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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07RIYADH2474 2007-12-12 14:37:00 SECRET Embassy Riyadh
Cable title:  

INTERAGENCY VISIT TO LAUNCH DEEPER MOI COOPERATION

Tags:   KCIP EPET ENERG PTER ASEC SA 
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VZCZCXRO9937
OO RUEHDE RUEHDIR
DE RUEHRH #2474/01 3461437
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 121437Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY RIYADH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7224
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHHH/OPEC COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY 0179
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RHRMAKS/COMUSNAVCENT  PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
					  S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 07 RIYADH 002474 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

NEA FOR DAS GGRAY
DEPT OF ENERGY PASS TO A/S KKOLEVAR, A/S KHARBERT, AND
MWILLIAMSON
S/CT FOR GFEIERSTEIN AND BAVERILL
DS/ATA FOR KMALOY
TREASURY PASS TO A/S CLOWERY
DHS PASS TO TWARRICK AND DGRANT
CIA PASS TO TCOYNE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/11/2017
TAGS: KCIP EPET ENERG PTER ASEC SA
SUBJECT: INTERAGENCY VISIT TO LAUNCH DEEPER MOI COOPERATION

REF: A. RIYADH 2117

B. RIYADH 1954

Classified By: DCM Michael Gfoeller for reasons
1.4 (b) (c) and (d).



1. This cable has been cleared by Deputy Assistant Secretary
Gray, Assistant Secretary Kolevar, and S/CT Deputy
Coordinator Feierstein.



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


Summary


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





2. (S) An interagency team traveled to Riyadh on December
3-5 to signal the USG's strong support for the Ministry of
Interior's (MOI) proposal for deeper cooperation, including
for its modernization drive. The MOI is requesting USG
assistance with the daunting task of modernizing across its
spectrum of operations: law enforcement, special security
operations, civil defense, and intelligence. Our MOI
interlocutors, including Assistant Minister of Interior for
Security Affairs HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nayif, warmly
welcomed proposed USG inter-agency support (septel) in areas
such as training, systems, and technology. Major General Dr.
Saad Al Jabri signaled that discussions on new mechanisms for
inter-agency cooperation should continue in parallel to
on-going cooperation under the Joint Working Group (JWG) for
Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP), and proposed
amending an existing agreement to quickly facilitate new
areas of cooperation. Embassy Riyadh has proposed the
1970s-1990s JECOR technical assistance program as a possible
model for cooperation. A JECOR-style program would enable
cooperation with a variety of USG agencies with "one-stop
shopping," for the MOI, a suggestion which keenly interested
our interlocutors. The MOI underscored its interest in a
long-term partnership and flexible cooperation mechanism to
meet a rapidly-evolving threat.



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


Meeting Attendance


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





3. (C) The visiting delegation included:

--Department of State NEA Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS)
Gordon Gray,
--Department of Energy Assistant Secretary Kevin Kolevar,
--Department of Energy DAS William Bryan,
--Department of State S/CT Deputy Coordinator Gerald
Feierstein,
--Department of State Political Military Bureau Deputy
Director Brooke Milton-Kurtz
--Department of Homeland Security Coast Guard Captain Don
Grant,
--Department of Defense Colonel Don Olds,
--Department of Defense Commander Mark Panicek, and
--Department of Defense Desk Officer Jared Thomas.

Key participants from the MOI participating in the December 4
and 5 meetings included:

--Major General Dr. Saad Al-Jabri, Senior Security Advisor to
the Assistant Minister of Interior Prince Mohammed bin Nayif,
-- Dr. Saud al Semari, MOI, Director of Modernization and JWG
Co-Chair,
-- Dr. Kahlid Al -Ageel, MOI, Manager, High Commission on
Industrial Security, and
--Abdullah Al-Hammad, MOI, Budget Director.

Mission participants included:

RIYADH 00002474 002 OF 007



--Charg D'Affaires Michael Gfoeller,
--Acting Deputy Chief of Mission David Rundell,
--Energy Attach Shannon Ross,
--Naval Attach Rick Ryan,
-- Economic Officer Vanessa Paulos,
--Political Military Officer Joel Wiegert.



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

-
"No Question about the Strength of Our Ties";
JWG Set the Stage for Future Cooperation


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

-



4. (C) DAS Gray opened by discussing the USG's commitment
to resolving issues in the Middle East, whether in Lebanon,
Iraq, or Saudi Arabia. He noted our leadership's commitment
to working with the MOI was demonstrated by the size and
diversity of the inter-agency team which had traveled from
Washington. Dr. Al-Jabri responded, "We have a very
strategic relationship. Since we signed the MOU (on Critical
Infrastructure Protection, in December of 2006), it is
progressing very well. There is no question about the
strength of our ties. In every house in Saudi Arabia, they
appreciate the relationship. 9/11 was a big shock to our
whole society; this kind of relationship was not available to
us before. Dr. Al-Jabri, emphasizing the demands now made by
his senior leadership for even broader and deeper
cooperation, continued, "The Joint Working Group (JWG) has
done a good job. It is highly appreciated; it is one of the
best things we have done in the last two years." Setting the
stage for the rest of the day's discussions, he then noted,
"However, now our leadership has become more demanding."



