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03KUWAIT1335 2003-04-09 16:45:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kuwait
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L KUWAIT 001335 



E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/09/2013

Classified By: DCM Frank C. Urbanic for reasons 1.5 (b) and (d).

1. (U) This is an action request. Please see para 6.

2. (C) Summary. The Government of Bulgaria is seeking ways to
support efforts by the DoD Office of Reconstruction and
Humanitarian Assistance in the reconstruction and civil
administration of Iraq according to Bulgarian Ambassador to
Kuwait Angel Mantchev. Mantchev met with ORHA Baghdad
Regional Coordinator Ambassador Barbara Bodine on April 8 to
inquire how Bulgaria could support ORHA,s mission.
Ambassador Bodine outlined ORHA,s work, stressing that
Bulgaria,s long history of political and commercial contacts
with Iraq could prove invaluable. In response to Ambassador
Bodine,s questions, Mantchev said Bulgaria had particular
experience in highway construction and agriculture in Iraq;
could grant access to Embassy personnel recently evacuated
from Baghdad; and might be able to assign detailees to ORHA
to work as advisors in Iraqi ministries. He added that the
Ministry of Economy has formed a working group to consider
other ways for the GOB to participate. End Summary.

3. (C) Mantchez opened the meeting noting that his government
had instructed him to make contact with ORHA to find out how
Bulgaria could support the reconstruction and civil
administration aspects of ORHA,s mission. Ambassador agreed
that support for ORHA was an excellent opportunity for
Bulgaria to participate in the coalition. She added that
Bulgaria, alongside other Eastern European countries, could
potentially make a unique contribution to the reconstruction
of Iraq since they had recently made the successful
transition from totalitarian to democratic systems.

4. (C) Civil Administration. Mantchev said the GOB was
especially interested in helping with civil administration in
Iraq. He said that, as an initial step, the seven Embassy
personnel the GOB had evacuated from Baghdad to Sofia and
Damascus could meet with U.S. Embassy personnel to discuss
their experiences. Ambassador Bodine said we would be
interested in learning about their work with Iraqi
ministries, especially their view of the prominent--and not
so prominent--people at each ministry that ORHA could turn to
in helping to get the ministries operating again, and any
information on how the ministries functioned. (Action
request for Sofia and Damascus: would appreciate your
approaching the GOB and Bulgarian Embassy Damascus to arrange
to meet these former Embassy officers.)

5. (C) Reconstruction and Humanitarian Relief. Mantchev said
that Bulgarian companies and subcontractors have significant
experience in Iraq dating back to the 1970,s and 80,s. He
noted that the Nasariyah-Hillah highway had been built by a
Bulgarian firm and that agribusiness companies had also been
active there. Bulgaria had also trained Iraqis in many
fields, Bulgarians who had married Iraqi students and were
now living in Iraq. In the field of humanitarian relief,
Mantchev said that Bulgaria might be able to send bottled

6. (C) Liaison and Personnel. Ambassador Bodine gently
dissuaded Mantchev when he offered to send Bulgarian liaison
personnel to ORHA. Instead, she suggested that Bulgaria
should move, as soon as it was safe, to reopen its mission in
Baghdad as a Liaison Office. The office could maintain
contacts with both ORHA and the Iraqi Interim Authority
(IAA). If the GOB wished to contribute personnel to ORHA,
the best way would be to send them as detailees to serve as
sub-ministerial advisors; the GOB should consider sub-areas
at the division or bureau level within ministries in which it
had the personnel/expertise to contribute. In addition,
Bulgaria could send an aid official to the