“Can you extract something from the Israelis? Something they have already said?” Pandering idea for Egypt re NPT
PP RUEHDBU RUEHDT RUEHFL RUEHKN RUEHMJ RUEHMR RUEHMRE RUEHPA RUEHPB
RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHTRO
DE RUEHC #2013/01 2181837
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 061819Z AUG 09
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 2863
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 5922
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 5710
INFO NPT COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
Thursday, 06 August 2009, 18:19
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 05 STATE 082013
USUN FOR POL
GENEVA FOR CD DEL
EO 12958 DECL: 08/05/2019
TAGS AORC, CDG, ENRG, FR, KNNP, MNUC, PARM, PGOV, PREL, UK, UNGA,
IAEA, NPT, GM
SUBJECT: NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION TREATY (NPT) BILATERALS
WITH UK, FRANCE, AND GERMANY
Classified By: Amb. Marguerita Ragsdale. 1.5 (b) and (d).
¶1. (C) Summary: Ambassador Susan Burk, Special Representative of the President for Nuclear Nonproliferation met with key Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) interlocutors in London, Paris, and Berlin from July 14 ) 17. The meetings demonstrated that we have very few differences with these governments on the main objectives for the Treaty and the 2010 Review Conference (RevCon). The UK and France are quite eager to take strong leadership roles and work closely with us, including on disarmament issues, and to engage with a wide range of NPT Parties to ensure a successful RevCon. Burk agreed with UK and French officials on the importance of coordination among the P-5 on NPT issues. The UK and France agreed that we should be ambitious in pursuing our objectives for the RevCon. They differ in one key area, however, with the UK eager to promote its aggressive disarmament posture and France defensive about disarmament and concerned that US/Russian initiatives and UK unilateral measures will lead to increasing pressures on France to engage on nuclear disarmament. This different perspective is causing considerable unease between the two. 2. (C) German officials were more cautious about goals for the RevCon, possibly because their evident sensitivity to the views of Non-Aligned Movement states leads them to focus on the gulf between those states and the West. All three governments with whom we met see Iran as perhaps the biggest problem for the NPT, and believe that high-level intervention with Egypt will be necessary to resolve the Middle East issue at the RevCon. Burk was asked at every stop about the relationship of the U.S.-proposed nuclear security summit to the RevCon; she described the events as related and complementary, rather than linked. 3. (U) In London and Paris, Burk was joined by ISN/MNSA Deputy Director Scott Davis, OSD’s Amy Prible, and Adam Scheinman, Director of Nonproliferation, National Security Council. Davis and Prible also attended the Berlin meetings. End Summary UNITED KINGDOM
¶4. (C) Amb. Burk said the U.S. wanted to see the RevCon reaffirm Parties’ support for the Treaty and indicated that specific U.S. objectives for the Conference include enforcing Treaty compliance, strengthening IAEA safeguards, dissuading NPT Parties from abusing the Treaty’s withdrawal provision, ensuring that the growth in nuclear energy does not increase proliferation risks, and endorsing President Obama’s disarmament agenda while being realistic about the pace of disarmament. She indicated that the United States stands by the agreements reached at the 1995 and 2000 RevCons but ten years will have elapsed since the last positive RevCon and the parties needed to look forward. She pointed out that the upcoming Conference is an important international event, but is not an end in itself. The U.S. sought a constructive review of the Treaty that would impart valuable momentum to other efforts to strengthen the regime.
¶5. (C) UK Director of Defence and Strategic Threats Simon Manley replied that the UK agrees that the RevCon is only a step in a process but that the NPT has become a major political issue in his country. He said that the third PrepCom was better than expected – “almost Nirvana” – but that there was a lack of coherence among the P-5 that “did us no favors.” Manley and his UK colleagues frequently praised President Obama’s leadership on nonproliferation and disarmament. Manley noted the “positive vibes” resulting from U.S. initiatives on FMCT and CTBT, but added that China and France are uncomfortable about recent developments on disarmament. He and Burk agreed that our governments need to continue to work hard to explain how much we have done to reduce our numbers of and reliance on nuclear weapons.
