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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03ABUDHABI1512
2003-03-30 13:11:00
SECRET
Embassy Abu Dhabi
Cable title:  

TFIZ01: UAE RED CRESCENT SOCIETY HAS AN

Tags:   EAID  PREL  PGOV  PHUM  IZ  TC 
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Diana T Fritz  05/24/2007 04:41:37 PM  From  DB/Inbox:  Search Results

Cable 
Text:                                                                      
                                                                           
      
SECRET

SIPDIS
TELEGRAM                                           March 30, 2003


To:       No Action Addressee                                    

Action:   Unknown                                                

From:     AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI (ABU DHABI 1512 - UNKNOWN)         

TAGS:     EAID, PREL, PGOV, PHUM                                 

Captions: None                                                   

Subject:  TFIZ01: UAE RED CRESCENT SOCIETY HAS AN AMBITIOUS      
          HUMANITARIAN AGENDA IN IRAQ                            

Ref:      None                                                   
_________________________________________________________________
S E C R E T        ABU DHABI 01512

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

DISSEMINATION: POL
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: DCM:RAALBRIGHT
DRAFTED: ECON:CCRUMPLER
CLEARED: ECON:TWILLIAMS, POL:STWILLIAMS

VZCZCADI796
OO RUEHC RUCNRAQ RUEKJCS RUMICEA RUEKJCS RUEHDE
DE RUEHAD #1512/01 0891311
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 301311Z MAR 03
FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9148
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUMICEA/USCINCCENT INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI PRIORITY 2970
						S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 ABU DHABI 001512 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR IRAQ TASK FORCE, ALSO NEA/ARP, NEA/RA,
NEA/EX, NEA/IPA, AND IO/UNP

E.O. 12958: DECL 03/30/13
TAGS: EAID PREL PGOV PHUM IZ TC
SUBJECT: TFIZ01: UAE RED CRESCENT SOCIETY HAS AN
AMBITIOUS HUMANITARIAN AGENDA IN IRAQ

REF: ABU DHABI 1439

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 ABU DHABI 001512

SIPDIS

STATE FOR IRAQ TASK FORCE, ALSO NEA/ARP, NEA/RA,
NEA/EX, NEA/IPA, AND IO/UNP

E.O. 12958: DECL 03/30/13
TAGS: EAID PREL PGOV PHUM IZ TC
SUBJECT: TFIZ01: UAE RED CRESCENT SOCIETY HAS AN
AMBITIOUS HUMANITARIAN AGENDA IN IRAQ

REF: ABU DHABI 1439


1. (U) Classified by DCM Richard A. Alright for
reasons 1.5 (B) and (D).


2. (C) Summary: Red Crescent Authority (RCA)
Secretary General San'a Al-Kitbi confirmed to

SIPDIS
Econchief on March 29 that RCA had sent three
delegations to Iraq during the last two months, the
most recent of which traveled to Iraq overland from
Jordan on March 23. Highlighting the dangers of
humanitarian operations in Iraq, Al-Kitbi claimed that
-- despite clearances from the Jordanian and Iraqi Red
Crescent Societies -- the March 23 convoy of three,
clearly-marked vehicles came under Coalition small-
arms fire as it traveled overland towards Baghdad.
The group nonetheless was able to reach Baghdad (one
driver sustained minor injuries), where RCA officials
visited a number of hospitals and orphanages,
delivering blankets and medicine to the Iraqi Red
Crescent Society. Al-Kitbi stressed that the RCA
would not publicize the alleged incident, but was
interested in guidance on ways to ensure better
deconfliction and asked whether the ICRC could serve
this purpose since the RCA is reluctant to deal
directly with governmental/military authorities.


3. (C) Summary, continued: The RCA Secretary-General
also requested a response from the USG with regard to
permission for the UAE Red Crescent to deliver
humanitarian aid to needy Iraqis -- wherever they may
be. She noted that while the Iraqi regime would
likely reject aid convoys from Saudi Arabian and
Kuwaiti charities, the UAE Red Crescent believes it
can get permission to pass through Iraqi lines. Would
the Coalition military authorities permit this to get
aid to desperate Iraqi civilians? As her final point,
Al-Kitbi requested Post's assistance in facilitating a
large shipment of humanitarian supplies to Umm Qasr.
(Note: UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs
Shaykh Hamdan bin Zayid Al-Nahyan told the Ambassador

on March 28 that getting this shipment to Iraq is a
top priority for the UAEG. End Note.) Econchief
stressed the importance of coordination for the safety
of all involved, and noted that while Umm Qasr is
currently closed to civilian shipping, this may change
in the next few days. Subsequent to this meeting,
Econchief informed CENTCOM of the March 23 incident
near Baghdad, and initiated coordination between the
RCA and the Humanitarian Operations Center (HOC) in
Kuwait to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian
supplies to Iraq. End Summary.

