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Cablegate: Qatari Fm Defends Presence of Foreign Bases;

null
Diana T Fritz 03/15/2007 04:10:46 PM From DB/Inbox: Search Results

Cable
Text:


UNCLASSIFIED

SIPDIS
TELEGRAM January 12, 2004


To: No Action Addressee

Action: Unknown

From: AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI (ABU DHABI 138 - UNKNOWN)

TAGS: PREL

Captions: None

Subject: QATARI FM DEFENDS PRESENCE OF FOREIGN BASES; URGES
ARABS TO PREVENT IRAQ BREAKUP

Ref: None
_________________________________________________________________
UNCLAS ABU DHABI 00138

SIPDIS
CXABU:
ACTION: POL
INFO: RSO AMB DCM P/M ECON

DISSEMINATION: POL
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: AMB:MMWAHBA
DRAFTED: POL:JFMAYBURY
CLEARED: DCM:RAALBRIGHT

VZCZCADI503
OO RUEHC RUEHEE RHMFIUU
DE RUEHAD #0138 0121338
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 121338Z JAN 04
FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2989
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
RHMFIUU/HQ COALITION PROVISIONAL AUTH BAGHDAD

UNCLAS ABU DHABI 000138

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL IZ QA TC
SUBJECT: QATARI FM DEFENDS PRESENCE OF FOREIGN BASES;
URGES ARABS TO PREVENT IRAQ BREAKUP

1. Qatar's First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign
Minister defended Gulf countries that invite foreign
forces on their soil saying countries have the
sovereign right to protect themselves against
invaders, such as dictators like Saddam Hussein.
Shaykh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani was speaking
on the first day of the ninth annual Emirates Center
for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) conference
on Gulf security. Shaykh Hamad also stated that the
division of Iraq would be very bad for neighboring
countries and was unacceptable.

2. Shaykh Hamad's defense of foreign military forces
in Gulf countries, including bases in Qatar, and his
warning about Iraqi fragmentation, came during a
lively question-and-answer period following his
remarks on the challenges of globalization for the
Gulf region. A member of the audience commented that
foreign military forces' bases in the region posed the
greatest threat. Shaykh Hamad steered the issue away
from a potential critique of U.S. forces based in the
Gulf and toward the person -- Saddam Hussein -- whose
actions against Kuwait in 1990 and whose defiance of
international norms caused Gulf states to invite
foreign military troops on their soil. "The decision
to go to war was taken by one person and that led to
disaster," Shaykh Hamad said of Saddam Hussein. "We
want to protect our people by means we deem
appropriate. The threat is still there," he said in a
reference to terrorist organizations. Qataris are
sovereign people who take their own decisions, he
added. "We are not ashamed to have military forces
and their bases in the region because history will not
forgive us if we allow dictators to cross borders and
rule us."

3. Shaykh Hamad also responded to a question from a
reporter from Al Arabiya television station about the
danger of Iraq fragmenting. "Division is very bad for
neighboring countries," the Qatari leader said.
"Division is not acceptable." He said Arabs had to
play a role to avoid this danger because they share a
responsibility in ensuring the stability and security
of the region. Shaykh Hamad said "security and
stability of the Gulf is the basis for development and
growth of our society and is the most strategic
challenge facing the area." He said it is not only a
GCC challenge, but a challenge for the entire Middle
East. Linked to the region's development and
prosperity are the issues of democratization and good
governance and accountability. He also called for the
elimination of isolation, discrimination, and
extremism. "It is not a mirage we are talking about.
It is a fight we are prepared to tackle, along with
its repercussions."
WAHBA

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