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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03KUWAIT4709 2003-10-15 13:59:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kuwait
Cable title:  

(U) FRENCH AMBASSADOR HOSTS G8 CTAG MEETING

Tags:   PTER PREL ETTC KU 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L KUWAIT 004709 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR S/CT, E, EB, NEA/ARP
TREASURY FOR OFAC

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/13/2013
TAGS: PTER PREL ETTC KU
SUBJECT: (U) FRENCH AMBASSADOR HOSTS G8 CTAG MEETING

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



1. (C) SUMMARY AND INTRODUCTION: The French Ambassador
hosted a meeting October 13 of embassy representatives of G8
countries and Switzerland, as part of worldwide consultations
in preparation for the November 17 second meeting of the
Counter-Terrorism Action Group (CTAG) created during the G8
Summit in Evian earlier this year. Consensus of participants
was that the Kuwaiti political leadership understands the
need to combat terrorism (including terrorist financing), but
is less strong on effective follow-through. END SUMMARY AND
INTRODUCTION.



2. (C) At the invitation of French Ambassador Claude
Losguardi, representatives of the local embassies of all G8
countries and Switzerland met October 13. Australia would
have been invited too, but has no embassy in Kuwait. The
meeting, which Losguardi chaired, was part of worldwide
consultations in preparation for the second meeting of the
Counter-Terrorism Action Group (CTAG) created during the G8
Summit in Evian earlier this year, which is set for November


17. Pol Chief attended for the US Embassy; except for
Russia, all the other countries were represented by their
Ambassadors.



3. (C) Losguardi noted that after the November 17 meeting,
the chair of the CTAG will pass from France to the US. He
said the transition is being coordinated closely between
Paris and Washington.



4. (C) COUNTER-TERRORISM CONVENTIONS: Losguardi reviewed
the status of international conventions against terrorism:
Kuwait is a party to seven of the twelve. He cited MFA
Director of International Organizations Affairs Amb.
Abdulhamid al-Awadhi as saying Kuwait accepts four of the
other five, but has concerns about the International
Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism
due to its definition of terrorism that includes national
liberation movements. These concerns are especially strong
among some members of the National Assembly. There has been
no progress on ratification over the summer, but none was
expected, as the National Assembly was not in session.
(NOTE: Kuwait had general elections in July, and the new
Assembly will convene October 20. END NOTE.)
However, Losguardi argued, the GOK is taking actions, even
unpopular ones, such as removing unauthorized charity kiosks,
which prompted accusations that the Government was attacking
one of the pillars of Islam (alms-giving).



5. (C) WHERE THERE'S A WILL: Losguardi invited assessments
of Kuwait's performance in the war against terrorism. UK
Ambassador Christopher Wilton said the political will exists
at the top, the question is whether the GOK will be
determined enough to push ahead despite opposition in
parliament. Losguardi agreed, noting that two-thirds of
current MPs are Islamist or tribalist, or both. He
recommended continually reminding the GOK of the importance
of sustained effort against all facets of terrorism. Several
participants commented that, as a general matter, the GOK is
not known for strong bureaucratic follow-through, especially
on technically complex matters (money-laundering, e.g.). The
Russian representative remarked that when Russia closed down
branches of major Kuwaiti Islamic charities (Revival of
Islamic Heritage Society and Social Reform Society), the GOK
kept asking for proof of wrong-doing but did not seem keen on
seeking proof. He added that sharing evidence could be
problematic, as much of it comes from intelligence sources.



6. (C) BORDER SECURITY: Turning to border security, Wilton
said the Kuwaitis have good physical security, awareness and
staffing on the border with Iraq; the other side of that
border is more problematic, and the Saudi border is "porous."
In relation to Saudi Arabia, Losguardi remarked that a
visiting member of the Iraqi Governing Council, Abdul-Aziz
al-Hakim, had made a statement which he interpreted as a
veiled accusation of Saudi/Wahhabi involvement in the
car-bombing that killed his brother, Ayatullah Mohammed Baqer
al-Hakim. German Ambassador Werner Daum said he had heard
the Kuwaitis complain that they had too few resources on the
border, now that the UN Iraq Kuwait Observation Mission
UNIKOM was gone.



7. (C) ITALIAN VISIT: Italian Ambassador Vincenzo Prati
announced that his Undersecretary of Finance would visit
Kuwait soon, and that occasion would be used to underscore to
the GOK the need to sustain efforts against terrorism.
JONES