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Cablegate: Afghanistan/Yemen/Iran: Senior Uk-Based Diplomats Discuss at Chinese Amb's Farewell Dinner

VZCZCXRO8293
OO RUEHDBU RUEHPW RUEHSL
DE RUEHLO #0076 0141731
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 141731Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4622
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 1278
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 0913
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0884
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 0967
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 3567
RUEHYN/AMEMBASSY SANAA PRIORITY 0291
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1529

C O N F I D E N T I A L LONDON 000076

NOFORN SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR S/SRAP, EUR/WE, ISN, NEA/IR/ AND IO/UNP NSC FOR JEFF BADER AND ELIZABETH SHERWOOD-RANDALL E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/12/2020

TAGS: PREL ECIN PGOV ECON IR AF YM CH IN UK

SUBJECT: AFGHANISTAN/YEMEN/IRAN: SENIOR UK-BASED DIPLOMATS DISCUSS AT CHINESE AMB'S FAREWELL DINNER Classified By: Ambassador Louis B. Susman, reasons 1.4 (b/d)

1.(C/NF) During a small January 9 dinner hosted by departing Chinese Ambassador to the UK Fu Ying, discussion amongst senior UK-based diplomats and UK politicos focused on the January 28 conference on Afghanistan in London. While it is unclear whether he was speaking based on personal opinions or ruminations in his own government, Australian High Commissioner John Dauth said he thought the London-hosted conference would be a "waste of time," as there are "too many conferences on Afghanistan." He hoped that the international community would "get out of Afghanistan." French Ambassador Maurice Gourdault-Montagne disagreed with Dauth's assessment, supporting the USG's strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan and emerging policies on Iran and Middle East peace. Gourdault-Montagne, however, complained that the Government of France had not been consulted about the UK-hosted meeting on Yemen, to be held concurrently with the Afghanistan conference. Fu Ying noted her concern that "nothing would happen" at the Afghanistan meeting and was very pessimistic about the proposed second meeting in Kabul in late spring. Indian High Commissioner Nalin Surie also disagreed sharply with Dauth, saying that the conference was very important and noting that the Indian Foreign Minister plans to attend. He said the agenda items are of crucial importance to India and expressed some concern that the USG and UK Government are not on the same page on Afghanistan. Privately, Surie told Ambassador Susman his concern was based on UK Defense Secretary Bob Ainsworth's criticism of President Obama's 18-month timeline, a statement which Ainsworth later recanted. Ambassador Susman explained to Surie the depth of U.S. and UK cooperation on Afghanistan and rejected the suggestion that there was division between us. Surie seemed to take both points on board.

2.(C/NF) Privately, Ambassador Susman pressed Fu Ying, who will return to China to become the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs covering Europe, on China's sanction policy on Iran, advocating for China to work closely with P5 plus 1 partners if pressure has to be increased on the Iranian regime. Fu Ying gave a non-committal reply and said that the international community needs to be "patient" with Iran. Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX
SUSMAN

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