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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07ATHENS111
2007-01-18 15:56:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Athens
Cable title:  

GREEK CHOD ON AFGHANISTAN, EMBASSY ATTACK

Tags:   MARR  MASS  NATO  PREL  PGOV  GR 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO1639
OO RUEHDBU
DE RUEHTH #0111 0181556
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 181556Z JAN 07
FM AMEMBASSY ATHENS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7878
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L ATHENS 000111 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/18/2017
TAGS: MARR MASS NATO PREL PGOV GR
SUBJECT: GREEK CHOD ON AFGHANISTAN, EMBASSY ATTACK

REF: A. ATHENS 97

B. 2006 ATHENS 3254

Classified By: AMBASSADOR CHARLES RIES. REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D).

C O N F I D E N T I A L ATHENS 000111

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/18/2017
TAGS: MARR MASS NATO PREL PGOV GR
SUBJECT: GREEK CHOD ON AFGHANISTAN, EMBASSY ATTACK

REF: A. ATHENS 97

B. 2006 ATHENS 3254

Classified By: AMBASSADOR CHARLES RIES. REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D).


1. (C) SUMMARY: In a January 18 meeting with the Ambassador
to discuss the Cyprus Arms issue (reported septel), Greek
Chief of Defense (CHOD) Admiral Panagiotis Chinofotis also
previewed Greece's plans for contributing to NATO efforts in
Afghanistan, his view on the recent RPG attack against the
Embassy, and U.S. IMET funding levels. END SUMMARY.

AFGHANISTAN
--------------


2. (C) Ambassador began the Afghanistan discussion by noting
the debilitating effect of national caveats on NATO/ISAF
forces and appealed to Chinofotis to do what he could to have
the GOG lift caveats on its 120 engineers and 50 medical
personnel now confined to Kabul. Ambassador noted the
opinion of the NATO SHAPE commander and USNATO Ambassador
Nuland that only Greece and Turkey amongst NATO Allies were
currently in a position to do more in Afghanistan. He also
argued that Greek engineers would probably face little added
risk by undertaking missions outside Kabul, while DATT Col.
Tutt noted the saying in Afghanistan that "the Taliban begin
where the roads end." Ambassador also underscored the heavy
burden being borne by Dutch, Canadian, UK, and U.S. troops.


3. (C) Chinofotis responded that Greece, at least, was open
about its caveats whereas some other allies did not announce
caveats but nonetheless denied movement of their troops when
called upon. He previewed, however, tentative Greek plans to
offer to supply additional equipment to the Afghan army.
(NOTE: In her meeting with Ambassador January 17 (ref. a), FM
Bakoyannis mentioned an unspecified number of tanks. END
NOTE.) A Chinofotis deputy also mentioned that the EU was
preparing civilian assistance missions for Afghanistan, to
which Greece was willing to contribute. (NOTE: Bakoyannis
said this would most likely be in support of the
Hungarian-led PRT (ref. a). END NOTE.) Chinofotis ended by
saying the GOG would announce its intentions at the upcoming
meetings of NATO FMs January 26 and DefMins Feb 8-9.

EMBASSY ATTACK -- AN ATTACK ON GREECE
--------------


4. (C) Chinofotis expressed deep sorrow about the January 12
RPG attack against the Embassy, calling it an attack on
Greece as well that would damage Greece's image and
reputation. He noted that shortly after the attack, he had
called DefMin Meimarakis (who was then in Istanbul) to relay
the news. Ambassador said he had been "overwhelmed" by the
many expressions of sympathy and solidarity had had heard
from Greeks and provided a brief update of the current status
of the investigation. Ambassador also noted his desire to
restart U.S. training of Greek police, which had occurred
before the Olympics but had since dropped off.


5. (C) Ambassador mentioned his concerns about future
returning jihadists, as detailed at the recent Athens RSI
conference (ref b.). He explained that this would be a huge
problem for Greece, given its geography, and underscored the
importance of sharing biometric data. Chinofotis agreed.

IMET FUNDING LEVELS
--------------


6. (C) Chinofotis asked about current U.S. plans for IMET
with NATO Allies. DATT Col. Tutt promised to look into it.

MARITIME DOMAIN AWARENESS
--------------


7. (C) Ambassador expressed thanks on behalf of NATO Armed
Forces South Commander Admiral Ulrich for Chinofotis' role in
bringing Greece's maritime picture into the Maritime Domain
Awareness program. Greece went "live" in MDA just as
promised on January 16.
RIES