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Cablegate: Country Team Support for Third-Party Transfer to Iraq

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RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHEG #0167 0351627
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 041626Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0149
INFO RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC

S E C R E T CAIRO 000167

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/04
TAGS: PREL MASS ETTC EG
SUBJECT: Country Team Support for Third-Party Transfer to Iraq

CLASSIFIED BY: Margaret Scobey, Ambassador, Embassy Cairo; REASON:
1.4(B), (D)

1. (SBU) The Egyptian military is requesting third-party transfer
approval for the sale of M1A1 tanks and ammunition to Iraq. All of
the equipment is produced in Egypt under a co-production agreement
with the United States. The country team supports the sale.

2. (C) Egypt proposes selling 140 M1A1 tanks, ammunition,
training, spare parts, and maintenance to the Iraqi army for an
undisclosed amount of money. We understand that a number of
complex issues would first need to be addressed given Egyptian and
Iraqi budgetary constraints, ongoing development of a foreign
military assistance plan for Iraq, legal issues related to the
co-production agreement, and the potential concerns of General
Dynamics. In principle, however, we strongly support this sale and
the positive contributions it would make to strengthening
Egyptian-Iraqi ties.

3. (S) After an initially cautious approach to the Maliki
government, Egypt has taken serious steps over the last year to
develop stronger political, economic, and military ties with Iraq.
We view these efforts as crucial to building Iraq's ties with the
Arab world and reducing Iranian influence. The tank deal is part
of a much broader Egyptian effort to strengthen the bilateral
relationship. In November 2009, Egypt and Iraq signed 16 MOUs
across several fields, including science and technology,
agriculture, communications, security affairs and military
training.
SCOBEY

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