Archive | January, 2011

Arab Elite Say Monarchies Are Safe From Unrest

Posted on 31 January 2011 by hashimilion

The unrest engulfing Egypt caught business and political leaders at the World Economic Forum off guard, but it became the hottest topic among the Arab elite here. Most of those leaders tuned in to the dramatic events using iPads and BlackBerrys and huddled to debate how the uprising would affect the rest of the Arab world.

“It’s all anyone’s talking about,” said Sheik Mohammed bin Essa al-Khalifa, who leads Bahrain’s economic development board and took part in many of the discussions.

For the most part, the consensus was that President Hosni Mubarak would not easily relinquish his authoritarian grip in Egypt, an outcome that became more evident as he named Omar Suleiman, the country’s intelligence chief and a close ally, as his vice president on Saturday.

But the drive for change from tens of thousands of protesters means that a near monarchical regime cloaked in democracy will inevitably end, Arab executives here concluded.

“People are saying that Gamal Mubarak doesn’t have a chance of succeeding his father,” said a business executive who insisted on anonymity, referring to Mr. Mubarak’s son. “It’s a matter of when it will end, not if.”

The events in Egypt were hardly mentioned during the official programs at the Davos forum, although a few leaders issued brief statements of concern before turning to other topics.

Few of the executives present expected a revolution to spread across the oil-rich nations of the Gulf, where the governments are monarchies, which often do not create the types of expectations that accompany a democracy.

Rulers in these countries use their oil wealth to invest in social stability by ensuring that their own people lead comfortable lives through subsidies on things like electricity, education and food.

“Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries are going to be spared because they are not democratic regimes,” said Jamal Khashoggi, the general manager of Al Waleed 24 News Channel. People in those countries “don’t feel cheated because there are no elections,” he said.

By contrast, he said, “I can feel the agony of an Egyptian when he sees how democracy is mocked.”

On Thursday, the Saudi prince Turki al-Faisal al-Saud had this answer when asked whether a wave of democracy across the Middle East might be even more destabilizing than a nuclear Iran: “I don’t know; in Saudi Arabia, we have neither nuclear weapons nor democracy.”

One question mark, some Arab executives said, may be Bahrain, the smallest economy in the region and a developing democracy.

Bahrain lacks the abundant oil wealth of many of its neighbors, and has moved to diversify its economy, invest heavily in education and create an unemployment safety net, the only one in the region. Shiites outnumber the Sunni population, which lost control of Parliament in elections last October.

For some, however, the situation is not comfortable enough.

“People think that we should follow this nanny state mentality of the government subsidizing everything,” Sheik Mohammed said. He noted that Kuwait had just paid $3,000 to every Kuwaiti citizen to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence.

Referring to people in Bahrain, he said: “They don’t want to let go of electricity subsidies or other subsidies. But those who benefit most are members of Parliament, the business community, decision makers and to some extent, the press, which comes out against reforms.”

Instead, his country is funneling former subsidy money toward advanced education and the creation of jobs — one of the most important ingredients for social stability in the Arab world, where vast numbers of young people in particular are hampered by soaring levels of unemployment.

“What counts is jobs,” Sheik Mohammed said. “This is not just a problem in the Arab world; it’s a global issue that’s hitting the United States and Europe, too.”

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Migrant Worker Abused by Saudi Employer

Posted on 31 January 2011 by hashimilion

Armayeh binti Sanuri, an Indonesian migrant worker from Pontianak, West Kalimantan, has become the latest victim of abuse in Saudi Arabia.

The Indonesia Migrant Worker Post of Struggle (Posper TKI) reported that Armayeh suffered wounds to her head, and her ears were infected after her employer stepped on her and scalded her with hot water.

Armayeh was sent to Saudi Arabia last year by a migrant worker placement firm, PT Aji Ayah Bunda Sejati. Posper TKI’s report claims Armayeh was abused almost daily and that she escaped from her employer’s house when the door was left unlocked.

She was found by neighbors and brought to the Al Anshar Hospital in Medina. Due to her condition, Armayeh was transferred to King Fahd Hospital in Medina in Jan. 26, where she is receiving assistance from the Indonesian consulate general.

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Calls for Revolution in Yemen Face Many Hurdles

Posted on 31 January 2011 by hashimilion

The pro-democracy protesters marched through the dusty streets of this Middle Eastern capital, voicing hope that the revolution unfolding in the Arab world would soon reach them.

