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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03KUWAIT1813
2003-05-04 06:32:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Kuwait
Cable title:  

AMBASSADOR'S APRIL 30 MEETING WITH MINSTATE

Tags:   PREL  KU  IZ 
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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 001813 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/02/2013
TAGS: PREL KU IZ
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S APRIL 30 MEETING WITH MINSTATE

REF: A. STATE 103736 B. KUWAIT 1759

Classified By: Ambassador Richard H. Jones for reasons 1.5 (b) and (d)

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KUWAIT 001813

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/02/2013
TAGS: PREL KU IZ
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S APRIL 30 MEETING WITH MINSTATE

REF: A. STATE 103736 B. KUWAIT 1759

Classified By: Ambassador Richard H. Jones for reasons 1.5 (b) and (d)


1. (C) Summary: The Ambassador met with Minister of State for
Foreign Affairs Shaykh Dr. Mohammed Al-Sabah on April 30th.
Among the issues discussed were Kuwaiti POWs, the future of
Kuwait's fuel donations to coalition forces and the status of
ongoing efforts to secure an Article 98 agreement with
Kuwait. End Summary.

(C) WAR ISSUES: POWs AND FUEL
--------------


2. (C) Dr. Mohammed began by raising the issue of Kuwaiti
POWs, with some of whose families he had met the previous
night. Echoing their frustration that coalition forces had
not encountered any Kuwaiti POWs in Iraq, he relayed the
concern that coalition forces make every effort to
interrogate all enemy prisoners of war (EPW's) for possible
information about Kuwaiti POWs. He said that such
interrogations were especially significant to the GOK's
ongoing efforts to establish war crimes cases against the
former Iraqi regime. (Note: The GOK has been pursuing the
cases of 572 Kuwaitis and 33 persons of other nationalities,
missing since the Iraqi occupation. This is a highly
sensitive issue in Kuwait. End Note.)


3. (C) Dr. Mohammed also told the Ambassador that Kuwait
would soon have to start scaling back its in-kind fuel
assistance to coalition forces, as the conflict was drawing
to a close and the GOK was facing budgetary pressures. He
noted that coalition fuel requirements were significantly
less, now that the air campaign is over. As an aside, he
also mentioned rumors he had heard that some fuel Kuwait had
supplied was being sold on the black market in Iraq. In
response to the Ambassador's questions, Dr. Mohammed said it
was unclear to him whether this was fuel supplied to the
coalition or for humanitarian purposes. He had no further
information. The Ambassador urged him to bring any
information suggesting diversions from coalition stocks to
U.S. attention at once.


4. (C) The Ambassador assured the Minister that coalition
forces were, in fact, doing everything possible to elicit
information from EPW's, and coordinating very closely with
GOK bodies charged with Kuwait's POW efforts. He also asked

him to give the USG as much advance warning as possible about
any GOK decision to cut back on fuel assistance.


5. (C) The Ambassador also gave Dr. Mohammed a readout on the
4/28 Baghdad meeting of Iraqi political figures. Dr.
Mohammed listened intently and asked the Ambassador if the US
would be advising SCIRI's Mohammed Bakr Al-Hakim to be
present at the group's planned future meeting. SCIRI, he
said, had been represented at the 3/28 meeting by a lower
level representative. They also discussed the possibility of
Shi'a cleric Mohammed Bahr al-Oloum's returning to Iraq, with
the Ambassador pointing out the difficulty of the U.S.
playing a prominent role.


(C) ARTICLE 98
--------------


6. (C) The Ambassador delivered Ref A talking points and
confirmed for Dr. Mohammed that Egypt had concluded an
Article 98 agreement with the U.S.; the proposed agreement
with Kuwait extends coverage to all Americans and TCN's while
in U.S. military service, but not civilian contractors. Dr.
Mohammed indicated this might be acceptable to Kuwait, and
asked whether the agreement would cover Free Iraqi Forces
(FIF), implying that Kuwait would object to this since the
GOK was still attempting to bring war crimes charges against
some officials of the former Iraqi regime. The Ambassador
explained that the FIF were not technically part of the U.S.
military, it was doubtful they would be covered by the
agreement and in any event, the period of coverage would be
very limited. Ambassador Babtain from the America's
Department suggested that we should receive an MFA response
very soon on the latest U.S. draft.

(C) TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
--------------


7. (C) The Ambassador thanked Ambassador Babtain for having
provided the embassy with copies of Kuwaiti laws prohibiting
trafficking in persons (Ref B). However, he stressed, the
basis upon which the USG would be preparing its
congressionally-mandated report would be the actual practices
in Kuwait, not the legal framework. The Ambassador suggested
that an extension of Kuwait's labor laws to include coverage
for domestic servants would be one way the GOK could show
progress on the issue of trafficking in persons. He
underscored the embassy's desire to continue working urgently
with the GOK on this issue.


8. (C) Comment: The GOK has provided as Assistance-In-Kind
nearly $200 million in fuel this year. The need to increase
security measures in conjunction with Operation Iraqi Freedom
and the noncomitant terrorist threat forced the GOK to seek a
supplemental budget allocation of over $1.6 billion; about
$2000 per Kuwaiti.
JONES