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Cablegate: Bmenai: Democracy Assistance Dialogue Planning

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

UNCLAS ANKARA 006293

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL TU IT YM KMPI KDEM
SUBJECT: BMENAI: DEMOCRACY ASSISTANCE DIALOGUE PLANNING
CONTINUES APACE FOR NOVEMBER 25 MEETING

REF: A. ANKARA 5081

B. STATE 237054

1. This is an action request. See paragraph 3.

2. Summary: Democracy Assistance Dialogue (DAD) co-sponsors
Italy, Turkey and Yemen continue planning for a November 25
meeting in Rome of the three FMs, and possibly the U.S., at
which they will release a DAD work plan. After the Rome
meeting, the co-sponsors envision a series of issue-focused,
NGO-centered meetings. DAD financing is still not resolved.
BMENAI is not understood in Turkey, and the MFA is reaching
out to members of Parliament and others to explain it. End
Summary.

DAD Planning Continues Apace for November 25 Meeting
--------------------------------------------- -------

3. Turkish MFA Planning Department Head Tezel told us on
November 4 that Democracy Assistance Dialogue (DAD)
co-sponsors Italy, Turkey and Yemen continue their planning
apace. FMs from the three co-sponsors will meet in Rome
November 25 (changed from the November 26 date in ref A).
Tezel thought that the Italians might invite the U.S. to
Rome in its capacity as G-8 President, but was uncertain
about whether the Italian hosts have reached a final decision
on the matter. Action request: We request the Department
inform us whether Italy has invited us to the November 25
meeting, and if so, our response.

4. Using section 1.5 of the G-8 Plan of Support for BMENAI
as their "mandate," the co-sponsors are drafting a
declaration to be released at the end of the Rome meeting
laying out DAD's objectives and a work plan. (Note: This is
five days after the November 20 date mentioned in ref B for
governments to present the Government of Morocco with reports
on initiatives in which they are involved. We will point
this date to the Turks. End Note.) Tezel expects easy
consensus on the text. One of the co-sponsors will present
the declaration at the December 11 Forum for the Future
meeting in Rabat. Tezel said FM Gul plans to attend the
Rabat meeting.

5. After the Forum for the Future meeting, Tezel said the
DAD co-sponsors envision a series of issue-focused meetings,
perhaps preceded by a larger meeting officially launching
DAD. While the Rome meeting will not include NGOs, Tezel
said Turkey hopes for NGO "ownership" of DAD thereafter; he
views DAD as an NGO-centered initiative.

6. DAD financing questions are not yet resolved. Tezel
noted that the Yemenis raised the financing issue in New York
in September, DAD co-sponsors are exploring the possibility
of some G-8 financing; Tezel speculated that some funding
could come from NGOs' existing funding. The co-sponsors
realize they will bear some financial burden, including
events hosted in their countries.

BMENAI Not Understood in Turkey
-------------------------------

7. Tezel agrees that BMENAI is not understood in Turkey.
There is a widespread misperception here that it is a U.S.
plan to control Middle East oil and to convert Turkey from a
secular state into a "moderate Islamic" state that would then
serve as a "model" for other countries.

8. We attended an academic conference in late October that
included a session on the "Turkey's Role in the Broader
Middle East." Both university professors who spoke vaguely
addressed regional geopolitics -- and completely failed to
focus on regional reform (one did not even mention the word
reform). Neither mentioned DAD or Turkey's role in DAD,
apparently because they did not know about it. Neither
mentioned any BMENAI-related meeting or text. Tezel also
attended and agreed that it was a poor performance.

9. Tezel told us the MFA is reaching out to members of
Parliament and others to explain BMENAI. The MFA is also
pushing to insert BMENAI-related talking points into PM
Erdogan's and FM Gul's public statements.
EDELMAN

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