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Cablegate: Canada Briefs Key Partners On Afghanistan

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OO RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHMT RUEHPW RUEHQU RUEHVC
DE RUEHOT #0880 1792057
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 272057Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8108
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNCAN/ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0195
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 0915

UNCLAS OTTAWA 000880

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL NATO MOPS MARR AF CA
SUBJECT: CANADA BRIEFS KEY PARTNERS ON AFGHANISTAN
PRIORITIES

REF: OTTAWA 00790

1. (SBU) Deputy Minister of Canada's Afghanistan Task Force
in the Privy Council Office David Mulroney on June 25 briefed
Canada's key partners on Canada's new priorities in
Afghanistan. Mulroney told the chiefs of mission or
representatives of Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Australia,
New Zealand, Denmark, The Netherlands, France, Pakistan,
Afghanistan, India, and the U.S. that, even though Foreign
Minister Emerson had already announced the priorities
publicly on June 10 (reftel), he wanted to discuss Canada's
direction in Afghanistan with them personally, and receive
any feedback they might have.

2. (SBU) Mulroney emphasized that Canada's new priorities
included focusing its efforts on Kandahar Province, and
favoring certain "signature projects" that would have a
visible impact and help Canada receive recognition for its
contributions. Mulroney also stated that the Canadian
government was attempting to strike a better balance between
the civilian and military sides of its mission in
Afghanistan. He noted that Canada was expanding its civilian
"footprint" by increasing the number of civilians members of
its PRT in Kandahar, and by establishing the civilian
position of Representative of Canada in Kandahar (RoCK),
equivalent in rank to the Lieutenant Colonel serving in
Kandahar and reporting to the Canadian Ambassador in Kabul.

3. (SBU) Mulroney noted that this is an active fighting
season and a "rough time" for the Canadian mission in
Afghanistan, especially with the recent Taliban prison attack
in Kandahar City. He acknowledged that Canada saw the attack
as a "set-back," but said the quick work of Canadian and
Afghan forces had diminished the "information operations
advantage" the Taliban had originally gained. He noted that
the Canadians and Afghans had completed the first phase of
prison reconstruction.

4. (SBU) The Afghan Ambassador to Canada remarked that, while
he agreed this was a "tough time," he also saw "hope and
promise" in Afghanistan, especially following the
international show of support at the recent Paris donors
conference. The Danish Ambassador to Canada emphasized the
importance of focusing on the civilian aspects of the
mission, and the Dutch Ambassador underlined that ISAF
countries should ensure they are effectively communicating
with each other. Mulroney added that Canada would like to
see the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and UN
Special Representative in Afghanistan Kai Eide play more
active roles.

Visit Canada,s Economy and Environment Forum at
http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/can ada

WILKINS

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