|03ABUDHABI5295||2003-12-15 13:42:00||SECRET//NOFORN||Embassy Abu Dhabi|
null Diana T Fritz 03/20/2007 11:35:46 AM From DB/Inbox: Search Results Cable Text: SECRET SIPDIS TELEGRAM December 15, 2003 To: No Action Addressee Action: Unknown From: AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI (ABU DHABI 5295 - UNKNOWN) TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PARM, MOPS Captions: None Subject: SCENESETTER FOR CSAF VISIT TO THE UAE, DECEMBER 17-21, 2003 Ref: None _________________________________________________________________ S E C R E T ABU DHABI 05295 SIPDIS Laser1: INFO: FCS CXABU: ACTION: POL INFO: DAO USLO ECON RSO AMB DCM P/M DISSEMINATION: POL CHARGE: PROG APPROVED: AMB:MMWAHBA DRAFTED: POL:JFMAYBURY CLEARED: DAO:BKERINS USLO:KMASSENGIL VZCZCADI668 OO RUEAHQA RUEOBBA RUEKJCS RUEHC RUCAACC RUCNRAQ RHEFDIA DE RUEHAD #5295/01 3491342 ZNY SSSSS ZZH O 151342Z DEC 03 FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI TO RUEOBBA/USCENTAF SHAW AFB SC IMMEDIATE RUEAHQA/HQ USAF WASHINGTON DC//CSAF/SECAF IMMEDIATE INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC//OSD/NESA// RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2694 RUCAACC/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 04 ABU DHABI 005295
1. (U) Classified by Ambassador Marcelle M. Wahba, reasons
1.5 (B) and (D).
2. (C) General Jumper: I would like to welcome you back to
the UAE. The highlight of December in the UAE has been the
2003 Dubai Air Show, the third largest air show in the
world and the premier aviation and air industry show in the
Gulf region. The Dec. 7-11 Air Show was preceded by a UAE
Air Force-hosted Middle East Air Chiefs' Conference held in
Dubai. The UAEG regards both events as huge successes, and
so do we, particularly since they relied heavily on USAF
participation and cooperation. I want to thank you for
supporting the Air Show and for making our robust USG
presence an important message to the UAE and the region.
U.S. military aircraft on display included AH-64D Longbow,
E-8A JStar, F-14, E-2C, EA-6B, C-2A, P-3AIP, C-130J, F-117,
A-10, F-16, and C-17. During the Dubai Air Show Secretary
Roche met with Defense Minister General Shaykh Mohammed bin
Rashid (MbR), Crown Prince of Dubai, as well as with Deputy
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chief of Staff of UAE Armed
Forces, Lieutenant General Mohammed bin Zayed (MbZ).
3. (C) MbZ was appointed Deputy Crown Prince on Nov. 30.
General Moseley also met with MbZ during the Air Show.
MbZ's promotion clears up any doubts about who will assume
the position of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince after Shaykh Zayed
departs the scene and current Crown Prince Shaykh Khalifa
assumes the presidency. We have requested meetings for you
with MbZ and Major General Khalid bin Abdullah Al Buainnan,
the Commander of the United Arab Emirates Air force and Air
4. (C) We propose that you touch on the following key
bilateral military issues, in addition to the more general
themes outlined below:
-- Congratulate your hosts on the Dubai Air Show, and
underscore that it advances the U.S. security and
commercial interests, directly supports USCENTCOM war
fighting and engagement goals and objectives, furthers
military-to-military relations, and improves regional
-- Focus the UAE military leadership on the need, as part
of our commitment to building and solidifying our strong
military ties, to begin the process of negotiating a
Defense Cooperation Agreement to succeed the unratified
agreement which expires in 2006.
-- Express our enthusiasm about the validation course at
the Gulf Air Warfare Center, Al Dhafra Air Base, scheduled
for January 2004. The Center will be a model for
multilateral training in the region.
5. (S) More broadly, you may also wish to:
-- Congratulate MbZ on his promotion to Deputy Crown Prince
of Abu Dhabi.
-- Express thanks for the UAE's exemplary support for U.S.
and coalition efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, namely
access to bases and logistical support, including air and
sealift of Bulgarian troops to Iraq, the UAE SOC deployment
at Bagram, as well as extensive intelligence coordination.
Thank MbZ for his offer to use a squadron of the UAE's
newly acquired South African Seeker II UAV's.
-- Pass on our gratitude for the UAE's generous
humanitarian assistance, especially the UAE Armed Force's
establishment of the very successful Shaykh Zayed hospital
in Baghdad and the UAE's efforts to re-supply with
equipment and medicine other Iraqi hospitals and the
provision of basic foodstuffs to the Iraqi people.
BILATERAL MILITARY ISSUES
Defense Cooperation Agreement
6. (C) We need to start the process of discussing a
successor agreement to the Defense Cooperation Agreement
(DCA), which comes up for renewal in 2006. The existing
agreement was never ratified by the UAE's Federal National
Council. We have been getting by on ad hoc arrangements.
With the growing presence here (Jebel Ali Port in Dubai is
the busiest USN port-of-call outside the United States; and
there are 1,100 USAF personnel and civilian contractors at
Al Dhafra Air Base supporting Operation Enduring Freedom,
Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operations in the Horn of
Africa), we need to put our relationship on a more solid
footing. Following a meeting with the Ambassador in late
October during which she noted the need to start addressing
the DCA issue, MbZ directed his staff to begin discussions
with us on the way ahead for a re-negotiated DCA. This
will require heavy lifting on both sides and the sooner we
agree on a strategy and define our "non-negotiable" items,
the easier it will be to proceed with the Emiratis.