¶6. (C) Manley suggested that recent developments have put the NAM “off balance” on disarmament but that the nuclear-weapon states need to discuss how to handle the “13 practical steps” to disarmament from the 2000 RevCon Final Document. He added that Mariot Leslie (FCO Director General for Defence and Intelligence) is keen on P-5 cooperation and the need for a positive message on NPT matters. Both sides agreed that intensive P-3 and P-5 engagement is needed to prepare for the RevCon, noting the value of P-5 consensus and the desire not to let Russia and China keep us from taking
STATE 00082013 002 OF 005
SUBJECT: NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION TREATY (NPT) BILATERALS WITH UK, FRANCE, AND GERMA credit for our disarmament initiatives. As Burk put it, we should not “pull our punches” for the sake of P-5 consensus. Manley expressed UK concerns about French attitudes, suggesting Paris has not “come through the thought process” on eliminating nuclear weapons and worries about proposals for multilateral disarmament.
¶7. (C) Manley and Nick Lowe (Head, Nuclear Issues Section, FCO Counter-Proliferation Department) agreed with the U.S. focus on addressing non-compliance and withdrawal. Lowe said that we should not allow the Iran and North Korea issues to damage the RevCon but also should not “let them off the hook.” Burk pointed out that third PrepCom Chairman Boniface Chidyausiku had praised the United States for handling Iran and North Korea in a “generic” fashion at the PrepCom, rather than frequently criticizing these countries by name. When Burk mentioned concerns about Syrian nuclear activities, Liane Saunders (Head, Counter-Proliferation Department, FCO) pointed out that the recent G-8 summit statement on nonproliferation omitted reference to the subject because Russia insisted that any such reference also mention Israel’s strike on a Syrian facility in 2007.
¶8. (C) Burk expressed concern about the NAM argument that Western states are trying to change the Treaty by arguing for universal adherence to the Additional Protocol and said we needed to make clear we are seeking to strengthen the regime, not amend the Treaty. She took the opportunity to suggest that IAEA member states need to provide the Agency the resources it needs to carry out its mission and noted USG support for a meaningful increase in the Agency’s regular budget. Peter Carter (Head, Nuclear Non-Proliferation, Department of Energy, and Judith Gough (Deputy Head, Security Policy Group, FCO) replied that the IAEA needs to make the “business case” for how it will use such resources.
¶9. (C) Carter said that efforts on multilateral fuel cycle arrangements need to get beyond have/have not tensions. Manley added that mistrust is high and that the March conference on nuclear energy, held in London, reflected that this problem has gotten worse. Lowe pointed out that none of the relevant proposals ask consumer states to give up their rights to peaceful uses. Burk suggested that we should be able to make this a positive debate by explaining how the NPT and a strong and reliable nonproliferation regime facilitate the sharing of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, including for power.
¶10. (C) Both sides acknowledged how difficult the Middle East aspect of the NPT is, with Burk saying that it needs to be considered in the context of the broader matter of regional security. Manley expressed concern about Egypt’s efforts to create momentum for major demands on the issue. Saunders noted Russian proposals for handling the Middle East, including a major conference and an NPT “envoy” to the region, suggesting that Russia is seeking to “flush Egypt out” on the issue.
¶11. (C) Turning to NPT diplomacy and process, Jon Noble (Head, Counter-Proliferation and Security Cooperation, MOD) suggested that modifying the RevCon rules to allow decisions by majority instead of the current practice requiring consensus would allow Parties to adopt more meaningful statements. Burk replied that a majority rule is a “two-edged sword,” since votes on important matters could be passed in spite of our disagreement. She added that other approaches that could be used at the RevCon included those used in 1985, when a final document was adopted that summed up some opposing views (i.e., “some believe/others believe”), and the issuing of IAEA information circulars reflecting agreed RevCon Main Committee language. Discussion then turned to coordinating on respective efforts to influence NAM Parties, which Manley termed “mapping.” Part of the challenge is to demonstrate to such Parties how the Treaty has benefited them.