“Yesterday, Tunisia. Today, Egypt. Tomorrow, Yemen,” they shouted, trying to make their way to the Egyptian embassy.

But the small march on Saturday never reached its intended target. A line of police stopped the protesters; then a loud, unruly crowd of pro-government supporters emerged, and the two groups clashed. The protesters soon vanished, their voices muffled by pro-government chants.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has ruled Yemen for 32 years, is clearly rattled by the anarchy unfolding in Egypt. But what has happened here also shows that Yemen’s situation is distinct from its neighbors, even as many Yemenis share the same grievances and frustrations driving the upheavals in Egypt and Tunisia.

Many among the Arab world’s dispossessed hope for a domino effect that could see more of the region’s autocratic regimes fall, like the swift collapse of the Soviet Union. But in Yemen, activists are facing numerous obstacles, straddling political, social and economic fault lines, even as they gain courage and inspiration from the momentous events unfolding in the region.

“The situation in different Arab countries is similar, but there’s a big difference in the enthusiasm of the people in the streets as well as the ability to go to the streets,” said Aidroos Al Naqeeb, head of the socialist party bloc in Yemen’s parliament.

“In Yemen, the living conditions are far worse than Egypt. The services are far worse than Egypt,” Naqeeb said. The anger and resentment is also larger than Egypt. But civil society is weaker here and the culture of popular opposition is far lesser here.”

Unlike Egypt and Tunisia, impoverished Yemen has a small middle class and a large uneducated and illiterate population. Social networking sites such as Facebook that helped mobilize the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia are not widely used here.

Yemen’s internal security apparatus is at least as sophisticated and deeply entrenched as in Egypt; the army is staunchly loyal to Saleh, as are powerful tribes in a country where tribal allegiance is more significant than national identity. The opposition, while strong in numbers, is divided in its goals.

“There is a popular movement and a political movement in Yemen,” said Khaled al-Anesi, a lawyer and human rights activist who helped organized many of the recent protests. “But there is no support from the political parties for the popular movement, which is not organized. It is still weak and in the beginning stages.”

Ever since the reunification of north and south Yemen in 1990, Saleh has marginalized political opposition groups and installed relatives and allies to key political, military and internal security posts.

Still, the popular uprisings that have ousted Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali from power and propeled Egypt into chaos have shaken Saleh’s weak regime, marking the latest threat to a nation grappling already with a rebellion in the north, a secessionist movement in the south and a resurgent Yemeni branch of Al Qaeda.

In a televised speech last week, the 64-year-old Saleh, a vital U.S. ally in the war on terror, denied that his son would succeed him. He also raised the salaries of soldiers, in an apparent effort to maintain their loyalty; slashed income taxes in half and ordered price controls.

Saleh was speaking in the aftermath of a rally earlier this month in which thousands of protesters took to the streets, with students and human rights activists calling for president to resign. But political opposition leaders have emphasized reform rather than regime change, alling on Saleh to honor a constitutionally mandated term limit that would end his presidency in 2013.

Many student activists and human rights activists disagree with the political opposition’s tactics, arguing that attempts to share power with Saleh will never work and that they need to channel the momentum of the uprisings in the region.

“Their opinion is to take it step by step. In our opinion, there is no benefit,” said Anesi. “This guy, Ali Abdullah Saleh, for him everything is a game. He tries to cheat political parties and international society. We are wasting time. We have to go to the streets. This is the best moment to demand change.”

Other activists have alleged that many opposition leaders have lucrative investments and businesses that, in Yemen, are possible only through good relations with Saleh and his party.

Naqeeb conceded he and other oppositions leaders are trying to forge democratic reforms without resorting to violence. But he added that if Saleh continues to stonewall them, the situation in Yemen “will reach a point like Egypt,” in a nation in which every household owns a Kalashnikov rifle.

In a meeting convened in advance of Saturday’s rally, none of the organizers seemed to care that Yemeni plainclothes police had infiltrated the session and were aware of their plans. But by the time the protesters reached the police lines, their chants were being drowned out by those of pro-government supporters .

Some attacked the pro-democracy faction with knives and sticks. The policemen watched and did not stop the melee. Soon the activists fled, and the pro-government supporters then marched on through the traffic, chanting and singing.

“I like the president. We don’t understand why he should leave,” said Abdullah Al-Mujali, one of the supporters. “We don’t want the same as what happened in Egypt and Tunisia. It is different here.”

Activists including Anesi say they are determined to press forward with their calls to oust Saleh. “We have no choice,” he said.

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Reform in Saudi Arabia – At a Snail’s Pace

Posted on 31 January 2011 by hashimilion

 

Shortly after assuming the throne five years ago, King Abdullah declared that henceforth September 23rd, the anniversary of Saudi Arabia’s unifcation in 1932, would be an official holiday. The move proved wildly popular with ordinary Saudis, and not just because it gives them a rare excuse to do silly things in public, like sporting neon wigs and cruising about noisily in green-painted cars decked with the Saudi flag. Conservatives had long banned secular festivities such as birthdays, insisting that Islam forbids anything but religious holidays. The king’s defiance of this view seemed to augur a break from decades of deference by the ruling Al Saud dynasty to killjoy puritans.

Saudi Arabia has certainly grown less grim in the reign of King Abdullah, who is now 86. Reforms in state administration, education and law have loosened arcane strictures. Some arch-conservative clerics have been ousted from top posts and forbidden from proclaiming obscurantist fatwas. The notoriously intrusive religious
police have been told to curb their enthusiasm. Women have won slightly more freedom. The large Shia minority feels a little less shunned than it was under previous
kings. The press is a bit feistier.

Many of these changes are subtle, reflecting shifts in society as much as in policy. This Ramadan for instance, “Tash Ma Tash”, a top-rated Saudi television comedy,
took a dig at national hypocrisies towards sex and religion. One sketch showed a fictional wife behaving like a pampered Saudi man, deciding to dump one of her four
husbands because she wanted a sexier new one. Another portrayed two brothers meeting a long-lost Lebanese relative and being shocked to find that he was not only
a Christian priest, but actually a nice guy. Some conservatives attacked the show as insidious infidel propaganda, and threatened to prosecute its makers. But most
public reactions were enthusiastic, and the fact that the show received no official reprimand, as it had done in previous years, was also a sign of progress.

Yet the changes remain, in many ways, cosmetic. King Abdullah has championed international dialogue between religions, for instance. But when Saudi schools reopened
in September, parents were surprised to find that in the new, “reformed” religion curriculum, supposedly purged of bigotry as part of a post-September 11th initiative
to promote a more tolerant Islam, students are still taught that it is wrong to say hello to non-Muslims.

A recent report on political reform in Saudi Arabia by Human Rights Watch, a New York-based lobby group, argues that although gradual changes are welcome, unless they are properly institutionalised the kingdom risks sliding backwards again, as it has done many times before. “Newly gained freedoms are, for the most part, neither
extensive nor firmly grounded,” the report concludes. “The limited reform that has taken place suggests the elite is still foating trial balloons, undecided about
the type of government and society it wants to steer towards.”

On some specific human-rights issues, the report praises the kingdom’s progress: reform of the justice system, women’s rights and freedom of expression. Yet it
notes with concern that, whereas legal reform is one of the areas where changes are under way, new courts have yet to materialise, and new, transparent procedures
have yet to be put into practice. Greater freedom of speech is not codified, and so remains subject to arbitrary intervention by the state. Earlier this year, a newspaper
editor made the mistake of printing a blunt critique of puritan religious beliefs, and was summarily fired. As for women’s rights, an official loosening of the ban against the mixing of the sexes in public places has not been widely implemented. The same goes for an ostensible liberalisation of rules that require women to have a male “guardian”. Women are still forbidden to drive.

As for other issues, the report discerns no real progress either in ending religious discrimination against the Shia minority or in improving the position of Saudi Arabia’s
estimated 8m immigrant labourers. Gestures of tolerance to the Shia by the king himself have not been matched by a relaxation of restrictions on Shia worship. Shia dissidents still face harsh, systematic repression. Most foreign workers lack basic rights and, unlike other Gulf countries, Saudi Arabia has taken no steps to abolish
the onerous kafala or sponsorship system, whereby Saudi employers take possession of expatriates’ passports, and can deny them the right to travel. And there remains one big subject that the report leaves aside. Saudis have heard barely a whisper of one day setting the pace of change themselves, by winning the right to vote in elections.

