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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
02ROME1797 2002-04-10 14:03:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Rome
Cable title:  

AFGHANISTAN: ALL SYSTEMS (STILL) GO FOR FORMER

Tags:   PREL PINS AF IT AFGHANISTAN 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
					  CONFIDENTIAL ROME 001797 

SIPDIS

ALMATY FOR EMBASSY DUSHANBE
NSC FOR KHALILZHAD

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/10/2012
TAGS: PREL PINS AF PINS AF IT ITPREL AFGHANISTAN
SUBJECT: AFGHANISTAN: ALL SYSTEMS (STILL) GO FOR FORMER
KING'S RETURN

REF: ROME 1774

CLASSIFIED BY: POL MINCOUNS TOM COUNTRYMAN, REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D).



1. (C) SUMMARY: THE SON-IN-LAW TO THE FORMER AFGHAN KING
SAID THREATS AND DISTURBANCES WILL NOT DETER THE KING AND HIS
PARTY FROM THEIR RETURN TO AFGHANISTAN. THEY ARE PLEASED
WITH ARRANGEMENTS BEING MADE BY ITALY IN CONSULTATION WITH
THE AIA, THEY REMAIN IN CLOSE TOUCH WITH CHAIRMAN KARZAI, AND
ALL SYSTEMS ARE GO FOR THE RETURN. END SUMMARY.



2. (C) IN A MARCH 9 CONVERSATION WITH POLOFF, GENERAL ABDUL
WALI, SON-IN-LAW AND ADVISER TO FORMER AFGHAN KING ZAHIR
SHAH, SAID SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS AND ALL OTHER LOGISTICAL
PREPARATIONS FOR THE KING'S APRIL 17 RETURN ARE WELL UNDERWAY
AND ARE SATISFACTORY TO THE KING AND HIS ENTOURAGE.
EVERYTHING IS MOVING FORWARD APPROPRIATELY, WALI SAID, AND
THE GROUP IS ANTICIPATING THEIR ARRIVAL IN KABUL. WALI'S
BROTHER, WALI SHAH, WHO WILL ALSO JOIN THE KING'S HOMECOMING,
AND EXECUTIVE SECRETARY HAMED SIDIQ MADE THE SAME POINT TO
POLOFF IN SEPARATE CONVERSATIONS.

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PAGE 03 ROME 01797 01 OF 02 102345Z


3. (C) WALI HAD CONCLUDED A CONVERSATION WITH MFA SPECIAL
COORDINATOR FOR AFGHANISTAN ENRICO DI MAIO SHORTLY BEFORE
POLOFF'S CALL, AND SAID DI MAIO HAD REFERRED TO ITALY'S APRIL
16 GENERAL STRIKE BUT HAD NOT CHANGED THE DATE FOR THE KING'S
DEPARTURE. (COMMENT: WALI WAS REFRESHINGLY CAREFUL ABOUT
NOT STATING THE EXPECTED DATE OF THE KING'S DEPARTURE ON THE
TELEPHONE -- A FIRST SINCE THIS PROCESS BEGAN.) DI MAIO HAD
DISCUSSED DIFFERENT "STAGING AREAS" WITH WALI, TIMING FOR
DEPARTURE, AND THE ARRIVAL OF AIA CHAIRMAN KARZAI, FINALIZING
DETAILS FOR THE RETURN.



4. (C) AS NOTED REFTEL, DI MAIO TOLD WALI THE GOI WOULD
COORDINATE THE KING'S SECURITY UNTIL ZAHIR SHAH LANDS IN
KABUL, BUT THAT GOI SECURITY EXPERTS WOULD REMAIN IN KABUL
FOR SOME TIME THEREAFTER TO ADVISE AFGHAN PROTECTIVE FORCES.
POLOFF ASKED IF THIS ARRANGEMENT WAS SATISFACTORY, AND WALI
SAID YES. WAS THE KING ALSO SATISFIED? "YES, FULLY," WALI
REPLIED. WALI ELABORATED THAT THE PROTECTION WOULD BE
PROVIDED BY AFGHANS TRAINED BY "DIFFERENT EUROPEAN
COUNTRIES," INCLUDING ITALY. "THEY ARE AFGHANS WE SELECTED,"
HE SAID, "BUT THE REAL SELECTION WILL NOT TAKE PLACE UNTIL I
AM IN AFGHANISTAN AND CHOOSE THEM MYSELF." WALI WOULD SELECT
"PEOPLE OF PROVEN LOYALTY," BUT NOT ONLY PASHTUNS. "THEY
WILL BE LARGELY PASHTUNS BECAUSE PASHTUNS ARE THE LARGEST
ETHNIC GROUP," HE OBSERVED.



