February 08

08MADRID174 2008-02-15 17:05 2010-12-13 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Madrid

DE RUEHMD #0174/01 0461739
P 151739Z FEB 08

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MADRID 000174



E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/15/2018

REF: A. STATE 15648

¶B. MADRID 162
¶C. BERLIN 184

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Classified By: DCM Hugo Llorens for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

¶1. (C) SUMMARY: Spanish Political Director Rafael Dezcallar
and Director General for North America and Europe Pepe Pons
told DCM separately that Spain would oppose any EU consensus
statement on Kosovo recognition in Brussels February 18.
Separately, Spanish Deputy DG for ESDP Carlos Fernandez-Arias
told Poloff that the maximum statement Spain could entertain
would be a “two-sentence” statement of the outcome from
Pristina and a restatement of the EU’s commitment to the
Western Balkans. The GAERC also plans to send a message of
“no more business as usual” by issuing conclusions on Burma,
Kenya, and Chad. END SUMMARY.


¶2. (C) On February 13, Spanish Political Director Rafael
Dezcallar told the DCM that Spain would almost certainly not
be able to join consensus on Kosovo recognition at the GAERC
in Brussels (ref B), but that the decision would be made by
Moncloa. Spanish Vice President Fernandez De La Vega,
speaking at the GOS weekly press briefing February 15, said,
“Spain does not support a unilateral declaration of
independence…Despite the fact that recognition is an
exclusively national competency…the government is working
and will continue working until the last moment so that the
EU will have a common and active position toward the future
of Kosovo…Our position has not changed.” Director General
for North America and Europe Pepe Pons told DCM February 15
that Spain would oppose any movement toward EU recognition at
the GAERC. Noting European concerns about Spanish opposition
due to the elections (ref C), the DCM emphasized that no one
seriously believed that Kosovo would be an electoral issue,
nor did any credible politician see any correlation between
Kosovo and Spanish internal disputes. Pons replied that
Kosovo would be an election issue, saying that Kosovo is in
the headlines and the debate in Europe is drawing the
government’s attention away from its campaign priorities.
The DCM countered that there was no guarantee that the GOS
would be in a position to support Kosovar independence after
the elections, given that a PSOE victory would mean weeks of
negotiations to form a coalition government, while a PP
government would certainly oppose Kosovar independence. Pons
acknowledged this was true, but said that at least then
Kosovo’s independence would not be distracting the government
during the campaign. Pons said that the Russian Ambassador
had been to see him earlier on February 15 and had left the
impression that the Russians would react negatively but
passively to the UDI.

¶3. (C) Deputy Political Director for ESDP Carlos
Fernandez-Arias told Poloff the same separately.
Fernandez-Arias said that Spain would not accept any EU
statement that hinted at recognition but would, if pressed,
consider a very brief “no more than two sentence”
acknowledgment of the outcome in Pristina on February 17
along with a restatement of the EU’s commitments in the
Western Balkans. Fernandez-Arias noted that the question of
recognition is a prerogative of each member nation and is
completely separate from EULEX and the naming of an EU High
Representative, which he said are going forward regardless.
Fernandez-Arias said that the EU would not be able to broach
the EU Stabilization and Association Agreement with the Serbs
again until well after Kosovo’s independence, once things
have calmed down a bit.


¶4. (C) Fernandez-Arias said that there would likely be
little discussion of the Middle East, but that Spain is
concerned about finding a way to keep the Rafah crossing open
to provide a pressure release valve for Gaza. He said that
last month’s border events had weakened Abbas and the PA and
had shown the need for such a valve. The means to administer
that border were more challenging, he said, given the
inability to negotiate with Hamas.


¶5. (C) According to Fernandez-Arias, Spain supports the EU
in Burma and does not want the situation to return to the
status quo ante. The GAERC will issue conclusions on Burma
calling for continued pressure and sanctions but FM Moratinos
feels it is also important to send positive signals to the
Burmese regime.


MADRID 00000174 002.2 OF 002

¶6. (C) With plans moving forward once more for EUFOR’s
deployment to Chad and CAR, Spain is pushing conclusions that
will first and foremost keep forward momentum for EUFOR and
also make a qualified statement of support for President Deby
that cannot be interpreted as a carte blanche for the Chadian
government to exact reprisals.


7, (C) The GAERC will issue conclusions on Kenya calling for
dialogue and supporting the UN, and calling for an end to
“business as usual.”

