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Cablegate: Afghan-Pak Jirga Preparations Building Up: Need

VZCZCXRO0566
OO RUEHDBU RUEHIK RUEHPW RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #1684/01 1400255
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 200255Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8186
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSOCCENT MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4077

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 001684

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/FO DAS GASTRIGHT, SCA/A, S/CRS, SA/PB, S/CT,
EUR/RPM
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR AID/ANE, AID/DCHA/DG
NSC PASS FOR AHARRIMAN
OSD FOR SHIVERS
CENTCOM FOR CG CJTF-82, POLAD, JICCENT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER EAID AF
SUBJECT: AFGHAN-PAK JIRGA PREPARATIONS BUILDING UP: NEED
FUNDS

REF: KABUL 1556

1. This cable contains an action request. See
para 9.

2. On May 16, Afghan Regional Peace Jirga
Preparation Commission Director of Secretariat
Farooq Wardak briefed the international community on
latest plans for the cross-border jirga with
Pakistan, now scheduled for the first week of August
in Kabul. The exact dates will be decided when the
two sides meet again at the end of May in Islamabad.

3. Wardak indicated that both sides have agreed
their delegations would be made up of a "national
composition" (versus just Pashtuns as the GOP had
wanted earlier) with 350 delegates from each side.
Total participation is expected to be 1,050,
including international observers and support staff.
A joint committee of five to six members from each
side will decide at the end of May the final agenda
and rules of procedure (who will chair, secretariat,
who will speak). The actual jirga will last
between two to six days with two preparatory days
for the Afghan delegates only.

4. (SBU) Wardak stressed the main agenda item would
be how to deal with terrorism emanating from both
sides of the border. He assured the Ambassador in a
separate meeting on May 15 that the GOA was
determined the issue of the Durand Line would not be
raised. If it were raised, the GOA would be ready
to close down the discussion by saying the issue
could only be discussed in a Loya Jirga.

Role of the International Community
-----------------------------------

5. Afghanistan hopes to reach agreement with
Pakistan on a mechanism for implementing any
agreements reached and wants the international
community to play a key role in monitoring both the
jirga and implementation process. Wardak told the
Ambassador the GOA was counting on the U.S. to serve
as "coach," providing moral, political, diplomatic,
and financial support. The GOA still needs to
obtain agreement from Islamabad on this point.

Budget
------

6. Wardak presented the donors at the May 16
meeting a new budget request in the amount of USD
2.6 million. He explained that the jirga was not
foreseen in the Afghan budget process, which meant
that funding would have to come from external
sources. President Karzai would be looking for some
internal funds, but the GOA is hoping the
international community will fund the jirga.

7. Wardak had told the Ambassador on May 15 that the
budget would be roughly USD 2 million. The
Ambassador said the U.S. would be providing support,
but it likely would not cover the entire budget.

8. On the margins of the May 16 meeting, the Saudi
and Japanese Ambassadors told Deputy PolCouns that
their governments would likely be providing funding
(amount unspecified). UK Embassy POLOFF confided that
said his Embassy would be requesting 100-200,000
pounds (USD 200-400,000) from London.

Comment and Action Request

KABUL 00001684 002 OF 002


--------------------------

9. The cross-border jirga initiative has traveled a
long road since its inception at the White House in
September 2006. With the jirga looking more and
more likely to take place in early August, the
GOA is in need of serious financial assistance.
Post believes that early U.S. financial support
at this critical juncture in preparations will
get others to step up to the plate. Therefore,
if Washington concurs, Post would like to use
ESF funds available at Post in the amount of
USD 500,000, assuming the requested FY2007
supplemental funds are appropriated in the
coming month or so. If these funds are not available
soon, Post requests Washington consider financial
support from another funding source. The GOA would
need access to the funds by July 1, earlier if
possible. The Commission's detailed budget proposal
is being e-mailed to the Department (SCA/A).
WOOD

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