--------------
RCA Workers Enter Iraq To Distribute Aid...
--------------


4. (U) According to Red Crescent Authority Secretary-
General San'a Al-Kitbi, during a March 23-28 visit to
Iraq, an RCA delegation (working in partnership with
UNICEF) visited a number of hospitals and orphanages
to deliver emergency medical supplies and high-calorie
milk and biscuits valued at 500,000 AED ($136,000
USD). (Note: They also delivered supplies of
blankets and medicine to the cities of Basra, Najaf,
and Mosul through the Iraqi Red Crescent Society,
according to press reports. End Note.)


5. (C) Al-Kitbi noted that the delegation also
distributed 20,000 loaves of bread to more than 5,000
families in Baghdad. The RCA hired local bakers to
make the bread and contracted with regional flourmills
to obtain the necessary ingredients. RCA also
purchased 1,000 head of sheep and goats for slaughter,
and distributed the meat to needy Iraqi families.

-------------- --
...But Experience The Dangers Of War First-Hand
-------------- --


6. (C) Al-Kitbi reported to Econchief that the three
vehicle convoy traveling overland from Jordan came
under alleged Coalition small arms fire nearly 60
kilometers outside of Baghdad, although the delegation
traveled in clearly marked Red Crescent vehicles with
diplomatic plates. The vehicles were armored and the
delegation came through largely unscathed, although
one driver was lightly wounded. Al-Kitbi noted that
RCA had coordinated the visit with the UAE embassies
in Amman and Baghdad, working with the Iraqi and
Jordanian Red Crescent Societies and the ICRC. She
had assumed that these entities had obtained the
necessary clearances from the Iraqi Government and the
U.S. military to allow safe passage for the aid
workers. The RCA had no intention of publicizing the
incident, but would appreciate guidance on how to
prevent future such incidents (here Al-Kitbi noted
that, in general, the RCA prefers to coordinate via
non-governmental organizations, if that is possible).


7. (S) Al-Kitbi noted that Iraqi authorities had
urged the RCA to travel overland from Syria, as this
was a "safer and shorter" route, but the RCA
ultimately decided this was a bad idea. Econchief
noted recent public statements by Secretary of Defense
Rumsfeld regarding military resupply of Iraq via
Syria. Al-Kitbi smiled and again reiterated that the
RCA had ultimately decided not to do what had been so
strongly recommended by the Iraqis.

--------------
Eager To Move More Aid To Iraq -- Fast...
--------------


8. (C) Al-Kitbi confirmed that a RCA ship hoped to
depart soon for Umm Qasr in Iraq loaded with 1,000-
2,000 boxes (35 kilos each) of basic foodstuffs. Al-
Kitbi presented a sample box containing sugar, dates,
pasta, milk, oil, cans of beans, baby formula, and
water to Econchief for examination. Al-Kitbi
requested Post's assistance in facilitating the
shipment, but noted that the RCA could ship to
Kuwait's Mina Al-Shuwaikh and the supplies trucked 60
kilometers overland to Iraq if it encountered problems
entering Umm Qasr.

--------------
...And Where It Is Needed Most
--------------


9. (C) Al-Kitbi stressed that the RCA wants to
deliver its aid directly, not warehouse supplies for
subsequent delivery by others. She also noted that
the RCA has as its mandate helping the neediest of the
needy; to that end, the RCA would like to receive
permission from the coalition to cross the lines and
deliver aid in regime-controlled territory. The RCA
official stated that while the Iraqi authorities were
not likely to permit Kuwaiti or Saudi charities to
perform these activities, the UAE RCA has a long
history of working closely and cooperatively with its
Iraqi counterparts. No official request has yet been
made, Al-Kitbi observed, but a positive response from
the Coalition side would clear the way for an approach
to be made to Baghdad. Econchief responded that we
welcome the efforts of the RCA and will do all we can
to facilitate the delivery of aid to the needy in
Iraq. While Umm Qasr is currently closed to civilian
shipping, that situation could change shortly. We
will work closely with the HOC in Kuwait to get
answers as soon as possible. Econchief noted that
continued close cooperation and sharing of information
would be vital to a successful effort; Al-Kitbi said
she welcomed such an exchange on an ongoing basis.

--------------
Comment
--------------


10. (C) The UAE Red Crescent Society is well-
financed, enjoys good operational contacts inside
Iraq, and is eager to play a role in getting
humanitarian aid to the Iraqis who need it most. Post
is grateful for the initial positive responses we have
received from the HOC to our various requests;
facilitating UAE RCA operations, in our view, will
well serve both our immediate humanitarian goals as
well our longer-term policy objectives. To that end,
we will continue to work closely with the RCA and will
report on its activities as appropriate.

Wahba