Cablegate: Revised Procedures for Coalition Partners
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS KUWAIT 002448
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OTRA PREL IZ JO KU
SUBJECT: REVISED PROCEDURES FOR COALITION PARTNERS
DEPARTING IRAQ VIA KUWAIT
1. This is an action message. See paragraph 4 below.
2. DCM, CONS Chief and OMC-K JAG met June 3 with Kuwaiti
Chief of Immigration COL Abdullah Yousef Al-Ruwaieh and LTCOL
Adeeb Al-Sweidan to discuss procedures which will allow CPA
personnel currently in Iraq in an official capacity to depart
via Kuwait. DCM explained to the Kuwaitis that large numbers
of CPA personnel had transited Kuwait on their way to
assignments in Iraq just prior to and during the war.
Significant numbers of those personnel were now ready to
depart but Baghdad International Airport remained closed,
which requires them in many cases to fly out through Kuwait.
The exigencies of the situation in Iraq and the details of
their departures from Kuwait, however, had in many cases
prevented these travelers from complying with Kuwaiti
immigration law. This was particularly acute in the case of
civilians who entered Kuwait via milair and who now needed to
leave via Kuwait on commercial air. In many cases, these
people did not have Kuwaiti stamps in their passports or the
Kuwaiti stamps which were in their passports indicated that
they had overstayed their legal limits in violation of
Kuwaiti immigration laws. Fines were being levied and the
U.S. sought jointly to establish with the Kuwaitis a solution
to this problem. COL Al-Ruwaieh said the Kuwaitis wanted to
be helpful. After considerable discussion, the following
procedures were agreed:
a) Kuwait agrees that it will accept a letter from the Office
of the Coalition Provisional Authority, duly stamped, which
requests exemption from fines and fees for the bearer.
Embassy is consulting with Kuwaitis now on acceptable
language and will provide this language to OCPA in Baghdad as
soon as it is confirmed. Embassy will also provide Arabic
translation of the letter, and stands ready to have the
letters printed in Kuwait if OCPA would find that useful.
b) Travelers who present these letters to Kuwaiti immigration
authorities on the commercial side of the airport will be
allowed to depart. Travelers should understand, however,
that this process could take up to 24 hours, and they should
be prepared to spend at least one night in a hotel.
c) For those travelers who are able to plan in advance,
Kuwait Immigration requests that OCPA provide 24-hour notice
via fax from Baghdad directly to Kuwait Immigration. Embassy
will provide this fax number to OCPA as soon as the entire
procedure is agreed with the Kuwaiti immigration authorities.
For those people with this 24-hour notification, there
should be minimal delay at the airport.
d) This CPA letter of transportation will be valid at either
the Kuwaiti land border post at Abdalli and only at Abdalli,
or at the airport if the traveler has flown milair into
Kuwait from Iraq.
e) Those official travelers who do not present such letters
will be turned around and returned to Iraq to secure the
3. Embassy is proceeding along the lines above to ensure
that future CPA travelers are able to meet Kuwaiti
requirements. We have cleared this telegram with OCPA, which
believes it to be a reasonable resolution of this thorny
4. ACTION REQUEST: Kuwaitis have bent over backwards in
completely waiving the normal requirements for transit
through this country. We believe that this procedure should
remedy the difficulties which travelers have been
experiencing heretofore. We emphasize, however, that it is
incumbent upon all travelers, journalists, DOD contractors
and OCPA civilians to avail themselves of the letter from
OCPA. Without it, Embassy will not be able to intervene to
waive fees or otherwise to procure visas at the airport.