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Cablegate: Bahraini Fm On Afghanistan, Israeli-Palestinian

VZCZCXYZ0004
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMK #0015 0111257
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 111257Z JAN 10 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY MANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9147
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0128
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1048
RHBVAKS/COMUSNAVCENT PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAMA 000015

SIPDIS

FOR S/RAP AND NEA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/11/2030
TAGS: PREL KPAL IS AF BA
SUBJECT: BAHRAINI FM ON AFGHANISTAN, ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN
ISSUES

REF: A. 01/11/10 ERELI-RICCIARDONE E-MAIL
B01/10/10 ERELI-HALE TELCON C. 09 MANAMA 731 Classified By: Ambassador Adam Ereli for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) Ambassador met with Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmad Al Khalifah January 11 for an hour and discussed a range of topics including the Israeli-palestinian conflict and Afghanistan. MFA advisor Amb Saeed Al Faihani and DCM joined the meeting. Afghanistan -----------

2. (C) On Afghanistan, the FM mentioned that he would be in London for the international meeting on Yemen and noted that the conference on Afghanistan would begin the next day. Shaikh Khalid pointed out that Bahrain has deployed a police special forces company to FOB Leatherneck in support of the U.S. Marines in Kandahar province (ref C). He acknowledged that Bahrain was not part of ISAF and may not be one of the larger donors to Afghanistan, but it was nevertheless making an important contribution to coalition efforts and would welcome the opportunity to be part of the London conference. Ambassador undertook to convey this request. Per ref A, Ambassador also suggested that Bahrain consider appointing a resident Ambassador to Afghanistan. The FM responded that he would seek accreditation for a non-resident envoy as a first step. Israeli-Palestinian Issues --------------------------

3. (C) Ambassador briefed the Foreign Minister on developments on the Israeli-Palestinian track (ref B), for which Sheikh Khalid expressed appreciation. Ambassador also suggested that Sheikh Khalid consider using the opportunity of an upcoming visit to the U.S. to follow-up on the Crown Prince's July Washington Post op-ed by granting one of the long-standing interview requests from the Israeli press. Sheikh Khalid welcomed the idea and said he would consider it.

4. (C) The Foreign Minister spoke at some length about the January 5 visit to Bahrain of Hamas political director Khalid Mishaal. He said that in his meeting with King Hamad, Mishaal was dismissive of Mahmoud Abbbas and "was trying to convince us that (Hamas) is not with Iran." Sheikh Khalid added that he had heard from his Saudi counterpart that King Abdullah refused to see Mishaal during his visit to Saudi Arabia, "because he did not trust him," and that Prince Saud had so informed Mishaal. Sheikh Khalid allowed that Bahrain would follow the lead of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and no one should expect Bahrain to do anything "with those people unless there is real progress toward reconciliation and they accept the Arab Initiative." ERELI

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