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Cablegate: Demarche Delivered: Afghanistan - Managing The

VZCZCXRO7379
OO RUEHDBU RUEHPW RUEHSL
DE RUEHEG #1617 2321330
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 201330Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3462
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

S E C R E T CAIRO 001617

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/20/2019
TAGS: PREL PGOV AF EG
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE DELIVERED: AFGHANISTAN - MANAGING THE
NEIGHBORS

REF: STATE 85136

Classified By: Minister Counselor for Economic and Political Affairs Do nald A. Blome for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1. (S/REL GBR) Poloff delivered reftel demarche to MFA Afghanistan and Pakistan Desk Officer Ahmed Berkly. Poloff shared U.S. concerns on the potential for violence following the elections and urged Egypt to publicly and privately stress the need for calm while the electoral authorities work though any issues that arise. Berkly said the GOE had not yet made any public statement on the elections and was unaware of any plans to do so. He took onboard the recommendation to urge calm through private channels, should the need arise. Berkly doubted that wide-scale fraud would be a problem, but expressed concern that a low voter turnout could mar the results. He also expressed concern over Iranian "interference" in the elections, although so far, he said, their attempts to meddle appeared to be unsuccessful.

2. (S/REL GBR) Reftel also asked for an analysis of Egypt's strategic interest in Afghanistan. Egypt views peace and security in Afghanistan as crucial to overall regional stability, especially in terms of combating extremism and containing Iran's regional ambitions. Egypt cooperates with Afghanistan on a variety of issues, including providing technical assistance on agriculture and operating a military field hospital in Bagram. Egypt does not usually comment publicly on other countrys' elections beyond congratulating the winner, but we believe they would be receptive to playing a positive role through private channels. Tueller

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