Archive | Gulf Leaks

Oman’s Sultan Qaboos And A/S Feltman Discuss Yemen

Posted on 05 February 2011 by hashimilion

S E C R E T MUSCAT 000103

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/23
TAGS: PREL PTER MU YM
SUBJECT: OMAN’S SULTAN QABOOS AND A/S FELTMAN DISCUSS YEMEN

CLASSIFIED BY: Richard J. Schmierer, Ambassador, State, EXEC; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

¶1. (S) SUMMARY: In a February 17 meeting with NEA Assistant Secretary Feltman, Sultan Qaboos

— Supported President Saleh and a united Yemen;

— Concurred wholeheartedly with the U.S. analysis and approach to
Yemen, especially on the need to maintain pressure on President
Saleh;

— Agreed the fight against al-Qaida should be the highest priority in Yemen and the region;

— Explained that he had placed Omani security forces on alert to counter al-Qaida;

— Saw Yemen’s 2013 presidential elections as a potential watershed; between now and then Saleh would need to prove himself
“worthy” to his fellow Yemenis.

END SUMMARY.

¶2. (C) NEA Assistant Secretary Jeffrey Feltman called on Oman’s
Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said February 17. In a meeting lasting
almost two-hours, the two focused discussions on Iran and Yemen.
This cable reports the Yemen discussion; Iran is reported septel. Also present on the Omani side was MFA Secretary General (D-equivalent) and fellow royal Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Humud Al Busaidi. Ambassador Richard Schmierer and DCM (notetaker) filled out the U.S. side.

¶3. (S) SHRINKING CIRCLE. A/S Feltman reviewed the U.S. assessment of the situation in Yemen and President Ali Abdallah Saleh. Saleh appears to be muddling through a challenging situation, but there is concern that he is relying on a shrinking leadership circle
consisting of family, the military, and some tribal elements. At the same time, Saleh appears focused on non-existential distractions such as the Houthis when the focus should be on the potentially existential threat Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) poses. The question that arises is whether Saleh see these “distractions” as useful to him in managing the situation. The United States sees no real alternative to supporting Saleh. The U.S. is nevertheless determined to send a very clear message on its future expectations while assistance will be conditionally based. The Sultan cautioned that Saleh might use competition among donors to degrade conditionality.

¶4. (S) BALANCING ACT. The Sultan agreed on the need to support
Saleh. Yemen was at a “crucial” point in time. The Yemeni president continues to conduct a “balancing act.” Recent information the Sultan has received corroborates the U.S. analysis that Saleh is increasingly inward looking, relying on a small circle of trust and not sharing the responsibilities of governing as he had done before. Further, Saleh is losing support of the Hashed tribe that led him to power. The Houthi struggle was a domestic issue. The Sultan believed it would be coming to an end soon because Saudi Arabia, on which Saleh is dependent, realized it needed to stop.

¶5. (S) FOCUSING ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. The Sultan reviewed some history of Yemen. He had been personally involved in efforts to avert the 1994 civil war. The south entered the union because it calculated it would dominate the government, a calculation that proved wrong. The situation has been exacerbated because the north has neglected the south, especially after the north’s victory in
the war. Consequently, in the south today there are two schools
developing. One is seeking greater autonomy within a united Yemen, and the other seeks independence. Oman supports a united Yemen.
The 2012 [sic] presidential election will be a key to gauging the future. Developments in Yemen will be difficult to predict, but Oman will work to preclude the development of any political “vacuum.” If Saleh is to be re-elected, he must use the intervening years to convince Yemenis that he is worthy.

¶6. (S) NO MORE GAMES. For the present, the Sultan believed that
dealing with AQAP was the highest priority for all concerned. Oman’s policy is to root out AQAP. The Sultan had recently placed Oman’s security forces at maximum alert against AQAP. Al-Qaida moved to Yemen because it saw opportunities there. It could prey on territorial, tribal, and religious differences. Saleh must be kept under pressure to do more, not just against AQAP directly, but also more to deny AQAP the tools it uses to create dissension. Thus, Saleh must do more for his people in terms of good governance. His message to Saleh is that there must be “no more games.”

¶7. (U) A/S Feltman cleared this message.
Schmierer

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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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Suspected Taliban Financial Activity in The UAE

Posted on 30 January 2011 by hashimilion

S E C R E T ABU DHABI 000009

NOFORN

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.
OLSON

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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

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/13/2020
TAGS: PREL KWBG KPAL IR QA
SUBJECT: SENATOR KERRY’S MEETING WITH QATAR’S AMIR

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

————–
(C) KEY POINTS
————–

— 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
possible.

— 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
ladership.

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.

——————————
IMPORTANCE OF THE SYRIAN TRACK
——————————

¶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.

————————-
PARAMETERS FOR DISCUSSION
————————-

¶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.

—————————
DEALING WITH THE EXTREMISTS
—————————

¶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.

————-
ROLE OF EGYPT
————-

¶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
elections.

¶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.”

—-
IRAN
—-

¶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
transformations.

¶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.

————–
FINAL THOUGHTS
————–

¶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
said.

¶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
Afghanistan.

¶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
time.

¶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.

Lebaron

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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

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/12/2020
TAGS: PREL KWBG KPAL IR QA
SUBJECT: SENATOR KERRY’S MEETING WITH QATAR’S PRIME MINISTER

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

————–
(C) KEY POINTS
————–

— 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
deliver.”

—————————
PROXIMITY TALKS NOT HELPFUL
—————————

¶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.”

———————————–
NEED FOR PALESTINIAN RECONCILIATION
———————————–

¶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
bridge.

¶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.

——————————————–
EGYPT INTERESTED IN THE PROCESS, NOT RESULTS
——————————————–

¶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.

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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
time.

¶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.

—————-
IRAN AND LEBANON
—————-

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

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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
supplies.

¶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
cards.

¶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.

—-
IRAQ
—-

¶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.

Lebaron

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