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Cablegate: Afghanistan: Goa Confirms Request for Japanese

VZCZCXRO3457
OO RUEHDBU RUEHIK RUEHLN RUEHPW RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #1583 1330343
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 130343Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7986
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC 0461
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS KABUL 001583

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/A, SCA/FO (A/S BOUCHER, GASTRIGHT, DEUTSCH)
STATE PASS USTDA FOR DSTEIN/SGREENIP
STATE PASS OPIC, USAID
OPIC FOR MOSBACHER/ZAHNISER/STEELE
MANILA PLEASE PASS ADB/USED
NSC FOR AHARRIMAN
USAID FOR JKUNDER, MWARD
TREASURY FOR ABAUKOL
OSD FOR SHINN, SHIVERS
CENTCOM FOR CFC-A, CG CJTF-76, POLAD, JICENT

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O.12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG ECON EPET ETRD KPWR EAID PGOV AF
SUBJECT: Afghanistan: GOA Confirms Request for Japanese
Assistance for Kabul Power

Ref: A) Kabul 1206 and previous B) State 48110 (Notal)

Sensitive But Unclassified.

1. (SBU) Pursuant to Ref B, Econ Counselor raised the
issue of securing Japanese assistance to the Afghan energy
sector in separate meetings with Senior Adviser to the
President Nadiri and Minister of Economy Shams. In the
April 22 meeting with Shams, who chairs the Inter-
ministerial Commission on Energy, the Minister reported
that he had made a formal written request to the Japanese
Ambassador in Kabul for assistance to strengthen the city?s
electricity supply.

2. In the lead up to the April 29-30 Afghanistan
Development Forum (ADF) and the May 1 Joint Coordination
and Monitoring Board meeting, Econ Counselor discussed the
need for stepped up energy sector support from Japan and
other donors in a preparatory meeting with Nadiri and ANDS
Coordinator Adib Farhady. Per septel, President Karzai
subsequently highlighted the energy sector in his opening
remarks at the ADF as the ?top priority sector? for donor
attention. Nadiri?s opening remarks also cited electricity
as the GoA?s number one donor priority. Minister of Energy
and Water Ismail Khan chaired the session on energy at the
ADF, where both he and Nadiri mentioned Kabul power supply
as an emergency priority issue.

3. Economic Counselor also took advantage of the presence
at the ADF of Japanese Ambassador Ogawa, the Tokyo-based
coordinator for Afghanistan Reconstruction, to engage Ogawa
and make the case directly for Japanese energy sector
participation. Ogawa agreed it is an important sector, but
was noncommittal.

4. (SBU) Comment: We believe Japan?s Ambassador to the
U.S. may not have been closely following the discussion in
Kabul when he implied that the GOA has not raised the Kabul
power supply issue as a priority with Japan. In recent
months, the GOA has raised few issues with such regularity
and at such high levels with the donor community. Shams?
letter confirms that the Japanese were formally approached
for assistance. While the Ref B exchange presents an
encouraging opening, we believe that even if the Japanese
come through with some assistance, they will not be able to
do so in the urgent timeframe we face for placing the order
for Kabul generation capacity. The tender process has
already begun, with the issuance of a request for
quotation. The due date for the bids is May 15. The
target date for placing the order is May 31. If and when
the Japanese come through with a contribution, we can
envision at least two ways of dealing with it, with the
second option probably being the more realistic:

-- since the payments for the generators will be made in
installments through 2008, we could conceivably use the
Japanese money to make future progress payments;

-- we can encourage the Japanese to direct assistance for
related electricity needs in Kabul, e.g., distribution
system upgrade so that the power from the generators and
from the Northern Electrical Power Systems (NEPS) can be
absorbed efficiently.

Wood

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