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Cablegate: Outreach Following Newsweek's Retraction of Its

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

171152Z May 05

UNCLAS SANAA 001314

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR NEA, NEA/ARPI, NEA/P, NEA/PA NEA/PD, SA/PPD
NEA/P FOR GSULLIVAN AND RSHORE
NEA/PD FOR CWHITTLESEY
NEA/ARPI FOR TROBERTS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP PREL KISL YM
SUBJECT: OUTREACH FOLLOWING NEWSWEEK'S RETRACTION OF ITS
STORY ALLEGING KORAN DESECRATION AT GUANTANAMO

REFS: A. STATE 88240

B. SANAA 1305
C. STATE 90992

1. SUMMARY: Post has used both bilateral discussions and
public diplomacy to counter the now retracted Newsweek
article alleging the desecration of the Koran at Guantanamo
Bay, Cuba. Bilateral efforts have included a meeting
between the Ambassador and President Saleh, as well as with
the Ministers of the Interior and Human Rights. Public
Diplomacy efforts include distributing a post-generated op-
ed for placement in all major media outlets. END SUMMARY

2. On May 14, Ambassador met with President Saleh and noted
that the USG considers the recent allegations that
Guantanamo interrogators may have desecrated the Holy Koran
to be an extremely serious matter. Ambassador noted
Secretary Rice's and SecDef's official repudiation of the

SIPDIS
alleged behavior and that the U.S. Military would conduct an
immediate and complete investigation. He assured the
President that such an act would be abhorrent, repugnant,
and contrary to the fundamental belief in freedom and
respect for all religious groups upon which our nation was
founded. The meeting and statement were reported extensively
in the local press (ref B.)

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3. On May 15, the same points were reiterated to the
Minister of Human Rights Amat al-Alim Soswa and Minister of
Interior Rashad Mohammad al-Alimi in separate meetings.

4. On May 17, PD drafted a statement from the Embassy for
distribution to all major local media outlets. The statement
praised Yemeni restraint and fairly balanced reporting
during and after the release of the Newsweek report. It also
noted that Newsweek had retracted the story, that to date
nothing has been found to substantiate the allegation, that
the U.S. government will investigate all credible
allegations of misconduct, and that the U.S. condemns all
acts of violent protest. It also expressed U.S. sympathies
to those injured and to the families of those killed in the
protests in Afghanistan.

KRAJESKI

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