Archive | January, 2011

XXXX Sounds Alarm Over Uprotected Radioactive Material

Posted on 30 January 2011 by hashimilion

S E C R E T SANAA 000019



EO 12958 DECL: 01/08/2020

REF: A. 07 SANAA 1905 B. 07 SANAA 2029

Classified By: Ambassador Stephen A. Seche for reasons 1.4(b) and (d).

¶1. (S) The lone security guard standing watch at Yemen’s main radioactive materials storage facility was removed from his post on December 30, 2009, according toXXXXXXXXXXXX. XXXXXXXXXXXX. The only closed-circuit television security camera monitoring the facility broke six months ago and was never fixed, according to XXXXXXXXXXXX. The facility XXXXXXXXXXXX holds various radioactive materials, small amounts of which are used by local universities for agricultural research, by a Sana’a hospital, and by international oilfield services companies for well-logging equipment spread out across the country. “Very little now stands between the bad guys and Yemen’s nuclear material,” a worried XXXXXXXXXXXX told EconOff.

¶2. (S) Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi told the Ambassador on January 7 that no radioactive material was currently stored in Sana’a and that all “radioactive waste” was shipped to Syria. XXXXXXXXXXXX

¶3. (S) The NAEC nuclear material storage facility normally contains IAEA Category I and II amounts of iridium and cobalt-60, including a lead-encased package of 13,500 curies (Ci) of cobalt-60 that was allegedly shipped to Yemen from India six months ago. XXXXXXXXXXXX told EconOff that XXXXXXXXXXXX the cobalt-60 was moved late on January 7 from the largely unsecured NAEC facility XXXXXXXXXXXX implored the U.S. to help convince the ROYG to remove all materials from the country until they can be better secured, or immediately improve security measures at the NAEC facility. XXXXXXXXXXXX


¶4. (S) Post will continue to push senior ROYG officials to increase security at all National Atomic Energy Commission facilities and provide us with a detailed accounting of all radioactive materials in the country. XXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXX.XXXXXXXXXXXX’s concern over the safety and security of Yemen’s modest nuclear material inventory, however, appears genuine. XXXXXXXXXXXX. . Post POC is EconOff Roland McKay, SECHE

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Suspected Taliban Financial Activity in The UAE

Posted on 30 January 2011 by hashimilion

S E C R E T ABU DHABI 000009


E.O. 12958: DECL: 2035/01/07 TAGS: ECON PTER KTFN AE AF EFIN

CLASSIFIED BY: Richard Olson, Ambassador, State Department, U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)
(S//NF) Summary

¶1. (S//NF) SUMMARY. On December 15-16, 2009, Treasury Department Acting Assistant Secretary of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis Howard Mendelsohn, along with GRPO officers and Treasury analysts, met with senior officials from the UAE’s State Security Department (SSD) and Dubai’s General Department of State Security (GDSS) to discuss suspected Taliban-related financial activity in the UAE. Prior to these meetings, GRPO and Treasury passed to SSD and GDSS detailed information on the financing of the Taliban and other terrorist and extremist groups based in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mendelsohn praised the UAE for its contribution to building a stable and moderate Afghanistan. He thanked the SSD and GDSS for its commitment, per the directive of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, to disrupt any Taliban-related financial activity that can be identified in the UAE. The UAE services pledged full cooperation toward the shared goal and asked for additional detailed and actionable lead information. In particular, they asked for additional passport information, telephone numbers, full names and aliases, and travel itineraries for Taliban figures suspected of traveling to the UAE. END SUMMARY.

¶2. (S//NF) During the course of the two multi-hour intelligence exchange sessions, GRPO and Treasury analysts walked through the previously shared information suggesting that Taliban-related finance officials have visited the UAE in order to raise or move funds. The UAE security officials believe that the Taliban may draw support from the sizeable Pashtun population resident in the UAE. They asked for lead information the U.S. could gather with names of individuals or entities in the UAE that may be supporting the Taliban.

¶3. (S//NF) Officials from SSD and GDSS pledged that their respective organizations would follow up on the information provided, and work through intelligence channels to share information and results and submit additional requests for information.
Taliban/Haqqani Network

¶4. (S//NF) Mendelsohn acknowledged the important steps the UAE has taken to combat al-Qaida and the Taliban-to include sending troops to Afghanistan-and highlighted the importance the USG places on combating Taliban financing. He stated that the Taliban receives significant money from narcotics trafficking and extortion, but noted that the U.S. believes that the group also receives significant funds from the Gulf, particularly from donors in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. He further stated that the Taliban and Haqqani Network are believed to earn money from UAE-based business interests. Security officials from both SSD and GDSS agreed that the Taliban and Haqqani Network are serious threats. Officials from SSD added that Iran supports the Taliban with money and weapons, helps the Taliban smuggle drugs, and facilitates the movement of Taliban and al-Qaida members. SSD officials stated that Iran’s IRGC and navy are involved with these activities. GDSS officials noted Iran’s support to Taliban in Pakistan, adding that GDSS believes that India also has supported Pakistani Taliban and Pashtun separatists.

¶5. (S//NF) Treasury analysts provided information on XXXXXXXXXXXX two senior Taliban officials who have made multiple fundraising visits to the UAE, according to U.S. intelligence. The UAE security services were not familiar with either individual and asked for additional identifying information, including current passport information used by the individuals to enter the UAE in order to track down their movements. (NOTE: Information available to the USG and shared for this exchange included telephone numbers, an e-mail address, and expired passport information for crosschecking against Emirati immigration databases on both individuals. END NOTE.) SSD confirmed it checked UAE immigration systems based on the passport information provided and found no matching records. GRPO and Treasury analysts also shared names and phone numbers of multiple Taliban and Haqqani associates known either to reside in or travel to the UAE. SSD officials stated that Taliban fundraisers may use fabricated travel documents, and that Pakistanis/Afghanis often carry multiple passports, but noted that individuals from Pakistan and Afghanistan who apply for a travel visa now require an eye scan. The officials said this system should help prevent a single individual from using different aliases or passports. The services pledged to continue their investigations and share further results.

¶6. (S//NF) GDSS officials noted its ongoing monitoring of the large Afghan and Pakistani immigrant communities in Dubai and they commented that the Taliban extorts money from UAE-based Afghan businessmen. The same officials said the Taliban is also involved in kidnapping for ransom, whereby Afghanistan and Pakistan-based family members of the UAE-based businessmen are kidnapped for Taliban profit. Some Afghan businessmen in the UAE have resorted to purchasing tickets on the day of travel to limit the chance of being kidnapped themselves upon arrival in either Afghanistan or Pakistan.

¶7. (S//NF) The GDSS officials stated that hawaladars are usually unwitting when they transfer money that ends up with the Taliban. They further noted that Taliban financial supporters are likely to transfer smaller amounts across multiple hawalas to minimize suspicion.

¶8. (S//NF) SSD officials discussed the Taliban and Haqqani Network’s suspected use of front companies to raise and move money. They were familiar with Haji Khalil Zadran, a Kabul-based Haqqani Network financial facilitator who has visited the UAE, but were not able to provide any details on him.

¶9. (S//NF) GDSS officials were familiar with XXXXXXXXXXXX who reportedly provides funding to the Taliban/Haqqani Network, according to U.S. intelligence. The GDSS officials stated that they do not believe XXXXXXXXXXXX is loyal to the Taliban, and noted that he has cooperated with Pakistani authorities, as well as with Afghan President Karzai. They pointed out XXXXXXXXXXXX’s past visits from former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mullah Zaif, but noted that such visits-which may have resulted in financial support-have ceased. GDSS continues to monitor XXXXXXXXXXXX although at present they do not believe that he is a Taliban financial manager. Mendelsohn suggested that he may be a pragmatist who maintains relationships with legitimate authorities, but the USG has current information that suggests he is still involved with the Taliban.

¶10. (S//NF) GDSS discussed at length the history of the Haqqanis. They specifically highlighted Jalaluddin Haqqani’s success in exploiting images of civilian casualties in Afghanistan for fundraising purposes.
(S//NF) Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and Jamaat al-Dawa al-Quran wa al-Sunna

¶11. (S//NF) Mendelsohn also raised Afghanistan and Pakistan-based extremist and terrorist groups, to include Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LT) and Jamaat al-Dawa al-Quran wa al-Sunna (JDQ). UAE security services were not familiar with the names of specific UAE-based LT members shared by GRPO and Treasury, but promised to follow up on the information. Mendelsohn raised the UAE-based NGO Dar al-Birr as an organization suspected of supporting JDQ. GDSS was familiar with the organization and pledged to investigate the matter.

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Yemen: Tenth Annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report

Posted on 30 January 2011 by hashimilion




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. STATE 2094
¶B. 09 SANAA 1936
¶C. 09 SANAA 1998
¶D. 09 SANAA 2219

The entire text of this report is Sensitive But Unclassified

Embassy Sana’a TIP POC:
Faith Meyers, Acting Political Chief

Embassy Sana’a TIP POC (Alternate):
Walker Murray, Cultural Affairs Officer

TIP Reporting Hours:
Faith Meyers, FS-5: 20 hours
Walker Murray, FS-5: 20 hours
AK Muhsen, FSN-11: 20 hours


¶A. What is (are) the source(s) of available information on
human trafficking? What plans are in place (if any) to
undertake further documentation of human trafficking? How
reliable are these sources?

