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 ABU DHABI 002090
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/09/2010 TAGS: PREL PHUM CJAN KNNP PK GZ IZ WEU TC SUBJECT: TOUR D'HORIZON WITH DEPUTY PM SHEIKH HAMDAN
REF: A. (A) STATE 79107
B. (B) STATE 84867
C. (C) STATE 76244
D. (D) ABU DHABI 1680
Classified By: Ambassador Michele J. Sison, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1. (C) Summary: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed (HbZ) and Ambassador met May 8 to review developments in Iraq and U.S.-UAE relations. At our urging, the UAE issued a statement May 9 welcoming the newly formed Iraqi government. HbZ agreed that it was important to keep U.S.-UAE judicial cooperation on track and said he would speak to the concerned Ministries about setting dates for the next round of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty negotiations in Abu Dhabi. He listened to Ambassador's pitch on Proliferation Security Initiative endorsement but offered no commitments. HbZ expressed his government's full commitment to eliminating the underage camel jockey problem. End Summary.
2. (SBU) Attending the meeting were HbZ's office director Ambassador Sultan Al Romeithi; Pol Chief; and G/TIP Reports Officer Feleke Assefa.
3. (C) Ambassador delivered Ref. A points encouraging the UAEG to make an official statement welcoming the formation of the Iraqi Transitional Government and underscoring support for Iraq's reconstruction and political transition. HbZ said the UAEG had been waiting for the Iraqi Cabinet to be completed before issuing a public statement. He and Ambassador briefly discussed that afternoon's breaking news of the appointment of Defense Minister Al Duleimi and three other Sunni cabinet members, noting that Al Shibli had turned down the nomination. Recalling HbZ's visit in April with Senior Iraq Coordinator Ambassador Dick Jones (Ref. D), the Ambassador told HbZ that the USG appreciated the UAEG,s perspective on Iraq and looked forward to further consultations on Iraq's political process. HbZ said that he discussed his meeting with Ambassador Dick Jones with Iyad Allawi when Allawi visited Abu Dhabi in April. HbZ said he expected to speak with Allawi again May 8 on the cabinet nominations. (Note: On May 9, the UAE Cabinet hailed the final formation of the new Iraqi government -- septel. We understand from those who met with Allawi during his recent Abu Dhabi stop that the Abu Dhabi leadership continues to support Allawi, including providing assistance in setting up a television station in Iraq with an associated office in Dubai.)
Proliferation Security Initiative
4. (C) Drawing from points in Ref. B, the Ambassador urged the UAEG to endorse the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) prior to the May 31 second anniversary of the initiative. The Ambassador noted that Under Secretary John Bolton and other U.S. officials had discussed PSI with UAE officials during recent visits, and that it was important for countries to endorse PSI as a way to control the spread of WMD and to deepen operational cooperation in this area. HbZ instructed his office director to follow up with the UAE Armed Forces.
Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty
5. (C) The Ambassador then raised the need to get stalled U.S.-UAE judicial cooperation back on track. The UAE had declined in recent months to execute USG requests for evidence on the return of fugitives without clarification on the USG's position on reciprocity. She informed HbZ that the Embassy had delivered a diplomatic note clarifying the reciprocity issue, and a second diplomatic note on the Kanaan case, to both the MFA and to the Ministry of Justice on May 1 (Ref. C). The U.S. was interested in a follow-up round of negotiations on a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) with the goal of concluding the MLAT. The USG was also open to further exchanging ideas on key extradition issues, such as the extradition of nationals. Ambassador emphasized that the U.S. wished to proceed with MLAT negotiations and conclude the MLAT separately from extradition treaty discussions. The two were distinct instruments serving distinct purposes. HbZ replied that he would speak with the concerned Ministries, and agreed that bilateral agreements would institutionalize our judicial cooperation. (Note: The Ambassador has also requested a meeting with the Minister of Justice to discuss the points in Ref. C.)
6. (C) The Ambassador then raised the case of Iranian Mahmoud Seif, who is in Ministry of Interior custody based on an Interpol notice provided by DHS/ICE for violating the Arms Export Control Act with regard to a shipment of night vision goggles. Ambassador noted that the Embassy had submitted a request through the MFA asking that Seif be rendered to U.S. custody, that she had raised the case a day earlier with the Minister of Interior, and that she anticipated a favorable resolution of the matter. Sheikh Hamdan undertook to raise the matter with the Minister of Justice at the following day's Cabinet meeting.
7. (C) The Ambassador also raised the matter of Amcits Coles and Rakowski, who were charged March 23 for alleged possession and use of sensitive telecommunications equipment without a UAE license and their alleged recording of photographs/satellite images of sensitive UAEG sites. Ambassador informed HbZ that the case was receiving U.S. media attention and that both Colorado senators were following the case closely. HbZ said that he would request information on the case from Interior Minister Sheikh Saif and from Justice Minister Al Dhaheri during the May 9 Cabinet meeting. Trafficking in Persons
8. (C) Raising the issue of trafficking of children to the UAE to be used as camel jockeys, the Ambassador introduced G/TIP Reports Officer Feleke Assefa and noted that he was visiting the UAE May 7-10 to meet with representatives from the Ministry of Interior, UNICEF, International Organization for Migration, Dubai Police and Immigration, and source country embassies to appraise the latest efforts to address the underage camel jockey problem. The Ambassador thanked the UAEG for facilitating the meetings on such short notice. HbZ said that no hurdle would keep the UAEG from attaining its objective of eliminating the camel jockey problem. Assefa briefly summarized his impressions of recent positive developments, including the Ministry of Interior and UNICEF signing a project agreement for the care and repatriation of the young boys; the opening of a new Social Support Center in Abu Dhabi that will provide services to the boys; and the fact that the UAEG is going to prosecute four individuals for their role in trafficking children to the UAE. Assefa said the USG would expect to see a significant number of boys rescued after the May 31 grace period for camel jockey owners to register underage camel jockeys expires.
Mission to Pakistan
9. (C) HbZ informed the Ambassador that he and his brother, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed, would be traveling to Pakistan on May 9 to meet with President Musharraf and to show their solidarity with what he is trying to accomplish in the fields of counter-terrorism and security.
10. (C) Before the meeting, the Ambassador and MFA Protocol Director Obaid Al Zaabi discussed Information Minister Sheikh Abdullah's May 7 visit to Gaza, where he helped inaugurate Zayed City, a new neighborhood comprising 736 apartments built with $61 million in UAE assistance. During the visit, Abu Dhabi Development Fund Director General Saeed Khalfan Al Rumeithy announced that a similar housing project financed by the UAE had been completed in Jenin, and that another housing project would be completed soon in Rafah. Sheikh Abdullah met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and reiterated the UAE's support for the Palestinian people. Abbas said that the UAE was at the forefront in supporting the Palestinians, and that other countries were beginning to emulate the UAE's work in the area of housing, health and infrastructure. SISON