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Kuwait Grants Country Cleaerance For Codel Bond 07

Posted on 30 January 2011 by hashimilion

UNCLAS KUWAIT 000624

SIPDIS

CODEL
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OREP AMGT ASEC AFIN GM IZ IC KU COUNTRY
CLEARANCE
SUBJECT: KUWAIT GRANTS COUNTRY CLEARANCE FOR CODEL BOND
(MAY 3-7)

REF: State 055416

¶1. Embassy Kuwait welcomes and grants country clearance for
CODEL Bond to travel to post o/a May 4-6, 2007.

¶2. This clearance is not/not valid for entry into Iraq; you
must apply for Iraq clearance through Embassy Baghdad.

¶3. Visit Officer: An Embassy visit officer and a
driver/expeditor will meet and assist you at the airport.

Embassy point of contact is:

Carri Mowry, ISU Coordinator
Office- (965) 259-1419
Cell- (965)973-9854
Fax- (965) 259-1190
Unclass e-mail: MowryCA@state.gov

SIPDIS

¶4. Lodging: Rooms have been reserved at the Crowne Plaza
Hotel for May 4, 2007. The hotel telephone number is (965)
474-2000 and the fax number is (965)473-2020. The single
room rate at the hotel is approximately USD 291.00 per
night, which includes breakfast. The hotel accepts major
credit cards and is within the per diem rate. The daily
per diem rate for Kuwait is USD 291.00 for lodging, plus a
meal and incidental expense (M&IE) allowance of USD 105.00
for a total of USD 396.00.

¶5. Following is postQs standard guidance for visitors to
Kuwait:

a. Entry Requirements: Kuwait now issues single-entry visas
to American citizens on arrival, upon presentation of a
valid passport. There is a processing fee of three (3)
Kuwaiti Dinar (KD 3.000, or USD 12.00) for each visa
issued. The fee may be paid either in KD or USD. Post
strongly advises travelers to carry some documentation on
the purpose of their visit. Passengers arriving on other
than commercial flights should anticipate extra delays,
because immigration services are not available on the
military side of the airfield and passports have to be
carried to a different location at the airport for
processing. Airport visas are valid for 90 days after
arrival; anyone staying beyond this period must obtain an
extension, which should be requested 2 weeks prior to visa
expiration. Anyone departing Kuwait who has overstayed the
visa will be charged a fine of KD 10.000 (USD 35.00) per
day at the airport. All travelers planning to visit Iraq
should make sure that they obtain the required exit/entry
stamps for each transit through Kuwait, and be aware that
they will need to obtain a new Kuwaiti visa upon return,
even after a daytrip to Baghdad. Failure to do so can
result in heavy fines. If possible, travelers should try
to obtain a multiple-entry visa before arriving in Kuwait.

b. Visitors are reminded that the importation of alcohol,
pork products, personal firearms, and any
suggestive/pornographic materials (videotapes, magazines or
books) is strictly prohibited by Kuwaiti law. Kuwait is
still clearing mines and munitions. Visitors must remain on
major paved roads when traveling in Kuwait. Travel north of
Jahra toward the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border is not authorized
without approval from the embassy and an appropriate
escort.

c. Embassy KuwaitQs normal workweek is Saturday through
Wednesday, and office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The time difference with the East Coast of the United
States is EDT plus seven hours. The embassy switchboard
number is (965) 259-1001, and the IVG number is 4950000.
The after-hours number which rings at Marine Guard Post One
is (965) 538-2098. The mission duty officer can be reached
through the embassy switchboard, Post One or by cell phone
at (965) 967-7265. The embassy pouch address is 6200 Kuwait
Place, Dulles, VA 20189-6200.

d. Threat Assessment: Kuwait is a high-threat post and the
military threatcon is currently Charlie. We have increased
security precautions at official U.S. installations in
Kuwait and recommend that all Americans in Kuwait remain
alert to their surroundings and review their personal
security practices.

e. Health Advisory for Kuwait: April through October is the
hot season in Kuwait. Temperatures reach 120-140 degrees F
in summer. Caution should be taken to prevent dehydration
and heat exhaustion by 1) drinking plenty of fluids and
2) staying indoors, especially during peak temperature
hours of noon to 3:00 p.m. (1200-1500). Low humidity
coupled with high temperatures creates excessive moisture
loss from evaporation. It is necessary to drink 2-4 quarts
of water daily to prevent dehydration. Visitors from
November to March can expect cold winds and, at times,
heavy rains. Light winter clothing is suitable for Kuwait
during these months. At this time, allergies and colds are
more common, and visitors to the area are advised to bring
over-the-counter medications, such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen
and cough medicine, with them for self-treatment.