5. (C) WALI REPORTED THE KING TO BE STILL LOOKING FORWARD
TO HIS RETURN AND LARGELY UNFAZED BY THE DELAYS. ALTHOUGH
ZAHIR SHAH HAD A "SLIGHT INFLUENZA" AND WAS TAKING
ANTIBIOTICS, THERE WOULD BE NO FURTHER DELAY OF HIS RETURN,
"BARRING SOMETHING UNFORESEEN." WALI EXPRESSED THE HOPE THAT
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 ROME 01797 01 OF 02 102345Z
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST WOULD EASE, AS THAT
INCREASES OVERALL DANGER, BUT AGAIN ASSERTED THAT "DELAYING
IS OVER." POLOFF NOTED THE RECENT ATTEMPT AGAINST DEFENSE
MINISTER FAHIM. WALI EXPRESSED DISAPPOINTMENT THAT THE
ATTACK HAD OCCURRED, BUT SAID THE BOMBINGS AND DISTURBANCES
WERE "NOT IMPORTANT" IN THE CONTEXT OF THE KING'S RETURN. IF
THEY WERE MEANT TO DETER ZAHIR SHAH, "THEN SOMEONE MADE A
MISTAKE ANALYZING THE KING'S CHARACTER," WALI ASSERTED
STRONGLY. "HIS MAJESTY HAS A WILL OF IRON." ZAHIR SHAH WILL
RETURN, WALI CONCLUDED FORCEFULLY.



6. (C) DESPITE HIS CARE IN DISCUSSING THE DATE FOR THE
KING'S RETURN, WALI TOLD POLOFF CHAIRMAN KARZAI WOULD ARRIVE
IN ROME ON APRIL 16 IN THE AFTERNOON, WALI BELIEVED STILL
USING THE LOANED AIRCRAFT OF THE AGHA KHAN. FOREIGN MINISTER
ABDULLAH, CIVIL AVIATION MINISTER "AND OUR FRIEND" ZALMAI
RASSOUL, AND RECONSTRUCTION MINISTER FARHANG WOULD JOIN
KARZAI, AS WALI UNDERSTOOD. THE KING AND WALI REMAINED IN
CLOSE COMMUNICATION WITH CHAIRMAN KARZAI AND LOOKED FORWARD
TO PROVIDING HIM THEIR SUPPORT. UNPROMPTED, WALI OBSERVED
THAT KARZAI WAS DOING A GOOD JOB AS CHAIRMAN.

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ6988

PAGE 01 ROME 01797 02 OF 02 102346Z
ACTION EUR-00

INFO LOG-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EAP-00 EB-00
VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 L-00 AC-01
NEA-00 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02 OMB-01 PA-00 PM-00
PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SCT-00 SP-00 SS-00 TRSE-00
T-00 USIE-00 SA-00 ASDS-01 PMB-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02
G-00 SAS-00 /008W


--------------------------

823931 102346Z /30
P 101403Z APR 02
FM AMEMBASSY ROME
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3202
INFO AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY
AMCONSUL PESHAWAR PRIORITY
NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY ALMATY
AMEMBASSY ANKARA
AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT
AMEMBASSY BEIJING
AMEMBASSY BERLIN
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AMEMBASSY TASHKENT



ALMATY FOR EMBASSY DUSHANBE
NSC FOR KHALILZHAD

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/10/2012
TAGS: PREL PINS AF PINS AF IT ITPREL AFGHANISTAN
SUBJECT: AFGHANISTAN: ALL SYSTEMS (STILL) GO FOR FORMER
KING'S RETURN



7. (C) ASKED IF THE AFGHANS HAD ANY PARTICULAR CONCERNS OR
ANYTHING THAT THEY WANTED OF THE U.S. TO FACILITATE THE
KING'S RETURN, WALI SAID "ONLY THE CONTINUED AND UNDIMINISHED
ATTENTION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE
COUNTRY OF AFGHANISTAN." HE AGAIN SAID LOGISTICS, SECURITY
AND OTHER ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE KING'S RETURN WERE ON TRACK
AND THEY LOOKED FORWARD TO THEIR APPROACHING RETURN TO KABUL.
SEMBLER

CONFIDENTIAL

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2002ROME01797 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL