EXDIS) TRIPOLI 00000214 001.2 OF 002 2008-03-12 2011-01-31 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
08TRIPOLI227 BACK TO THE FUTURE? QADHAFI CALLS FOR DRAMATIC SOCIO-ECONOMIC CHANGE IN GPC SPEECH REF: TRIPOLI 166 TRIPOLI 00000227 001.2 OF 005 2008-03-17 2011-01-31 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
08TRIPOLI230 LIBYA MAKES PROGRESS ON BANKING REFORM REF: TRIPOLI 126 2008-03-17 2011-01-31 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
08TRIPOLI231 LIBYA'S CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR ON IRAN BANKING MOU REF: TRIPOLI 0012 2008-03-17 2011-01-31 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
09TRIPOLI221 2009-03-14 2011-01-31 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tripoli
09TRIPOLI242 2009-03-19 2011-01-31 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
09TRIPOLI258 2009-03-29 2011-01-31 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
09TRIPOLI274 2009-04-02 2011-01-31 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
09TRIPOLI289 CATERPILLAR EDGING CLOSER TO LIFTING OF BAN? REF: A) TRIPOLI 258; B) TRIPOLI 157 CLASSIFIED BY: Gene Cretz, Ambassador, U.S. Embassy Tripoli, U.S. Department of State. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d) 2009-04-08 2011-01-31 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
09TRIPOLI306 2009-04-15 2011-01-31 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tripoli
09TRIPOLI320 TRIPOLI RESPONSE TO FY09 PROHIBITION ON ASSISTANCE TO CENTRAL GOVERNMENTS WHOSE BUDGETS ARE NOT TRANSPARENT REF: STATE 00028885 (SBU) This is a response to the request for information on the transparency of Libya's budget. Replies are keyed to reftel: -Is the central government expected to receive or is it already receiving U.S. foreign assistance funding using FY 09 funds? Answer: Yes. -Is the host country's budget publicly available? Answer: Libya's overall budget figures are available online and in print media, mainly in official news articles with quotes from government officials. However, more precise budget details, such as expenditures by sector, are not readily available. -Are incomes and expenditures included in the publicly-available budget? Answer: The overall expenditures are included in the publicly-available budget information. -What is post's assessment of the extent to which the publicly-available budget accurately reflects actual government incomes and expenditures? -Answer: The publicly-available budget accurately reflects actual government incomes and expenditures to the best of our knowledge. Transparency of government budgeting and spending remains an issue for the Libyan government, which is reputed to suffer from corruption and inefficiency. STEVENS 2009-04-22 2011-01-31 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tripoli
09TRIPOLI386 2009-05-11 2011-01-31 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
09TRIPOLI413 2009-05-21 2011-01-31 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
09TRIPOLI438 2009-06-04 2011-01-31 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Tripoli
09TRIPOLI517 2009-07-01 2011-01-31 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
09TRIPOLI540 TRIPOLI: INTERIM RESPONSE TO DEMARCHE REQUEST - OPPOSITION TO THE ITSO DIRECTOR GENERAL'S PUSH FOR AUTHORITY TO INITIATE ARBITRATION AGAINST THE US GOVERNMENT REF: STATE 68508 2009-07-08 2011-01-31 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tripoli
09TRIPOLI619 2009-08-03 2011-01-31 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Tripoli
09TRIPOLI620 2009-08-03 2011-01-31 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
09TRIPOLI658 2009-08-12 2011-01-31 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
09TRIPOLI705 RATS BE GONE: UK PEST ERADICATION FIRM RENTOKIL EXPANDING IN LIBYA REF: 08 TRIPOLI 635 TRIPOLI 00000705 001.2 OF 002 2009-08-30 2011-01-31 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
09TRIPOLI741 2009-09-15 2011-01-31 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
09TRIPOLI778 LIBYAN SOVEREIGN WEALTH FUND AGREES TO BUY CANADIAN OIL FIRM VERENEX REF: A) TRIPOLI 148; B) TRIPOLI 517 TRIPOLI 00000778 001.2 OF 002 2009-10-01 2011-01-31 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
09TRIPOLI779 LIBYA NAMES ALI SUGHEIR NEW CHAIRMAN OF NATIONAL OIL COMPANY REF: TRIPOLI 765 2009-10-01 2011-01-31 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tripoli
09TRIPOLI825 LIBYAN NATIONAL OIL COMPANY CHAIR CONFIRMS ACTING STATUS, PLEDGES CONTINUITY REF: A) TRIPOLI 779; B) TRIPOLI 765; C) TRIPOLI 775; D) TRIPOLI 778 TRIPOLI 00000825 001.2 OF 002 2009-10-18 2011-01-31 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
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