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Cablegate: Counternarcotics Donors Exchange Views On Path

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DE RUEHAH #1558/01 3381116
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 031116Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1944
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 4557
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 2365
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2230
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 2805
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 3117

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASHGABAT 001558

SENSITIVE
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STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/ACE, INL
DUSHANBE FOR DEA
MOSCOW FOR DEA
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ANKARA FOR DEA
AID/W FOR EE/EA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL EAID SNAR TX AF
SUBJECT: COUNTERNARCOTICS DONORS EXCHANGE VIEWS ON PATH
AHEAD IN TURKMENISTAN

1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified. Not for public Internet.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: At a November 25 Mini Dublin Group
meeting hosted by the Italians, donors discussed the need to
continue offering practical counternarcotics training and the
importance of encouraging Turkmen-Afghan cross-border
cooperation. Both France and Turkey were diversifying their
assistance across various GOTX law enforcement agencies,
instead of focusing on the State Counternarcotics Service.
Donors agreed that border and precursor control should be
priorities for counternarcotics work in Turkmenistan. They
also agreed to continue supporting the government's
prioritization of counternarcotics and to help build capacity
within Turkmenistan's law enforcement agencies. Donor
consensus will solidify donor goals and increase the chances
for successful implementation. For the second year in a row,
the GOTX did not send a representative to the meeting. END
SUMMARY.

UNODC CONTINUES ASSISTANCE TO SCNS, AND NETHERLANDS OFFERS A
STUDY TOUR

3. (SBU) The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
(UNODC) said that it is working on a new technical assistance
and training project for the State Counternarcotics Service
(SCNS), adding that this is one of UNODC's prime partners.
The representative of the Embassy of the Netherlands --
resident in Moscow -- added that his country will soon offer
a study tour for three SCNS officers.

FRENCH OBSERVATIONS ON THE STATE COUNTERNARCOTICS SERVICE

4. (SBU) The French ambassador pointed out that the SCNS is
still limited in personnel and capacity. He emphasized the
agency's need for practical training, saying that the
chairman of the SCNS had asked for such assistance, and
warned against offering training that would be too
theoretical. He felt that training in container control
would be especially useful. France was in the process of
diversifying its assistance to other law enforcement
agencies, such as the Border Guards. According to the
ambassador, one hindrance to effective technical assistance
is the reluctance of Turkmen agencies to share equipment,
which means that each agency, including the Ministry of
Internal Affairs and the military, would like donors to
provide the same equipment to all agencies. He added that a
police attach will soon fill a new position at the French
Embassy.

ITALIAN CONTRIBUTIONS TO TURKMENISTAN'S FIGHT AGAINST DRUGS

5. (SBU) The representative from Italy said that his country
is assisting Turkmenistan's counternarcotics efforts through
financing the Central Asian Regional Information Coordination
Centre (CARICC). He applauded Turkmenistan's
counternarcotics activities, including the country's
appointment of a liaison officer to CARICC. Italy is also
offering some computer-based training for Turkmen law
enforcement officers.

TURKEY SHIFTS FOCUS FROM COUNTERNARCOTICS TO LAW ENFORCEMENT

6. (SBU) The representative of Turkey said that his country
is not currently offering any bilateral cooperation in
counternarcotics to Turkmenistan, but it is working with
Turkmenistan on general law enforcement technical assistance.
In addition, Turkey donated $150,000 to UNODC for the Farap
Border Control Checkpoint, and two Turkish experts recently

ASHGABAT 00001558 002 OF 002


ran a UNODC training course for 15 law enforcement officers.
Turkey also helped to organize a study tour for these
officers. Three Turkish experts participated in Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) training for 40
officers in Ashgabat, Serhatabat, and Artek.

OTHER COUNTRIES: INTERESTED, BUT NOT DOING MUCH

7. (SBU) Poland does not have any projects in the area of
drug control or counternarcotics. The Russian representative
did not come prepared to discuss his country's assistance to
Turkmenistan in this area . The Japanese representative said
that although his country is not offering any projects, one
Turkmen officer is currently participating in a rule of law
seminar for Customs officers, and another one will attend a
similar seminar in February.

8. (SBU) COMMENT: Although the GOTX has stated that
counternarcotics efforts are a high priority, the absence of
a GOTX representative at the meeting raises a question about
its openness to cooperation with donors, at least in a
multilateral format. Among the attendees, there was a clear
consensus that border and precursor control, which are
targets of U.S. assistance, are appropriate priorities for
counternarcotics work in Turkmenistan. Donors also agreed on
the importance of encouraging Turkmenistan to engage and
cooperate more with its neighbors, in particular Afghanistan.
END COMMENT.
MILES

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