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Cablegate: (U) Gok to Take Its Case On the Road

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

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KUWAIT 001250

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/ARP

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/02/2013
TAGS: PREL KU IZ SY SA
SUBJECT: (U) GOK TO TAKE ITS CASE ON THE ROAD

REF: A. KUWAIT 1102

B. STATE 80809
C. STATE 84320

Classified By: Ambassador Richard H. Jones for reasons 1.5 (b) and (d)

1. (C) Summary: During their April 2 meeting, the Ambassador
and MinState for Foreign Affairs Shaykh Dr. Mohammed Al-Sabah
discussed the progress of the war and Dr. Mohammed,s
upcoming trip to key UNSC member states. The Minister said
the focus of his visits would be to discuss an array of
issues surrounding the war in Iraq, including Kuwait's
disappointment with some member states for their opposition
to it. End Summary.

(U) Getting the Message Out
---------------------------
2. (C) MinState for Foreign Affairs Shaykh Dr. Mohammed
al-Sabah gave the Ambassador a preview of his planned trip
during their April 2 meeting. He said he would visit
Beijing, Moscow, Paris, London, Washington, New York (to call
on UNSYG), Berlin, Madrid and Rome in a whirlwind tour to
"explain the war from a Kuwaiti perspective" and ask
governments to condemn the Iraqi attacks against Kuwait and
support the people (vice regime) of Iraq. In the U.S., where
he plans to arrive on April 11, he said he plans to discuss a
post-Saddam Iraq, express Kuwait,s interest in being
involved in reconstruction efforts and raise concerns the GOK
has been hearing from Iraqi opposition groups who wish to
play a greater role in the liberation of Iraq.

3. (C) Dr. Mohammed said Kuwait's Ambassador to the U.S.,
Shaykh Salim al-Sabah, had put together a schedule that
includes visits to Capitol Hill, think-tanks such as The
Brookings Institution and CSIS, as well as a planned
appearance on Larry King Live (Saturday, April 12). The
Minister said his message during these appointments and
appearances will be that Kuwait, as a country that has been
liberated from tyranny by the U.S., is very grateful for U.S.
and coalition actions to remove Saddam Hussein. "Only people
under occupation understand this," he said. "People need to
hear that."

(C) Article 98
--------------
4. (C) The Ambassador took the opportunity to update Dr.
Mohammed on a number of issues he might be called upon to
discuss in Washington. Raising the ongoing effort to secure
an Article 98 agreement with Kuwait, he asked if there had
been any further progress since their March 24 meeting (ref
A). Dr. Mohammed said that the MFA Legal Dept. had made two
"small" changes, and if they proved acceptable to the USG, he
would be willing to sign the agreement in Washington during
his visit. (Note: Post has since received the revised draft,
and forwarded it for Dept. review. End Note.)

(C) Core Group
--------------
5. (C) Briefing Dr. Mohammed on the outlines of the Core
Group for Iraqi reconstruction (ref B), the Ambassador urged
the GOK to play an active role in Iraqi reconstruction. He
said the USG was hoping to find a GCC partner willing to join
the Core Group and engage other regional states to assist in
the reconstruction of Iraq. Dr. Mohammed responded by
noting that Iraq was rich in resources, and suggested that
loans and investment rather than grant aid would be the best
way to help get Iraq on its feet. He indicated Kuwait may be
willing to assist in this effort, but made no specific
commitments.

(C) UN/UNCC Issues
------------------
6. (C) In the course of conversation about the need to block
efforts to raise the issue of Iraq at UN venues other than
the UNSC (ref C), Dr. Mohammed brought up what he called
"problems" Kuwait was having regarding German efforts to hold
up UNCC disbursements. Dr. Mohammed seemed perplexed by such
efforts, and advised that France and Russia, who also support
delaying payments, wanted "to compensate their suppliers,"
i.e. French and German companies. The Ambassador reaffirmed
that the U.S. was opposed to these efforts and urged Dr.
Mohammed to contact Kuwait's mission in Geneva to mobilize it
against efforts to block April's payment of UNCC awards. Dr.
Mohammed said he would do so without delay.

(U) Aid Coordination
--------------------
7. (C) The Ambassador informed Dr. Mohammed that A/S Burns
would be calling in GCC Ambassadors in an effort to persuade
them to energize their relief efforts and coordinate them
through the Humanitarian Operations Center (HOC) in Kuwait.
The Ambassador raised the possibility that the GCC states
might provide personnel to help distribute humanitarian aid
in Iraq, or use Peninsula Shield forces beyond those already
here in defense of Kuwait, for this purpose. Dr. Mohammed
said the suggestion was timely, as the GOK was currently
trying to organize a GCC investment conference, which could
be held here as early as next week. Dr. Mohammed indicated
he would use this opportunity to raise the idea with his GCC
counterparts.

(C) Regional States and the War
-------------------------------------
8. (C) Also discussed was the progress of the war and its
immediate impact on U.S. relations with states in the region.
The Ambassador and Dr. Mohammed made a tour d'horizon on the
roles of neighboring countries.

9. (C) In response to Dr. Mohammed's questions, the
Ambassador confirmed that Syria continues to be unhelpful to
U.S. efforts in Iraq, both by allowing Iraq,s embassy in
Damascus to recruit fighters for Saddam, and by shipping
military items such as night vision goggles across the border
to Iraq. Dr. Mohammed mentioned a report from his ambassador
in Syria that there had been a visible increase in "expensive
cars" with Iraqi diplomatic plates in Damascus as of late
(although most seemed to be en route to Lebanon), and that
hospitals were cordoning off sections for VIP use. The
Ambassador confirmed for Dr. Mohammed that the air war was
being directed from PSAB, but that air strikes were not
originating from Saudi territory.

10. (C) COMMENT: As we have been reporting, the Kuwaitis
are solidly behind us, and increasingly defiant in response
to condemnation from throughout the Arab world. In Dr.
Mohammed, the GOK is sending a very able senior spokesman to
let America, key coalition partners and key opponents of the
war know where Kuwait stands.
JONES

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