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


Update on the Joint Working Group
and Contingency Planning Activities


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





5. (S) Dr. Hadleg, Director of the MOI's Radical Ideology
Department, opened the activities with a briefing on the
MOI's de-radicalization initiative (setpel). To provide a
common foundation of understanding for all present,
Dr.Al-Semari then provided a briefing on JWG activities since
the group's establishment in December 2006. He highlighted
JWG rapid security assessments at Abqaiq Oil Facilities, Ras
Tanura and Ras al Ju,aymah Terminals, Qateef Junction,
Eastern Province Coast Guard Facilities and Operations, and
Yanbu Industrial City. He noted Sandia National Laboratories
had conducted a two-week workshop to train MOI officials and
industry security personnel from key energy, power, water,
and petrochemical facilities. The training had focused on
the design-basis threat model (DBT) used to protect critical
U.S. facilities, such as nuclear installations. Looking
forward to future JWG activities, Assistant Secretary Kolevar
stated that within 6-8 weeks, the JWG would put another
subject matter expert team on the ground to assess training
needs for the Facilities Security Force Training Academy.
Additionally, the JWG had planned a Vulnerability Assessment
for Abqaiq Plant, the world's largest oil processing
facility, for the January-February timeframe.



6. (S) A/S Kolevar then provided an update on the
contingency planning project underway with the MOI. He noted
the JWG had received a batch of contingency planning
documents from the MOI, and a U.S. team was moving forward
with machine and human translations in parallel. The U.S.
had established a group of technical experts to review the
documents. Should the group come to the KSA in January, they
would be prepared to provide the MOI with general feedback on
the contingency plans, and a sense of what gaps remain.
Following that, the experts would deliver formal feedback on

RIYADH 00002474 003 OF 007


the contingency planning documents at the next JWG meeting in
February 2008. Highlighting the interest with which these
issues are followed, Dr. Al-Jabri requested, "When you meet
with the King, can you make sure that the Assistant Secretary
can brief him on this?"



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


MOI Highlights Sensitivity of Negotiations


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





7. (S) Turning to the issue of broader interagency
cooperation with the MOI, Dr. Al-Jabri indicated that
although the MOI team represented was small, "the right
people" with the right level of negotiating authority were
present. Dr. Al-Jabri stated the MOI did not want to risk
information leaking out by bringing a large team to such
sensitive discussions. Dr. Al-Jabri noted, however, that the
Ministry of Finance was aware of the negotiations, and the
MOI was fully authorized to carry out the discussions from
the financial perspective. He remarked on the key attendance
of the MOI's budgeting officer.



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


Positive Views of US Systems and Technology


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





8. (S) Dr. Al-Jabri highlighted the MOI's positive views of
U.S. technology and systems. "The U.S. has the best people,
the best technology, and we want a good result." He noted
just recently the MOI had concluded a commercial purchase of
helicopters, and now the MOI wanted a "useful mechanism" to
support further such sales. To quickly facilitate new areas
of cooperation and enable to the MOI to more easily obtain
political buy-in for a new agreement (including from the
Ministry of Finance) he proposed amending the December 2006
MOU between the MOI and DOS. (Note: The existing MOU, "The
Framework for Cooperation to Improve Security at Critical
Energy Facilities in the KSA" was signed by Undersecretary of
State for Arms Control and International Security Joseph and
HRH Mohammed bin Nayif. End note.)



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


Saudi Needs for MOI Modernization:
Training, Systems, and Technology


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





9. (S) Dr. Saud Al-Semari then presented an overview of the
MOI's operations, which include law enforcement, security
operations, civil defense, and intelligence components. He
emphasized that Special Security Operations in particular
needed accelerated and well-organized cooperation with the
U.S., to include training, systems, and technology. He added
that the MOI also needed extensive assistance to build its
human resources, on which all else depends.



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


USG Can Meet Your Needs, but
Need to Specify the Tool


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





10. (S) DAS Gray responded, "The USG can meet these needs.
We have an extensive ability to train, including in law
enforcement, the State Department, including Diplomatic
Security, S/CT, and Anti-Terrorism Assistance (ATA) programs.
We have the best technology, and a good relationship of
selling our systems to Saudi Arabia. It would be helpful if
you could identify as specifically as possible the right tool
for your needs. The willingness is there, we just need to
specify the need." Deputy Coordinator Feierstein
re-iterated that the DOS's ATA program has been involved in
JWG assessments and technical assistance from the start. He

RIYADH 00002474 004 OF 007


indicated ATA could also assist the MOI with law enforcement
training. He noted, "As far as overall commitment and
capacity, we're there, and we'll continue to be players."