There is a serious deficit in reliable statistical data on
trafficking, but the government plans to undertake further
documentation in 2010. The Ministry of Social Affairs has
contracted Ushari Khalil, a scholar with past experience
working on trafficking issues with the UN in southern Sudan,
to complete a national situation report and evaluation of
current government interventions. The government-affiliated
Saleh Foundation maintains a registry for tracking children
returning from Saudi Arabia, although this only captures a
small fraction of total trafficking victims in the country.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MOSAL) said that
fewer children were trafficked to Saudi Arabia in 2009 (602)
compared to 2008 (900), but these figures are inaccurate and
represent only the small number of trafficking victims that
found their way to one of two children’s rehabilitation
centers in Yemen. According to a joint UNICEF-MOSAL study,
security officials have prevented 1500 children from being
trafficked from 2004-2009 (no further breakdown available).

Local NGO Seyaj said a study from 2007 suggested there were
700,000 children in forced-labor conditions in Yemen and they
estimate that the number is now double that figure.
According to Seyaj, the magnitude of human trafficking in
Yemen is directly related to the economic and security
conditions in the country, both of which have deteriorated in
recent years, increasing the vulnerability of Yemenis to

¶B. Is the country a country of origin, transit, and/or
destination for men, women, or children subjected to
conditions of commercial sexual exploitation, forced or
bonded labor, or other slave-like conditions? Are citizens
or residents of the country subjected to such trafficking
conditions within the country? If so, does this internal
trafficking occur in territory outside of the government’s
control (e.g., in a civil war situation)? From where are
people recruited or from where do they migrate prior to being
subjected to these exploitative conditions? To what other
countries are people trafficked and for what purposes?
Provide, where possible, numbers or estimates for each group
of trafficking victims. Have there been any changes in the
TIP situation since the last TIP Report (e.g., changes in

Yemen is a point of origin (Yemenis trafficked mainly to the
Gulf and Horn of Africa nationals trafficked upon arrival in
Yemen), transit (Horn of Africa nationals trafficked to the
Gulf), and destination (Horn of Africa nationals trafficked

SANAA 00000295 002 OF 013

to Yemen).

According to IOM, children (mostly boys) are smuggled to
Saudi Arabia for forced begging, unskilled labor and
street-vending. Children are recruited from the governorates
of Dhamar, Hajja, Rayma, Taiz, Hudeidah, Mahweet, Ibb, Lahj,
Dhale’ and Sa’ada. Although Saudi Arabia is the primary
destination for children trafficked from Yemen, a small
number are trafficked to Oman. Trafficking to Saudi Arabia
is especially high during the season of Umra and the Hajj
(pilgrimage to Mecca).

Internal trafficking occurs, both in areas under and somewhat
outside of the government’s control (e.g. Sa’ada). Children
are recruited from their families, and the parents reach an
agreement with an agent to receive a certain monthly share of
their child’s earnings. Many victims are young girls from a
variety of rural governorates sent to hotels in Aden, Sana’a,
Taiz, Hudeidah and other cities for sexual exploitation.

According to Seyaj, local media reports and the Egyptian
government, at least 10 Yemeni children were trafficked to
Egypt for organ harvesting in 2009. The children were
repatriated to Yemen after Egyptian authorities discovered
the trafficking ring.

There were many reports during the year that Somali refugee
women were trafficked to Aden for prostitution and forced to
live in squalid conditions.

Since the last TIP report, the war in northern Yemen
intensified and spread, although a ceasefire was declared on
February 12. Local NGO Shawthab Foundation reports that
although the Saudi entrance into the conflict has reduced the
ability of traffickers to penetrate the Yemeni-Saudi border,
people inside the conflict zone are extremely vulnerable to
trafficking because their livelihoods have been destroyed.
Shawthab says that it interviewed child trafficking victims
who were recruited from official IDP camps. Seyaj reports
that there are approximately 150,000 children in Sa’ada
governorate, which has almost no functioning schools and a
legal system even more dysfunctional than in the rest of the
country. Of the estimated 250,000 IDPs from the conflict, 70
to 80 percent live outside of official camps.

¶C. To what kind of conditions are the trafficking victims

Children are deprived of all rights; they do not attend
school and they cannot get access to medical care when
necessary, although they are at high risk for STDs, skin
diseases and other ailments. They often experience
slavery-like conditions, including domestic abuse, and may be
remunerated only with room and board. Children trafficked
for purposes other than sexual exploitation often experience
sexual exploitation at the hands of traffickers, border
patrols, other security officials, and their employers.
Their status in Saudi Arabia is illegal, and they cannot
report abuses and crimes to the authorities. When crossing
the Saudi border back into Yemen to visit their families,
they are subjected to robbery and extortion by border guards.

Many of the border crossings used by traffickers are in
dangerous desert areas where trafficking victims are
subjected to the risks of dehydration, starvation, and
exposure. Trafficked children told Shawthab that Saudi
border guards have hung children’s severed heads from trees
near the border as a warning to other children thinking about
crossing the border illegally.

In the conflict zone in northern Yemen, NGOs have collected
evidence that children are forced to fight both with the
government forces and with the Houthis (see 33 for more
details on child soldiers in Sa’ada).

Street children in the major cities work in arduous,
dangerous jobs unsuitable for their age and physical

SANAA 00000295 003 OF 013

capabilities. They are subject to exploitation by
individuals and gangs involved in the sex trade. They face
verbal and physical abuse and are subject to kidnapping,
trafficking and sexual harassment.

¶D. Vulnerability to TIP: Are certain groups of persons more
at risk of human trafficking (e.g., women and children, boys
versus girls, certain ethnic groups, refugees, IDPs, etc.)?
If so, please specify the type of exploitation for which
these groups are most at risk.

Young women and boys are more at risk for sexual exploitation
and domestic servitude; disabled children are more at risk
for forced begging. Children are also used to smuggle drugs
across the border into Saudi Arabia.

Refugees and economic migrants from the Horn of Africa are
also vulnerable to trafficking. Many choose to travel to
Yemen with hopes of working in other Gulf countries, but once
they reach Yemen are trafficked into prostitution and
domestic servitude. Others are trafficked to Yemen with
false promises of comfortable work as domestic servants, but
upon arrival are forced into prostitution or domestic

¶E. Traffickers and Their Methods: Who are the
traffickers/exploiters? Are they independent business
people? Small or family-based crime groups? Large
international organized crime syndicates? What methods are
used to gain direct access to victims? For example, are the
traffickers recruiting victims through lucrative job offers?
Are victims sold by their families, or approached by friends
of friends? Are victims “self-presenting” (approaching the
exploiter without the involvement of a recruiter or
transporter)? If recruitment or transportation is involved,
what methods are used to recruit or transport victims (e.g.,
are false documents being used)? Are employment, travel, and
tourism agencies or marriage brokers involved with or
fronting for traffickers or crime groups to traffic

The traffickers are both individuals and, less frequently,
organized gangs. Seyaj claims that most of the gangs are run
by Saudis. Their agents know local communities and seek out
children with lucrative potential. For sex trafficking they
recruit children based on their “degree of beauty.” They
also recruit children with disabilities because they earn
more as street beggars.

Local NGO Democracy School reports that many of the
traffickers are former trafficked children. They become
experts at crossing the border and develop contacts in Saudi
who will pay for trafficked labor.

Both Shawthab and Seyaj report that the victims are often
sold by their families, in exchange for a promised monthly
remittance. Many of the trafficking victims are girls who
enter into “temporary marriages” with Saudi tourists.
Sometimes the traffickers promise the family that a rich
sheikh from the Gulf will sponsor their disabled child for
special education or physical rehabilitation.

Other victims are “self-presenting,” young people who seek
work opportunities outside of their villages and are then
subjected to forced-labor conditions. It is common for
impoverished families to send an older child to work in Saudi
Arabia in what they believe will be a decent job opportunity
to help the family financially. Some children already
working in the streets as beggars or vendors hear about
better opportunities in Saudi Arabia that sound tempting.

Somali pirates capitalize on the instability in the Horn of
Africa to traffic people across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen.
Piracy, human trafficking and illegal smuggling are
intertwined and many of the same criminals engage in all
three practices.

SANAA 00000295 004 OF 013


¶A. Does the government acknowledge that human trafficking is
a problem in the country? If not, why not?

According to Higher Council for Motherhood and Childhood
(HCMC) General Secretary Dr. Nafisa H. al-Jaifi, the
government acknowledges that human trafficking is a problem
in the country. Prime Minister Ali al-Mujawwar convened a
meeting of the entire cabinet to develop a national strategy
for addressing trafficking in persons, which was ratified by
the Council of Ministers on March 31, 2009.

¶B. Which government agencies are involved in efforts to
combat sex and labor trafficking ) including forced labor )
and, which agency, if any, has the lead in these efforts?

The HCMC is the lead organization in efforts to combat child
trafficking. It works with a Technical Committee comprised
of representatives from NGOs, concerned Ministries, and UN
agencies. The national action plan identifies the following
agencies as having a support role in combating child
trafficking: Ministry of Human Rights (MOHR), MOSAL,
Ministry of Justice (MOJ), Ministry of Legal Affairs,
Parliament and the Social Fund for Development.

¶C. What are the limitations on the government’s ability to
address these problems in practice? For example, is funding
for police or other institutions inadequate? Is overall
corruption a problem? Does the government lack the resources
to aid victims?

With the exception of the military, nearly all government
agencies saw their funding cut dramatically in 2008 and 2009,
severely hindering their ability to combat TIP. Officials
reported an inability to travel to governorates where
trafficking was a problem due to lack of funds.

Corruption is an acute problem in Yemen, which was ranked 154
out of 180 countries on Transparency International’s 2009
Corruption Perceptions index.

It is difficult to prosecute sexual exploiters, since
shari’ah law stipulates that there must be four witnesses to
prove a sexual offense.

¶D. To what extent does the government systematically monitor
its anti-trafficking efforts (on all fronts ) prosecution,
victim protection, and prevention) and periodically make
available, publicly or privately and directly or through
regional/international organizations, its assessments of
these anti-trafficking efforts?

Please see 25A for details.

¶E. What measures has the government taken to establish the
identity of local populations, including birth registration,
citizenship, and nationality?

Children born to at least one citizen parent are eligible for
citizenship. Children born in the country who do not have at
least one citizen parent are eligible to file for
citizenship, although frequently it is not granted. There
was no universal birth registration, and many children,
especially in rural areas, were never registered or
registered after several years. Hospitals maintain official
birth registries, but not all hospitals insist on
registration, and most children are not born in hospitals.
Theoretically, children must have birth certificates to
register for school, but this requirement was not universally

¶F. To what extent is the government capable of gathering the
data required for an in-depth assessment of law enforcement
efforts? Where are the gaps? Are there any ways to work
around these gaps?

SANAA 00000295 005 OF 013

There is a serious deficit in reliable statistical data on
trafficking, including law enforcement efforts. Relevant
government ministries complain that traffickers are often
prosecuted for non-trafficking offenses, including kidnapping
and the illegal ways that they use trafficking victims,
including theft, drug smuggling, prostitution and
homosexuality. Differences in terminology make it difficult
to collect information on prosecutions and convictions of
traffickers. The government is hopeful that its recently
hired consultant will suggest ways to address these gaps.


¶A. Existing Laws against TIP: Does the country have a law
or laws specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons )
both sexual exploitation and labor? If so, please
specifically cite the name of the law(s) and its date of
enactment and provide the exact language (actual copies
preferable) of the TIP provisions. Please provide a full
inventory of trafficking laws, including non-criminal
statutes that allow for civil penalties against alleged
trafficking crimes (e.g., civil forfeiture laws, and laws
against illegal debt). Does the law(s) cover both internal
and transnational forms of trafficking? If not, under what
other laws can traffickers be prosecuted? For example, are
there laws against slavery or the exploitation of
prostitution by means of force, fraud, or coercion? Are
these other laws being used in trafficking cases?

As it stands, anti-trafficking laws are piece-meal,
inconsistent and not comprehensive. Parliamentary elections
scheduled for April 2009 were postponed for two years in
February. With a weak Parliament distracted by numerous
other internal issues, there has been no progress on
strengthening anti-trafficking legislation. Efforts are
still underway to amend the Child Rights Law to add
punishments for trafficking offenses, and to define a minimum
age for marriage. The Technical Committee to combat child
trafficking lobbied Parliament throughout the year for
passage of comprehensive anti-trafficking laws. It conducted
special meetings with the Islamic Law, Regulations and Human
Rights committees.

In December 2009, the MOJ issued a decree to all judges to
aggressively pursue human trafficking prosecutions and finish
pending cases as soon as possible. The MOJ and Ministry of
Interior (MOI) issued a decree in October 2009 aimed at
reducing early marriage and trafficking via “temporary
marriage” arrangements (more info in 29E).

According to the government, the penalty for transporting a
child under the age of 18 to another country for the purpose
of illegal exploitation is imprisonment of not more than 5
years. The penalty increases to 7 years if the criminal uses
force and deception. The penalty increases to not less than
3 and not exceeding 10 years if the transport action is
combined with sexual acts or bodily harm.

¶B. Punishment of Sex Trafficking Offenses: What are the
prescribed and imposed penalties for the trafficking of
persons for commercial sexual exploitation, including for the
forced prostitution of adults and the prostitution of

No change from last year.

¶C. Punishment of Labor Trafficking Offenses: What are the
prescribed and imposed penalties for labor trafficking
offenses, including all forms of forced labor? Do the
government’s laws provide for criminal punishment*e.g.,
jailtime*for labor recruiters who engage in recruitment of
workers using knowingly fraudulent or deceptive offers with
the purpose of subjecting workers to compelled service in the
destination country? Are there laws punishing employers or
labor agents who confiscate workers’ passports or travel
documents for the purpose of labor trafficking, switch

SANAA 00000295 006 OF 013

contracts without the worker’s consent as a means to keep the
worker in a state of compelled service, or withhold payment
of salaries as means of keeping the worker in a state of
compelled service?

No change from last year.

¶D. What are the prescribed penalties for rape or forcible
sexual assault? (NOTE: This is necessary to evaluate a
foreign government’s compliance with TVPA Minimum Standard 2,
which reads: “For the knowing commission of any act of sex
trafficking ) the government of the country should prescribe
punishment commensurate with that for grave crimes, such as
forcible sexual assault (rape).” END NOTE)

No change from last year.

¶E. Law Enforcement Statistics: Did the government take legal
action against human trafficking offenders during the
reporting period? If so, provide numbers of investigations,
prosecutions, convictions, and sentences imposed, including
details on plea bargains and fines, if relevant and
available. Please note the number of convicted trafficking
offenders who received suspended sentences and the number who
received only a fine as punishment. Please indicate which
laws were used to investigate, prosecute, convict, and
sentence traffickers. Also, if possible, please disaggregate
numbers of cases by type of TIP (labor vs commercial sexual
exploitation) and victims (children under 18 years of age vs.
adults). What were the actual punishments imposed on
convicted trafficking offenders? Are they serving the time
sentenced? If not, why not?

Data on arrests and prosecutions for human traffickers were
incomplete and varied widely depending on the source:

Government-affiliated Asrar press reported that in the first
six months of 2009, security forces in Hajja governorate
captured 26 child traffickers attempting to traffic 180
children to Saudi Arabia. The traffickers were referred to
Hajja prosecutor’s office to stand trial and the children
were sent to the Haradh Child Protection Center. (No further
information was available on the outcome of the case as of
the writing of this report.)

Head of local NGO National Organization for Combating People
Smuggling Ali al-Jelai said that police had thwarted attempts
to traffic 70 children to Saudi Arabia during 2009 and that
20 smugglers had been arrested.

Democracy School reports that there were approximately 50
cases against traffickers in local courts in Hajja
governorate. Some of those prosecuted received sentences up
to 10 years.

¶F. Does the government provide any specialized training for
law enforcement and immigration officials on identifying and
treating victims of trafficking? Or training on
investigating and prosecuting human trafficking crimes?
Specify whether NGOs, international organizations, and/or the
USG provide specialized training for host government

The government conducted training courses for an unknown
number of policemen at border crossings on how to deal with
trafficked children.

¶G. Does the government cooperate with other governments in
the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases? If
possible, provide the number of cooperative international
investigations on trafficking during the reporting period.

Efforts to develop a Yemeni-Saudi partnership against human
trafficking, to include investigations and prosecutions of
cross-border trafficking offenders, have fizzled, a situation
that the Yemeni government and civil society attribute to the
Saudi government’s lack of seriousness about the problem.

SANAA 00000295 007 OF 013

¶H. Does the government extradite persons who are charged
with trafficking in other countries? If so, please provide
the number of traffickers extradited during the reporting
period, and the number of trafficking extraditions pending.
In particular, please report on any pending or concluded
extraditions of trafficking offenders to the United States.

No reported extraditions during the reporting period.

¶I. Is there evidence of government involvement in or
tolerance of trafficking, on a local or institutional level?
If so, please explain in detail.

Although there is little evidence of explicit government
involvement in trafficking, corruption in law enforcement and
border security officials ensures that traffickers are able
to operate with impunity. Seyaj reports that traffickers
sometimes supply a child to border guards for sexual
exploitation in exchange for those border guards “looking the
other way” as the traffickers smuggle goods and people across
the border. There is anecdotal evidence that sheikhs and
other tribal leaders who may also occupy seats on local
councils are involved in trafficking rings.

Traffickers and the parents of trafficked children sometimes
spell out the payments that the parents will receive in a
contract, and Democracy School reports that police officers
in Hajja sometimes serve as the witnesses for these contracts.

¶J. If government officials are involved in human
trafficking, what steps has the government taken to end such
complicity? Please indicate the number of government
officials investigated and prosecuted for involvement in
trafficking or trafficking-related criminal activities during
the reporting period. Have any been convicted? What
sentence(s) was imposed? Please specify if officials
received suspended sentences, or were given a fine, fired, or
reassigned to another position within the government as
punishment. Please indicate the number of convicted
officials that received suspended sentences or received only
a fine as punishment.

There was no evidence of prosecutions of government officials
for complicity in trafficking during the reporting period.
Anti-corruption authorities did little to address the endemic
corruption that permits government officials to “look the
other way” on human trafficking.

¶K. For countries that contribute troops to international
peacekeeping efforts, please indicate whether the government
vigorously investigated, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced
nationals of the country deployed abroad as part of a
peacekeeping or other similar mission who engaged in or
facilitated severe forms of trafficking or who exploited
victims of such trafficking.

There were no reports of Yemeni troops involved in
international peacekeeping efforts engaging in trafficking or
exploiting victims of trafficking.

¶L. If the country has an identified problem of child sex
tourists coming to the country, what are the countries of
origin for sex tourists? How many foreign pedophiles did the
government prosecute or deport/extradite to their country of
origin? If your host country’s nationals are perpetrators of
child sex tourism, do the country’s child sexual abuse laws
have extraterritorial coverage (similar to the U.S. PROTECT
Act) to allow the prosecution of suspected sex tourists for
crimes committed abroad? If so, how many of the country’s
nationals were prosecuted and/or convicted during the
reporting period under the extraterritorial provision(s) for
traveling to other countries to engage in child sex tourism?

Yemen has an identified problem of child sex tourists coming
to the country. The main country of origin is Saudi Arabia,
but NGOs suggested that tourists from other Gulf countries

SANAA 00000295 008 OF 013

visit hotels in Aden and Sana’a, where trafficking victims
are sexually exploited. There were no reported prosecutions,
deportations or extraditions of child sex tourists during the
reporting period. There were no reports that Yemeni
nationals engaged in child sex tourism during the reporting


¶A. What kind of protection is the government able under
existing law to provide for victims and witnesses? Does it
provide these protections in practice?

No change from last year.

¶B. Does the country have victim care facilities (shelters or
drop-in centers) which are accessible to trafficking victims?
Do foreign victims have the same access to care as domestic
trafficking victims? Where are child victims placed (e.g.,
in shelters, foster care, of juvenile justice detention
centers)? Does the country have specialized care for adults
in addition to children? Does the country have specialized
facilities dedicated to helping victims of trafficking? Are
these facilities operated by the government or by NGOs? What
is the funding source of these facilities? Please estimate
the amount the government spent (in U.S. dollar equivalent)
on these specialized facilities dedicated to helping
trafficking victims during the reporting period.

The only victim care facilities in the country are two
centers for trafficked children in Haradh (Hajja) and Sana’a,
operated jointly by the government and NGOs. These centers
provide the children with social protection, psychological
and medical care and reunite them with their families, if
possible. Children without families are enrolled in
orphanages. There was no information available on how much
the government spent on these facilities.

¶C. Does the government provide trafficking victims with
access to legal, medical and psychological services? If so,
please specify the kind of assistance provided. Does the
government provide funding or other forms of support to
foreign or domestic NGOs and/or international organizations
for providing these services to trafficking victims? Please
explain and provide any funding amounts in U.S. dollar
equivalent. If assistance provided was in-kind, please
specify exact assistance. Please specify if funding for
assistance comes from a federal budget or from regional or
local governments.

The Saleh Foundation, a federal government-affiliated NGO,
operates the center in Haradh, a major nexus of human
trafficking on the Saudi-Yemeni border. Shawthab operates
the center in Sana’a, where there are on average 16-20
children at a time. According to Shawthab, the center in
Sana’a provides the children with food, clothes, healthcare,
psychological counseling, schooling, and
sports/extracurricular activities. Shawthab receives
donations for the center, both financial and in-kind, from
local businessmen and restaurants and has an agreement with
Sana’a’s government-run al-Thawra Hospital for the children
to receive free treatment there. There was no information
available on how much the government spent on these

¶D. Does the government assist foreign trafficking victims,
for example, by providing temporary to permanent residency
status, or other relief from deportation? If so, please

A January 2010 law requiring all refugees in Yemen to
register or face deportation to their home countries could
impact victims of trafficking if they do not register with
the government. The government provides prima facie status
to all Somali refugees in Yemen, which allows them to remain
in country and receive UNHCR services. However, there was no
formal program to assist foreign trafficking victims.

SANAA 00000295 009 OF 013

¶E. Does the government provide longer-term shelter or
housing benefits to victims or other resources to aid the
victims in rebuilding their lives?


¶F. Does the government have a referral process to transfer
victims detained, arrested or placed in protective custody by
law enforcement authorities to institutions that provide
short- or long-term care (either government or NGO-run)?


¶G. What is the total number of trafficking victims
identified during the reporting period? (If available,
please specify the type of exploitation of these victims-
e.g., “The government identified X number of trafficking
victims during the reporting period, Y or which were victims
of trafficking for sexual exploitation and Z of which were
victims of nonconsensual labor exploitation.) Of these, how
many victims were referred to care facilities for assistance
by law enforcement authorities during the reporting period?
By social services officials? What is the number of victims
assisted by government-funded assistance programs and those
not funded by the government during the reporting period?

According to MOSAL, 602 children were trafficked to Saudi
Arabia in 2009. There was no further breakdown available and
no information available on how many of these children
received victim care services. This number is undoubtedly
very low in terms of the total number of trafficking victims
in Yemen.

¶H. Do the government’s law enforcement, immigration, and
social services personnel have a formal system of proactively
identifying victims of trafficking among high-risk persons
with whom they come in contact (e.g., foreign persons
arrested for prostitution or immigration violations)?

There is currently no such formal mechanism.

¶I. Are the rights of victims respected? Are trafficking
victims detained or jailed? If so, for how long? Are
victims fined? Are victims prosecuted for violations of
other laws, such as those governing immigration or

NGOs were not aware of instances of trafficking victims
facing legal prosecution inside Yemen. They did cite many
examples of trafficking victims being arrested and deported
from Saudi Arabia.

¶J. Does the government encourage victims to assist in the
investigation and prosecution of trafficking? How many
victims assisted in the investigation and prosecution of
traffickers during the reporting period? May victims file
civil suits or seek legal action against traffickers? Does
anyone impede victim access to such legal redress? If a
victim is a material witness in a court case against a former
employer, is the victim permitted to obtain other employment
or to leave the country pending trial proceedings? Are there
means by which a victim may obtain restitution?

No change from last year.

¶K. Does the government provide any specialized training for
government officials in identifying trafficking victims and
in the provision of assistance to trafficked victims,
including the special needs of trafficked children? Does the
government provide training on protections and assistance to
its embassies and consulates in foreign countries that are
destination or transit countries? What is the number of
trafficking victims assisted by the host country’s embassies
or consulates abroad during the reporting period? Please
explain the type of assistance provided (travel documents,
referrals to assistance, payment for transportation home).

SANAA 00000295 010 OF 013

The government conducted training courses for an unknown
number of policemen at border crossings on how to deal with
trafficked children. The Technical Committee also hosted a
series of workshops for government officials in Sana’a and
other governorates discussing TIP issues. The government
does not provide training on protection and assistance to its
embassies and consulates in foreign countries that are
destination or transit countries. No information was
available on the number of trafficking victims assisted by
the host country’s embassies or consulates abroad during the
reporting period.

¶L. Does the government provide assistance, such as medical
aid, shelter, or financial help, to its nationals who are
repatriated as victims of trafficking?

According to Shawthab, when victims are deported by the Saudi
government, they often arrive at Sana’a International Airport
with no possessions, wearing ragged clothes. Some of these
victims receive services from the Shawthab-operated center
for trafficking victims in Sana’a, and stay there until their
families can be located, but most do not receive any services.

A group of 9 Yemeni children deported from Egypt in April
2009 after being trafficked from Yemen for organ harvesting
were received by the Yemeni government and reunited with
their families, according to Seyaj and local media reports.

¶M. Which international organizations or NGOs, if any, work
with trafficking victims? What type of services do they
provide? What sort of cooperation do they receive from local

UNICEF was heavily involved in creating the rehabilitation
centers for victims of child trafficking and continues to
work with children vulnerable to trafficking. IOM is
currently conducting a comprehensive program with the
government to address migration and specifically trafficking
issues. Cooperation with local authorities is generally
good, but varies according to governorate.


¶A. Did the government conduct anti-trafficking information
or education campaigns during the reporting period? If so,
briefly describe the campaign(s), including their objectives
and effectiveness. Please provide the number of people
reached by such awareness efforts, if available. Do these
campaigns target potential trafficking victims and/or the
demand for trafficking (e.g., “Clients” of prostitutes or
beneficiaries of forced labor)?

The government conducted multiple information and education
campaigns during the reporting period, some on its own and
some in partnership with local and international

One campaign, which told the stories of trafficked children
in nationally aired Ramadan TV series and in TV and radio
interviews, aimed to increase the level of social awareness
about children’s rights.

The government developed a guide for mosque preachers on
protecting the rights of children and began to develop a
basic course on the rights of children to be included in the
curriculum of the Supreme Institute for Preaching and

Another campaign trained 1500 people (mostly teachers and
mosque preachers) in five governorates most at risk for
trafficking. This was a continuation of a previously
successful campaign in the same governorates but in different

The government also trained 1160 bus drivers in rural areas,
sensitizing them to the issue of child trafficking and

SANAA 00000295 011 OF 013

encouraging them not to transport children unless they are
escorted by their parents. It also distributed over 30,000
brochures, leaflets and stickers to bus and taxi drivers and
in taxi stations across the country.

The government produced a new documentary film on TIP in
2009, which is scheduled for wide release in 2010.

¶B. Does the government monitor immigration and emigration
patterns for evidence of trafficking?

At a regional conference in Riyadh in June 2009, the ROYG
presented a working paper describing its view on issues in
the Red Sea and Horn of Africa, including human trafficking.
The ROYG also announced that it would establish three centers
) in the cities of Aden, Mukullah and Hudeidah ) to monitor
the international waters in the Gulf of Aden as part of
efforts to fight human trafficking and piracy.

The Yemeni and Saudi governments have also made an effort to
tighten the Haradh border crossing in Hajja governorate,
which has been notorious for enabling Yemenis to illegally
cross into Saudi territory for the purposes of TIP,
drug-smuggling and terrorist activities.

¶C. Is there a mechanism for coordination and communication
between various agencies, internal, international, and
multilateral on trafficking-related mattes, such as a
multi-agency working group or a task force?

Relevant agencies cooperate via a Technical Committee led by
the HCMC. The committee has carried out a number of
activities, including field visits to border governorates and
educational workshops on TIP in Sana’a and other
governorates. At the beginning of 2009, the committee
developed a working mechanism for defining the tasks and
roles of each member.

¶D. Does the government have a national plan of action to
address trafficking in persons? If the plan wad developed
during the reporting period, which agencies were involved in
developing it? Were NGOs consulted in the process? What
steps has the government taken to implement the action plan?

The government created a three-year (2008-2010) National
Action Plan to Combat Child Smuggling that was ratified by
the Council of Ministers on March 31, 2009. The government,
led by the HCMC, has worked hard to implement the plan, but
has run into multiple roadblocks, including difficulty in
cooperating with Saudi officials and failure to pass
comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation in Parliament.
The involved agencies have also seen their operating budgets
cut significantly, seriously hindering their ability to make
progress in combating TIP.

¶E. What measures has the government taken during the
reporting period to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts?

In October 2009, MOJ and MOI issued a decree making it more
difficult for men to marry underage girls (early marriage) or
engage in “temporary marriages” that often result in
trafficking. The decree imposed new conditions on the
approval of such marriages, including permission from the
Yemeni MOI and, if the man is not a Yemeni national,
permission from his country’s MOI as well.

¶F. What measures has the government taken during the
reporting period to reduce the participation in international
child sex tourism by nationals of the country?

Yemeni nationals have not been accused of participating in
child sex tourism outside of the country in any significant

¶G. What measures has the government adopted to ensure that
its nationals who are deployed abroad as part of a
peacekeeping or other similar mission do not engage in or

SANAA 00000295 012 OF 013

facilitate severe forms of trafficking or exploit victims of
such trafficking?



¶A. Does the government engage with other governments, civil
society, and/or multilateral organizations to focus attention
and devote resources to addressing human trafficking? If so,
please provide details.

IOM announced in January 2010 that it was launching a $2.7M
program to help the government address the challenges of mass
immigration to Yemen, including protecting the rights of all
migrants, especially victims of trafficking. IOM is training
law enforcement officials to identify and assist victims of
trafficking and assisting government agencies in supporting
them. IOM is also working with the Yemeni government to set
up adequate administrative, legislative and technical
procedures to administer its land and maritime borders.

During 2009, UNICEF trained over 4,000 children, families,
local council members, religious leaders and teachers from
districts where children are particularly vulnerable to
trafficking to educate them about the inherent dangers in the

The ROYG also partners with the U.S. Embassy in conducting
awareness campaigns regarding child trafficking.

¶B. What sort of international assistance does the
government provide to other countries to address TIP?

The ROYG does not provide any assistance to other countries
to address TIP.

——————————————— ———
——————————————— ——–

¶33. Report if the following occurred: conscription or
forced recruitment of persons under the age of 18 into
governmental armed forces; voluntary recruitment of any
person under 15 years of age into governmental armed forces;
the extent to which any person under the age of 18 took a
direct part in hostilities as a member of governmental armed
forces; recruitment (forced or voluntary) of persons under
the age of 18 by armed groups distinct from those of the
governmental armed forces, including paramilitary forces,
illegal paramilitary groups, guerrillas, or other armed
groups. Describe trends toward improvement of the
above-mentioned practices, including steps and programs the
government undertook or the continued or increased tolerance
of such practices, including the role of the government in
engaging in or tolerating such practices. Report abuse of
children recruited by armed forces or the armed groups noted
above (e.g., sexual abuse or use for forced labor). Describe
the manner and age of conscription. In discussing activities
of armed groups distinct from those of governmental armed
forces, explain the position of the government towards the
armed group (opposition, tolerance, support, etc,) in detail.

For greater detail on child soldiers, please see reftels: 09
SANAA 1936, 09 SANAA 1998 and 09 SANAA 2219.

In the current round of conflict in Sa’ada that began in
August 2009, there were numerous accounts of the conscription
of child soldiers into official government forces and
government-allied tribal militias. According to local NGO
Dar al-Salaam, 500 to 600 children are killed or injured
through direct involvement in tribal hostilities every year.

Local NGO Seyaj estimated that children under the age of 18
may make up more than half the fighting force of tribes, both
those fighting with the government and those allied with the
Houthi rebels. Democracy School reports that, although by

SANAA 00000295 013 OF 013

law everyone serving in the armed forces must be 18 years or
older, the government makes no attempt to verify the age of
conscripts. One Democracy School employee said that her
nephew, who has not yet turned 18, joined the army and was
deployed to Haradh.

The government responded that the 1991 Armed Forces Service
Law number 67 stipulates that a recruit must be not less than
18 years of age. There is also a Military Penal Code which
stipulates that anyone in violation of these laws should be
punished (NFI). The government said that the Yemeni Armed
Forces are in compliance with these laws regarding a minimum
age for military service.

Comments Off on Yemen: Tenth Annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report

Senator Kerry’s Meting With Qatar’s Amir

Posted on 30 January 2011 by hashimilion

C O N F I D E N T I A L DOHA 000070


E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/13/2020

Classified By: Ambassador Joseph E. LeBaron, for reasons 1.4 (b, d).


— The Amir of Qatar urged the U.S. in his February 14
meeting with Senator John Kerry (D-MA) to do everything in
its power to find a lasting solution to the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Amir said the best way to
begin is by moving first on the Syrian track.

— In Qatar’s view, now is the time to reach out to
Damascus. The Syrian Government can help Arab extremists
make tough choices, but only if the U.S., whose involvement
is essential, demonstrates to Syria early on a willingness to
address the return of the Golan Heights and supports Turkey’s
mediation efforts between Israel and Syria.

— According to the Amir, Hamas will accept the 1967 border
with Israel, but will not say it publicly so as to lose
popular Palestinian support.

— The Egyptians’ goal, according to the Amir, is to stay in
the game and maintain their relationship with the U.S., which
is built around brokering regional peace, for as long as

— The Amir recommended that the U.S. and Qatar establish a
small bilateral committee to discuss how to advance regional
peace. Qatar can help move Hamas, because Qatar does not
“play in their internal politics.” That does not mean Qatar
shares Hamas’ ideology, stressed the Amir.

— On Iran, the Amir said President Ahmadinejad is strong
because he is uncorrupted. The Amir also advised the U.S. to
continue ts efforts to open a dialogue with the Iranian

End Key Points.

¶1. (C) Senator Joh Kerry (D-MA), the Chairman of the Senate
Foreig Relations Committee(SFRC), joined by Ambassador,P/E
Chief, and SFRC staff member Dr. Jonah Blank met February 14
with the Amir of Qatar, Hamad bn Khalifa Al Thani. The
meeting took place at Waba Palace, the residence of the
Amir, and the Amir began the meeting by pointing out that the
comfortable chairs on which the U.S. party was seated were
made in Syria.


¶2. (C) This opening led Senator Kerry to remark that he had
held great discussions with Syria’s President, Bashar
Al-Asad, when he met him in Damascus some months ago. The
Amir said President Asad is committed to “big change,” but
Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri’s death and complications
resulting from Syria’s alleged involvement in it had brought
about “complications” for Asad. The Amir added that “Bashar
is still young and can grow.”

¶3. (C) Senator Kerry said he took away from his visit to
Damascus that Asad wants change. The Amir added that the
Syrian President also wants peace with Israel and that the
arrival of a U.S. Ambassador in Damascus would help in this
regard. Senator Kerry said he had wanted a U.S. Ambassador
in Syria a year ago, but agreed that the naming of an
Ambassador is a positive development.

¶4. (C) The Amir cautioned that the Syrians will not accept
everything the U.S. proposes, stressing that the Israeli
occupation of the Golan Heights continues and that the return
of this land to Syria is paramount for Damascus. The Amir
observed that the “Syrians have lost confidence in the U.S.
and that the Israelis now have the upper hand in the region
because of the support of the United States.” The Israeli
leaders need to represent the people of Israel, who
themselves do not trust Arabs. The Amir said this is
understandable and “we can’t blame them” because the Israelis
have been “under threat” for a long time.

¶5. (C) What has changed, continued the Amir, is that Arabs
“for sure” now want two states — Israel and Palestine. When
you consider that many in the region perceive that Hizballah
drove Israel out of Lebanon and Hamas kicked them (at least
initially) out “of the small piece of land called Gaza,” it
is actually surprising that the Israelis still want peace.
The region, however, is still “far away” from peace,
concluded the Amir.

¶6. (C) Senator Kerry responded that in his long experience
with the region, it was not unusual for people to take
positions adverse to their own interests. Yasser Arafat went
from living as a terrorist in Tunisia to signing an agreement
with Israel on the White House lawn. The transformation of
Arafat is an example of how actors in the region need to take
risks if we are to move forward in advancing regional peace.
Turning the conversation back to Syria, Chairman Kerry
pointed out that Syria’s facilitation of arms to Hizballah
and its turning a blind eye to missile upgrades in Lebanon do
not represent risk-taking in the promotion of peace.

¶7. (C) The Amir pointed out that any progress toward regional
peace had come about due to American involvement. He implied
that it would take U.S. intervention on the Syrian-Israeli
track to address these issues and asked Senator Kerry what he
would have Damascus do.

¶8. (C) The Chairman responded that President Asad needs to
make a bolder move and take risks. He observed that if the
Syrian President wants peace and economic development for his
country, he needs to be more statesman-like, which would in
turn help Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu engage him.

¶9. (C) The Amir agreed with Senator Kerry’s assessment of
Asad’s aims and said he is ready for peace, but asked if the
Israelis are ready. Would Israel accept to resume Turkey’s
mediation between Syria and Israel? Would the U.S. play a
role in advancing the Syria track?

¶10. (C) If we can get Abu Mazen back to the negotiating
table, we can engage on border issues — including Israel’s
borders with Syria, advised Senator Kerry. Abu Mazen right
now is not strong enough, though, to make necessary
compromises with Israel because the Palestinian people have
wanted him to stick to his guns on a settlement freeze and
the Goldstone Report. The Chairman added that Netanyahu also
needs to compromise and work the return of the Golan Heights
into a formula for peace.

¶11. (C) The Amir encouraged the U.S. to work the Golan
Heights issue first. He stressed that Syrians are very
different from Iranians in “mentality,” and said the Syrians
turned to Iran for support only because they had nowhere else
to go. Now is the time, the Amir told Senator Kerry, to
reach out to Damascus.


