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Cablegate: Jordan Seeks U.S. Intervention with Un Compensation

VZCZCXYZ0370
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHAM #2693 3471036
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 131036Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY AMMAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6497
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0100
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0720
INFO RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 6339
RUEHKU/AMEMBASSY KUWAIT 0936
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 2258

UNCLAS AMMAN 002693

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

FOR NEA/ELA AND IO; GENEVA FOR LEGAL ADVISOR KHANNA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL EAID SENV KUNC JO IZ
SUBJECT: JORDAN SEEKS U.S. INTERVENTION WITH UN COMPENSATION
COMMISSION AND SUPPORT FOR GOJ PROPOSAL

REFS: A) Geneva 1052, B) AMMAN 829

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. PLEASE PROTECT ACCORDINGLY. NOT FOR
INTERNET DISTRIBUTION.

1. (U) This is an action request. See paragraph 4.

2. (SBU) Then Prime Minister Nader Al-Dahabi requested from the
Ambassador, during a November 11 meeting, support for Jordan's
interests during the next meeting of the United Nations Compensation
Commission (UNCC). Subsequent to that meeting, then Environment
Minister Khaled Irani reviewed for EconCouns Government of Jordan
(GOJ) views on the history of its interaction with the UNCC and
requested U.S. intervention. Irani was pleased to report that
Jordan's most serious concern, dispersal of awarded funds, had
recently been addressed. He explained that of the $160 million
awarded in 2005, until mid-November, Jordan had only received a
little over $100 million. Fifty-seven million was transferred in
November, enabling Jordan to implement plans for restoring an
ecosystem damaged during the first Gulf War. Irani, however,
requested U.S. support for prompt action at the next UNCC Governing
Council meeting to approve a phased $23 million spending plan for
local community projects, an action item that is reportedly already
on the agenda.

3. (SBU) Not on the agenda and of equal concern to Jordan is an
alleged $12 million deduction for funds for environmental programs
by the UNCC Secretariat for purported overpayments of individual
claims. Irani stated that the GOJ list of individual claims was
provided by the UNCC and since the GOJ did not prepare the list, the
government is therefore not responsible for, and should not be
penalized for any mispayments. He claimed that upon subsequent
review, Jordan determined the UNCC list included deceased
individuals, people who could not be located, and duplicate
listings. Jordan, he reported, through the Ministry of Labor simply
made the payments it could. Now that a problem has reportedly been
identified, compensation has been taken from environmental funds.
Irani argued that any overpayment problem should not be linked to
environmental programs and requested an immediate investigation of
the matter and restoration of the funds for environmental use.
Irani added that although GOJ relations with the UNCC Secretariat
are much improved now and UNCC processes less bureaucratic under the
current Executive Secretary, the GOJ remains disappointed with the
lack of response to its concerns about the $12 million deduction.

4. (U) Action request: Post would welcome any information that can
be shared with the GOJ on the USG position at the next meeting of
the Governing Council. Post would also appreciate any information
that can be shared with Jordan on the "missing" $12 million. Post
POCs are Economic Counselor Natalie Brown (BrownNE2@state.gov) and
ESTH Officer Manu Bhalla (BhallaM@state.gov).

Beecroft

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