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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08OTTAWA704 2008-05-23 20:54:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Ottawa
Cable title:  

CANADA TO PRESS G8 TO FUND AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN

Tags:   PREL MOPS SNAR MARR AF CA 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L OTTAWA 000704 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/23/2018
TAGS: PREL MOPS SNAR MARR AF CA
SUBJECT: CANADA TO PRESS G8 TO FUND AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN
BORDER ACTION PLAN

Classified By: PolMinCouns Scott Bellard, reasons 1.4(b) and (d)



1. (SBU) Summary: The Canadian-led Afghanistan-Pakistan
Dubai Cooperation Workshop will publish a five-part border
area action plan on June 16. Foreign Minister Bernier will
urge G8 members to join Canada in funding the action plan at
the June 26-27 G8 Foreign Ministers' meeting in Kyoto. End
summary.



2. (SBU) Department of Foreign Affairs and International
Trade (DFAIT) South Asia Policy Advisor Rhett Sangster on May
20 briefed G8 country diplomats on progress by Afghanistan
and Pakistan under the auspices of the Dubai Cooperation
Workshop on border issues. Sangster characterized the
four-stage workshop, launched in Dubai in November 2007, as
part of Canada's response to the G8 Potsdam Statement on
cooperative security relations. He noted that Canada was
able to advance its border security agenda at the workshop in
part by referring to border stations as "crossing points,"
thereby "skirting the high-intensity hot-button" border
demarcation issue.



3. (SBU) In November in Dubai, the Afghans and the
Pakistanis had agreed to cooperate in five areas: managing
the movement of people (across the border); counternarcotics
(CN); law enforcement; migration; customs (trade facilitation
and transit, revenue collection, and security); and,
"connecting government to the people in social and economic
development." In Pakistan May 5-8, the two sides made
progress on customs and CN, leaving the other three elements
for the third meeting in Kabul May 27-30.



4. (SBU) The delegations agreed to six initiatives on
customs:
-- to extend crossing point hours to seven days a week from
one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset
(until now, crossing points had been operating five to seven
hours each work day, and were closed on Fridays and Sundays);

-- to pursue a bilateral customs agreement;
-- to begin joint training and information exchange with
customs brokers in Afghanistan and Pakistan;
-- to explore ways to share electronic customs information;
-- to study the possibility of harmonizing customs forms; and,
-- to collaborate on building facilities at crossing points
such as Spin Boldak and Torkham.



5. (C) Sangster said the less productive and more volatile
session (due to mutual recriminations over
trafficking-related corruption) on counternarcotics produced
only two initiatives:
-- to explore the possibility of establishing a senior CN
working group that would devise ways to establish joint
training, to improve information sharing and precursor
management, to coordinate exercises, and to develop CN
liaison officers within border liaison offices; and,
-- to communicate CN messages to inhabitants of the border
region.



6. (SBU) Looking ahead, Sangster commented that the workshop
phase of the initiative will end with a June 15-16 meeting in
Dubai, where the two sides will publish a five-part joint
action plan. Foreign Minister Bernier will then carry the
action plan to the June 26-27 G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting in
Kyoto, where Sangster said Bernier will press his G8
counterparts to help fund the action plan as part of the G8
Qcounterparts to help fund the action plan as part of the G8
comprehensive economic strategy for the development of the
Afghanistan/Pakistan border region.

Visit Canada,s Economy and Environment Forum at
http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/can ada

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