¶12. (C) Senator Kerry responded that the U.S. is prepared to
play a strong role in bringing about peace in the region.
President Obama, said the Chairman, understands that he
personally must engage and do so strongly. The Senator told
the Amir that in his speech to the U.S.-Islamic Forum the
previous evening, the Senator had focused on former President
Clinton’s parameters for peace and the 2002 Arab League peace
initiative. Now, said the Senator, is the time to put those
back on the table and resume talking, with the U.S. acting as
a legitimate agent of peace. Chairman Kerry told the Amir he
is convinced that we can see great progress in the coming
year by moving swiftly from proximity talks, to direct talks
between the parties and ending with final status discussions.

¶13. (C) To be successful, continued Senator Kerry, we must
begin by agreeing at the outset the amount of land each side
(Israelis and Palestinians) will obtain in the end and use
that understanding to draw the borders. If both sides make
good compromises, we can address the settlement issues in the
context of giving something up so that the borders, when
drawn, contain the agreed-upon amounts of land for both
sides. The Amir agreed with the Senator’s assessment and
complimented President Obama for being the first U.S.
President to take on the Middle East conflict in the first
year of his term.

¶14. (C) Continuing the presentation of his ideas on the
parameters of peace between Israel and the Palestinians,
Senator Kerry noted that one of the biggest problems for
Israel is the potential return of 5-6 million Palestinian
refugees. The parties broached the return issue in
discussions at Taba and agreed that the right of Palestinian
return would be subject to later negotiation, pointed out the
Chairman. If we can proceed from that point on the right of
return, the Senator believes there is an “artful way” to
frame the negotiations on borders, land swaps, and Jerusalem
as a shared capital.
¶15. (C) Any negotiation has its limits, added Senator Kerry,
and we know for the Palestinians that control of Al-Aqsa
mosque and the establishment of some kind of capital for the
Palestinians in East Jerusalem are not negotiable. For the
Israelis, the Senator continued, Israel’s character as a
Jewish state is not open for negotiation. The
non-militarization of an eventual Palestinian state and its
borders can nonetheless be resolved through negotiation.

¶16. (C) The Amir underscored that Abu Mazen needs Arab
support to make the above happen. Hamas “for sure,” he said,
will accept the 1967 border but will not say it publicly so
as to lose popular Palestinian support.


¶17. (C) Senator Kerry told the Amir he knew Qatar could help
the U.S. but asked how we deal with those who advocate
violence. The Amir said the short answer is to work the
Syrian track, which means pushing for Israel’s return of the
Golan Heights to Syria. The Amir said return of the Golan is
important not just to Syria but also to Hizballah and Iran.
The U.S. must bear in mind that Misha’al, a leader of Hamas
based in Damascus, has drawn the conclusion that the Oslo
accords were bad for Arafat. He lost the support of his own
people and died living under Israeli siege. The Syrians can
help Misha’al and others make tough choices, but only if the
U.S. demonstrates to Syria early on a willingness to address
the Golan. Senator Kerry responded that the U.S. would
accept a legitimate discussion of the Golan Heights.

¶18. (C) What is more, said the Amir, the U.S. needs to
support Turkey’s mediation between Israel and Syria. It is
important that the U.S. encourage Israel to understand that
that resolving the status of the Golan Heights is very
important to the United States.

¶19. (C) Senator Kerry asked the Amir if Hamas is under
pressure given the circumstances in Gaza. The Amir answered
by saying that Hamas needs Iranian support. He added that
the biggest misconception in the region is that the Syrians,
who host Hamas leaders in Damascus, go to Iran because they
like the Iranians. This is wrong. Syria goes to those who
will not shun them.


¶20. (C) Returning to the pressure Hamas is facing, Senator
Kerry observed that economic development in the West Bank is
taking place, but not in Gaza. The Palestinian
reconciliation that would make possible developmental
assistance in Gaza has not happened. The Egyptians have not
delivered, said Senator Kerry.

¶21. (C) The Amir said the Egyptians’ goal is to stay in the
game and maintain their relationship with the U.S., which is
built around brokering Middle East peace, for as long as
possible. According to the Amir, Fatah and Hamas agreed on a
memorandum of understanding, but the Egyptians wanted it
changed. The Amir remarked that he has a feeling he knows
which capital (Cairo) is the source of reports that Gaza is
under pressure. He said the economic pressure in Gaza on
families is not what it was. He offered as an example that
Qatar Charity recently offered a family in Gaza 500 USD, but
the family declined the gift saying its members had enough to
get by and suggested another family that was in more dire
need of assistance. The Amir said the notion that a family
would turn down money is new.

¶22. (C) The Amir told Senator Kerry that everyone knows
“Egypt has a problem with the Muslim Brotherhood. Okay, we
understand. But Egypt should not expect the world to take
external actions that would help it internally.”

¶23. (C) Asked his advice for President Obama, the Amir
recommended the establishment of a small U.S.-Qatar committee
to discuss how to proceed. Qatar is close to Hamas,
emphasized the Amir, because “we don’t play in their internal
politics.” That does not mean we share their ideology or do
not disagree with them. “I can remember many arguments with
them (Hamas) on the 1967 border with Israel.” The Amir noted
that he had mediated with Hamas previously at the U.S.
request, namely when he urged Hamas at the previous
Administration’s request to participate in Palestinian

¶24. (C) Returning to the leadership of Hamas, Senator Kerry
asked the Amir for his insights into how the leadership, with
leaders sitting in both Gaza and Syria, makes decisions. The
Amir said the impression that Misha’al sits in Damascus and
others take orders from him is wrong. Several key players
within Hamas are involved in decisions. They have
differences over policy, but “the bottom line is that they
all want the Palestinians to take their rights from Israel.”


¶25. (C) Senator Kerry observed that the international
community is moving toward imposing additional economic
sanctions on Iran. Understanding and respecting that Qatar
needs to balance its relationships with regional powers,
including Iran, the Chairman asked the Amir for his
perspective on where we are going on Iran.

¶26. (C) The Amir answered by affirming that his first
obligation is to defend the interests of Qatar. Due to the
natural gas field Iran shares with Qatar, Qatar will not
“provoke a fight” with Iran. He added that in the history of
the two countries, “Iran has not bothered us.” That said,
the Amir noted that Iran is an important country in the
Middle East. He faulted the U.S. for “making the mistake of
speaking up for protesters” after the disputed Iranian
presidential elections.

¶27. (C) The Iranian regime is strong, continued the Amir,
because President Ahmadinejad is uncorrupted. “That is the
secret to his success.” Khatami is also not corrupted, but
as a reformer he is in a weak position. Rafsanjani, on the
other hand, is corrupt.

¶28. (C) Senator Kerry lamented that every communication the
current Administration has attempted to the Government of
Iran has gone back channel and been met with no response.
There have been non-U.S. initiatives, too. Again, no
success. The Chairman observed that the Iranians are scared
to talk. The Supreme Ayatollah had met with Russian President
Putin, but seems not inclined to meet with other political
leaders. Our instinct is that we need to find a way to talk
to him.

¶29. (C) Your instinct is right, replied the Amir. The U.S.
needs to talk directly with senior Iranian officials. The
Amir then asked, “What if I talk to the Iranian President.
What would you have me say?”

¶30. (C) Senator Kerry responded, “The U.S. seeks serious
discussion and sought to create a new foundation for a
relationship based on Iran’s non-confrontational compliance
with IAEA requirements and other mutual interests.” Those
interests include dealing with drug-running, the Taliban, and
illicit trade. The Chairman told the Amir he feared that
Iran still thinks it is dealing with the 1953 America that
tried to overthrow the Iranian government.

¶31. (C) The Amir responded that you cannot blame them for
having that attitude, and Senator Kerry agreed, adding that
the U.S. has a very different posture in the post-Cold War
world of today. Iran has ambitions; I know this from other
regional leaders, said the Senator. These are the first
words that come out of their mouths.

¶32. (C) Iran wants to be a “big power,” agreed the Amir, but
what sort? He reminded Senator Kerry the U.S. should not
forget that Iranians are Persian and the U.S. needs to
approach them in that framework.

¶33. (C) Senator Kerry stressed that the U.S. “would love to
have that dialogue.” The U.S. respects Iranian civilization
— talent, art, culture, etc. It is crazy to continue on
this collision course. The region needs schools and jobs,
emphasized the Chairman, not another war. The Amir agreed
that “demographics are a big worry.” Not just for the
countries in the region but for the U.S. too.

¶34. (C) Many scientific and technological transformations are
underway, noted the Senator, “but Iran misinterprets the road
to being a great power and the degree to which the
international community is concerned about Iran’s acquisition
of nuclear weapons.” We are at a “fork in the road,” and
Iran must choose between confrontation or building
partnerships. If the latter, we can open up new
opportunities for cooperation in the sciences, technology,
education, robotics, energy and other ongoing

¶35. (C) Going back to the speech he had delivered in Doha the
previous evening, Senator Kerry told the Amir that 17 former
U.S. Secretaries of State and Defense had come out in favor
of eliminating nuclear weapons. Every stop closer to
realizing that goal is a sign of progress, but “no one
believes Iranian nukes get us closer to that goal.”

¶36. (C) Senator Kerry reported that leaders of regional Arab
countries tell me they want nuclear weapons if the Iranians
have them. The Amir responded that he did not believe they
were serious, but are saying this to put additional pressure
on Iran.

¶37. (C) The Chairman noted that the disputed Iranian
presidential elections may have derailed U.S. efforts to have
serious dialogue with Tehran. The Amir agreed, offering that
the Israelis are also using Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons
as a diversion from settling matters with the Palestinians.
The historical backdrop of Arab-Persian relations does not
help, the Amir added.


