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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03ABUDHABI2082 2003-04-30 10:51:00 SECRET Embassy Abu Dhabi
Cable title:  

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE RUMSFELD MEETING

Tags:   PREL PGOV PARM MOPS GCC AF IZ TC 
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Diana T Fritz  05/24/2007 04:23:49 PM  From  DB/Inbox:  Search Results

Cable 
Text:                                                                      
                                                                           
      
SECRET

SIPDIS
TELEGRAM                                           April 30, 2003


To:       No Action Addressee                                    

Action:   Unknown                                                

From:     AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI (ABU DHABI 2082 - UNKNOWN)         

TAGS:     PREL, PGOV, PARM, MOPS                                 

Captions: None                                                   

Subject:  SECRETARY OF DEFENSE RUMSFELD MEETING WITH UAE ARMED   
          FORCES CHIEF OF STAFF SHAYKH MUHAMMAD BIN ZAYID        
          AL-NAHYAN                                              

Ref:      None                                                   
_________________________________________________________________
S E C R E T        ABU DHABI 02082

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

DISSEMINATION: POL
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: AMB:MMWAHBA
DRAFTED: POL:STWILLIAMS
CLEARED: NONE

VZCZCADI058
OO RUEKJCS RUEHC RUCNRAQ RUEHBUL RHEHNSC RUEAIIA
RHEFDIA RUCJACC RUEKJCS
DE RUEHAD #2082/01 1201051
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 301051Z APR 03
FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
TO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9701
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0121
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUCJACC/USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL//POLAD//
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J2//
					S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 ABU DHABI 002082 

SIPDIS

DEFENSE FOR OSD/NESA

STATE FOR NEA/ARP, NEA/NGA AND PM/RSAT

CENTCOM FOR POLAD AMBASSADOR LITT

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/30/13
TAGS: PREL PGOV PARM MOPS GCC AF IZ TC
SUBJECT: SECRETARY OF DEFENSE RUMSFELD MEETING
WITH UAE ARMED FORCES CHIEF OF STAFF
SHAYKH MUHAMMAD BIN ZAYID AL-NAHYAN



1. (U) Classified by Ambassador Marcelle M. Wahba
for reasons 1.5 (B) and (D).



2. (S) SUMMARY: SecDef met with UAE Armed Forces
Chief of Staff LTG Muhammad bin Zayid Al-Nahyan
(MbZ) on April 27 in Abu Dhabi. After
congratulating SecDef on Operation Iraqi Freedom,
MbZ made the following points: (1) There is a
narrow window to curtail Iranian influence among
Iraqi Shi'a groups. (2) Iran is a regional threat
and the leadership in Tehran uses the "American and
Israeli enemy" to maintain control. (3) Jordan's
King Abdullah is a courageous leader who deserves
our support. SecDef made the following points:
(1) He thanked the UAE for its support in the
liberation of Iraq. (2) While it is understandable
for Iraq's neighbors, including Iran and Syria, to
have an interest, we cannot abdicate to them
control of Iraq's internal affairs. (3) Syria has
played an unhelpful role, although Bashar Al-Asad
appears to be getting the message to some extent.
(4) The U.S. provides support to Jordan and
encourages others to follow suit. (5) The U.S. has
made progress in training the Afghan National Army,
but it is important that this progress be
accelerated. CENTCOM Commander Gen. Franks and
Amb. Wahba joined SecDef.



3. (S) OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM: MbZ congratulated
SecDef on the "amazing" success of Operation Iraqi
Freedom against an Iraqi regime that was the enemy
of both the U.S. and the UAE. SecDef thanked MbZ
for the UAE's cooperation; the role played by the
UAE and Kuwait helped speed up the operation and
saved lives. SecDef credited General Franks and
his team for the success of the plan and the
campaign. There was a minimum loss of life, no
environmental damage, no ballistic missiles fired
at neighboring states and virtually no outflow of
refugees.



4. (S) IRANIAN INFLUENCE IN IRAQ: SecDef asked MbZ
about Iran's influence in Iraq. MbZ replied that
Iran concerns everyone. Anticipating Saddam's
fall, the Iranians seized the opportunity to gain
the confidence and loyalty of "their Shi'a groups"
in Iraq. Though the Emiratis would not object to a
Shi'a president if elected, they would be concerned
by the emergence of a powerful Shi'a religious
figure. In his view, we are in a critical period,
during which we have an opportunity to encourage
the emergence of moderate Shi'a leaders and
circumscribe Iranian influence. SecDef
acknowledged that the transition from Saddam's rule
may be bumpy; while it is understandable for Iraq's
neighbors, including Iran and Syria, to have some
influence, abdicating control to them is
unacceptable.



5. (S) IRANIAN THREAT TO THE REGION: MbZ and
SecDef agreed that Iran poses a significant
regional and international threat. SecDef hoped
for internal change in Iran; he doubted that young
Iranians will want to be ruled by the clerics
indefinitely. MbZ said the Iranian leadership has
successfully used the concept of the "enemy"
Americans and Israelis to maintain control. Seven
years ago, Rafsanjani's brother had told him that
Iran would not stop developing its technology until
it had in its arsenal a missile that could reach
the U.S.



6. (S) SYRIA UNHELPFUL: When asked whether Syria
had been cooperating as we wanted, SecDef said no.
On balance Syria had been unhelpful, and "unwisely
so." Damascus had stopped weapons from crossing
the border when the U.S. cautioned Syria, but
allowed busloads of mercenaries to cross into Iraq.
SecDef stated that Bashar Al-Asad seems to be
getting the message after the intervention of Hosni
Mubarak and others. While he did not think Al-Asad
will allow more wanted Iraqis into Syria, SecDef
believed that the Syrian leader will permit the
exit of those already in Syria. MbZ reported that
Shaykh Zayid had dispatched UAE Information
Minister Abdullah bin Zayid to Damascus to warn
them to be careful, only 48 hours before SecDef
spoke publicly about Syria's unhelpful role.



7. (S) JORDAN DESERVES OUR SUPPORT: SecDef asked
MbZ for his assessment of how his friend King
Abdullah weathered the Iraq conflict. MbZ said he
thought Abdullah was in "reasonable shape." MbZ
admired Abdullah's courage in backing the OIF
coalition -- 180 degrees from what his father had
done during Desert Storm. SecDef and MbZ agreed
that Jordan deserves our support. "If anyone
deserves our support, he does," SecDef agreed
fully.



8. (S) AFGHANISTAN: SecDef asked MbZ's view of the
situation in Afghanistan. MbZ said a UAE military
team had just returned from Kabul and reported it
was calm and secure, "like any other city." SecDef
noted the past footdragging of MoD and regional
leaders. It was two steps forward, one step back.
A number of Afghan National Army (ANA) battalions
were trained, but they are not yet linked to the
Defense Ministry. It is important that ANA
training be accelerated to build confidence in the
central government.



9. (U) SecDef has reviewed and cleared this cable.

WAHBA