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


MOI White Paper To Clarify USG Role
Vis a Vis Modernization Effort


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





11. (S) Deputy Coordinator Feierstein continued by asking
our MOI counterparts to clarify how they saw the USG
contributing to the MOI's overall modernization effort. He
queried, "One thing we need to know to recommend specific
ideas: is the role of the USG limited to critical
infrastructure protection, or do you see USG participation
beyond that? It would be helpful for us to understand the
decisions which have already been made. We recognize that
this train has already begun to move from your perspective."
Dr. Al-Semari responded by asking for the USG's specific
questions in writing. He indicated the MOI would then
prepare a white paper to respond to the questions, "for
mutual understanding." (Note: The delegation prepared a list
of questions and passed these to the MOI on 5 December. End
note.) Dr. Al-Jabri concurred this would help to better
identify the MOI's needs and requirements.



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


MOI Interested in Flexible Mechanism
to Meet Evolving Threat


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





12. (S) Dr. Al-Jabri then addressed Deputy Coordinator
Feierstein's remarks, emphasizing the MOI sees a need for a
flexible long-term partnership which can evolve over time.
He stated, "the threat is not fixed, so our needs may be
different tomorrow. We are interested in setting up a
mechanism for cooperation, we're interested in a long-term
partnership, and not just our current needs."



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


How does an Interagency Agreement Mesh with
MOI's Relationship with Bearing Point?


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





13. (S) Deputy Coordinator Feierstein queried how the
proposed cooperation with the USG might fit in with the MOI's
on-going contractual arrangements with consulting firm
Bearing Point. (Note: Bearing Point has a three-year
contract with the MOI to assist with its modernization
effort. End note.) Dr. Al-Jabri responded that when the MOI
contracted with Bearing Point, it did not have these
mechanisms (e.,g. the JWG or proposed inter-agency
mechanism), and it faced substantial time pressure. He
stated, "We approached everyone, including the private
sector, because we had to launch a huge modernization
program. We used the tools available to us at the time,
which were commercial mechanisms." Dr. Al-Semari clarified,
"The role of the consultant is limited, it is not a
decision-making role, it is doing the homework and the heavy
lifting." Comment: The implication appears to be that the
MOI will maintain the advisory services of Bearing Point to
do the "heavy lifting," but the MOI leadership would prefer
to have a strategic partner such as the USG as well. In this
meeting as in the past, the MOI leadership has made clear
they are inherently more trusting of a
government-to-government relationship than of their "hired
guns." End comment.



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



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


US Assistance Welcome in MOI Strategic Planning:
Challenge of Modernizing All Faces of the MOI

RIYADH 00002474 005 OF 007




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

---



14. (S) Dr. Al-Semari turned to the challenge of
modernizing the MOI across its several directorates, with
more than a quarter million forces in its employ. He stated,
"Energy infrastructure is one area, but there is not one
single stakeholder. We have to modernize them all. The MOI
has many different faces, military, intelligence, civil
defense. We can't only modernize one side, we have to
modernize all sides."



15. (S) Outlining the work Bearing Point has carried out to
date, Dr. Al-Semari explained, "We have now done an
across-the-board needs assessment. We now have a good level
of detail, and are making a strategic plan. Integration is a
key word. The consultants (Bearing Point) help with
integrating the systems and companies (e.g. contractors)" He
indicated that USG assistance with the strategic planning
process would be welcome once a cooperation mechanism is in
place. He related, "We can work on strategic planning once
we have a mechanism. We have a current state we are in, we
want a future state, and we need a partner to help us reach
that point."



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


JECOR: "One Stop Shopping" for
Interagency Assistance to the MOI


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





16. (SBU) Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Rundell then gave
a presentation on the U.S.-Saudi Joint Economic Cooperation
Commission, known as JECOR, a program started in the 1970's
to provide a wide range of technical expertise to the Saudi
Government. ADCM Rundell noted that over more than a quarter
century, JECOR provided the Saudi state with the expertise to
build civilian government infrastructure, from building a
national treasury, to national parks, to ambulance services.
Under this program, the Saudi Ministry of Finance (MOF) paid
the U.S. Department of the Treasury to provide a wide range
of training, advisory, and procurement services, to the
then-fledgling Saudi government. Many USG departments and
agencies provided advisors to Saudi Arabia. At one point,
JECOR had over 300 advisors in-country. ADCM Rundell
explained that we were looking to the JECOR as one possible
mode of successful interagency cooperation. JECOR provided a
"one-stop shop" for the SAG, which did not have to make
separate contacts and agreements with each USG agency.
Instead, Treasury made contact with all of the other USG
agencies on behalf of the SAG.