¶38. (C) The Amir advised the U.S. to continue trying to open
a dialogue with the Iranian leadership. He also told Senator
Kerry the U.S. needs to tell the Israelis they are causing
the U.S. to lose the hearts and minds of Muslims. There was
a time, such as during the Suez Canal crisis, when the Arabs
loved the Americans and disliked the British and French, he

¶39. (C) Senator Kerry asked the Amir how the U.S. goes about
changing its reputation. The Amir said first and foremost
the U.S. must do everything in its power to find a lasting
solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the best
way to begin is by moving first on the Syrian track.

¶40. (C) The Chairman of the SFRC said he expects a genuine
effort by the President this year on an agreement and
expressed his hope that Iranian issues would not complicate
matters. The Amir agreed, adding that China likes the
distraction for the U.S. as its forces fight in Iraq and

¶41. (C) Senator Kerry concurred, noting that China is lending
the U.S. money and expanding its influence at U.S. expense.
He added that he ran against President George W. Bush saying
the war with Iraq was the wrong war in the wrong place and

¶42. (C) The Amir closed the meeting by offering that based on
30 years of experience with the Iranians, they will give you
100 words. Trust only one of the 100.

¶43. (U) CODEL Kerry has cleared this message.


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Senator Kerry’s Meeting With Qatar’s Prime Minister

Posted on 30 January 2011 by hashimilion

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 DOHA 000071


E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/12/2020

Classified By: Ambassador Joseph E. LeBaron, for reasons 1.4 (b, d).


— Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani (HBJ) told
Senator John Kerry February 13 that we will all lose us 4-6
months of time in pursuing the recently announced “proximity
talks” between the Israelis and Palestinians.

— HBJ underscored that it is a mistake to ignore Hamas in
seeking a lasting agreement.

— From Qatar’s perspective, there are differences in style
and approaches between the two wings of Hamas, but in
principle both are fundamentally aligned. Hamas leaders in
Damascus and Gaza can accept recognition of Israel, but must
calibrate the timing very carefully because Hamas supporters
are not ready for this change.

— According to HBJ, Egypt has a vested interest in dragging
out Palestinian reconciliation talks for as long as possible.
Egypt “has no end game; serving as broker of the talks is
Egypt’s only business interest with the U.S.”

— The Prime Minister suggested that one or two GCC members,
Morocco, and Syria form the core membership of an Arab League
committee to address Palestinian-Israeli concerns. Giving
Syria a role would create jealousy among the Arabs, which HBJ
said would help the U.S. move talks forward.

— HBJ said putting economic pressure on Iran by targeting
its oil revenues is the best way to get Tehran to rethink its
quest for nuclear weapons. For the sanctions to work, it
would be vital that Russia and other countries bordering Iran
implement them fully.

End Key Points.

¶1. (C) The Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee (SFRC), Senator John Kerry (D-MA), accompanied by
Ambassador, P/E Chief and SFRC staff Frank Lowenstein and
Fatema Sumar, met February 13 with Prime Minister (and
Foreign Minister) of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani
(HBJ). HBJ opened the meeting by observing that President
Obama’s presidency had brought a lot of optimism to the
region. Senator Kerry agreed, adding that now we “need to


¶2. (C) HBJ expressed dissatisfaction that “everyone in the
region” seems to have a separate plan for moving ahead on the
Israeli-Palestinian dispute when only one plan was needed —
a plan that both the Israelis and Palestinians would accept
and finalize. More disconcerting to Qatar, he said, was the
announcement by Special Envoy Mitchell that both parties
would now engage in “proximity talks.” Such talks “will lose
us 4-6 months of time,” stated HBJ.

¶3. (C) Senator Kerry responded that we “are where we are.”
He assessed that the Goldstone Report and dissatisfaction in
Fatah’s ranks in the West Bank made it difficult for Abu
Mazen to “give something to Israel” that would allow direct
negotiations to begin between the parties. Add in Abu
Mazen’s previous statements on the need for a full settlement
freeze, and the ingredients for the Palestinian people to
accept direct talks simply are not there.

¶4. (C) Abu Mazen is out on a limb, responded HBJ. “He
climbed a tree (drawing a line in the sand on settlements)
and can’t get down.” HBJ suggested that President Obama’s
address to the UN General Assembly at the opening of its
current session could serve as a “roadmap” forward: two
states (Israel and Palestine) remain the goal, and the
establishment of settlements must stop while negotiations
take place. HBJ stressed again that the “proximity talks”
will cause a “lot of problems.”


¶5. (C) HBJ told Chairman Kerry he had met recently in Doha
with an Israeli delegation and had encouraged them to work
with Palestinians of all stripes in the pursuit of peace.
HBJ underscored that it is a mistake to work with just one
partner, Fatah, and ignore Hamas. Saying this does not mean

DOHA 00000071 002 OF 004

that Qatar expresses a preference for Hamas. HBJ pointed out
that Abu Mazen had taught in Qatar for 30 years and remains a
friend of Qatar. Qatar has no differences with him or those
around him, but the Palestinian Authority (PA) cannot sign
off on an agreement on behalf of the Palestinians where open
divisions exist.

¶6. (C) HBJ noted that in conversations Qatar has held with
Hamas’ leadership, it is clear that Hamas is ready to accept
Israel’s right to exist. But the acceptance must come about
gradually, not in one day. Senator Kerry said he had heard
this elsewhere, but in his own conversations in Damascus —
where a many leaders of Hamas reside — he did not get the
sense that Hamas was ready to accept Israel’s existence.

¶7. (C) Qatar’s PM observed that the biggest obstacle on the
Palestinian side to an eventual agreement with Israel is the
reconciliation of Hamas and Fatah. HBJ maintained that it
would have happened during the previous U.S. administration,
but President Bush told Abu Mazen not to sign off on it.
Now, said HBJ, progress is slow, and bringing the two parties
together in the spirit of reconciliation is hampered by Arab
politics. Reconciliation can happen, HBJ asserted, but only
“if bigger countries in the region allow it.”

8, (C) Senator Kerry, noting that he had seen Yasser Arafat
make the transition from PLO fighter to signer of an
agreement on the White House lawn, observed that people can
come around and change their position. But was that the case
here? The Senator asked HBJ if the differences at play
between Hamas’ leaders in Damascus and Gaza were too wide to

¶9. (C) From HBJ’s perspective, there are differences in style
and approaches between the two wings of Hamas, but in
principle both are fundamentally aligned. They can accept
recognition of Israel, but have to calibrate the timing very
carefully because Hamas knows that its supporters in the
Palestinian territories are not ready for this change. HBJ
said Hamas leaders in Damascus and Gaza are aligned on
wanting to open the border crossing at Rafah, for example,
but differ on tactics in reaching this goal. The leaderships
in Syria and Gaza consult each other, and no one leader in
Hamas can take a decision alone, reported HBJ.


¶10. (C) Chairman Kerry asked HBJ if Hamas is feeling
political pressure from Gazans over their current living
conditions. HBJ responded that anytime people do not have
housing, schools or public utilities, their political leaders
feel pressure. Hamas, however, has a greater sense of
urgency in reconciling with Fatah, observed HBJ, than does
the broker of the talks between the Palestinian parties.

¶11. (C) According to HBJ, Egypt — the broker — has a vested
interest in dragging out the talks for as long as possible.
Egypt “has no end game; serving as broker of the talks is
Egypt’s only business interest with the U.S.” HBJ likened
the situation to a physician who has only one patient to
treat in the hospital. If that is your only business, “the
physician is going to keep the patient alive but in the
hospital for as long as possible.” HBJ emphasized that
Qatar, on the other hand, is interested only in bringing
about peace in the region — and as quickly as possible.

¶12. (C) Short term, HBJ said Hamas wants to form with Fatah a
unity government and rebuild the Israeli-inflicted damage in
Gaza. Senator Kerry, steering the conversation toward Hamas’
long-term aims, acknowledged that Qatar’s leaders speak
frequently with Hamas. The Chairman asked HBJ to explain why
Hamas does not seem “to move when we need Hamas to move.”

¶13. (C) Simply put, answered HBJ, “Hamas does not trust Egypt
and the Quartet enterprise.” HBJ noted that since its
inception the Quartet has been anti-Hamas and aligned with
the interests of Abu Mazen, Egypt and Jordan. These partners
of the Quartet, observed HBJ, are the very partners who have
not delivered a Palestinian-Israeli agreement.

¶14. (C) Returning to his theme that “peace brokers” act in
their own self-interest, HBJ observed that President Mubarak
of Egypt is thinking about how his son can take his place and
how to stave off the growing strength of the Muslim
Brotherhood. The Egyptian government, said HBJ, has jailed
10,000 Muslim Brotherhood members without bringing court
cases against them. The Egyptian “people blame America” now
for their plight. The shift in mood on the ground is “mostly
because of Mubarak and his close ties” to the United States.

DOHA 00000071 003 OF 004

His only utility to the U.S. is brokering peace between
Palestinians and Israelis, so he has no interest in taking
himself out of the one game he has, underscored HBJ. “Tell
your friends (in Egypt) they must help themselves.”

¶15. (C) As for Qatar, “We want to help Abu Mazen and the
Palestinians,” declared HBJ. The short-term needs of
Palestinians in Gaza are acute, said HBJ. We need to broker
a quick reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah and move
forward quickly on rebuilding Gaza. Senator Kerry asserted
that HBJ was preaching to the converted and told the PM he
was “shocked by what I saw in Gaza.”

