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Cablegate: Turkey Supports U.S. Effort to Accelerate

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

181544Z Sep 03

UNCLAS ANKARA 005920

SIPDIS


SENSITIVE


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AF EAID PREL TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY SUPPORTS U.S. EFFORT TO ACCELERATE
ASSISTANCE FOR AFGHANISTAN


REF: SECSTATE 258067


1. (SBU) Turkey shares the U.S.goal to accelerate assitance
to Afghanistan. Turkey has already exceeded its original
5-year pledge of $5 million and hopes to commit another USD 3
million in 2004. Ambassador Okcun, Turkey's Afghan
Reconstruction Coordinator, will attend the September 21
meeting in Dubai.


2. (U) Econoff spoke with MFA Coordinator for Afghan
Reconstruction Ambassador Ahmet Okcun, who said that Turkey
completely supports the U.S. effort to encourage donors to
accelerate assistance for Afghanistan. Okcun said that
Turkey has repeatedly advocated increasing the tempo of
assistance and has taken steps to increase its assistance to
Afghanistan. Turkey's original pledge was for USD 1 million
per year for 5 years. However, the government has
significantly stepped up its contribution, disbursing USD 3
million in 2002 and over USD 2 million by the end of this
year. Okcun added that he expects the GOT will approve an
additional USD 3 million for Afghanistan in 2004.


3. (SBU) Okcun expressed his concern that a combination of
donor fatigue and the need to finance reconstruction in Iraq
could reduce international support for Afghanistan. Such a
result would harm Afghanistan's chances for stability and
democracy and severely undermine the credibility of the U.S.
and its allies, he said.


4. (SBU) Okcun chairs a weekly interagency meeting on Afghan
and Iraq Reconstruction, which includes representatives from
the private sector, to ensure follow through on Turkey's
commitments and respond quickly to needs that arise. He
noted that Turkey is already feeling the economic benefits of
Afghanistan's renewal. Turkish officials claim that Turkey
is the number one investor in Afghanistan and bilateral
trade, though still small, is expected to reach a new high
this year. He also said Turkish contractors are playing a
leading role in reconstruction activities, many of them
financed by the U.S.
EDELMAN

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