¶12. (C) Later Burk met with FCO Minister of State Ivan Lewis, who reiterated UK NPT priorities, alluded to UK-French differences on disarmament, and asked about the connection between the U.S.-proposed summit on nuclear security and the NPT RevCon. On the latter Burk replied that they two are complementary but separate events.
¶13. (C) Gerard Araud (MFA Political Director) opened the session and stayed for 45 minutes of the nearly half-day of meetings. He began by noting that he was “nervous” about the
STATE 00082013 003 OF 005
SUBJECT: NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION TREATY (NPT) BILATERALS WITH UK, FRANCE, AND GERMA evolution of U.S. nuclear policy and offered what he called a “psychological analysis” of France’s perspective on its nuclear capability. He asserted that nuclear deterrence is part of his country’s “international identity” and that France does not want nuclear weapons to be de-legitimized, as some NPT Parties would like to do. He said that President Obama has set out the prospect of elimination of such weapons but that we need to control the unreasonable expectations of other countries, including Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the European Union in general. And China hides behind the efforts of the other P-5 states to avoid pressure for limits on its own nuclear arsenal.
¶14. (C) For France’s part, Araud said that President Sarkozy’s March 2008 nuclear policy speech contained concrete proposals on disarmament. Citing a statement in the President’s Cairo speech – “no nation should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons” – Araud asked the United States to warn France if we intend to change our rhetoric further. He also argued that the nonproliferation and peaceful uses pillars of the NPT are more important than disarmament.
¶15. (C) Burk replied that the United States has no illusions that disarmament will be easy or rapid, particularly if other states are building up nuclear arsenals. She said that President Obama is seeking to reinvigorate the NPT and the regime in general. It is the U.S. hope that progress on disarmament will serve as leverage for a stronger commitment to nonproliferation by non-nuclear-weapon states, but U.S. flexibility in this area obviously has its limits. Burk also said the U.S. wants to pursue a bold set of objectives at the RevCon, which she described in terms similar to those she used in London.
¶16. (C) Jacques Audibert (MFA Director for Strategic Affairs, Security, and Disarmament) assured Burk that he is “not nervous” but, referring to UK policy changes, believes the P-5 is imbalanced regarding views on disarmament and that the United States and France need to stick together. Martin Briens (DAS for Disarmament and Nuclear Nonproliferation) added that the UK is starting to seem really convinced that disarmament is possible, since it may abandon its Trident submarine-launched ballistic missile program. At the PrepCom, the UK delegation even seemed to be acting as a “mediator” between France and the NAM and was mainly motivated by seeking to avoid disagreements.
¶17. (C) Briens argued that Iran is the most serious problem for the NPT, and France was the only Party that mentioned it explicitly in its general statement to the recent PrepCom. To ensure a serious treatment of this problem, we bridges must be built with the NAM and we must work with more reasonable Parties like Jordan. Iran’s non-compliance should be mentioned in any RevCon consensus document, but it would not be “the end of the world” if such a document was not adopted, adding that we should not “seek success at all costs.”
¶18. (C) The French were particularly harsh about Egypt’s NPT behavior. Araud called its attitude “unacceptable,” and Briens called the Egyptians “ideologues” on the Middle East and disarmament. Briens averred that Egypt is campaigning among Arab states against the Additional Protocol and expressed annoyance that Egypt had rejected the EU suggestion of a seminar on Middle East security until after the RevCon. He concluded: “The nastier they are, the more they get out of the process.” Michel Miraillet (Under Secretary of Defence for Policy) noted Egyptian enrichment efforts, stated with suspicion that Egypt had known a lot about the Libyan nuclear program and the A.Q. Khan network, and suggested that Egypt has been reacting to “humiliation” it believes it suffered at the 1995 RevCon. Burk acknowledged that Egypt could prevent any RevCon agreement over the Middle East issue but said we should try to forestall that by fostering progress of some sort on the objectives of the 1995 NPT resolution on the region that is acceptable to all in the region (e.g., including Israel). Briens said that France will raise some of these issues “at a high level.”
