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04ABUDHABI923 2004-03-30 13:02:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Abu Dhabi
Cable title:  

U.S.-UAE Strategic Partnership a success

Tags:   PREL ETRD KDEM PHUM IZ AF IR IS SY TC 
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Diana T Fritz  03/15/2007 03:01:14 PM  From  DB/Inbox:  Search Results

Cable 
Text:                                                                      
                                                                           
      
CONFIDENTIAL

SIPDIS
TELEGRAM                                           March 30, 2004


To:       No Action Addressee                                    

Action:   Unknown                                                

From:     AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI (ABU DHABI 923 - ROUTINE)          

TAGS:     PREL, ETRD, PHUM, KDEM                                 

Captions: None                                                   

Subject:  U.S.-UAE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP A SUCCESS               

Ref:      None                                                   
_________________________________________________________________
C O N F I D E N T I A L        ABU DHABI 00923

SIPDIS
CXABU:
    ACTION: POL 
    INFO:   PAO RSO AMB DCM P/M ECON 
Laser1:
    INFO:   PAO 

DISSEMINATION: POL
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: AMB:MMWAHBA
DRAFTED: POL:JFMAYBURY
CLEARED: DCM:RAALBRIGHT, ECON:CC, CGD:JD, PAO:HOW

VZCZCADI295
RR RUEHC RUEHDE RUEHXK RUCNRAQ RHEHNSC RHEFDIA
RUEAIIA RUEATRS
DE RUEHAD #0923/01 0901302
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 301302Z MAR 04
FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3760
INFO RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI 3900
RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ABU DHABI 000923 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/FO, NEA/IAI, NEA/NGA, NEA/ARP, DRL, INL
USTR FOR JASON BUNTIN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/29/2014
TAGS: PREL ETRD KDEM PHUM IZ AF IR IS SY TC
SUBJECT: U.S.-UAE Strategic Partnership a success

Ref: (A) Abu Dhabi 906, (B) 03 State 16509

Classified by Ambassador Marcelle M. Wahba, reasons
1.5 (b) and (d)



1. (C) Summary: The UAE hosted the second bilateral
Strategic Partnership dialogue on March 21 with NEA
A/S Burns and UAE Information and Culture Minister
Shaykh Abdullah bin Zayed leading their respective
delegations. The two sides reviewed progress on the
comprehensive action plan that was agreed upon after
the November 2002 launch of the bilateral dialogue in
Washington, making special mention of a Trade and
Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), an Article 98
agreement, a robust export controls action plan, and
ongoing plans to stop the trafficking in persons
problem.



2. (C) The Abu Dhabi meeting also provided a forum for
a frank exchange on the salient regional issues,
including Iraq, the Arab-Israeli dispute, Iran, and
reforms in the Middle East. Burns and Shaykh Abdullah
agreed that the UN needed to play a central role in
helping Iraqis conduct their future elections. They
shared concerns about Iran's intentions in Iraq and in
the region. Shaykh Abdullah urged the U.S. to stay
engaged in the peace process. He also welcomed U.S.
reforms as long as they were not imposed, and as long
as there was recognition that change will not come
overnight. During his visit to the UAE, Burns also
met with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Shaykh Khalifa bin
Zayed, a meeting that Abu Dhabi Deputy Crown Prince
and UAE Armed Forces COS Shaykh Mohammed bin Zayed
also attended (see ref A). End Summary.



3. (C) NEA A/S Burns and UAE Information and Culture
Minister Shaykh Abdullah bin Zayed (AbZ) led the U.S.
and UAE delegations at the second bilateral Strategic
Partnership in Abu Dhabi on March 21. The UAE
delegation consisted of MFA Assistant U/S for
political affairs, Abdullah Rashid Al Nuaimi; MFA
Director for European, American, and Oceanic Affairs,
Ahmed Al Muqarrab; MFA Protocol Chief Obaid Al Zaabi;
and America desk officers Shaykha Nejla Al Qassimi and
Abdul Rahman Al Shamsi. The U.S. side included the
Ambassador, DCM, CG, PAO, Polchief and Poloff, and
Econoff.



--------------------------

-
Strategic Partnership: Progress on many fronts


--------------------------

-



4. (C) AbZ expressed satisfaction with the way the
bilateral relationship had grown in the past two years
and said he hoped it could grow further. A/S Burns
said this second Strategic Partnership was a
reflection of the strength of the relationship. The
Ambassador gave a comprehensive overview of the
progress that had been made in all the different areas
since the launch of the strategic dialogue (see ref
B). She cited trade and investment, military
cooperation, law enforcement and counter-terrorism
cooperation and training, trafficking in persons, and
education. Signing a TIFA on March 15 in Washington,
reaching agreement on Article 98, cooperating
extensively to counter trafficking in persons, which
resulted in moving the UAE from Tier 3 to Tier 1 in
the annual Trafficking in Persons report, implementing
a robust Export Controls and Related Security (EXBS)
program action plan, and opening the Gulf Air Warfare
Center for joint exercises at Al Dhafra Air Base have
been the major bilateral accomplishments. The
Ambassador thanked Deputy Prime Minister and Minister
of State for Foreign Affairs Shaykh Hamdan bin Zayed,
who was out of town, for his personal commitment to
the Strategic Partnership.