f. Money: Credit cards are widely accepted at hotels,
restaurants and other establishments throughout Kuwait and
ATM machines are also readily available. For travelers on
official orders, the Commercial Bank of Kuwait can provide
accommodation services (cashing a personal check drawn on a
U.S. bank into local currency) up to a maximum of USD
300.00 per day from noon to 2:00 p.m., Saturday through
Wednesday. At the current rate of exchange, one Kuwaiti
Dinar (KD) is equivalent to approximately USD 3.50.

g. CAA Access: Visitors who need unescorted access into
secure areas of the mission must slug cables to the
attention of the RSO, and include the level of their
clearance. The cable should include the visitorQs Social
Security Number, and the name of the agency granting the
clearance. Cables should include the ASEC tag to ensure
distribution to the RSO office and the Marine Security
guard at Post One.

h. Computer and Electronics Usage: Sensitive military
information has been discovered recently on business center
computers at local hotels in Kuwait City. All U.S.
Government personnel and contractors must remember that it
is their responsibility to observe good computer and
information security practices. Information processed on
computers in hotel business centers, through email
correspondence or document creation, is highly exploitable.
Public computers located in hotel business centers,
internet cafes, airport lounges, etc. should never be used
to process, store or disseminate sensitive information.
Compromise of sensitive government or military information
can result in serious damage to national security.
Compromises of sensitive personal data can result in
significant personal and financial hardship. Random checks
are conducted by Embassy personnel on public PCQs.
Breaches on COMPUSEC will result in the violator receiving
security infractions and/or security violations.
Interagency security standards prohibit the introduction or
use of non-USG owned computer hardware and software at all
USG diplomatic facilities. Cell phones, palm pilots, radios
and other convenience electronics are prohibited in all
secure areas of the mission.

i. Photography: Tourist photography is encouraged in
Kuwait. However, it is strictly forbidden to photograph
public buildings, economic infrastructure, or military and
other security-related facilities and personnel.
Confiscation of film and camera and even arrest may result
from doing so. A good rule of thumb: If there is any
doubt as to whether a photograph should be taken, donQt
take it.

j. Action Request: Each visitor, regardless of length of
stay, must bring or forward fiscal data to pay for direct
costs of the visit. Each agency, organization or visiting
delegation will be charged for the actual costs attributed
to their visit. Direct charge costs include, but are not
limited to: American and LES staff overtime (e.g.,
expeditor, accommodation exchange, representational event
support), field travel, lodging and meals and incidental
expenses (M&IE) by embassy employees, vehicle rentals,
long-distance telephone calls, equipment rentals, office
supplies and all other costs that are directly attributable
to the visit. If fiscal data on a travelerQs authorization
is to be used for this purpose, this information must be
spelled out in the travel orders and sufficient funding
provided to meet these expenses. In addition, for TDYers
over thirty (30) days, there will be a charge for ICASS

support services. If your sponsoring agency is not signed
up for ICASS services at post, please be prepared to sign
an ICASS Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for ICASS
support services upon arrival. The agency should provide
post with written communication, generated by the
travelerQs headquarters, that confirms the agency will pay
ICASS charges for the TDYer, provide the agency ICASS
billing code for the TDY support to be provided, and
authorize the traveler to sign the ICASS invoice generated
by the TDY module. When travel is urgent, TDYers should
bring this document with them to ensure there are no
interruptions in the provision of services. Post will not
provide any services to a TDYer staying in excess of 30
days without having received this documentation prior to
day 31 of the TDY.

k. Visit KuwaitQs Classified Website at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/kuwait/

¶6. This cable was last updated on October 30, 2006.

LeBaron

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Kuwait Grants Country Clearance For Codel Buyer 06

Posted on 30 January 2011 by hashimilion

UNCLAS KUWAIT 003201

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OREP AMGT ASEC AFIN KU IZ IC GM COUNTRY CLEARANCE
SUBJECT: KUWAIT GRANTS COUNTRY CLEARANCE FOR CODEL BUYER(14-21AUG)

Ref: State 121220

¶1. Embassy Kuwait welcomes and hereby grants country clearance for
CODEL Buyer to travel to post o/a 15 to 17
August, 2006.