¶19. (C) Regarding the peaceful use of nuclear energy, Briens suggested that we should try to get agreement at the RevCon at least on the concept that enrichment and reprocessing are not “normal technologies.” In response to Burk’s appeal to France to support the proposed increase for the IAEA’s budget so the Agency has sufficient resources to accomplish the tasks that Member States give it, Briens argued that the Agency has funds that it has not even spent.
STATE 00082013 004 OF 005
SUBJECT: NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION TREATY (NPT) BILATERALS WITH UK, FRANCE, AND GERMA He mentioned France’s paper on “Elements for a Declaration of Principles” on nuclear energy, proposed for adoption by both nuclear supplier and consumer states (originally provided to USG in 2008), and asked for U.S. comments. Another draft will be circulated at the end of July.
¶20. (C) Discussion then turned to NPT diplomacy. Both sides agreed on the essential need for close P-5 cooperation and for working to persuade other NPT Parties on the need for progress on both nonproliferation and disarmament. Briens said that the P-3 should discuss respective red-lines on disarmament, and Burk agreed that we need to work out how to deal with points on which the P-3 diverge. Burk suggested that we engage NAM Parties that are the beneficiaries of peaceful nuclear cooperation. Briens expressed particular frustration with France’s EU partners, pointing out that all others had accepted the PrepCom recommendations draft without a reference to Iran. He said the EU consists of activists (presumably including the Netherlands and Sweden) and fence sitters (central European states), and that the latter category might be helpful on disarmament and the Middle East.
¶21. (C) Peter Gottwald (Commissioner of the Federal Government for Arms Control and Disarmament) said that Germany agrees with the U.S. RevCon objectives described by Burk but admitted that he has “no illusions” about how hard it will be to achieve them and that we cannot be too ambitious. A year ago, he suggested, many thought the nonproliferation regime would collapse, mainly because of perceptions that it is unfair, but recent U.S. initiatives have changed that atmosphere. Since we have committed to the elimination of nuclear weapons, the regime’s inequality is now seen as likely to end some day. Burk replied that the United States wants to be ambitious regarding the RevCon and believes we have an opportunity to do so.
¶22. (C) Gottwald continued that NAM states also suspect that proposals for multilateral fuel-cycle arrangements may not be fair, though many of them do afford equal treatment, not conditioning access to recipients’ giving up the right to sensitive facilities. Burk agreed that this matter is important to the NPT and that we should frame the proposals as collective efforts to strengthen the regime and to facilitate access to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, including nuclear power.
¶23. (C) In response to his question, Burk assured Gottwald that the U.S.-proposed Nuclear Security Summit is not in competition with the NPT RevCon. Gottwald replied that nuclear security and countering nuclear terrorism are matters that should bring NPT Parties together, thereby helping to strengthen the Treaty; Burk agreed. This led him to suggest that nuclear security be placed in the wider context of nonproliferation and that the summit be linked to the NPT. Burk said that the subject of nuclear security was one that we believed could be taken up usefully at the RevCon but said the U.S. wanted to be careful not to create the perception that a subset of NPT Parties is somehow “pre-cooking” an outcome for the RevCon via the Nuclear Security Summit. That is not the case.
¶24. (C) Burk stated that it is important that the RevCon take a positive approach to the Additional Protocol, but Gottwald said that it would be hard to reach agreement on the subject even among like-minded Parties. He opined that, on the issue of dissuading Treaty violators from withdrawing, the Conference could at least “raise awareness” by “developing a common sense that this is a problem.”
