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Cablegate: Italy Agrees On Leveraging Politics of Afghan Aid

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS ROME 003959

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AF EAID ECON EFIN IT PREL UNDP AFGHANISTAN
SUBJECT: ITALY AGREES ON LEVERAGING POLITICS OF AFGHAN AID

REF: A. STATE 141043

B. STATE 142782

1. (SBU) A/DCM DELIVERED REF POINTS TO MFA POLITICAL
DIRECTOR, GIANCARLO ARAGONA. ARAGONA NOTED THAT MOST OF
ITALY'S AFGHAN AID CONTRIBUTIONS ARE CHANNELED THROUGH
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS (IOS) RATHER THAN DISPERSED
DIRECTLY OR THROUGH NGOS. CAUTIONING THAT SUCH IOS CAN BE A
CUMBERSOME MECHANISM OF DISBURSEMENT, HE URGED THE USG TO
JOIN THE GOI IN IMPRESSING UPON THEM THE IMPORTANCE OF
QUICKLY GENERATING TANGIBLE BENEFITS FOR WHICH CREDIT WILL GO
TO THE ATA. HE PROMISED TO TRY TO SPEED ITALIAN
DISBURSEMENTS.

COOPERATIVE APPROACH
--------------------

2. (SBU) A/DCM MET ON AUGUST 8 WITH MFA POLITICAL DIRECTOR
GIANCARLO ARAGONA, HIS DEPUTY, CLAUDIO BISOGNIERO, AND
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 ROME 03959 130740Z
SPECIAL COORDINATOR FOR AFGHANISTAN ENRICO DE MAIO TO DISCUSS
AFGHAN AID (AND OTHER ISSUES REPORTED SEPTEL). A/DCM
RECOGNIZED ITALY'S EXISTING FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO
AFGHANISTAN, COMMITMENTS TO OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM,
STABILIZATION EFFORTS AS WELL AS LEADERSHIP IN THE AREA OF
AFGHAN JUDICIAL REFORM. HE THEN ASKED HOW, AS PARTNERS, WE
COULD USE OUR ASSISTANCE TO MORE EFFECTIVELY SUPPORT THE
STABILITY AND VIABILITY OF THE ATA. HE ALSO ASKED
SPECIFICALLY WHETHER THE USD SEVEN MILLION ITALY PLEDGED TO
THE WORLD BANK'S AFGHAN RECONSTRUCTION TRUST FUND HAD BEEN
DISPERSED. HE UNDERSCORED THE NEED TO GET ASSISTANCE TO
AFGHANISTAN RAPIDLY.

WE NEED TO MOVE FURTHER DOWN THE FUNDING PIPELINE
--------------------------------------------- ----

3. (SBU) ARAGONA "FULLY AGREED" WITH WHAT HE CALLED "A SOUND
POLITICAL OBJECTIVE" OF ENHANCING THE ATA AND KARZAI'S
CREDIBILITY AT THIS CRITICAL JUNCTURE. HE NOTED THAT ITALY
PLEDGED USD 47 MILLION TO AFGHANISTAN IN TOKYO. ALL OF IT,
HE SAID, HAS NOW BEEN COMMITTED AND THE CHANNELS FOR ITS
DISBURSEMENT IDENTIFIED. HE CAUTIONED, HOWEVER, THAT SINCE
MOST OF THE AID IS GOING THROUGH IOS (ARAGONA MENTIONED THE
WORLD BANK AND UNDP IN PARTICULAR), HE UNDERSTOOD THE
DIFFICULTY OF ENSURING THAT KARZAI AND THE ATA GET CREDIT FOR
THE ENSUING PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS. ARAGONA PROMISED TO MAKE
THE POINT TO IOS THAT EMPHASIS MUST BE GIVEN TO RAISING THE
PROFILE OF THE ATA. HE URGED THE USG DO SO AS WELL,
SUGGESTING THAT DONOR COUNTRIES SHOULD UNDERSCORE THE
IMPERATIVE OF USING ASSISTANCE TO ENSURE THAT TANGIBLE
PROJECTS ARE SEEN SOON AND ARE LINKED IN THE PUBLIC MIND TO
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 ROME 03959 130740Z
THE FUNCTIONING OF THE ATA. ARAGONA PROMISED THAT THE GOI
WOULD REVIEW ITALY'S COMMITMENTS IN ORDER TO IDENTIFY WAYS TO
STRENGTHEN THE ATA AND STABILIZE AFGHANISTAN.

4. (SBU) SPECIAL COORDINATOR FOR AFGHANISTAN ENRICO DE MAIO
POINTED OUT THAT ITALY HAS ALREADY GIVEN HALF OF ITS TOKYO
PLEDGE. HE HAS REQUESTED THE OFFICE OF COOPERATION TO
PROVIDE AN UPDATE ON THE STATUS OF AFGHAN AID AND EXPECTS TO
HAVE MORE DETAILS IN THE COMING DAYS. DE MAIO ADDED THAT
DONORS SHOULD DO MORE THAN ADVISE THE IOS TO ENSURE PROJECTS
REFLECT CREDIT ON THE ATA; "WE SHOULD INSTRUCT THEM" TO WORK
MORE QUICKLY AND TO EMPHASIZE THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT'S ROLE.
HE SUGGESTED DONORS NEGOTIATE CONDITIONALITIES TO THEIR
FUNDING WHICH STIPULATE RAPID DELIVERABLES LINKED TO THE ATA.

COMMENT
-------

5. (SBU) THE ITALIANS TAKE OUR PRINCIPAL POINTS AND ARE
COMMITTED TO REVIEWING THEIR ASSISTANCE TO LEVERAGE ITS
POLITICAL VALUE FOR THE ATA -- SOONER, RATHER THAN LATER.
POST SECONDS THE GOI SUGGESTION THAT WE AND OTHER DONORS
DRIVE THE MESSAGE HOME TO THE IOS AS WELL.

6. (U) MINIMIZE CONSIDERED - KABUL
SEMBLER

UNCLASSIFIED

>
2002ROME03959 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

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