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Cablegate: Embassy Doha Warmly Welcomes Codel Baird (December

VZCZCXRO2834
PP RUEHDE RUEHDIR
DE RUEHDO #0837/01 3361048
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 011048Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY DOHA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8485
INFO RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 0229
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 1152
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0188
RUEHKU/AMEMBASSY KUWAIT PRIORITY 8944
RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DOHA 000837

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OREP AMGT ASEC AFIN KW AF PK QA IZ
SUBJECT: EMBASSY DOHA WARMLY WELCOMES CODEL BAIRD (DECEMBER
2-3 AND 5-6)

REF: STATE 125531

1. Embassy Doha warmly welcomes the December 2-3 and 5-6
visits to Qatar of United States Representative Brian Baird;
United States Representative Lincoln Davis; Dr. Nichloas
Palarino, Senior Investigator and Policy Advisor, Committee
on Oversight and Government Reform; Brooke Bennett,
Professional Staff Member, Committee on Oversight and
Government Reform; and Major Toby Patterson.

2. Point of contact: Embassy Control Officer is Political
Officer David Caudill. Contact information for Control
Officer is: Work Phone: 974-496-6753; Fax: 974-488-6709;
Mobile: 974-552-7390; Email: CaudillDR@state.gov.

3. The Embassy workweek is Sunday through Thursday from 8:00
AM to 4:30 PM. Friday and Saturday are weekend days. Qatar
time is EST plus 8 hours. Embassy contact numbers are:
Switchboard: 974-488-4101; Fax: 974-488-4298; After Hours
Duty Officer: 974-553-1085.

4. Accommodation: Post has reserved rooms within the per diem
rate for both legs of the visit at the Ramada Plaza Hotel;
Telephone 974-428-1428; Fax 974-441-0941 .

5. Arrival in Qatar: Visitors will be met on arrival by an
embassy driver/expediter.

6. Every civilian entering Qatar through Al Udeid Air Base
MUST acquire a Qatari visa in advance of arrival. Department
of Defense and military personnel may, however, enter on
their CAC card AND a copy of their military orders. It is
essential that these requirements be met, since there is no
provision for acquiring a visa or waiving the visa
requirement at the base.

The following is standard information provided to all
official visitors:

7. All bags are subject to inspection and x-raying upon
arrival, including those of diplomatic passport holders.

8. Electronic Devices: Only U.S. government-owned electronic
devices are authorized for use within the Embassy. Laptops,
personal computers, and all types of cameras (cell phones
with camera and digital cameras) must have prior approval
from the Regional Security Officer (RSO). Unclassified
portable computers intended for use within the CAA on a
long-term basis (over 30 days) must be shipped via
professional or non-pro Diplomatic courier. Classified
portable computers must remain within the CAA at all times.

9. Sensitivity toward host country customs must be observed.
Revealing dress should not be worn. Qatari customs
authorities prohibit the importation of alcohol, pork
products, and materials that might be deemed suggestive or
pornographic. Such items will be confiscated at the airport
and not returned. All videotapes will be confiscated for
review. Alcoholic beverages are available only in hotel
restaurants. In observance of local customs, most shops in
Doha close from 1300 to 1630 hours.

10. Travelers should arrive with sufficient funds (cash,
travelers checks, credit cards) to cover their stay in
country. Local hotels and vendors do not accept personal
checks. The Embassy has limited accommodation exchange
facilities. Currency exchange is available at the airport
and hotel. The current exchange rate is 3.64 Qatari
Riyals to one U.S. Dollar. Cirrus and Plus money cards may
be used at most local ATM machines, which operate at hotels.

11. Summer temperatures in Qatar (April - October) range from
the mid 100's to the low 120's with high humidity. Dust
storms and can add to the discomfort of the extreme summer
temperatures. Winter temperatures (November - March) range
from the mid 60's to low 80's.

12. Security: Travelers are urged to keep informed of
American actions in the region, exercise due vigilance, and
maintain unpredictable patterns while residing at post.
Crime is at a low level. Petty crime and thefts from hotel
rooms are infrequent but have occurred in the past.
Travelers should refer to travel warnings and public
announcements issued regarding travel in the region.
Employees and accompanying family members should contact the
Security Office on arrival for a thorough security briefing.
The State Department's Consular Information Sheet for Qatar
can be found at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis pa

DOHA 00000837 002 OF 002


tw/cis/cis 1003.
LeBaron

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