Embassy representatives met with GHQ lawyers in mid-
November to hear their views. The Emiratis continue to
have reservations about criminal jurisdiction provisions,
as well as concerns over perceived ambiguities regarding
the status of US personnel in the UAE. The Embassy will
make a formal recommendation on the way ahead for the DCA
after the first of the year.
Air Warfare Center
7. (C) The Gulf Air Warfare Center (GAWC) at al-Dhafra Air
Base has tremendous potential to become a resource for
multilateral training, defense cooperation, and
compatibility. The GAWC will provide an excellent
opportunity for CENTCOM pilots to hone their skills in
theater. It comes with the added benefit of offering the
perfect setting for our officers to build long-term
relationships with their Arab and European counterparts.
The GAWC represents the UAE leadership's commitment to
increasing inter-operability with U.S. and coalition
8. (S) Over the past year, MbZ raised his desire to procure
the armed Predator B with just about every interlocutor in
Washington, and Deputy Prime Minister and de facto Foreign
Minister Shaykh Hamdan bin Zayed Al-Nahyan raised the
Predator issue his meetings in late October in Washington,
including with the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of State.
We believe he will raise it with you. Both MbZ and HbZ
believe this system will provide the UAE the much-needed
capability to survey and defend its long, porous coasts and
inland borders. We know that you are actively involved in
the current policy review regarding the release of this
MTCR Category I weapon system to the UAE. CENTCOM in
September forwarded an assessment to OSD supporting sale of
an unarmed Predator B to the UAE. The Emiratis will find
it difficult to understand that we can sell them F-16s
while denying them an armed Predator B.
9. (S) We are moving forward with the ATACMs 1A deal. The
Emiratis have agreed to the principles outlined in what
will be a regional Memorandum of Understanding governing
the use of this system. We have forwarded the MOU to GHQ
for UAE approval. Once we have their approval, the next
step in the process is for GHQ to submit an LOR for Pricing
and Availability, after which we can begin the LOA process.
We are awaiting the provision of a revised Pricing and
Availability and Acquisition, following an Emirati visit to
the US last July to discuss their forecast system
Remote sensing (If Raised)
10. (S) The Emiratis continue to request new, long-term
access to satellite imagery of Iran and the UAE region, as
part of its strategic relationship with the United States.
A USG interagency team visited the UAE in November to
discuss a government-to-government agreement that the USG
had provided to the UAE last May. In an unexpected move,
the Emiratis presented alternative text to the agreement,
requesting an option to lease a US satellite. The USG team
must now review the proposal and respond to the Emiratis
when a review is complete.
Afghanistan and Iraq: Support for Coalition Efforts
11. (S) The UAE Armed Forces has deployed a 35-man Emirati
Special Operations contingent to Bagram Air Base. As you
know, the UAE continues to play a very helpful role in
Afghanistan, particularly in the provision of humanitarian
and reconstruction assistance. The UAE Armed Forces
provided the Afghan National Army with approximately $50
million in assistance in kind in 2002 and overall
humanitarian assistance has crossed the $50 million mark.
The UAEG also continues to provide substantial personal
financial support to President Karzai. In Iraq, the UAEG
provided a "lift" in support of Iraqi stabilization
12. (S) Regarding MbZ's offer to us to use a squadron of
the UAE's newly acquired South African Seeker II UAV's,
CENTCOM/J5, CJTF-180, and CJSOTF-A are coordinating with
the Emiratis to deploy this capability in Afghanistan in
January 2004. A joint US team traveled to the UAE in early
November to discuss operational UAV experience in
Afghanistan, command relationships, integration and fusion,
intel support, strategic lift, beddown location, force
protection, logistics, and third country contractor
support. We are working the details for implementation.
Iraq: UAE Humanitarian/Medical Assistance
13. (SBU) As you know, the Emiratis were among the first in
the Arab world to step up to the plate in providing much-
needed humanitarian assistance and medical relief to the
Iraqi people. The Embassy, the HOC in Kuwait and CENTCOM
worked closely with the UAE Red Crescent Authority to move
supplies into Iraq and transport Iraqi patients to the UAE
for treatment. This cooperation continues. Thanks to the
system put in place by CENTCOM and the HOC, the Emiratis
are now moving assistance into Iraq on a routine basis
using their own C-130s. The Shaykh Zayed hospital in
Baghdad continues to receive hundreds of patients a day.
Iraq: Timely Public Statements
14. (C) When U.S. officials confirmed Saddam Hussein's
capture on Dec. 14, HbZ told the Ambassador that he thought
it was a good outcome that Saddam was captured alive
because the Iraqis will have a chance to try him. He said
he hoped to hear similar news about Al Qaida leaders UBL
and Zawahiri. Since Saddam's fall last April, the Emiratis
have strongly supported Iraqi delegations at official
meetings in the region or when they visited the UAE. The
UAEG also issued strong public condemnation for the attacks
against the UN's Baghdad headquarters and against Ayatollah
Baqir al-Hakim and his followers in Najaf. Privately, the
senior leadership has told us that they applaud the U.S.
decision to accelerate the transfer of authority to the
Iraqis (see ref A).
Iran: Worries Persist
15. (S) All of our senior Emirati interlocutors worry about
Iran's intentions in Iraq and in the Arabian Gulf region as
a whole. Iran is one of the major reasons the UAEG is
actively pursuing acquisition of ATACMS, remote sensing
technology, and is so keen to get Predator. The Emiratis
have urged us to help prevent Iran from meddling in Iraq's
domestic affairs. They view Iran's nuclear program with
deep suspicion and have consistently supported a tough
approach by the IAEA.