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Cablegate: Bahraini Fm On Arab League Summit and Gcc Plus 2 Ministerial

VZCZCXRO9028
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHROV
DE RUEHMK #0181 0791042
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 191042Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY MANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7686
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHBVAKS/COMUSNAVCENT IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAMA 000181

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/19/2018
TAGS: PREL AG SA BA
SUBJECT: BAHRAINI FM ON ARAB LEAGUE SUMMIT AND GCC PLUS 2 MINISTERIAL

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

1.(C) Ambassador and Political Counselor met with Bahrain's Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa on March 18 to review the upcoming Arab League Summit, as well as the GCC plus 2 Ministerial.

2.(C) Sheikh Khalid told us that no one higher than Deputy Prime Minister Mohammed bin Mubarak al Khalifa (one of three Deputy Prime Ministers in the GOB) would represent Bahrain at the Arab League Summit in Damascus. It may even be the Foreign Minister himself who leads Bahrain's delegation, depending on developments over the next few days. Sheikh Khalid noted that Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al Faisal was presently in Algeria trying to convince President Bouteflika to stay away from the summit and that Bahrain would be consulting with Saudi Arabia before making a final decision on representation. When asked whether he thought Lebanese Prime Minister Siniora should attend, Sheikh Khalid frowned and replied that to do so would be a gift to Syria that Bashar had not earned.

3.(C) Asked what was his preferred outcome from the GCC plus 2 Ministerial scheduled for March 21 in Bahrain, Sheikh Khalid said: "We want to see a strong statement that this is an alliance that will fight for its interests and that will not stand by and watch countries fall to Iran, one by one." Saudi Arabia and Egypt would be the keys to success, he added. If consensus was not possible, he advocated the formation of a coalition of like-minded states that would stand up to Iran. "If we don't stop them (Iran) in Lebanon today, we will have to fight them in some other country tomorrow." ********************************************* ******** Visit Embassy Manama's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX********************************************* ******** ERELI

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