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Cablegate: Planning for Next Gcc+2 Ministerial

VZCZCXRO2592
OO RUEHDE RUEHDIR
DE RUEHMK #0105 0511434
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 201434Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY MANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7606
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 1362
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0983

C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAMA 000105

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FOR NEA - FELTMAN, GRAY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/20/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV BA
SUBJECT: PLANNING FOR NEXT GCC+2 MINISTERIAL

REF: A. A) 2/15/08 STEINFELD-BELOOSHI TELCON
B. B) 2/26/08 STEINFELD-ERELI EMAIL

Classified By: Ambassador Adam Ereli for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C) Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Abdullah al Khalifa called in the Ambassador on February 18 to make a strong plea on behalf of Bahrain's hosting the next GCC 2 Ministerial.

2.(C) Sheikh Khalid noted that it was the USG's desire to convene Ministerial prior to the Arab League Summit and that while it was unfortunate that none of the dates proposed for March would work, Bahrain was still eager to host the event at a time suitable for the U.S. side.

3. (C) "The King wants this to happen," Sheikh Khalid said. "Just tell us what dates work, and we will accommodate you." Ambassador mentioned that some thought was being given to scheduling the ministerial in the April 22 Iraq Neighbors Conference timeframe. The FM responded that Bahrain would be prepared to host the event at that time. He added that he had spoken recently to Kuwaiti FM Sheikh Mohammed, who said he preferred a location other than Kuwait for the ministerial.

4. (C) Comment: Bahrain's senior leadership is clearly eager to host the GCC 2 ministerial and Sheikh Khalid is personally invested in its success. (He was particularly pleased that Bahrain's ideas for the Ministerial Communique had met with favor within the Department.) Underlying their enthusiasm for the event is the strong conviction that this forum is an effective vehicle for diplomacy. They share our objectives and want to play an active, public role in building a coordinated regional approach to achieving them. End Comment. ********************************************* ******** Visit Embassy Manama's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX********************************************* ******** ERELI

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