¶2. This clearance is not/not valid for entry into Iraq; you must
apply for Iraq clearance through Embassy Baghdad.

¶3. Hotel reservations have been made for 15 and 16 Aug, at the
Radisson SAS at the rate of 66.000 KD plus 15% (approximately USD
260) per night for single rooms, which includes a buffet breakfast.
The per diem rate for Kuwait is USD 260 plus M&IE of USD 96 for a
total of USD 356 plus enhanced per diem as authorized. The hotel
phone number is (965)474-2000; fax number (965)474-2020. An Embassy
visit officer and a driver/expeditor will meet and assist you at the
airport.

Embassy point of contact is:

Carri Mowry, Coordinator ISU
Office- (965) 259-1419
Cell- (965) 973-9854
Fax- (965) 259-1190
Unclass e-mail: MowryCA@state.gov

SIPDIS

¶4. Following is post’s standard guidance for visitors to Kuwait:
Kuwait now issues single-entry visas to American citizens on
arrival, upon presentation of a passport. Post strongly advises
travelers to carry some documentation on the purpose of their visit.
Passengers arriving on other than commercial flights should
anticipate extra delays, because immigration services are not
available on the military side of the airfield and passports have to
be carried to a different site at the airport for processing.
Airport visas are valid for 90 days after arrival; anyone staying
beyond this period must obtain an extension, which should be
requested 2 weeks prior to expiration. Anyone departing Kuwait who
has overstayed the visa will be charged a fine of KD 10 (US$33.50)
per day at the airport. All travelers planning to visit Iraq should
make sure that they obtain exit/entry stamps for each transit
through Kuwait, and be aware that they will need to obtain a new
Kuwaiti visa upon return, even after a daytrip to Baghdad. Failure
to do so can result in heavy fines. If possible, travelers should
try to obtain a multiple-entry visa before arriving in Kuwait.

¶5. Visitors are reminded that the importation of alcohol, pork
products, personal firearms, and any suggestive/pornographic
materials (videotapes, magazines or books) is strictly prohibited by
Kuwaiti law. Kuwait is still clearing mines and munitions. Visitors
must remain on major paved roads when traveling in Kuwait. Travel
North of Jahra toward the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border is not authorized
without approval from the embassy and an appropriate escort.

¶6. Threat Assessment: Kuwait is a high-threat post and the military
threatcon is currently Charlie. We have increased security
precautions at official U.S. installations in Kuwait and recommend
that all Americans in Kuwait remain alert to their surroundings and
review their personal security practices.

¶7. Fiscal Data: Thank you for providing fiscal data. Each agency,
organization, delegation or visiting individual will be charged for
all costs attributed to their visit. These costs include, but not
limited to: LES and American staff overtime, vehicle and equipment
rental, office and medical supplies, telephone calls, expeditor
services, airport transportation other mileage driven, and
representational events. If fiscal data on visitor’s travel
authorization is to be used for this purpose, it must be clearly
spelled out and sufficient funding must be provided.

¶8. Health Unit: All TDY or PCS personnel that would like to be
vaccinated against smallpox should get the vaccine in M/MED in
Washington before coming to post. The smallpox vaccine for
pre-exposure vaccination is not available at post. There are
prepositioned doses of smallpox vaccine at post to be used only if
an actual exposure occurs. The smallpox vaccine is being offered to
personnel that are coming to work at Embassy Kuwait as a strictly
voluntary protection in case of a possible biological attack.

¶9. Health Advisory for Kuwait: April through October is the hot
season in Kuwait. Temperatures reach 120?-140?F in summer. Caution
should be taken to prevent dehydration and heat exhaustion by 1)
drinking plenty of fluids and 2) staying indoors, especially during
peak temperature hours of 12:00-15:00. Low humidity coupled with
high temperatures creates excessive moisture loss from evaporation.
It is necessary to drink 2-4 quarts of water daily to prevent
dehydration.

¶10. Health Advisory for Iraq: Remember to bring adequate
medications and to be current on vaccines as getting medical
supplies in Iraq has been difficult. Consistent with US military
policy since January 2005, and having no cases of malaria reported
to date in US Embassy personnel, malaria prophylaxis is not
routinely recommended for Iraq. Vivax malaria historically exists in
the northern provinces of Duhok, Erbil, Ninawa, Sulaimaniya, Tmim
(May-October), and in the south around Basrah (April-November).
There is no risk in Baghdad. Individuals that travel to those areas
need to continue to check current embassy recommendations. Malaria
must be a consideration in anyone with a fever who has traveled to
those areas. To protect against insect bites, use insect
repellants, long clothing and other measures to prevent insect
bites.

