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Cablegate: Af: Afghans Requesting Postponement of April 24-25 Regional

VZCZCXRO6767
PP RUEHIK RUEHPOD RUEHPW RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #0674 0771203
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 171203Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3275
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS KABUL 000674

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR SCA/RA, SCA/A, EEB, EEB/ESC/IEC (GRIFFIN)
DEPT PASS AID/ANE, OPIC
DEPT PASS USTR FOR LILIENFELD AND KLEIN
DEPT PASS OPIC FOR ZAHNISER
DEPT PASS TDA FOR STEIN AND GREENIP
CENTCOM FOR CG CFC-A, CG CJTF-76, POLAD, JICENT
NSC FOR JWOOD
TREASURY FOR ABAUKOL, BDAHL, AND MNUGENT
MANILA PLEASE PASS ADB/USED
PARIS FOR EMIN WINNICK AND POLMIN ROSENBLATT AND USOECD
OSD FOR SHIVERS, SHINN
COMMERCE FOR DEES, CHOPPIN, AND FONOVICH

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: ETRD EFIN EMIN KPWR EAID PGOV AF
SUBJECT: AF: AFGHANS REQUESTING POSTPONEMENT OF APRIL 24-25 REGIONAL
ECONOMIC COOPERATION CONFERENCE (RECC) IN ISLAMABAD

REF: (A) STATE 25526 (B) Maerkle-Holman email 3/15/08

1. (U) On March 16, Mr. Enayatullah Nabiel, Director General for
Economic Affairs at the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Econ
Counselor and Econoff that he had just met with the Pakistani
Ambassador to Afghanistan to request a postponement of the Regional
Economic Cooperation Conference (RECC), currently scheduled for
April 24-25, 2008. The official reason given for the postponement
request was the need of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (IRoA)
to focus on the upcoming June Donor Conference in Paris. He is
proposing the last week of August or first week of September 2008 to
allow for adequate Afghan Government preparation.

2. (U) Mr. Nabiel confirmed the IRoA has decided to focus its
efforts on preparations for the June Donor Conference in Paris.
According to him, President Karzai is eager to see the RECC go
forward as soon as possible after the Donor Conference.

3. (U) Comment: This confirms our suspicions that the current list
of international obligations/conferences facing the IRoA in spring
2008 is stretching their resources. Already on their plate are: the
NATO Ministerial in Bucharest; IMF/WB meetings in Washington; a
looming deadline for the completion of the Afghan National
Development Strategy (ANDS); and an IMF mission expected in late
April, early May plus, of course, the Paris donor conference in
June. Postponing the RECC in Islamabad until late August 2008 will
help ensure the IRoA is fully focused on engaging its neighbors on
regional issues.

Wood

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