wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08OSLO430 2008-08-01 13:23:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Oslo
Cable title:  

AFGHANISTAN OUTREACH: INSPIRED PROPOSAL FOR

Tags:   AF NO PGOV PPD PREL 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO1330
PP RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHNY #0430 2141323
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 011323Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY OSLO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6940
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0191
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L OSLO 000430 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/01/2018
TAGS: AF NO PGOV PPD PREL
SUBJECT: AFGHANISTAN OUTREACH: INSPIRED PROPOSAL FOR
EUROPEAN HUB BY AFGHAN AMBASSADOR TO NORDICS

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Kevin M Johnson
for reasons 1.4 b and d



1. (C) Summary. In a July 30 meeting Ambassador Whitney
discussed with Jawed Ludin, Afghan Ambassador accredited to
the five Nordic countries, public diplomacy outreach in
Norway and beyond. Ludin was inspired by the recent seminar
on public diplomacy sponsored by State to propose an Afghan
hub for outreach in Europe. Ludin is uniquely placed to do
public outreach because of his background and his success in
the media; he has made a significant difference to the debate
in Norway. His proposal which will shortly be sent to
Washington is an important opportunity for the USG to support
Afghan public diplomacy in Europe, led by someone who "gets
it". End Summary.

The Meeting


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





2. (C) Ludin is a dynamic and successful Ambassador. Drawing
from his experiences as former spokesperson for the Afghan
government and close colleague of President Karzai, he is
savvy with the media and regularly contributes op-eds or
comments to the Norwegian press. He praised the June State
sponsored public diplomacy seminar and said it inspired him
to look at additional ways to get positive messages out. He
is planning to host Nordic tours of a delegation of Afghani
women parliamentarians, a group of Afghan journalists, and
several Afghan ministers during the fall. He believes that
Afghanistan will be an important issue in the upcoming
Norwegian elections and aims to get out the good news, which
is often buried in Norwegian media. He will host a luncheon
for the US, UK, Canadian, Dutch, and Danish Ambassadors in
September to try to coordinate public diplomacy outreach on
Afghanistan and identify ways to encourage the GON to do more
in Afghanistan, especially on the military side.

An Inspired Proposal: An Afghan Outreach Hub


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





3. (C) Ludin noted that the greatest constraint on public
outreach by Afghani missions in Europe is lack of capacity.
To help offset this problem, he has developed a written
proposal which he expects to send later this week to the
State Department. His idea is that the USG fund (through an
NGO or other entity) a communications hub in one of the
Afghan embassies in Europe. This hub would be composed of
two people who would monitor and analyze news out of
Afghanistan. They would then send proactive pieces to all
the Afghan Ambassadors in Europe to arm them with points to
use in the media. The goal would be to broaden understanding
of dramatic progress in Afghanistan, swiftly counter negative
narratives, identify keys to success and the need for
European engagement, all in products designed to appeal to
European audiences. (The concept is similar in some ways to
our rapid responses or press guidance pieces.)



4. (C) A further refinement that might be possible would be
for the hub to be responsible for some regional programming.
For example, coordinating and funding a tour through European
capitals of Afghani teachers to discuss progress in girls'
education in Afghanistan.

Comment


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



5.(C) Ludin is one of the most effective Ambassadors in Oslo.
His proposal is a thoughtful response to the public
diplomacy training State provided. We hope Washington will
take a careful look at the proposal and identify ways to work
with Ludin to build on it. Given his background as spokesman
for Karzai and activism, he would be natural leader if the
hub were set up in Oslo. Having it the "moral North", where
development is stressed over security also has its
advantages. Ludin himself, however, strongly supports the USG
approach.
WHITNEY