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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03KUWAIT5159 2003-11-12 05:48:00 SECRET Embassy Kuwait
Cable title:  

(C) GOK WANTS US TO STOP COALITION FORCES' "ABUSE"

Tags:   ETRD EAID CASC MOPS PREL PGOV PTER KU IZ 
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					  S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 KUWAIT 005159 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/11/2013
TAGS: ETRD EAID CASC MOPS PREL PGOV PTER KU IZ
SUBJECT: (C) GOK WANTS US TO STOP COALITION FORCES' "ABUSE"
OF ENTRY PROCEDURES

REF: A. KUWAIT 3775


B. KUWAIT 3937

Classified By: CDA FRANK URBANCIC, REASONS 1.4 (B) and (D)



1. (S) On November 10, post received a diplomatic note
(informal translation at paragraph 4) from the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, expressing the GOK's displeasure that
coalition forces are still permitting civilians and military
personnel of varied nationalities into Kuwait without proper
immigration documentation, i.e., valid passport and valid
visa. This practice contravenes, the note says, Kuwait's
legal entry requirements and infringe upon Kuwait's
sovereignty and security. According to the note, the
Ministry of the Interior has taken extraordinary steps to
ensure that it has sufficient personnel at ports of entry to
facilitate transit. Nevertheless, the note alleges,
coalition forces still ignore Kuwait's standard entry
procedures. The communication concludes by asking the
Embassy to remind coalition forces to respect Kuwait's
sovereignty and security, and ensure that travelers to Kuwait
have proper documentation per our bilateral and international
agreements.



2. (C) COMMENT. Although our interlocutors at the MFA
could not confirm that the dip note referred specifically to
Common Access Cards (CACs), we suspect the Ministry of the
Interior generated the message and that it indeed addresses
CACs. Econ Chief and Consul will meet on 12 November with
the Chief of Immigration to clarify what exactly is at stake.
Our read now is that the GOK is attempting to define clearly
who is granted admission to the country under the terms of
the DCA and who is not. We anticipate strong GOK objection
to attempts to include contractors within the scope of the
DCA. CACs have been issued to numerous categories of
military and civilian personnel employed in support of Iraq
operations who actually are resident in Kuwait and who the
GOK thereby believes should comply with all GOK immigration
regulations. To date, military personnel, contractors and
subcontractors (both Americans and third country nationals)
have been using CAC cards as if they were regular,
internationally recognized travel documents. Consequently,
many contractors and subcontractors have not obtained proper
Kuwaiti visas or residence permits. What is clear from this
strongly worded message is that the Kuwaitis are asserting
that Coalition forces and others have abused Kuwait's
cooperative posture in support of our international
operations in Iraq. As reported Reftel A, the Kuwaitis
already fired a warning shot on border security, when they
closed their border with Iraq for a day in August. They
certainly could do it again, if they conclude that that is
the only way to get the Americans to take their grievances
seriously. Kuwait remains an enthusiastic partner on Iraq,
but insists that its sovereignty be respected. In light of
the regional security situation, Kuwait has valid concerns
about controlling its borders (Ref B). We share those
concerns, especially from the standpoint of force protection
for U.S. personnel deployed both in Iraq and Kuwait.



3. (U) In response to the incident described in Reftel A,
Embassy convened an interagency team to review the situation
and propose procedural and documentation changes to
regularize the transit of Iraq support materiel and
personnel. We are close to closure with the GOK; the ball is
in their court for final agreement between the Ministries of
Interior and Defense. The issue of the use or misuse of CACs
presents another wrinkle for these customs- and
economic-support-for-Iraq issues. Fortuitously, and in
follow up on press reports regarding CAC abuse, Embassy
already had scheduled a meeting of the interagency team on
the CAC issue for 10 November when the diplomatic note
arrived. The note was discussed at that meeting and the team
is developing a common set of understandings for immediate
review by USG agencies concerned, to include appropriate
military commands. We will report on progress resolving this
issue Septel. END COMMENT.



4. (S) UNOFFICIAL TRANSLATION OF DIPLOMATIC NOTE. From:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs -- Department of Protocol. Date:
8 November 2003. Reference Number: 20032022

(Salutations)

The Ministry would like to point to a matter that has
occurred with some commands of the coalition forces in Kuwait
who have brought in civilian and military personnel, through
government entry (border) points into the State of Kuwait, in
a way that is not legitimate. (These personnel) do not fall
under the signed agreements between the State of Kuwait and
the coalition forces of varying nationalities.

The Ministry and other relevant agencies in the government
immediately began to contact the Coalition Forces to make
sure that these incidents did not occur again, but these
(illegal entry) operations did not only continue but
increased.

This matter is a type of exploitation of the (entry-exit)
facilitation between the Government of Kuwait and our friends
the Coalition Forces, and is an infringement on the state,s
sovereignty and a violation of Kuwaiti laws, which forbid
entry of any person into the country in a way that is not
legal, which has severe punishment under the law.

This also represents a violation on the security side, and
the repercussions that may result (from this violation).
Know that the responsible authorities at the Ministry of
Interior have made all the necessary preparations for
cooperation in solving this problem by providing professional
border employees to verify documents of (personnel) arriving
in the State of Kuwait, whether it be by way of the Military
Airport (APOD) or land border crossings with Iraq, to ensure
that documents are legitimate before their entry into the
country and prior to providing them with the appropriate
facilitation of services.

There was a joint group meeting between the State of Kuwait
and the Coalition Forces in regards to this matter, but the
Combined Forces (Land Component) Command (CFLCC) in Kuwait is
not abiding by what is asked of it.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would be grateful if our
friend, the Embassy of the United States, could raise this
issue to higher authorities so that they can issue immediate
orders to coalition leaders that require them to take the
appropriate measures which will respect the sovereignty of
the State of Kuwait and its security; and not to permit
(violators) to exploit the facilitation of services offered
by the State of Kuwait to our friends the Coalition Forces;
(such orders) should also ensure, verify and forbid illegal
entry into the country to any individual from any nationality
regardless of his rank or position. It should also verify
that any person not included in the facilitation of services
agreements made with the State of Kuwait obtain an entry visa
and a valid entry stamp on his document.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs -- Protocol Department --
requests an immediate reply in regard to this matter.

JONES