¶16. (C) Continuing to illustrate how Egypt had not delivered
for the U.S. on Palestinian issues, HBJ said Qatar was told
in late 2008 that Israel and the U.S. needed the Egyptians to
deal with the crisis in Gaza. Yet former Israeli PM Olmert
later complained to Qatar that Egypt is a big country and not
nimble; it could not move fast enough. Senator Kerry pointed
out he was in Cairo at the time Qatar was calling for an Arab
League Summit in December 2008/January 2009 and asked HBJ for
his perspective on the rift between Qatar and Egypt at that

¶17. (C) HBJ told Senator Kerry that Mubarak refused to come
to Doha for a meeting of Arab leaders, preferring that the
meeting take place in Riyadh. The request to move the
meeting was relayed to Qatar by the Saudis, not the
Egyptians. Saudi Arabia, as a big country like Egypt, has a
vested interest in keeping Egypt afloat, said HBJ. The
Saudis agreed to host the meeting in Riyadh not because they
objected to traveling to Doha, but because the Egyptians did.
“So we argued over the meeting location” while the
Palestinians suffered, and we in Qatar “called a meeting and
said whoever comes, comes.”

¶18. (C) Qatar is worried, said HBJ, about Egypt and its
people, who are increasingly impatient. Mubarak, continued
HBJ, says Al Jazeera is the source of Egypt’s problems. This
is an excuse. HBJ had told Mubarak “we would stop Al Jazeera
for a year” if he agreed in that span of time to deliver a
lasting settlement for the Palestinians.
Mubarak said nothing in response, according to HBJ.

¶19. (C) Asked his advice on bringing about an agreement
between Israel and the Palestinians, HBJ said President
Clinton recognized before leaving office that Egypt was a
problem. When President Clinton sought help at the end of
his term in reaching a final deal, the Saudis and Egyptians
did not encourage him, said HBJ. “They told him to do what
he thinks right.” Culturally, said HBJ, that is the way
Arabs say “you are on your own.” And President Clinton was,
said HBJ.

¶20. (C) Now we are at a stage, said HBJ, where Egypt does not
want Arab League involvement in brokering a reconciliation
agreement among the Palestinians unless the talks bog down.
HBJ said he had told Abbas that climbing down from his tree
on no settlement activity so that talks can go forward will
require Arab support. But the Egyptians won’t allow it.

¶21. (C) Asked if tabling a more specific plan for peace
between the Israelis and Palestinians would help, HBJ said it
would be a mistake to table a plan that is too specific. HBJ
then reiterated that the problem is more with those carrying
out the negotiations. “The good cooks (Egypt) have not given
good food to now.”

¶22. (C) Senator Kerry noted that Special Envoy Mitchell had
made a lot of requests of Arabs but with little success.
Leaving Qatar aside, the Chairman asked HBJ for proposed next
steps. HBJ said he trusts the Saudis, but because they talk
openly to Egypt and do not want to create more problems for
Egypt than the Egyptian government already has, it is
essential to bring in the small countries and start there.

¶23. (C) HBJ suggested one or two GCC members, Morocco
(although the King there is hesitant) and Syria as the core
membership of an Arab League committee to address
Palestinian-Israeli concerns. HBJ told Senator Kerry the
inclusion of Syria might surprise him, but having Syria play
a role would create jealousy among the Arabs. Some jealously
and rivalry is just what the U.S. needs, opined HBJ, to get
the process moving.


¶24. (C) Turning to Iran, Senator Kerry said he understood
Qatar’s need to find the right balance in dealing with bigger

DOHA 00000071 004 OF 004

neighbors, especially Iran given the natural gas field both
share. Due to the working relationship Qatar maintains with
Iran, the Chairman asked HBJ for his advice as the
international community becomes more serious about economic
sanctions against Iran.

¶25. (C) HBJ said Iran’s president views the U.S. as a country
that is overstretched and in difficulty as a result of too
many commitments. Iraq, Afghanistan, and the U.S. economy
are the three main problems President Ahmadinejad sees. HBJ
observed that a Western attack against Iran for Ahmadinejad
would be good politics, because it would allow him to take
out his opposition using the war as a pretext. Senator Kerry
asked clarification of whether Ahmadinejad had said these
things, or if HBJ inferred them from conversation.

¶26. (C) Qatar’s PM said Ahmadinejad had told him, “We beat
the Americans in Iraq; the final battle will be in Iran.”

¶27. (C) HBJ said putting economic pressure on Iran is the
best way to get the leadership to rethink its quest for
nuclear weapons. To be successful, he told Senator Kerry,
Russia would definitely have to be on board, as would the
Central Asian countries bordering Iran that provide food and

¶28. (C) Asked his perception of the state of play with the
opposition, HBJ said the U.S. had done a good job of standing
back and not becoming the symbol of the opposition. Cracks
in the regime are appearing. It is highly significant that
many demonstrators ignored Khamenei when he called on them to
stop their protests. The four key pillars of Iranian power
— the court, oil sector, imams, and Revolutionary Guards —
all must stick with him, stressed HBJ. There are cracks in
the system, but the downfall of the regime may not be in the

¶29. (C) Asked what the sanctions should target, HBJ said the
money that Iran derives from oil. Depriving Tehran of this
revenue would force the regime to negotiate.

¶30. (C) Senator Kerry observed that Ahmadinejad was making it
easier by his actions. There is wide consensus in the
Executive and Legislative branches of Washington to press
ahead. Senator Kerry warned that Ahmadinejad “should not
equate Afghanistan and Iraq with what he faces.”

¶31. (C) HBJ encouraged Chairman Kerry to bear in mind that
Iran is clever and makes its opponents dizzy in the quest for
deals. They will keep you working on a deal and then start
from scratch with a new interlocutor. HBJ stressed that Iran
will make no deal. Iran wants nuclear weapons, and HBJ said
he would not be surprised to see Iran test one to demonstrate
to the world its achievement.

¶32. (C) On Lebanon, Senator Kerry asked if Iran and Hizballah
are ratcheting up their weapons stockpiles as part of Iran’s
war against Israel. HBJ affirmed that is the case.


¶33. (C) On Iraq, HBJ told Senator Kerry that Prime Minister
Al-Maliki wants a Shia state, even though the Sunnis (when
you count Kurds and non-Kurds) have the majority.

¶34. (U) CODEL Kerry has cleared this message.


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Visa Revocation Kuwait

Posted on 30 January 2011 by hashimilion

S E C R E T KUWAIT 000166



E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/24/2020

REF: A. STATE 10533
¶B. STATE 11763

Classified By: Classified by: Consul Pat Walsh for reasons 1.4 b and d

¶1. (U) Action request for Department para 7.

¶2. (SBU) Ref A was a list of prudential revocations of visas
issued in Kuwait. Ref B invited posts to notify VO/L/C of
any sensitive cases and to delay notifying the applicant
pending a response from Washington. Post appreciates the
opportunity to reclama and wishes to bring one such case to
the attention of the Department.

¶3. (C) The applicant in question is Dr. Walid Al-Tabtabae,
DPOB: April 3, 1964, Kuwait. The applicant possesses the
following non-immigrant visa: B1/B2 issued August 27, 2001,
expires August 26, 2011. The following CLASS hits are
entered in his name: One 00 hit entered September 24, 2004,
referencing TSC record 1382195, one P3B hit and one VRVK hit,
both entered December 30, 2009.

¶4. (C) Al-Tabtabae is a six-time Member of Kuwait’s National
Assembly, in which he serves as Chairman of the Human Rights
Committee and is a member (Rapporteur) of the Legislative and
Legal Affairs Committee as well as the Negative Phenomena

¶5. (C) Al-Tabtabae is an outspoken critic of U.S. policies on
Israel-Palestine and opposes the normalization of relations
with Israel. In October 2009, he was barred entry into Egypt
for having illegally entering the Gaza Strip via tunnels
under the Rafah border. Al-Tabtabae is is a leading
Salafist-leaning member of the Kuwaiti Parliament, is a
frequent and vocal critic of U.S. policies, and has a very
high media profile. Kuwaiti Salafists, with whom Al-Tabtabae
is usually associated, are ultra-conservative and oppose many
aspects of U.S. foreign policy, but like most Kuwaitis for
the most part favor a continued U.S. military presence in
Kuwait as a bulwark against the ambitions of covetous larger

¶6. (S/NF) Though Al-Tabtabae is often at odds politically
with the United States, and has met with senior members of
Hamas, Post is not aware of credible evidence indicating his
participation in or facilitation of terrorism, and notes that
the single intel piece available through TIDE indicates only
an indirect linkage, and source is of low quality.

¶7. (C) In revoking Al-Tabtabae,s visa, we risk creating a
public cause clbre in Kuwait that would enable critics of
U.S. policy like Al-Tabtabae and his fellow-travelers in the
ultra-conservative/Salafist movement in Kuwait to portray the
revocation as punishment of those who disagree with U.S.
policy by labeling them &terrorists.8

¶8. (C) Action Request: Post requests Department reconsider
this revocation.

********************************************* *********
For more reporting from Embassy Kuwait, visit:
visit Kuwait’s Classified Website at: it
********************************************* *********

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Saudi Police Crack Down on Jeddah Demonstrators

Posted on 29 January 2011 by hashimilion

Saudi Authorities have arrested tens of protesters on Friday after hundreds of people took part in a demonstration in one of Jeddah’s main commercial streets, Al Tahlia street.

The demonstators chanted anti government slogans and called for regime change after floods had destroyd the city for the second year running.

It is alleged that an angry women who had lost all her children in the floods had incited members of a mosque, which added extra imputus to the demonstration.

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Anti Al Saudi Jeddah Demo

Posted on 29 January 2011 by hashimilion

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