|05CAIRO9252||2005-12-13 12:12:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Cairo|
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 CAIRO 009252
1. (C) Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces LTG Samy Enan and
Assistant Secretary of Defense Rodman discussed MoD's image
in Washington D.C., regional affairs, foreign military
financing, direct commercial contracts, and political release
of new systems during their November 30 meeting during the
executive session of the annual Military Cooperation
Committee (MCC) meeting in Cairo. DCM Jones, LTG Kohler,
RADM Moeller, OMC Chief Bagby, and DATT Seel joined the
meeting. The parties agreed that MoD is ineffective in
publicizing its support for U.S. objectives. LTG Samy and
Rodman shared a sense of optimism about progress in the peace
process. LTG Samy agreed that withdrawal from Iraq is
inappropriate at present. LTG Samy stressed the importance
of military assistance to MoD's modernization plan. He also
asked the U.S. to release TOW-2Bs, the Apache Longbow, and
MK-48 torpedoes and to guarantee the enforcement of three
controversial direct commercial contracts (DCCs) for the sale
of night vision goggle tubes. End summary.
MoD's image in Washington
2. (C) Public Affairs: ASD Rodman and Chief of Staff LTG
Samy Enan discussed the MoD's need to bolster its public
image to counter congressional interest in reducing Egypt's
foreign military financing (FMF). Rodman asked the MoD to
publicize its contributions to the Global War on Terror and
humanitarian relief efforts because this will help Congress
understand the value of the U.S.'s partnership with Egypt.
Although LTG Samy admitted that MoD's outreach is weak, he
said that the USG should play a more active role in sharing
news of Egypt's contributions. LTG Samy explained that the
message would have a greater impact if the U.S. would serve
as the messenger.
3. (C) Transformation: Mr. Rodman urged LTG Samy to develop
a military transformation strategy and find ways to increase
interoperability with the U.S. LTG Samy said he would study
the issue, but made no commitments.
4. (C) Israel/Palestine: LTG Samy praised the U.S.'s role
in brokering the recent agreement on Gaza, but stressed the
need to make more progress faster. He said that Abu Mazen is
the only Palestinian with the credibility to persuade his
people to obey the security procedures that will maintain the
peace. But, LTG Samy said, Abu Mazen needs political,
economic, and moral support to prove that he is making better
lives, and not just empty promises. The Palestinians need a
port, an airport, and stronger security forces, LTG Samy
offered, explaining that progress on these issues would deny
Hamas the opportunity to criticize Abu Mazen's leadership.
Mr. Rodman thanked LTG Samy for Egypt's proactive role on
5. (C) LTG Samy characterized Sharon as "the only" Israeli
leader inclined to make peace and predicted that tangible
progress is feasible under Sharon alone. Egypt, LTG Samy
emphasized, will continue to support the process by working
with the Palestinian security forces and with the factions to
maintain opportunities for further progress.
6. (C) Iraq: The Iraqi people, LTG Samy said, are not easy
to deal with. Consequently, he explained, Egypt will build
the relationship cautiously. He said that he hopes that the
U.S. will stay until it "solves" the Iraqi problem. According
to Samy, the U.S. should not leave until Iraq has (1) a
strong government, (2) a strong military, (3) a strong
parliament, (4) the ability to control its borders, and (5)
the means to provide its citizens with a dignified life
(food, education, work opportunities). LTG Samy said the
international community should agree that the use of violence
against civilians is intolerable because "now is not the time
to argue about the definition of terrorism." Mr. Rodman
reassured LTG Samy that the U.S. would withdraw only as the
Iraqis are capable of assuming control and said that
increased Sunni participation in the elections may isolate
7. (C) Syria/Lebanon: Egypt and the U.S., LTG Samy said,
have different views on dealing with President Asad. Egypt
wants more dialogue and concessions for cooperation. "There
is no other way here," LTG Samy said. The U.S. should give
Syria credit for taking any positive steps and not resort to
military action because political pressure over the long term
will work. "The use of force is easy," LTG Samy said, but
"controlling ourselves is harder." Rodman responded that the
U.S. warned Asad in 2004 to stop using Syria as a sanctuary
and staging ground for insurgents. President Asad must show,
Rodman stressed, that he will cooperate.
8. (C) Iran: LTG Samy said that Iran has been the big
winner from the war in Iraq because Saddam Hussein is gone,
the price of oil is up, Iran has greater influence in Iraq,
and asked about reports of U.S. discussions with Iran. Mr.
Rodman said that Iraqi Shiites are firmly resistant to
Iranian pressures and assured LTG Samy that U.S. interaction
with Iranian government officials was limited in scope and
did not constitute any warming of relations.
Requests for more assistance/weapons release
9. (C) Military assistance: LTG Samy submitted that
maintaining the current level of assistance is central to
MoD's modernization plan. He explained that to fulfill
Egypt's commitment to helping the U.S. achieve its objectives
in the region, Egypt must have right tools. Without U.S.
assistance, Egypt will need to find support elsewhere. "We
will do what we have to equip ourselves," LTG Samy said.
10. (C) Weapons Releases: LTG Samy asked the U.S. to
release the TOW-2B, Apache Longbow, and MK-48 torpedo,
arguing that these systems do not present CISMOA problems and
that their release would symbolize the strength of the
relationship. Mr. Rodman did not comment.
11. (C) Direct Commercial Contracts: LTG Samy asked Mr.
Rodman to guarantee the implementation of three direct
commercial contracts (with the Litton and ITT companies) for
the sale of tubes to be used to produce night vision goggles.
He explained that the contracts are valid and binding and
thus must be enforced unless there are new requirements to