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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03SANAA338
2003-02-19 09:58:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Sanaa
Cable title:  

YEMENI FOREIGN MINISTER ON IRAQ AND THE ARAB

Tags:   PREL  PARM  IZ  AL  YM 
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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 SANAA 000338 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/18/2013
TAGS: PREL PARM IZ AL YM
SUBJECT: YEMENI FOREIGN MINISTER ON IRAQ AND THE ARAB
LEAGUE MINISTERIAL IN CAIRO


Classified By: Acting Pol/Econ Chief Catherine J. Westley for Reason
C O N F I D E N T I A L SANAA 000338

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/18/2013
TAGS: PREL PARM IZ AL YM
SUBJECT: YEMENI FOREIGN MINISTER ON IRAQ AND THE ARAB
LEAGUE MINISTERIAL IN CAIRO


Classified By: Acting Pol/Econ Chief Catherine J. Westley for Reason 1.
5 (b,d)


1. (C) Summary: The Iraq situation and the recent Arab
League ministerial were discussed when the Ambassador called
on Foreign Minister Qirbi on February 18. Notably, according
to Qirbi the Yemenis and other Arab countries did not buy
into the French proposals on inspections, despite their
appreciation for the French and German stances against
military action. Yemen's missile cooperation with North
Korea and other matters were also discussed during the
meeting (septels). Also present at the meeting were MFA
Advisor al-Iryani, DCM, DATT and Acting Pol/Econ Chief
(notetaker). End Summary.


2. (C) While giving the Foreign Minister a readout of his
recent Washington consultations, the Ambassador said that
there is total commitment on the part of the USG that Iraq
must disarm. He also noted that there is a preference for
working through the UNSC and the international community, but
that at the end of the day Iraq must disarm.


3. (C) Qirbi gave a readout of the recent Cairo meeting of
Arab League foreign ministers. He said that they heard from
the Saudis, the Syrians, the Iraqis, and that there is
"nothing new" as far as the sequence of events is concerned.
He said that the "striking issue" was the degree of Iraqi
cooperation and its stated commitment to answer questions
from the inspectors and eliminate WMD. Qirbi opined that
what Iraq said may or may not be correct, but if it is
correct, they are moving in the right direction.


4. (C) Qirbi said that the Arab delegations urged Iraq to
"abide by and implement" UNSCR 1441 in its entirety. He
noted that there was unanimous opposition to military action
unless all peaceful means of resolving the problem are
exhausted. He said that until there is a clear statement
from the inspectors that Iraq is not cooperating, those
peaceful means remain open. However, he mentioned the
possibility that time limits might be imposed.


5. (C) Qirbi said the French and German positions against
military action were appreciated, but that the ROYG and most
Arab states do not/not agree with their proposals regarding
inspectors. He suggested that the Arab delegations are
mindful of not taking advantage of the split between the
French and German governments and the U.S. and other European
governments. Rather, the Arab position would be to pressure
Iraq toward an outcome acceptable to both France and the
U.S., meaning both no war and complete disarmament.


6. (C) The Ambassador said it was useful for the AL member
states to be clear on Iraq's responsibilities to disarm. The
Ambassador mentioned specifics from Secretary Powell's
February 14 UNSC speech, and noted that time will tell if
Iraq does decide to change its course and disarm. Qirbi said
that the U.S. has a major responsibility to support the
inspectors (read: through intelligence provision).


7. (C) Ambassador Hull stressed the need to sustain
pressure on Baghdad. Even Iraq's recent participation in the
Tripartite Committee on Gulf War missing was solely the
result of international pressure, as Iraq had long boycotted
the meetings. Still, Iraq refuses to account for Kuwaiti
missing. Saddam Hussein responds to pressure and nothing
else, said the Ambassador. Qirbi nodded in agreement,
acknowledging that Yemen's own diplomatic efforts to resolve
this problem were fruitless as a result of Iraqi
intransigence.


8. (C) FM Qirbi agreed that all should continue to pressure
Iraq, but added that pressure needs to also be placed on the
U.S. and its allies not to be hasty in the use of military
force.


9. (C) Comment: It is notable that the Yemenis and other
Arab states did not buy the French proposal on inspections.
The French Ambassador told Ambassador Hull on February 17
that Paris had tasked him with demarching on the proposals
throughout the Eid holiday. Apparently his efforts did not
influence the Yemeni position. End Comment.
HULL