¶25. (C) Stefan Kordasch (Deputy Head of Division, Nuclear Arms Control and Non-Proliferation) expressed concern that Egypt will be aggressive and could instigate a “deal breaker” at the RevCon. Amb. Andreas Michaelis (Director-General for Near and Middle Eastern Affairs) explained Egyptian behavior as over-compensation for having lost much of its leadership role in the Middle East, particularly within the Arab League. Egypt’s status is now such that it leads only on matters that are not “core interests,” of Arab states (which he appeared to believe is the case for the Middle East/NPT issue). He suggested that Egypt might be satisfied with “status quo” language at the RevCon plus some kind of “Israeli statement”: “Can you extract something from the Israelis? Something they have already said?” Michaelis stressed the need to engage the Egyptians at the highest level, i.e., Mubarak, but also identified Umar Suleiman, the
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SUBJECT: NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION TREATY (NPT) BILATERALS WITH UK, FRANCE, AND GERMA head of Egyptian intelligence, as very influential and a potential useful interlocutor. He pointed out that Germany has set up a ministerial-level steering committee arrangement with Egypt that could be used to surface the problem of the Middle East in the NPT. Its first meeting is scheduled for February 2010; NPT could be raised then.
¶26. (C) Burk also met with Deputy Foreign Policy Advisor Rolf Nikel (Chancellery), who said he could endorse nearly everything in President Obama’s Prague speech. The only question was how to go about achieving its goals. He asked detailed questions about U.S. NPT priorities, asking which issues the U.S. considered “most urgent” and which should be addressed first to prepare the way for progress in other areas. Burk replied that we are still developing our policies but that part of the challenge is convincing governments to exercise the political will to strengthen the nonproliferation norm.
¶27. (C) In response to Nikel’s question about proposals for multilateral fuel-cycle arrangements, Burk pointed out that we need to do a better job of explaining the proposals to counter the NAM argument that supplier states are seeking to deny them their right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, which is not true. Nikel suggested that we would reach a “crunch point” if Iran does not respond meaningfully to the EU 3 3 proposals by the end of the year, after which stronger sanctions could be imposed. He pointed out that this scenario would affect the atmosphere for the RevCon, to which Burk replied that we would need to build unity among Parties to rebuff any obstructionism by Iran at the Conference.
¶28. (C) The last meeting was with Christian Democratic Bundestag member Eckart von Klaeden and staffers from all the major German political parties. Von Klaeden asked whether the United States seeks to enforce compliance by amending the NPT, something Burk assured him is not an option we will pursue. Other questions concerned P-5/NAM disputes, Iran, CTBT, the IAEA fuel bank, the U.S.-proposed nuclear security summit, and concerns about Myanmar’s nuclear intentions. CLINTON
PP RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHDIR
DE RUEHDO #0502/01 2221157
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 101157Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY DOHA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9316
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 DOHA 000502
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/09/2019
TAGS: PREL MASS QA XF ZP ZR YM IR JO LE
SUBJECT: ASD VERSHBOW’S MEETINGS IN QATAR
Classified By: Amb Joseph LeBaron for reason 1.4 (b) and (d)
¶1. (C) During their July 20-21 visit to Qatar, Assistant
Secretary of Defense (ASD) for International Security
Affairs, Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, and State
Political-Military (PM) Assistant Secretary Andrew Shapiro
held meetings with Qatar’s military Chief of Staff, Major
General (MG) Hamad al-Attiyah and the Crown Prince Tamim bin
Hamad al Thani. MG al-Attiyah and the Crown Prince tried to
assure the Assistant Secretaries that Qatar used the Chief of
Staff’s visit to press Iran to respond to U.S. offers of
engagement and to dismiss as “rubbish” Iranian efforts to
blame the election crisis on U.S. and UK special services.
The U.S. affirmed displeasure with Iranian behavior, and said
the U.S. would not tolerate Iranian pursuit of nuclear
weapons. ASD Vershbow suggested now was the time for Qatar
to distance itself from Iran and its proxies and urge Iran to
end its destabilizing behavior.
