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Cablegate: Bahrain: Iraq, Gcc Plus 2, Gsd, Kosovo

VZCZCXRO8734
PP RUEHDE RUEHDIR
DE RUEHMK #0234 1011332
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 101332Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY MANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7763
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHBVAKS/COMUSNAVCENT PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAMA 000234

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/10/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR IZ KV BA
SUBJECT: BAHRAIN: IRAQ, GCC PLUS 2, GSD, KOSOVO

REF: A. STATE 37250
B. STATE 35471
C. STATE 17891

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

1.(C) Summary: Ambassador met with MFA Undersecretary Abdulaziz Al-Khalifa on April 10 to encourage the GOB to continue supporting the Iraqi government, to discuss GCC plus 2 and Gulf Security Dialogue (GSD) preparations, and the status of GCC discussion on Kosovo. End summary. --------------- Supporting Iraq ---------------

2.(C) Ambassador delivered ref B points and praised Bahrain,s decision to return its ambassador to Baghdad. Abdulaziz said that he was preparing to forward names (NFI) to the Foreign Minister for selection as the next ambassador. ------------------------ GCC Plus 2 - Inviting FM Zebari --------------------------

3.(C) Turning to GCC plus 2 preparations, the Ambassador noted that King Hamad had indicated to POTUS and to the Secretary that Bahrain would invite Iraqi FM Zebari to the SIPDIS GCC plus 2 meeting scheduled for Manama on April 21. Abdulaziz said that he had not been briefed on inviting Zebari, but that he would check with the Foreign Minister (currently in London) and begin working on it. Ambassador stressed that having Zebari at the GCC plus 2 was an important part of reaching out to the Iraqi government and that it was important to the United States.

4.(C) Abdulaziz confirmed that the GCC plus 2 meeting will take place at the Ritz, and that it will get underway around 11:30-12:00. He was aware of the request for a bilat with King Hamad and was working to facilitate the meeting. Kuwait, the UAE, Egypt, and Jordan had indicated they would attend the meeting. Oman,s FM regretted, and the GOB was still awaiting final word from Qatar and Saudi Arabia whether their FM,s would attend. ---------------------- Gulf Security Dialogue ----------------------

5.(C) Ambassador proposed the next round of GSD talks for June 24 in Manama (ref A). Abdulaziz noted that the Crown Prince had headed the GOB delegation in the past and committed to explore that date with his staff. He noted that the CP planned to take his children on holiday immediately after the end of the school year, which he estimated to be around June 21 or 22. He said that holding the GSD a week earlier in Washington might fit better with the CP,s schedule. (Note: Abdulaziz was unaware of the Bahraini embassy,s message that the CP would be in Washington for meetings on May 12-13. End note.) ------ Kosovo ------

6.(C) Ambassador also inquired about the status of GCC discussions on recognizing Kosovo,s independence (ref C). Abdulaziz said that he didn,t foresee any action soon, and expressed some surprise that Saudi Arabia had not stepped up. He said that Russia had been making its case strongly and speculated that the Saudis sought to balance the U.S. and Russia, not wanting to put their eggs in one basket. He added that the Foreign Minister had pointed out to him that Albania and other former Yugoslavian states had disappointing UN voting records from a GCC standpoint. He speculated that this, coupled with the Saudi balancing act, explained the reluctance to recognize Kosovo,s independence so far. ********************************************* ******** Visit Embassy Manama's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX********************************************* ******** ERELI

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