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09ABUDHABI578 2009-06-10 07:13:00 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Abu Dhabi
Cable title:  

(S) UAE UPDATES S/SRAP HOLBROOKE ON PAKISTAN SUPPORT, AFGHAN

Tags:   PTER PGOV PREL PARM EAID MOPS AF PK AE 
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1. (S/NF) Summary: During a June 6 meeting with Special
Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke, Abu
Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (MbZ) pledged an additional USD
30 million for Pakistani displaced persons and commended Pakistan's
decision to shift troops to the Afghan border areas. MbZ said
Morocco had declined to join an Arab military force for Afghanistan,
but that Bahrain was supportive and Tunisia hadn't said no. On
Afghanistan, MbZ said the UAE intends to send Emirati doctors to work
in civilian hospitals. End Summary.



2. (S/NF) During an opening meetiQ attended by Deputy Prime Minister
and Interior Minister Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Chief of State Security
Sheikh Hazaa bin Zayed, UAE Armed Forces Chief of Staff Hamad Al
Thani Al Romaithi, Abu Dhabi Executive Council Secretary General
Mohammed Al Bowardi, Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority Chairman
(and Mubadala CEO) Khaldoon Al Mubarak, and MbZ's son Sheikh Khalid
bin Mohammed of the State Security Department, MbZ told Amb.
Holbrooke that Pakistan is "very important," and that we must learn
from past mistakes. He commended the Pakistani decision to shift
troops from the Indian to the Afghan borders, noting that he imagined
this was a difficult decision. MbZ said he expected India "would
deliver" on its support for Pakistan's efforts. (Note: Sheikh Saif
does not usually attend such meetings, and his presence may be
another indicator of his ascendance in Abu Dhabi policy circles. End
Note.)

ARAB FORCE


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





3. (S/NF) In a separate hour-plus private meeting, MbZ (joined by Al
Mubarak) told Ambs. Holbrooke and Olson that his pitch to the
Moroccans to join an "Arab Force" in Afghanistan did not work, the
King was nervous about sending troops to Afghanistan. MbZ implied
the King might come around eventually, but not in time for the Afghan
elections. The Tunisians have not yet said yes, but have not said no
either; MbZ seemed more optimistic about their participation. Amb.
Holbrooke said the Bahrainis told him just prior to his arrival in
the UAE that they were prepared to send a Company. MbZ said UAE is
preparing to send a full battalion of its own. MbZ expressed his
strong commitment to the idea of the Arab force in Afghanistan,
saying it fulfilled short and long term political purposes that went
beyond questions of military utility. The short term objective was
to have an Arab/Islamic force in Afghanistan (i.e., helping with the
international legitimacy of the force). The longer term objective
was that such a force would encourage and motivate the Afghans in
their fight against the Taliban and Al Qaida.

PAKISTAN PLEDGE


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





4. (S) MbZ pledged an additional USD 30 million to support Pakistani
displaced persons (reftel) and asked for advice on how to disburse
these funds effectively. MbZ seemed inclined to provide half the
money to UNHCR and half directly to Pakistan. MbZ told Ambassador
Holbrooke that he would like to deploy officials to Pakistan under
the UNHCR "umbrella." MbZ said he was planning to send about 10
officials from the Khalifa bin Zayed Foundation, a quasi-official
charitable organization. MbZ said that Foreign Minister Abdullah bin
Zayed (AbZ) will be contacting UNCHR to follow up.

AFGHAN HUMANITARIAN SUPPORT


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





5. (S/NF) MbZ told Amb. Holbrooke that the UAE is recruiting Emirati
doctors to serve in civilian hospitals in Afghanistan. They have
identified 500 volunteers, are working to prepare to send a first
team of 50. They want to partner with the US, and also other ISAF
nations (he mentioned Germany and the Netherlands). The idea is
that the Emirati doctors would be embedded in civilian hospitals
working with Afghan citizens, with whom there would be enhanced
cultural affinity.


ABU DHABI 00000578 002 OF 002




6. (C) Warming to the theme, MbZ told Holbrooke that Arab countries
needed to instill a sense of community service as in the West. To
that end, he had created a program under the Emirates Foundation for
teenagers to volunteer in hospitals and schools. Two of MbZ's
daughters participate in the program. Strategically this sort of
thing was important, because the "salafists and Muslim Brotherhood"
were "hunting" for youth, and young Muslims needed other
alternatives.



7. (SBU) Ambassador Holbrooke has cleared this message.
OLSON