17. (S) ADCM Rundell cautioned the proposed MOI-interagency
cooperation program has a few significant differences from
the JECOR program. Unlike JECOR, this program will include
civilian and military components. Nonetheless, the MOI may
wish to retain the some organizational features of JECOR -
funding flowed from one Saudi agency to one Washington
agency, with a primary point of contact on each side. Charg
D'Affaire's Gfoeller noted the "one-stop shopping" model had
proved successful in the past, through various Democratic and
Republican administrations. ADCM Rundell emphasized we are
not seeking slavish imitation of the JECOR model, but looking
for a starting point for a work-able and flexible model to
meet current needs. We are actively seeking input on
improvements to the model, and are open to suggestions from
the MOI. Additionally, there are likely to be modifications
necessitated by changes in how the USG operates since the
1970s, such as a greater reliance by the USG on contract
staff.



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


Interagency Cooperation: Broad and Flexible,

RIYADH 00002474 006 OF 007


Parallel to but Separate from JWG


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





18. (S) When asked to clarify the relationship between the
Joint Working Group (JWG) for Critical Infrastructure
Protection and the proposed mechanism for inter-agency
cooperation, Dr. Al-Jabri responded that he believed the JWG
was working very well. He also saw no harm if we had an
independent mechanism for inter-agency cooperation. Dr.
Al-Semari added, "Let's start now as parallel efforts, then
judge how we're going." Dr. Al-Jabri then requested a
follow-up "brainstorming session" to provide recommendations
to Washington for the inter-agency cooperation mechanism.



19. (S) The interlocutors agreed the focus should be on a
broad and flexible agreement, which did not specify a minute
level of detail. Noting that the original JECOR agreement
had encompassed military cooperation, although this aspect of
the agreement was never utilized, CDA Gfoeller remarked, "We
don't know what sort of cooperation we will need in thirty
years, and we don't want to limit ourselves."



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


Explaining FMS Processes to the MOI


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





20. (S) Deputy Director Milton-Kurtz then initiated a
discussion of Foreign Military Sales issues by emphasizing
our willingness to engage with the MOI on counterterrorism
and border security issues. She provided an overview for the
MOI on the U.S. system of Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and
legal requirements for Direct Commercial Sales (DCS),
including explaining the need for early Congressional
notification of possible sales. If the MOI determines that
it would like to participate in FMS sales, Deputy Director
Milton-Kurtz requested the MOI supply her office with
additional information on specific MOI units and their
mission, as well as the types of equipment purchases which
would be considered. She noted U.S. law provided scope to
authorize FMS sales to MOI units with a counterterrorism
mission, but the State Department would have to "make the
case" to allow FMS sales to the MOI to move forward.



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


Comment


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





21. (S) The MOI is facing a profound sense of urgency
regarding their modernization project, in conjunction with
meeting the challenge that Iran and the internal terrorism
threat pose to their energy infrastructure and internal
stability. Their senior leadership believes its past
partnership with the French government has failed them. MOI
interlocutors also repeatedly express their sense that a
series of contractors and consultants have also let them
down. They are turning to the USG for an unprecedented level
of assistance and strategic cooperation. If we succeed, this
program could become the equal of our cooperation programs
with US Military Training Mission to Saudi Arabia (USMTM) and
the Office of the Program Manager for the Modernization of
the Saudi Arabian National Guard (OPM-SANG), programs we have
run with Saudi counterparts for 60 and 25 years respectively.




22. (S) However, the USG will have to demonstrate an adept
and rapid inter-agency response to meet these requests, as
the MOI believes its window of opportunity to gear up to meet
these threats is very limited. This inter-agency visit was
extremely positive, and has moved the ball forward
significantly. The MOI would clearly prefer to deal with the
U.S. to protect the country's economic "crown jewels," its

RIYADH 00002474 007 OF 007


oil facilities in the Eastern Province. However, if we are
perceived as slow to organize ourselves, the MOI could turn
its attention elsewhere.



23. (C) JECOR, one possible model for interagency
cooperation, made a positive impression on the MOI. Dr.
Al-Jabri and his team were comfortable discussing a program
of JECOR's scope. They concurred with us that resident and
embedded advisors would be needed to achieve the MOI's goals.
From the MOI's perspective, the JECOR model has several
advantages: it has a strong track record of success across
many Saudi ministries. The MOF, JECOR's Saudi home, has a
positive view of the program's track record, which will ease
the MOI's task of obtaining the MOF's buy-in and allow MOI to
more easily mobilize financial resources for the project.
Finally, the SAG retains in its employ several officials,
both Saudi and American, who worked on JECOR, and whose
expertise the MOI could tap to help design the new project.
FRAKER