¶2. (C) MG al Attiyah and the Crown Prince repeated the
Qatari position that they felt the need to engage all their
neighbors and that Qatar could perhaps influence Iranian
behavior through its engagement. MG al-Attiyah also
expressed disappointment that the Large Aircraft Infrared
Counter Measure (LAIRCM) system is not available to be
installed on Qatar’s recently purchased C-17 aircraft. ASD
Vershbow said he would look into the issue further and that a
formal response from the SecDef would be forthcoming. The
Chief of Staff also said no decision had been made on
fulfilling an earlier U.S. request to provide funding for the
refurbishment of Jordanian tanks being provided to Lebanon.
When ASD Vershbow requested that Qatar use its good offices
to help the U.S. in Yemen and induce a change in Hamas’s
behavior, the Chief of Staff expressed irritation that
U.S.-Qatar friendship did not extend to issues of importance
to Qatar, such as LAIRCM. END SUMMARY
¶3. (C) U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense (ASD) for
International Affairs Vershbow and Assistant Secretary of
State for Political-Military Affairs Shapiro, joined by
Ambassador, met July 20-21 over dinner and in a separate
office call with Chief of Staff (COS) Major General Hamad
al-Attiyah. The U.S. visitors thanked the COS for Qatar’s
continued hospitality and support and for hosting our
presence at both Camp As Sayliyah (CAS) and Al-Udeid Air Base
¶4. (C) BG General al-Malki (Commander of the Fighter Wing and
Chairman of the Transport Committee) informed ASD Vershbow
that the first C-17 was on schedule for delivery and would
depart California on August 11 with an ETA at AUAB O/A August
¶15. In addition, BG General al-Malki mentioned his
disappointment at the delay of the pilot training program,
which will further delay the aircraft from becoming
operational. In response, ASD Vershbow reassured him that
USG would work to resolve the issue.
¶5. (C) COS al-Attiyah expressed his concern to ASD regarding
the C-17 LAIRCM. The COS stated that he was greatly
disappointed over USG disapproval of Qatar’s application for
LAIRCM. Al-Malki pointed out that other nations had acquired
the system and that Qatar’s exclusion added to his
frustration. The COS said he did not want to elevate the
matter to Qatar’s civilian leadership. He believed that
Qatar’s leaders would question the benefits of the
U.S.-Qatari military relationship if the concern were to be
¶6. (C) ASD Vershbow responded that a letter would be
forthcoming from SECDEF explaining that Qatar would be
receiving the same aircraft as received by the United States
Air Force (USAF). Vershbow further clarified that the LAIRCM
was an additional add-on, for which transfer to Qatar had
been disapproved. Vershbow recommended that Qatar pursue
other options, noting he was unaware that other nations had
access to the LAIRCM system for transport aircraft. ASD
Vershbow said he would look into the matter, adjust the
SECDEF letter as necessary and respond formally to the GOQ.
COS and al-Malki stressed Qatar’s desire to use aircraft
jointly with the U.S. and Coalition Forces.
DOHA 00000502 002 OF 003
¶7. (C) ASD asked the COS to recount his visit to the Islamic
Republic of Iran. COS briefed that his first visit to Iran
was short in duration. The Qatari delegation praised
President Obama’s Cairo Speech while in Iran and urged the
Iranians to take steps to avoid isolating themselves
internationally. Further, the Qataris suggested that the
Iranians seek engagement and rapprochement. ASD Vershbow
said this was the right message, and those who have contacts
with Iran should use every opportunity to persuade Iranian
leaders to end their destabilizing behavior.
¶8. (C) ASD Vershbow reiterated the need for Iran to take
steps to convince the international community that it was not
pursuing a nuclear weapons capability, and to end its support
for Hamas, Hizballah, and other extremist groups. He said
we understand why Qatar, because of its close proximity and
its economic and political ties to Iran, felt the need to
engage with Iran. Qatar should help the Iranians to avoid a
conflict with the U.S. and the international community,
remarking that “friends do not let friends drive drunk.”