--------------------------


A look ahead


--------------------------





5. (C) Bilateral strategic partnership activities will
be ongoing. The U.S. is sending a delegation to the
UAE to attend the Second International Hawala
Conference on April 3-4. An Emirati delegation will
head to Washington for the first TIFA Council April
26-27. A/S Rodman will lead the U.S. delegation to
the first Joint Military Commission on May 1-2 in Abu
Dhabi. The two sides will continue to negotiate a
Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT). The UAE is
interested in participating in Middle East Partnership
Initiative programs under each of the four pillars.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC),
which is interested in reopening its programs in the
UAE, will continue to encourage the UAEG to pass a new
labor law and appropriate amendments that provide for
the creation of labor organizations to ensure
laborers' rights to organize and bargain collectively.
In addition, U.S. and UAE officials both here and in
Washington will work together to identify appropriate
Codels and Staffdels to visit the UAE. Both sides
expressed a desire to encourage more Emirati travel to
the U.S. The Emiratis expressed concern about U.S.
visa and homeland security procedures that have
discouraged travel.



--------------------------


Regional Issues


--------------------------



Iraq:


--------------------------





6. (C) AbZ said the UAE is very concerned about
developments in Iraq. The UAE knows the U.S. is doing
its best to restore stability, but he said there is
still work to be done by Americans and Iraqis to
ensure a greater UN role, particularly to help Iraqis
prepare for elections. Burns said he shared AbZ's
concerns and agreed the UN needed to play a central
role. The Transitional Administrative Law's
completion, as well as the outlines for a process of
transfer of sovereignty on June 30 were important
steps, he added.



7. (C) U/S Abdullah Rashid asked what the impact would
be if Spain were to withdraw from the Coalition.
Burns acknowledged that there was frustration in
Europe, but added that it was absolutely essential for
everyone to help the Iraqis succeed. Allowing the UN
to play a larger role could help persuade the
Europeans to cooperate after the transfer of
sovereignty. AbZ agreed that Iraq finds itself in a
fragile situation and that everyone's help was needed.
He said it was important to convey this message to
Spain because their withdrawal from the Coalition
would send the wrong signal.



8. (C) AbZ asked Burns if the June 30 date for
transferring sovereignty would hold. Burns said it
would although some problems would remain. The level
of U.S. commitment would not change, but it would take
a different form. AbZ asked if NATO might play a role
in Iraq. Burns said that remained a possibility,
although he did not see it happening before June 30.
On the economic side, Burns thanked the UAE, a member
of the Iraq Core Donors Group, for its financial
contribution to Iraq's reconstruction and its forward
thinking on Iraqi debt.

Arab-Israeli dispute


--------------------------





9. (C) AbZ said the UAE appreciated U.S. support for
the peace process, despite the difficulties of dealing
with the present Israeli and Palestinian leadership.
That said the UAE believes the U.S. can play a more
active role. Burns said POTUS was committed to a two-
state solution and to the Roadmap, and that this would
require everyone's efforts. Burns and AbZ discussed
Sharon's plan for disengagement from Gaza and the
implications that could have for Gaza's economic and
security situation. AbZ said he was concerned that
Israel's disengagement, if not carefully planned,
could lead to chaos that extremist groups such as
HAMAS would exploit. Burns agreed, but said that to
avoid chaos, the PA would need to act responsibly and
there would need to be a lot of outside support from
donors to provide the social services and other
support that HAMAS has provided. Burns thanked the
UAE for its generous humanitarian assistance to the
Palestinians, noting that economic reconstruction will
be crucial if Sharon proceeds with his disengagement
plan.
Iran


--------------------------





10. (C) The UAE was very worried about the recent
elections in Iran because of what happened to the
moderates, AbZ said. He reminded the group that Iran
still occupies three islands that belong to the UAE.
When the moderates were in the parliament in Iran, he
said, the UAE and Iran held talks about the islands.
"We don't know how things will go now. The picture is
quite blurred on that issue," he said. Burns said the
U.S. shares the UAE's concerns about Iran, including
Iran's nuclear program, WMD capability, and
potentially disruptive role in southern Iraq. AbZ
cited a BBC poll that revealed a lot about Iraqi
attitudes toward Iran. Asked who they would least
like to see play a role in Iraq, Iraqi poll
respondents ranked Iran behind Israel. AbZ wanted to
know if the Iranians were getting clear signals from
the U.S. on their activities in Iraq when they crossed
"red lines." The U.S. was sending such messages
indirectly, Burns said. AbZ and Burns agreed that the
Europeans and countries in the region also needed to
reemphasize those "red lines." AbZ said that Iran had
shown itself to be cooperative in Afghanistan and
could do the same in Iraq, which is even more fragile.

Reforms


--------------------------





11. (C) AbZ inquired about the Greater Middle East, a
concept that Emiratis had only read about in the
newspapers. Burns clarified U.S. intentions with
regard to reforms and modernization, reassuring AbZ
that the U.S. had no intention of trying to impose or
dictate change on Arab states. The U.S. was
responding to calls from within the region for change.
AbZ said the UAE would prefer to have an exchange of
views on reforms earlier in the consultative process
rather than reading about them in the press. "We were
under the impression that there were three or four
large Arab states that knew about the initiative, and
knew early on," he said. AbZ acknowledged that the
region is in need of reform, but "it is not a thing we
can do overnight." Burns explained that the coming
months would see further consultations at the next G-8
and European summits, along with consultations with
Arab states.



12. (C) Comment: When the two delegations took stock
of the Strategic Partnership activities that have
taken place since we launched the dialogue in November
2002, there was consensus that the bilateral
relationship has broadened to cover a multitude of new
important initiatives. The framework that we have
adopted -- working visits and consultations throughout
the year punctuated by a high-level plenary session
such as the March 21 dialogue in Abu Dhabi -- has
proved to be an effective management tool for tracking
and promoting bilateral issues. End Comment.
WAHBA