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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03KUWAIT1283
2003-04-07 06:04:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Kuwait
Cable title:  

(C) SCENESETTER FOR GOK MINSTATE'S VISIT TO

Tags:   PREL  MARR  PHUM  PINR  IZ  KU 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KUWAIT 001283 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NEA/FO, NEA/NGA, NEA/RA, NEA/ARP

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/05/2013
TAGS: PREL MARR PHUM PINR IZ KU
SUBJECT: (C) SCENESETTER FOR GOK MINSTATE'S VISIT TO
WASHINGTON


Classified By: (U) AMBASSADOR RICHARD H. JONES; REASON: 1.5 (B,D)

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KUWAIT 001283

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NEA/FO, NEA/NGA, NEA/RA, NEA/ARP

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/05/2013
TAGS: PREL MARR PHUM PINR IZ KU
SUBJECT: (C) SCENESETTER FOR GOK MINSTATE'S VISIT TO
WASHINGTON


Classified By: (U) AMBASSADOR RICHARD H. JONES; REASON: 1.5 (B,D)


1. (C) SUMMARY: GOK Minister of State for Foreign Affairs
and Acting Minister of Finance and Planning, Shaykh Dr.
Mohammed Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah, leaves Kuwait April 6 on a
whirlwind tour to Beijing, Moscow, Paris, London, Washington,
and New York. To governments that opposed Operation Iraqi
Freedom, he will convey the GOK's disappointment. In
Washington, he will express thanks for US leadership in
ridding the world of Saddam Hussein's regime, and emphasize
Kuwait's strong partnership with us. To seize the
opportunity this visit provides to bolster the excellent
bilateral relationship, we recommend that our leaders at the
highest level tell Dr. Mohammed that we appreciate Kuwait's
contributions, that we are determined to set Iraq firmly on
the path to a stable, peaceful, prosperous future, and that
we are committed to our strategic relationship with Kuwait.
END SUMMARY.


2. (C) SAYING THANK YOU: The first part of every USG
message to Dr. Mohammed should be 'thank you.' The GOK's
cooperation has been indispensable in the run-up to, and
execution of, Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). The Kuwaitis
turned over to us more than half the territory of their
country, they diverted nearly all commercial traffic from the
port of Shuaiba, they gave us the use of a large percentage
of the country's sole commercial airport, they allowed us to
use three airbases and to build a new desert base (Camp
Udairi) comprising a C-130-capable airstrip, the world's
largest heliport and numerous other facilities. They
extended a fuel pipeline to Ali al-Salem and Ahmed al-Jaber
airbases and Camp Udairi, and they are providing in excess of
USD 100 million per month in fuel as Assistance-In-Kind,
cutting off some of their long-term customers in the process.
Over the past several years, they built Camp Arifjan at
their own expense (over USD 50 million), and they turned it
over to us three years ahead of schedule during the build-up

to OIF. They have responded favorably to our requests for
extra security for American personnel and facilities,
stretching their resources to the very limit. The GOK has
also committed to providing Jordan 25,000 barrels per day of
free oil, to help compensate for its loss of Iraqi oil. As a
first step in the reconstruction and humanitarian relief
effort, the GOK built a water pipeline to Umm Qasr and the
Kuwait Oil Company firefighting team was first on the scene
and extinguished several of the oil-well fires in southern
Iraq. Today, Kuwait is the only Arab country where public
opinion is solidly with us. The GOK and its people
understand that they have put all their eggs in our basket,
alienating themselves from the Arab world by serving as the
launching pad for the war. Dr. Mohammed will be looking for
acknowledgment that his country is more than just a loyal
friend, it is a full partner in the coalition.


4. (C) REAFFIRMING OUR COMMITMENT: Convinced that we are on
the verge of eliminating Saddam's regime, Dr. Mohammed will
place our post-war intentions at the top of his agenda. He
understands and supports our goal of setting Iraq on a solid
foundation for a peaceful and prosperous future under rule of
law, with a representative government. His concern will be
how we intend to do this and whether we have the staying
power to pull it off. Also, expect him to highlight the
utility of involving the United Nations as much and as
quickly as possible, so as to show the world that we have no
intention of occupying Iraq or of using its resources for our
own ends.


5. (C) Many Kuwaitis have begun to fret that we might turn
our back on this small country once we have a friendly regime
in Baghdad. Dr. Mohammed will welcome assurances that the
United States considers its relationship with Kuwait to be
strategic, regardless of developments in Iraq or elsewhere in
the region. Kuwait also attaches great importance to its
ties with Saudi Arabia, and has been dismayed by reported
strains in the US-Saudi relationship. Reaffirmation of the
strategic nature of our relations with the Kingdom would be
well received.


6. (C) PALESTINIAN ISSUE: While Kuwait would like to see
progress towards resolving the Israeli-Palestinian issue, it
has never forgiven Arafat for siding with Saddam in 1990.
This mistrust has been deepened by the pro-Iraqi stance that
has again been evident in the Palestinian territories this
year. The GOK's major contributions to OIF, and the
political risk it is taking in siding with us against an Arab
regime, mean that it feels committed, but not beholden, to
the United States. We are not optimistic that the GOK will
respond positively to fresh appeals for aid to the
Palestinians at this time. It will much prefer to focus its
energies on Iraq and would be more likely to accept an
invitation to join the core group on Iraqi reconstruction
(although it believes loans and investment, not grant aid,
should be the preferred means of financing reconstruction).


7. (C) ARTICLE 98: As this is written, we are awaiting
MFA's reaction to the latest draft Article 98 agreement. Dr.
Mohammed has expressed the hope that he could sign the
agreement with the Secretary while in Washington. We will
continue to press for closure, but recommend that the
Department also engage asap with Kuwait's Ambassador Shaykh
Salim to help bring this issue to closure in time.


8. (C) BOEING: It would be useful for senior USG
interlocutors to urge the GOK to come to closure with the
Boeing-led consortium on the Memorandum of Agreement for the
Apache offset program. Dr. Mohammed is responsible for this
issue in his capacity as acting Minister of Finance.


9. (C) TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS (TIP): Dr. Mohammed knows
Kuwait will probably be added to the State Dept.'s TIP Report
this year. He seems interested to learn more about what
other GCC states have done, and we are engaged with MFA on
that issue. There is no reason why the GOK cannot make
progress in this area fairly quickly if it understands the
importance to the USG. A word to the wise from senior
officials in Washington could help.


10. (C) BIO NOTE: Dr. Mohammed himself is our key
interlocutor in the Kuwaiti leadership. Son, grandson, and
great-grandson of Amirs, former Ambassador to the United
States, with a PhD from Harvard, he is the man on whom the
most senior (and much older) members of the ruling family
rely to explain American interests and intentions. He
personally stood up to respond to abusive and threatening
language from Iraq's delegation head at the March 4 OIC
Summit, Revolutionary Command Council Vice Chairman Izzat
Ibrahim. This has increased his popular standing
significantly in Kuwait, where all the outpourings of emotion
during this crisis have been strongly pro-US.
JONES