¶11. CAA Access: Visitors who need unescorted access into secure
areas of the mission must slug cables to the attention of the RSO,
and include the level of their clearance. The cable should include
the social security number of the requestor and the name of the
agency granting the clearance. Cables should include the ASEC tag
to ensure distribution to the RSO office and the Marine Security
guard at post one.

¶12. Computer and Electronics usage: Inter-agency security standards
prohibit the introduction or use of non-USG owned computer hardware
and software at all USG diplomatic facilities. Cell phones, palm
pilots, radios and other convenience electronics are prohibited in
all secure areas of the mission.

¶13. Sensitive military information has been located recently on
business center computers at local hotels in Kuwait City. All US
Government personnel and contractors must remember that it is their
responsibility to observe good computer and information security
practices. Information processed on computers and hotel business
centers, through e-mail correspondence or document creation, is
highly exploitable. Public computers located in hotel business
centers, internet cafes, airport lounges, etc. should never be used
to process, store or disseminate sensitive information. Compromise
of sensitive government or military information can result in
serious damage to national security. Compromises of sensitive
personal data can result in significant personal and financial
hardship. Random checks are conducted by Embassy personnel on
public PC’s. Breaches in COMPUSEC will result in the violator
receiving security infractions and/or security violations.

¶14. Embassy Kuwait’s normal workweek is Saturday through Wednesday.
Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. switchboard numbers are
(965) 259-1001, IVG: 495-0000. The after hours number which rings at
Marine Guard post one is (965) 538-2098.

¶15. The time difference with the East Coast of the United States is
EDT plus 7 hours.

Tueller

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UAE Request For USG Assistance In Investigation Of Killing

Posted on 30 January 2011 by hashimilion

S E C R E T ABU DHABI 000103

NOFORN
SIPDIS
FOR NEA/ARP

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/24
TAGS: PREL PINS CJAN AE
SUBJECT: UAE REQUEST FOR USG ASSISTANCE IN INVESTIGATION OF KILLING
OF MAHMOUD AL-MABHOUH

CLASSIFIED BY: Doug Greene, DCM; REASON: 1.4(D)

¶1. (C/NF) On the margins of a meeting with visiting
Secretary Chu, on Feb 24 MFA Minister of State Gargash made a
formal request to the Ambassador for assistance in providing
cardholder details and related information for credit cards
reportedly issued by a U.S. bank to several suspects in last
month’s killing of Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in Dubai.
According to a letter Gargash gave the Ambassador (which
transmitted details of the request from Dubai Security authorities
to the UAE Central Bank), the credit cards were issued by
MetaBank, in Iowa. Embassy LEGATT is transmitting the request and
associated details to FBI HQ. Gargash asked that Embassy pass any
reply to the director of the General Directorate of State Security
(GDSS) in Dubai.

¶2. (S/NF) Comment: Ambassador requests expeditious handling
of and reply to the UAEG request, which was also raised by UAE
Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed in a February 23 meeting with
Secretary Clinton in Washington.

¶3. (C/NF) Text of letter from GDSS to the Governor of the UAE
Central Bank:

Excellency Sultan Al-Suwiadi

UAE Central Bank Governor

Subject: Credit Cards

MC 5115-2600-1600-6190

MC 5115-2600-1600-5317

MC 5301-3800-3201-7106

General Management of The State Security offers greetings, and asks
your Excellency to direct the money laundry and suspicious
transactions unit at the Central Bank to urgently obtain details of
the above credit cards, in addition to details for purchases,
accounts, and payments on those cards, as the users of those cards
were involved in the murder of Mahmoud Mabhouh. Those cards were
issued by META BANK in the state of Iowa, USA.

Thank you for your kind cooperation.

