Cablegate: Afghanistan: Dutch Plans for Berlin Conference

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





E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. STATE 47946

B. THE HAGUE 02801
C. THE HAGUE 02399

1. (U) EconOff delivered ref A demarche to Martin Koper,
Director of the MFA's Peacebuilding and Good Governance
Division, and Wouter Biesterbos, Afghan Desk Officer.

2. (SBU) At this time, the Dutch have no plans to
announce new pledges for Afghanistan at the March 31 donors
conference in Berlin. They expect to adhere to their
multi-year pledge schedule they announced last fall: EUR
17.5 million in 2004, EUR 15 million in 2005, EUR 15 million
in 2006 (all to the ARTF). The Netherlands will be
represented at the Berlin conference by Minister for
Development Cooperation Agnes Van Ardenne, MFA South Asia
Director Wilfred Mohr, and (likely) Special Coordinator for
Afghanistan Ronald Mollinger.

3. (SBU) Koper and Biesterbos noted, unofficially, that
if the MFA has extra money at the end of the year,
Afghanistan will be one of the best candidate countries to
receive it. The MFA is also consulting with its embassy in
Kabul on what sectors it might want to target in the event
the MFA decides to spend some of the Ministry's "Stability
Fund" money in Afghanistan. Whereas the traditional
development money is over-committed, the fund, which came
online in 2004, has about EUR 20 million still
available/unearmarked for 2004. The Dutch Embassy in Kabul
has suggested the following sectors: demining,
demobilization, border security, and anti-drug programs (the
latter two sectors fall just outside the Stability Fund
guidelines but are still under review). Comment: No
decisions have been made on what Afghanistan might receive
from the Fund, and it is worth noting that the Dutch have
significant competing peacebuilding objectives in Africa as
well. End Comment.

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