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Cablegate: Turkmenistan: Western Boycott of Ahmadinejad

VZCZCXRO0817
PP RUEHIK
DE RUEHAH #0007 0051006
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 051006Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4002
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
RHMCSUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC

UNCLAS ASHGABAT 000007

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR SCA/CEN AND NEA/IR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ECON EPET EU IR TX
SUBJECT: TURKMENISTAN: WESTERN BOYCOTT OF AHMADINEJAD
EVENTS

REF: ASHGABAT 0006

1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified. Not for Public Internet.

2. (SBU) French Embassy Charge Henri Leval contacted us
January 5 to inform that the EU had decided not to
participate in events associated with the official visit of
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the Head of Mission
level. Since most of the European missions in Ashgabat are
small, it meant that there would be no representatives of
France, Germany or the UK at the events. The DCM would
represent the Romanian Embassy. The Polish Embassy was still
waiting for instructions. We had informed our EU colleagues
earlier that there would be no U.S. Embassy participation at
the events.

3. (U) Ahmadinejad arrived in Turkmenistan on January 5 for
official meetings and will participate in the January 6
opening of the Dovletabad-Serakhs-Hangeran pipeline, the
second Turkmenistan-to-Iran gas pipeline (reftel). Official
events to which the Turkmenistan government has invited the
diplomatic corps include an official welcoming ceremony for
Ahmadinejad (January 5), an official dinner in Ahmadinejad's
honor (January 5), and the pipeline opening. Per tradition,
the visiting head of state shakes the hand of each embassy
representative during the welcoming ceremony.

4. (SBU) COMMENT: We were surprised by the EU decision,
since they tend not to take stands here. Nevertheless, given
events in Iran since the June presidential election, our EU
colleagues no doubt consider it the correct course of action.
END COMMENT.
CURRAN

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