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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07USNATO117
2007-02-23 19:24:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Mission USNATO
Cable title:  

QATAR REQUESTS NATO PERSONNEL DEPART BY 4 MARCH

Tags:   MARR  NATO  PGOV  PTER  QA  XF 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO6546
OO RUEHDBU
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ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 231924Z FEB 07
FM USMISSION USNATO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0531
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHDO/AMEMBASSY DOHA PRIORITY 0086
RHIPAAA/USCINCCENT FWD  PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/USNMR SHAPE BE PRIORITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 USNATO 000117 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/15/2017
TAGS: MARR NATO PGOV PTER QA XF
SUBJECT: QATAR REQUESTS NATO PERSONNEL DEPART BY 4 MARCH

REF: USNATO 113

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Richard Olson, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)



1. (U) This is a request for guidance. see para. 3.

2.(C) Summary: Qatari Ambassador to Belgium al-Dosari met
with NATO D/SYG Ambassador Minuto Rizzo February 22 and hand
delivered a Note Verbale (see para. 6) reporting that the
presence of NATO personnel at al-Udeid Airbase would be
illegal after February 25, 2007. Subsequent discussions
between the French contact point embassy in Doha and the NATO
International Staff and various Qatari contacts have produced
a one week extension of this deadline to March 4.
Moreover, the Note Verbale stated that the multi-lateral
agreements signed between the Government of Qatar and some
states cannot be applied to personnel at al-Udeid Airbase
under the umbrella of NATO or with a Third Party. (Comment:
the reference to "multilateral" agreements may be a
translation garble since we know of only NATO member
bilateral agreements with Qatar. End Comment.) The Note
Verbale also stated that the draft agreement presented by
NATO officials in Doha February 2-3, bears no relation to the
Defense Cooperation Agreement proposed by Qatar (reftel) and
does not "correspond" to the requirements of the Government
of Qatar. (Note: Allies today asked to see the NATO
counter-reply to Qatar, but NATO has yet to release it. We
will press the issue. End Note.) The Note Verbale stated
that the Government of Qatar wished to continue negotiations
and NATO staff confirmed that Qatar's main interlocutor
Brigadier General Abdullah Jumad al-Hamad had agreed to a
March 1-2 meeting in Brussels with NATO DASG Robert Simmons.
The five NATO nations, based on instructions from their
respective capitals and deliberations at 26 in the NATO
Political Committee, and NATO staff following the Qatar issue
are not confident that NATO can arrive at a mutually
acceptable arrangement with Qatar if Doha continues to demand
a security guarantee from NATO (a non-negotiable,
non-starter), criminal jurisdiction over NATO personnel in
Qatar and cooperation activities beyond the Allied-agreed
envelope of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI). End
Summary.

3.(C) Guidance recommendation - Given the clear Qatari
assertion that U.S. personnel assigned to the NATO ISAF
coordination element, who are in NATO billets, are not
covered by the U.S. bilateral defense cooperation agreement,
consideration should be given to asking SACEUR whether those
U.S. personnel should depart Qatar until their status can be
resolved.

4.(C) The NAC will be briefed on the status of ISAF
personnel at the CAOC on Monday February 26. The Chief of
Military Committee also will provide a briefing to the NAC on
Wednesday February 28. International Military Staff (IMS)
warned today that closure of the ISAF cell at the CAOC will

impair ISAF's mission to provide air support for ISAF troops
in Afghanistan just as ISAF is ramping up its spring
offensive against the Taliban. ISAF air operations
capability will continue to degrade thereafter if it is
combined with the CAOC, they predicted, pointing particularly
to concerns about losing the ability to advocate changes in
priority missions at the CAOC in time-pressed combat support
situations. Nevertheless, the IMS said it is preparing an
immediate fallback option of operating out of Afghanistan so
that NATO will have operational options should the
discussions with Qatar next week prove fruitless.

5.(C) France today also reported that its Minister of
Defense had written to Qatar's Crown Prince on February 21
and France's CHOD Georg Elin had a difficult meeting with
Qatar's CHOD Major General Hamad bin Ali al-Atiyeh on
February 22 during a previously scheduled meeting. France
reported to NATO that al-Atiyeh felt NATO had ignored Qatar's
imposed deadline to resolve issues by February 25. Al-Atiyeh
said NATO had not significantly changed its position since
the Simmons meeting of Feb 2-3 and NATO had not seriously
responded to Qatar's proposals. Al-Atiyeh agreed to extend
the deadline one week until March 4 so that NATO and Qatar's
principal negotiator Brigadier General Abdullah Jumad
al-Hamad could have one more meeting to resolve issues.
Al-Atiyeh reportedly told Elin that Qatar's bilateral
agreements with France would not apply to its liaison
personnel at the CAOC nor would NATO nation bilateral
agreements apply to the jurisdiction of ISAF personnel

USNATO 00000117 002 OF 002


assigned to the CAOC.



6. (C) Text of Note Verbale to NATO presented in Brussels on
Feb. 22:

Embassy of the State of Qatar Brussels

URGENT


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



The Embassy of the State of Qatar presents its compliments to
the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)- Legal Advisor-
and has the honor to inform you of the decision of Qatar
Armed forces regarding the presence of NATO personnel in
al-Udeid Air Base. The State of Qatar considers their
presence as illegal and would like to inform you that
regretfully it is not possible to extend their presence after
25/02/2007.

Furthermore, the multi-lateral agreements signed between the
Government of State of Qatar and some friendly countries can
not be applied on the personal at al-Udeid Air Base under the
umbrella of NATO or with a Third Party.

With reference to the last meeting held in Qatar on the
2-3/02/2007, please note that the draft agreement presented
by you (attached to the legal draft) bears no relation to the
Defense Cooperation Agreement and does not reply to the
requirements of cooperation between the Qatari Government and
the NATO.

Bearing in mind that the State of Qatar wishes that the
negotiations between its Government and the NATO to continue
in order to reach a final formula that correspond to the
draft of the Defense Cooperation Agreement.

The Embassy of the State of Qatar in Brussels avails itself
of this opportunity to renew to the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization- Legal Adviser- the assurances of its highest
consideration.

Brussels 21/2/2007

OLSON