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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03ABUDHABI1032 2003-03-02 14:28:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Abu Dhabi
Cable title:  

DESPITE WIDESPREAD PUBLIC OPPOSITION

Tags:   PREL PGOV IZ TC 
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Diana T Fritz  05/24/2007 04:57:18 PM  From  DB/Inbox:  Search Results

Cable 
Text:                                                                      
                                                                           
      
CONFIDENTIAL

SIPDIS
TELEGRAM                                           March 02, 2003


To:       No Action Addressee                                    

Action:   Unknown                                                

From:     AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI (ABU DHABI 1032 - UNKNOWN)         

TAGS:     PREL, PGOV                                             

Captions: None                                                   

Subject:  DESPITE WIDESPREAD PUBLIC OPPOSITION         TO IRAQ   
          WAR, UAE "STREET" QUIET SO FAR                         

Ref:      None                                                   
_________________________________________________________________
C O N F I D E N T I A L        ABU DHABI 01032

SIPDIS
CXABU:
    ACTION: POL 
    INFO:   DCM P/M ECON RSO AMB 

DISSEMINATION: POL
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: AMB:MMWAHBA
DRAFTED: POL:STWILLIAMS
CLEARED: DCM:RAALBRIGHT

VZCZCADI566
OO RUEHC RUEHZM
DE RUEHAD #1032 0611428
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 021428Z MAR 03
FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8647
INFO RUEHZM/GCC COLLECTIVE
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L ABU DHABI 001032 

SIPDIS

FOR NEA/ARP AND NEA/NGA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/01/13
TAGS: PREL PGOV IZ TC
SUBJECT: DESPITE WIDESPREAD PUBLIC OPPOSITION
TO IRAQ WAR, UAE "STREET" QUIET SO FAR




1. (U) Classified by DCM Richard A. Albright,
for Reasons 1.5 (B) and (D).



2. (C) Despite widespread public opposition to a
U.S.-led war on Iraq, the UAE "street" has been
quiet thus far. Other than a few very well-
organized and very small demonstrations, there have
been no other public gatherings. This is in
contrast to the onset of the Al-Aqsa intifada in
October 2000 and the Israeli incursion into Jenin in
April 2002, both of which witnessed large public,
but very peaceful demonstrations. In a recent
meeting with the Ambassador, State Security Director
and Presidential son Shaykh Hazza bin Zayid Al-
Nahyan predicted that at most there would be a few
peaceful demonstrations should it come to war. He
added that the authorities had not received any
requests for demonstrations, noting that the
security services had learned a lot from the
publicly sanctioned demonstrations during the
Palestinian Al-Aqsa intifada. Hazza explained that
the services had placed agents in the demonstrations
to pinpoint potential troublemakers.



3. (SBU) During a visit to the American University
of Sharjah on February 23 to open an exhibition of
Ground Zero photographs, the Ambassador was greeted
by a small, extremely peaceful, group of student
protestors (mostly Arab expats) carrying gruesome
pictures of maimed Palestinian and Iraqi civilians
as well as placards condemning war on Iraq. The
Ambassador stopped to chat with these students as
well as with another small group of Emirati women
protestors toting candles. The head of the student
council delivered remarks at the exhibition's
opening ceremony critical of U.S. policy towards
Iraq but also very critical of terrorism, Usama Bin
Laden and Al-Qaida.



4. (SBU) APAO and Regional Information Resources
Officer found that it was "business as usual" during
a visit to UAE University in Al-Ain. Several U.S.
citizens working at the university commented that
they had personally neither experienced nor
witnessed an increase in anti-U.S. sentiments among
the student population. In fact, the resident
Americans noted that the university administration
is taking steps to circumvent anti-Americanism,
going so far as monitoring and, if necessary,
censoring presentations and speeches of foreign
visitors for any anti-U.S. rhetoric.



5. (C) COMMENT: We believe there will be some
public demonstrations should the U.S. opt for war,
particularly without UN cover, but they will
probably remain non-violent. Our non-official
contacts are almost overwhelmingly opposed to a
military option. As elsewhere in the region, people
are careful to note their support for the Iraqi
people but their absolute disgust with Saddam's
regime.

WAHBA