10AMMAN329 2010-02-08 06:06 2011-01-31 00:12 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Amman

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S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 05 AMMAN 000329


E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/08/2020

Classified By: Ambassador R. Stephen Beecroft
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

¶1. (S//NF) SUMMARY: The Chairman’s visit comes at a time
when Jordan has made significant contributions both in
Afghanistan and to broader regional security: encouraging
Syria to seek a moderate Arab alternative to Iranian
influence, maintaining its focus on a two-state solution to
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and redoubling its
efforts to strengthen ties with Baghdad. At the same time,
Amman perceives U.S. military financial support as not
keeping pace with the level of Jordanian regional
contributions. Despite the 2008 Memorandum of Understanding
on foreign assistance agreeing on an annual commitment of
$300 million in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) through
2014, Jordan continues to seek additional assistance in the
form of supplemental appropriations. In 2009 Jordan was
successful in obtaining $150 million in forward-financed
assistance in this manner, directly reducing our FMF
commitment for 2010. Jordan has so far been disappointed
with our lack of commitment to leave behind or store military
equipment redeploying through Jordan from Iraq. End Summary.

Middle East Peace

¶2. (S//NF) Jordan continues to play a central role in
fostering Middle East peace and a two-state solution to the
Arab-Israeli conflict. Both the King and his Foreign
Minister Naser Joudeh have maintained steady pressure on
other Arab states to offer modest deliverables to Israel.
The King’s efforts, which have met with some success, seek
tangible steps such as overflight permission for Israeli air
traffic, linking telecommunications networks with Israel, and
reducing restrictions on travelers who have transited Israel.
Recently however, the King has adopted a new approach,
pressing PM Netanyahu and President Abbas to initiate
immediate negotiations aimed at producing even limited
Israeli concessions. Positive progress at the negotiating
table, however meager, could provide crucial political cover
for Abu Mazen, affording him a measure of maneuverability.

¶3. (S//NF) Given his public backing of U.S. attempts to
restart Middle East Peace negotiations, the King views the
lack of progress as damaging to his credibility. This damage
could limit his ability to play a constructive role in the
future. At the same time, Jordanian officials consistently
express concern that Jordan will be asked to assume a degree
of guardianship over the West Bank, a move which many believe
would alter Jordan’s demographic makeup in ways that directly
threaten its Hashemite rule, and consequently, the interests
of the East Bank elites.


¶4. (C) Jordan has been a leader in engaging with Iraq,
using engagement to promote bilateral trade and encouraging
Iraq to build stronger ties with Arab states rather than with
Iran. As evidence of the proactive Jordanian position the
King became the first Arab Head of State to visit Baghdad, in
July 2008, and has named an Ambassador to Iraq. The King
supports Prime Minister Maliki and sees progress as slow, but
moving in the right direction. Senior Jordanian leaders have
become concerned that increasing tensions between the central
government and the Kurdistan Region will erupt in violent
conflict and are skeptical that Iraq can maintain stability
as U.S. forces withdraw.

¶5. (S) In response to a request by General Odierno to
provide capacity-building assistance to the Iraqi Ministries
of Defense and Interior, Jordan has hosted visits of Iraqi
officers to learn about border security operations on the
Syrian border and observe military cooperation through joint

AMMAN 00000329 002 OF 005

exercises with CENTCOM. Jordan hosted Iraqis at two 2009
seminars aimed at building the Iraqi capacity to manage their
own Foreign Military Sales workload. Jordan has also said it
will send a Defense Attach to Baghdad, but has not yet made
plans to do so.

¶6. (S) Jordan signed a Technical Agreement with CENTCOM in
July, laying the groundwork for redeployment of U.S. forces
and equipment from Iraq through Jordan. In November, the
first set of U.S. Brigade Combat Team (BCT) equipment
redeployed through Jordan, signaling an appreciable increase
in throughput with additional BCT sets redeploying in
December and January. Over the course of the next six
months, seven additional BCT sets of equipment are scheduled
to transit Jordan en route to the port of Aqaba and
ultimately to the U.S. Redeployment represents a significant
boon to the Jordanian economy: $15.1M in 2009. The military
and political leadership of Jordan has been frustrated that
the U.S. has not committed to leave equipment behind in
Jordan to be donated, refurbished, or stored. Two further
disappointments include the termination of jet fuel shipments
through Jordan into Western Iraq, and the U.S. decision not
to train Iraqi F-16 pilots in Jordanian flight schools.


¶7. (S//NF) Jordan is concerned about Iranian influence in
the region, particularly the potentially destabilizing effect
of an Iranian nuclear program, support for Hizballah and
Hamas, support for the Huthi and other armed groups in Yemen,
and Iran’s role in Iraq and links with Syria. The King
believes that the recent post-election violence in Iran
exposes deep fissures in the Iranian polity that “makes the
Supreme Leader look a bit less supreme,” forcing Iran’s
leadership to turn inward on domestic issues and limiting
their freedom and resources to act internationally.
Especially with the recent buildup of U.S. military assets in
the Persian Gulf, fear remains that Iran will try to counter
these perceptions with a dramatic act. Jordan will support
new UNSC sanctions against Iran, but will be loath to enforce
those sanctions in the absence of progress in the Middle East
Peace Process. Without a material improvement in the Peace
Process, any confrontation with Iran risks backlash from
Palestinian groups
who cast Tehran as their protector.

¶8. (S//NF) Jordan’s senior leadership draws a direct link
between the willingness of Arab states to counter Iran, and
progress on Middle East peace, saying that Israeli and
Sunni-Arab interests are perfectly aligned with respect to
Iran. Arab governments are restricted in their ability to
deal with Iran, they say, so long as Iran is seen as
supporting the Palestinians against Israel. Realization of
the two-state solution would consolidate the regional
consensus against Iran, Jordan believes.


¶9. (S/NF) Jordan increased its engagement with Syria in the
last half of 2009 attempting to draw Damascus toward an
alignment with moderate Arab states and away from Iranian
influence. The King and Syrian President Bashar Al Assad met
at least four times in 2009, which resulted in agreements on
a number of initiatives, including border demarcation,
customs procedures, and commercial transport. Although
Jordanian officials continue to be skeptical of Syrian
intentions to follow through, Jordan is supported in its
dialogue with Syria by Turkey, which is interested in
increasing its ground transit of commercial goods through
Syria to Gulf countries.

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Domestic Politics

¶10. (C) King Abdullah dissolved the unpopular Parliament
and announced a new Cabinet in December 2009, ending months
of infighting and legislative stalemate. The King has
mandated that new elections take place before the end of 2010
with a new election law currently being drafted. It is
unclear whether the new law will correct the disproportionate
districting that systematically under represents urban
Palestinian-Jordanians in Parliament. The current electoral
system favors rural, traditionally East-Bank districts, over
the cities. It is too soon to tell by how much the numbers
might shift or how tribal or traditional East Bank interests
would be affected.

¶11. (S/NF) We have been urging the Jordanians to
re-invigorate social and political reforms, expanding
political space for civil society, pressing electoral changes
aimed at a more representative, inclusive system, and further
loosening of state control over the economy. The King’s
economic and political changes face domestic opposition from
tribal leaders and an array of entrenched East Bank
interests. The latter include many in the military, security
services, and bureaucracy, who enjoy a disproportionate share
of the current system.

¶12. (S//NF) Jordan has made progress on the economic front:
buying back debt, eliminating subsidies, and promoting a
trade-based, market-oriented economy. The positive effects
of those measures are starting to wane, in part, a
ramification of the global financial crisis, but also due to
poor budget management and poor management of its limited
water and energy resources. Jordan is one of the world’s
most water-poor nations and is moving aggressively on
independent and regional initiatives to address its water
needs. GAMA, a Turkish company partially owned by General
Electric was awarded an $800 million contract to pump water
from Southern Jordan’s Disi aquifer to Amman. While a World
Bank-led study continues on conveying water from the Red Sea
to the Dead Sea to rehabilitate the Dead Sea, generate
hydropower, and provide desalinated water to Jordan, Israel,
and the Palestinian Authority, Jordan announced in May 2009,
similar plans for the unilateral $10 billion Jordan Red Sea
Development Project to bene
fit Jordan only. Jordan has yet to secure the requisite
funding to begin the single-country project.

¶13. (S//NF) Jordan’s economy is also affected by its energy
needs. Jordan is a net importer of energy and thus subject
to market fluctuations for oil prices. It imports some of
its fuel needs from Iraq, but poor infrastructure limits
import quantities, which must travel overland by tanker
truck. Consequently, the discount offered barely offsets
transportation costs. Since 2003, Jordan has paid market
rate for other imported fuel. Jordan sees nuclear energy as
its future and the King has placed a priority on developing a
civilian nuclear energy program. The GOJ is anxious to sign a
Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (NCA) with the United States,
required for U.S. companies to provide nuclear reactors, fuel
or materials. NCA negotiations are currently stalled however,
with the Chairman of the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission
objecting to assurances sought by the U.S. that Jordan will
not refine or enrich uranium in Jordan. Meanwhile, the GOJ
continues to advance its nuclear energy program and has
signed either MOUs or NCAs with the United States, Canada,
China, France, South Korea, the UK, and a number of other

Military Assistance and Cooperation

¶14. (C) The U.S.-Jordan mil-to-mil relationship is among
the most extensive in the region. In September 2008, an MOU
on Foreign Assistance was signed with Jordan that included a

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commitment to $300 million annually in Foreign Military
Financing (FMF) through 2014. In 2009 Congress allocated
$150 million (of the $300 million) in forward-financed FMF to
Jordan through the Supplemental Appropriation (which will
reduce the FMF commitment for 2010 by an equal amount.) In
January, Jordan’s top military advisor, Prince Faisal, and
Minister of Planning met Defense and State Department
officials and Members of Congress in Washington aimed at
securing a pledge of funds through an anticipated Afghanistan
supplemental appropriation. Although these assistance levels
are substantial, Jordan is sensitive to decreases in FMF from
the height of the war in Iraq when Jordan received large
supplemental appropriations. For example, combined FMF was
$497 million in 2008, $307 million in 2007, and $305 million
in 2006.

¶15. (U) In addition to FMF, Jordan is one of the largest
recipients of Individual Military Education and Training
(IMET) funding, which will be $3.8M in 2010 and $3.7M in
¶2011. The program pays immense dividends, developing strong
professional bonds between U.S. and JAF officer corps.

¶16. (C) Jordan makes significant contributions to U.S.
regional security priorities. In July 2009, Jordan deployed
a 712-soldier Ranger Battalion to Logar Province in
Afghanistan to provide election security (TF 222). The JAF
deployed the second battalion rotation in support of OEF in
January 2010, despite the cost (pay entitlements) and risk to
their soldiers’ safety. JAF leaders have intimated that they
would advocate even larger-scale deployments (a brigade), if
the pay/entitlement expense were not so burdensome. In fact,
during the Joint Military Commission in November 2009, MG
Mash’al Al Zaben, Chief of Staff for Strategy, stated that
Jordan would stay in Afghanistan until the last U.S. soldier
came home. In October, Jordan deployed the second rotation
of a Special Operations company (TF 111) that conducts combat
operations alongside U.S. Special Forces. The third
rotational company deploys in February 2010.

¶17. (S/NF) Following the December 30 suicide bombing by a
Jordanian national in Khost, Afghanistan, Jordan has
experienced increased calls by opposition groups and
non-governmental figures to explain its Afghanistan
assistance and end its security cooperation with the United
States. So far, such calls and commentary in the press have
received no traction with the government, which vigorously
and publically defends its efforts to combat terrorism.
Jordanian government officials have privately reiterated the
commitment to maintaining their relationship with us,
highlighting their deployments in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

¶18. (C) In May, Jordan completed a donation of 10 M60 tanks
to Lebanon, funded by UAE. Jordan delivered to Yemen 25 M113
Armored Personnel Carriers in response to a request from
State Department, funded by UAE. Jordan has offered to
assist with other deployments, counter-piracy missions, and
to host training courses and exercises for Iraqi, Lebanese,
and other forces, but remains dependent on external financial
support to fund its contributions. Jordan continues to
supply forces to U.N. sponsored Peace-Keeping Operations
around the world.

¶19. (S). Jordan is anxious to provide additional
contributions to the fight in Afghanistan, and made this
clear during HRH Prince Feisal’s recent trip to Washington.
OSD, Joint Staff and CENTCOM are reviewing their proposals.

¶20. (S) Despite the high levels of FMF and other security
assistance, Jordan continues to request additional financial
resources from external sources to make each contribution to
regional security possible. For example, the Lebanon and
Yemen donations were financed with funds from the UAE.
Training programs for regional forces are financed through
U.S. Anti-Terrorist Assistance (ATA) funds or the U.S.
Security Coordinator (USSC). In addition, Jordanian law
stipulates that its soldiers deployed overseas are entitled

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to approximately $1,700 monthly in combat pay, which has been
financed through the United Nations for peacekeeping
operations. Jordan has not yet identified a source of combat
pay funding for its Afghanistan deployments but is hopeful
NATO will contribute.

¶21. (S) Jordan has used its FMF to improve its border
security and defensive capabilities remaining cognizant of
interoperability with U.S. forces. We are concerned that
Jordan has focused too heavily on acquiring expensive new
technology and needs to place more emphasis on the training
and maintenance needs of existing programs.