END TEXT

(Letter is accompanied by a chart with identifying data for alleged
credit card users – scanned and emailed to NEA/ARP.)
OLSON

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Hamas Commander Killed In Dubai Hotel

Posted on 30 January 2011 by hashimilion

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 ABU DHABI 000047

SIPDIS
NOFORN
FOR NEA/ARP, NEA/IPA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/01/31
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER PINR KPAL KWBG KCRM IS SY AE
SUBJECT: HAMAS COMMANDER KILLED IN DUBAI HOTEL

CLASSIFIED BY: Richard Olson, Ambassador; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

¶1. (U) On January 29, approximately 9:00 am local time Friday,
Reuters first reported the January 20 murder in a Dubai hotel of
senior Hamas member Mahmoud Abdul Raouf Mohammad Hassan (known as
Mahmoud Al Mabhouh). The brief wire story preceded the release of
an official statement from the Dubai government later in the day.
Al Mabhouh’s remains were flown from Dubai to Syria on January 28.
He was buried January 29 in a refugee camp in Damascus, as Dubai
officials briefed local and international media on his murder.

¶2. (U) The initial Dubai government media office statement said Al
Mabhouh “entered the UAE on January 19 at 3:15 pm from an Arab
country. His body was found in the afternoon of January 20 in a
Dubai hotel where he was staying.” Official statements on January
29 expressed confidence the killers would be arrested: “The ongoing
investigation will speed up and police will be presenting the
suspects to court for trial as soon as possible, in coordination
with Interpol. The suspects left the UAE before the deceased’s
body was found in a Dubai hotel.” (Note: The hotel was the Al
Bustan Rotana near Dubai International Airport. End Note.)

¶3. (U) On Al Jazeera television January 29, Dubai Chief of Police
Dhahi Khalfan Tamim said “I cannot rule out the possibility of
Mossad involvement in the assassination of Mabhouh.” Tamim told
local journalists Dubai Police were “pursuing individual suspects,
not an organization” and that it was “still early to start pointing
fingers on who is behind the crime.” Tamim also confirmed the
victim entered the UAE on a passport bearing his real name, after a
Hamas spokesman in Damascus told the media Al Mabhouh possessed
five passports but traveled frequently to Dubai using his actual
identity.

¶4. (U) Local media coverage on January 30 and 31 focused on
statements from Al Mabhouh’s family members and Hamas officials in
Gaza and Syria, where he lived since 1989. Local and international
media reports noted he was the second foreign militant murdered in
Dubai in less than a year. Former Chechen commander Sulim
Yamadayev was shot and killed near an exclusive Dubai apartment
complex in late March 2009.

¶5. (S/NF) Ambassador happened to be at a social event with Foreign
Minister Abdullah bin Zayed’s media advisor when the story broke,
and he drew the latter’s attention to it. The media advisor
(protect) after making a few calls reported back that the UAE’s
public posture was being discussed between Dubai Ruler Mohammed bin
Rashid and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. The two
options discussed were to say nothing at all, or to reveal more or
less the full extent of the UAE’s investigations. (Comment:
Saying nothing would have been perceived as protecting the Israelis
and in the end, the UAE chose to tell all. The statement was
carefully drafted not to point any fingers, but the reference in
the document (see below) to a gang with western passports will be
read locally as referring to the Mossad. End Comment.)

¶6. (U)

Text of Official Statement

Dubai Police identify suspects in murder of Mahmoud Al Mabhouh

Jan 29, 2010 – 06:18

WAM Dubai, Jan 29th, 2010

WAM)–Dubai Government media office has announced that Dubai police
have identified suspects in the murder crime of Palestinian Hamas
member Mahmoud Abdul Raouf Hassan and that they would soon track
them down and refer to court in conjunction with International

ABU DHABI 00000047 002 OF 002

Police (Interpol).

The suspects were reported to have left the country before the
murder crime was reported. The deceased’s body was later discovered
at a hotel in Dubai.

An official security source in Dubai said that the initial
investigations suggest that the murder was inflicted by experienced
criminal gang, who had been tracking down the movements of the
victim before entering the UAE. “Despite quick skill exhibited by
murderers, yet they left behind evidence at the scene of crime that
would help in tracking them down at earliest. Dubai police no
longer believe in ambiguous or unknown crime”.

The source further disclosed that the investigations revealed that
the suspects hold European passports, adding that Dubai police
would embark in arrangements with Interpol to arrest the suspects
and bring them to books. “The evidence will speedily help competent
authorities to track down the suspects”.

Known as Mahmoud Al Mabhouh, the deceased, a Palestinian, entered
into the UAE at 3.15PM, on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010, from an Arab
country. His body was found the following day at afternoon on Jan.
20, 2010, at a hotel he resided at in Dubai.
OLSON

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