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Cablegate: Kabul-Paris Direct Access Media Project

VZCZCXRO9141
PP RUEHIK
DE RUEHFR #1715 3511307
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 171307Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0927
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7920
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS PARIS 001715

SIPDIS

FOR SCA/PPD MICHAEL ALPERN, LEE MCMANIS, EUR/WE ANDREW
LORENZ AND EMBASSY KABUL FRONT OFFICE AND PAO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SCUL PREL FR AF
SUBJECT: KABUL-PARIS DIRECT ACCESS MEDIA PROJECT

1. (U) Please see request for mission action in paragraph 3.

2. (U) Embassy Paris plans an exchange for Afghan television
leaders to build relations with French counterparts. The
goal is to establish partnerships in creating and
disseminating programs about Afghanistan, and to increase the
visibility of Afghan produced programs for French-speaking
audiences. In this way, French audiences will have greater
direct access to in-depth news from Afghanistan, access that
can help to strengthen French support for U.S. policy. Post
notes that the most effective programs in influencing French
public opinion thus far have been tied to visits by Afghans.
Programs involving a group visit by Afghan women
parliamentarians and a separate visit by Afghan governors
were both well-received with positive media coverage. The
French media very much value the opportunity to speak
directly with Afghans, especially those outside of the
central government in Kabul, as they are very effective in
telling their own story of current challenges and needs.

3. (U) We have made preliminary contact with SCA/PPD and
Kabul Public Affairs (PAS) and have secured funding for this
program. We would appreciate the assistance of PAS Kabul in
identifying three media leaders able to travel from three
different and respected channels. These leaders should
actually produce televised information programs, such as
documentaries and/or news features. We also seek Embassy
Kabul,s assistance in helping these individuals obtain any
needed documentation, including Schengen visas, for travel.
Finally, we would welcome the participation of an LES escort
from PAS Kabul who would be able to assist in building these
relationships into the future.

4. (U) Embassy Paris will be able to subtitle at least one
film by each participant, to be carried out in advance of the
visit so that we can show the participants, work here in
Paris. The planned visit will include film showings followed
by question and answer sessions, as well as working visits to
French television and other media offices. We will also
organize interviews to highlight media freedom in Afghanistan.

5. (U) Embassy Paris appreciates the support of our mission
in Kabul and we welcome your ideas and suggestions in how
best to make this a successful project.
RIVKIN

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