¶9. (C) COS al-Attiyah responded that while Iran expresses a
desire privately to change its behavior, these could be
meaningless platitudes. The COS reiterated that the GOQ
opposes any Iranian pursuit of a military nuclear capability,
noting that it would destabilize the region. COS further
suggested that the USG continue its own dialogue with the
Islamic Republic. COS al-Attiyah closed the discussion by
making clear that, with respect to Iran, “while we’re
neighbors, we’re not friends.” He summed up his recent visit
to Tehran as an overture to maintain open channels of
communication with Iran.
¶10. (C) ASD asked if the GOQ had a response to an earlier
request to the Prime Minister by Secretary Gates to help fund
the transfer of 55 M1A1 tanks from Jordan to Lebanon. COS
said he was aware of the request, but that no decision had
been made. He added that he had discussed the issue during a
recent CHOD conference with Jordanian and Lebanese
¶11. (C) ASD Vershbow raised Qatar’s ties with Hamas, and told
the COS that Hamas needs to be encouraged to rejoin the
Palestinian Authority and the Peace Process. He added that
there should be “no blank checks, no checks at all,” for
Hamas. ASD suggested that Qatar was in a position to
influence Hamas; if Qatar helped bring about a change in
Hamas’s behavior, it could enhance the U.S.-Qatar strategic
relationship. COS undertook to relay that message to the
Amir and Crown Prince. While the COS underscored that Qatar
wants a good relationship with the U.S., he noted there were
times when USG decisions sent a different signal, such as the
USG’s decision on LAIRCM. COS al-Attiyah rhetorically asked,
“Are we friends or not?”
¶12. (C) ASD Vershbow asked if Qatar, or the GCC as a whole,
would be renewing efforts to help solve the troubles in
Yemen, citing Qatar’s previous mediation efforts. COS
al-Attiyah responded that GOQ had engaged Yemen in the past,
but noted that maintaining productive dialogue is difficult,
given Yemen’s economic plight and decentralized tribal
society. The COS added that the GOQ was unsure how Yemeni
President Saleh plans to curtail the violence there. He also
noted that there is little military cooperation between the
Qatar Armed Forces (QAF) and Yemen, but that he would make
the GOQ leadership aware of the ASD’s interest. The COS said
that the GCC had earlier presented a “unified package,” but
its efforts in Yemen had failed. COS al-Attiyah recommended
that this subject be addressed at the Manama Dialogue in
NSS and CIP
¶13. (C) ASD commended the COS on the upcoming
CENTCOM-GOQ-Naval War College effort to develop a National
Security Strategy. Qatar and others in the region need to
place more emphasis on Critical Infrastructure Protection,
added the ASD. COS al-Attiyah agreed and said he was looking
forward to this effort. (Note: OMC Qatar will escort an
interagency Qatari delegation back to Tampa August 11-13 to
DOHA 00000502 003 OF 003
begin this process.)
¶14. (C) COS ended the discussions by stating that he valued
the U.S.-Qatar relationship. The GOQ was committed to the
friendship forged between the two nations, he said. COS said
he is looking forward to the P4 visit and expressed his
desire to invite the P4 to his beach house as schedules
¶15. (C) Qatar clearly registered its disappointment in not
receiving LAIRCM for its C-17. We believe this could fester
into an open wound in the vital U.S.-Qatar security
relationship. The Chief of Staff is particularly sensitive
about the issue, since Qatar’s senior leadership (the Amir
and Crown Prince) holds him responsible for maintaining a
close and productive U.S.-Qatar military relationship.
However, given the Qatari leadership’s perception of the
Chief of Staff’s inability so far to get LAIRCM, senior
leadership may start to question the Chief of Staff’s
assurances about the strength of the U.S.-Qatar military
relationship. End Comment.
¶16. (U) This cable was cleared by Assistant Secretary of
Defense Alexander Vershbow.