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IO/HS FOR ROBERT DOWNES USUN NEW YORK FOR MARY MCLEOD
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: PREL, EAID, ECON SUBJECT: EGYPTIAN AMBASSASDOR MISREPRESENTS SUPPORT FOR U.S. CANDIDATE TO HEAD AN INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION
REF: A. A) 09 UN ROME 63 B. B) 09 STATE 115214 C. C) 09 UN ROME 42
1. (SBU) USUN Rome Ambassador Cousin sought clarification from Egyptian Ambassador Ashraf Rashed during a January 14 meeting regarding his misrepresentation of GOE intentions to support the official USG candidate, Thomas McInerney, in the election for Director General of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO). Despite assuring Ambassador Cousin twice verbally (in the presence of other Mission staff) before the election that Egypt would support McInerney's candidacy, Rashed now claims with a straight face that he never made such assurances. End Summary.
IDLO DG Election Results
2. (SBU) Despite tremendous effort by Washington colleagues, U.S. embassy officers in IDLO member state capitals, and USUN Rome to support McInerney, the Italian candidate for the IDLO DG position won the November 25 election in a narrow victory on a third ballot. Informal vote counts immediately prior to the election based on input and analysis from discussions in Rome, Washington and relevant capitals indicated a potential win for McInerney. In the end, we were unable to overcome early lobbying by the Italian government which locked in votes before the interview process even began. The first round of three mandated rounds of voting had McInerney tied with the Italian candidate 11 to 11; McInerney would have won if Egypt had voted for him as Ambassador Rashed had assured the Ambassador. It was clear during debate after the first ballot that Egypt did not support the U.S. candidate in spite of earlier verbal assurances to the contrary to Ambassador Cousin.
Egyptian Ambassador Unrepentant
3. (SBU) After repeatedly delaying requests for a one-on-one meeting with Ambassador Cousin and twice cancelling appointments, Ambassador Cousin was finally able to meet on January 14 with Egyptian Ambassador Ashraf Rashed to express concern with his misrepresentation of Egypt's position. Rashed claimed several times that he had never stated that he or the
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GOE would support the USG candidate and, in an astonishing statement, even claimed ignorance that McInerney was the official USG candidate despite the fact that he had attended a small gathering at Ambassador Cousin's residence in which McInerney was formally presented as the USG candidate. He also maintained that he had not received any instructions from Cairo on the election, despite the fact that the Department (ref B) had demarched the GOE in Cairo to support McInerney. While maintaining that his statements must have been misunderstood, Rashed contradicted himself at the end of the meeting by conceding that, "We owe you one."
4. (SBU) The Egyptian Ambassador's unashamed misrepresentation of his country's voting position will make it increasingly difficult for us to work effectively with a key delegation in several of the Rome-based international organizations. Not surprisingly, we are disappointed by this behavior at a time when we have significantly increased outreach to all regional groups to frankly discuss our positions on a wide range of issues. COUSIN