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Cablegate: Ambassador, Think Tanks to Represent Australia At

VZCZCXRO0979
RR RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHBY #0042 0182246
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 182246Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY CANBERRA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2532
INFO RUEHXP/ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS CANBERRA 000042

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL NATO AF AS
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR, THINK TANKS TO REPRESENT AUSTRALIA AT
PRT CONFERENCE

REF: SECSTATE 03595

1. (SBU) Australia will be represented at the upcoming PRT
conference in Prague by Ambassador to the Czech Republic Ruth
Pearce. Australia does not have a deputy SRAP, and no high
level officials from Canberra are planning to attend the
conference. Afghanistan Section Director Paul Noonan told
us that Australia had initially hoped to send some military
officials from Afghanistan, but because of conflicts with
staffing patterns, they will be unable to do so.

2. (SBU) Rebecca Shrimpton of the Asia Pacific Civilian
Military Center of Excellence will accompany Pearce to the
conference. This relatively new think tank was founded
after the last election in 2007 to take a strategic look at
the Australian military's foreign deployments. The center
has conducted several studies and conferences on PRTs and
will provide technical expertise on the issues and regions in
question.

3. (SBU) COMMENT: While the ambassador to the Czech
Republic is relatively senior, no government officials who
focus on Afghanistan will be attending the Prague conference.
This is in part because Australia is not formally a
contributor to the Dutch PRT in Oruzgan province. While
they collaborate closely, Australia still sees its work as
separate from that of the PRT. END COMMENT.

BLEICH

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